On the Road Filming in Borneo: An Update


Hey Travel Geekers,

A personal note to give you an update on what’s happening here:

I’ve flown my new producer and myself out to Borneo to get the concluding footage for my latest film, Travel Geek: Documentary Malaysia.  It will be released in two main parts, with extras and outtakes as well as short film releases over the next couple months.  I will also release Travel Geek: Documentary Borneo as a separate video, but will collectively create the video that is inclusive of all parts of the film once it’s all put together.

Cristina Owen is a blogger and travel enthusiast that I met over a podcast interview.  Those that follow this blog will remember her as the longest Travelcast that I’ve done so far.  We definitely got along well on the podcast and we’re doing good things here as well.  She flew out from San Francisco on her way through Asia for a chance to come filming with me.  We left from Kuala Lumpur last Sunday and already we’ve gotten some good footage.

There’ve been some interesting challenges along the trail so far.  For starters, Borneo is not the most agreeable place for weather, the most reliable place for travel plans or the most relaxing place to visit.  But that should, in now way, hinder your plans to come here if you want to do so.  The people, the epic, natural backdrop in all directions, the amazing and adventurous things to do and the geological and biological diversity all more than make up for what seem like troublesome challenges along the way.

Another factor for me is that I have picked up the cough that my producer brought in from Taiwan (not that anyone’s pointing fingers).  So it’s been a little more of a struggle to do the same types of hikes that I am used to doing due to muscle and bone soreness as well as a lung full of mucus that constantly needs to be coughed out.  But even with that in tow, I still (may have) got out to an amazing waterfall hike yesterday where I (might have) swam in a pond fed by an absolutely breathtaking 40-foot-tall waterfall in the middle of Lambir National Park.  I (possibly) had the park all to myself, too, because I (kinda, sorta, might have) showed up after the park had closed for the day… and (kinda, sorta, might have) happened to hop the fence and enter the park without a pass, a filming permit or even registering my name at the park office.  That might have happened.   I dunno.  The footage will have to speak for itself.

So, here I am on day four of my trek and I have seen and done enough things to satiate my travel bug.  And I’m only halfway through.  I’ve gotten a locally crafted tattoo from the local Iban artisans, I’ve filmed wild proboscis monkeys leaping from tree to tree, seen 3-meter-long pythons and deadly pit vipers amid the inescapably beautiful backdrop of Borneo’s wilds.  And I’ve still got Class IV rapids at the Padas River, a Mosque walk through the tiny country of Brunei Darussalam, and to make it back to Kota Kinabalu to possibly fit a mountain climb in before heading back on Sunday morning.

This is turning out to be one helluva film.  I can’t wait to see the edited version.

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2 thoughts on “On the Road Filming in Borneo: An Update

  1. Hi. As you may know I stumbled across your travel videos on Youtube last week end. I can easily relate to your South East Asian clips as I am well travelled in that region.I did post a comment on your Borneo video suggesting that you try and visit an Iban longhouse if you have the time. I stayed overnight at one and it was an amazing experience, especially when the guide took me into the jungle. We stopped and listened to the sounds of the jungle and the guide looked at me and asked me ‘ What can you see’? I replied. ‘ I can see the trees, birds, hills, the river’. He then said, ‘We are looking at this through different eyes’. I asked him what he meant by that. He then said, ‘ This is our shopping mall. From here we get our food, our medicine and our construction materials to build our houses and our boats’. I was really taken aback by that. It is something that has stuck in my mind ever since I visited there.

    Just thought I would share that with you. Love your videos.

    Cheers, Liam

    • Thanks for keeping up with the posts, Liam! I would have liked nothing better than to do the longhouse overnight stay. I was actually just remarking on my facebook(.com/thetravelgeek) about that. I have three-day weekends starting at the end of this month. SO I think I am going to try to set something up for a quick weekend just to get out and make sure I do that before moving on to my next documentary.

      Thanks for the comments!

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