Borneo Kellybays – a tropical heaven, an exotic getaway to the water paradise, fun-filled day at the beach, a holiday retreat, and a mangrove jewel.
Ideally one of the best places that we’ve been in Sabah! Borneo Kellybays is a land nestled in Kampung Laya Laya in Tuaran. As the island is inaccessible by foot, same-day walk-ins are not allowed. Hence, you need to make sure that you have booked a tour before you joining the activities offered on the island.
Make Advance Bookings before you go
As you need to take a wooden raft into the Kellybays and to allow time for the management to arrange your activity on the island, you need to make sure you have pre-booked a tour with Amazing Borneo Tours or Sabah Travel. Interestingly, the Borneo Kellybays is nestled between the ocean and a river. Hence, when you’re on the island, you can gain access to the ocean as well!
How to Access the island in a wooden raft
Like I have mentioned previously, you will not be able to access the place via foot, hence you need to access it with a wooden raft. You will be able to get on the wooden raft as long as you book a tour with the company.
Once you are on the island, a group of staff will stand and welcome you with their local music and dance. That was the first taste of the local culture and tradition upon our arrival on the island.
Things to do in borneo kellybays:
Though small, the activities you can do here are limitless! There are water and dry activities to keep you occupied. Or just chill at the many hammocks or lay on the beach!
1. Kayak at the mangrove swamp
There’s no limit to how many times you can kayak on Borneo Kellybays. You can kayak as many times as you want until your arms can no longer take it! Visitors will be provided with all equipment including a life jacket, so don’t worry that you’ll turn-turtle and drown. Of course, from our faces you can see how scorching the sun was
2. Take the banana boat at the mangrove swamp
We took the banana boat for about three times. Again, this is included in the package, so you don’t need to worry about the number of times you can take the ride. This is one of the times I tried so hard to muster up enough courage to take that many banana boat rides.
3. Chill On the beach
If you’re planning to chill on the beach, make sure you get your own life jacket and floating board free of charge. The beach is really spacious, perfect for building sandcastle and sunbathing. However, when we arrived near noon, it was low tide, so there was pretty much nothing we could do. In the end, we proceeded elsewhere to do other activities.
4. Relax on one of the many hammocks
Borneo Kellybays is filled with hammocks hanging around! Choose either to lay on the hammocks with a roof over your head or underneath trees. For the latter, beware that you may get bird poop on you, as I did when I was resting outside. But honestly, it is the most relaxing thing you can do on this island!
5. Watch local performances
How cool is it that Borneo Kellybays have performances before noon?
The whole performance started with a dance. The girl with the light blue top approached me when I was resting at the hammock and asked me if I wanted to dance. After the dance, they moved on to the fire performance where they touched fire with their arms and put fire in their mouths.
At the end of the show, they invited us to take a group photo with them while the guy and the lady in front attempted to extinguish the fire on the stick with their mouths for the photo.
In my honest opinion, the lunch was the best part in Borneo Kellybays. With the tour that we bought, we were served with mutton, chicken wing, curry chicken, fruits, squid, and so many more that my stomach could not accommodate. Make sure you really fill up as the activities on the island can really drain you out!
7. Tea Time
Borneo Kellybays prepared for guests curry puffs, milk tea, and other small bites for tea. You can eat lunch at different times. Usually, everyone got so hungry that they just rushed in to eat when they see everyone else eating.
8. Coloring Batik On Cloths
With the advanced booking, you also get to participate in coloring batik cloths. Everything is supplied and arranged on the table. All you have to do is just color your batik.
Our names (booking) were pasted on the table. There were many tables so many people started coloring without reading the booking names on the table. The lady there was a bit paranoid with us as she assumed we were like everybody else. She asked us if “we booked for batik coloring”, which we replied “yes” to her question, only then she softened her voice and asked us for our booking name.
It was not as easy as it seemed. The colors spread out very quickly on cloth unlike on paper. The blending of color proved really challenging for us as the cloths soaked up any color that we brushed on. You really need to do a little bit of planning if you’re really into art stuff.
9. Shooting Blowpipe Like The Indigenous
This family-friendly activity originates from the Murut indigenous ethnic group in Sabah, we were given rattan blowpipes to shoot targets, just like how the Murut people use blowpipe to hunt for their food. It takes a bit of practice to get it right. I failed most of the time because I just couldn’t get it right! The place is actually quite spacious so you can have a friendly match with your family and friends!
In A Nutshell
The Borneo Kellybays has plenty to offer whether for individuals, couples, or even families. From nature to relaxing to adventurous and finally romantic. What’s more, there are even opportunities for you to literally “taste” a piece of Malaysia’s indigenous culture.
Make sure you pre-booked before turning up as they don’t accept walk-ins! Also, it can get scorching hot during the day. As you will spend almost an entire day there, be sure to lather a generous amount of sunscreen on to prevent sunburn! Alternatively, wear a sun hat and put on your sunglasses! If you’re looking to join the water activities, remember to bring an extra set of clothes and your bathing suit!