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Borneo Discovery - January February 2018

Price A$5,365


Destination

SandakanSeligan IslandSukauKinabalu ParkKudatKota Kinabalu


Category
Unpublished

Duration
13 days 12 nights
Tour Details

27th Janury - 8th February 2018 A$5365 plus air fares

When people talk about Borneo, they describe a land rich in culture, awash with breathtaking scenery and bursting with incredible wildlife. Our 13 Day solo tour is packed full of opportunities to uncover this magical destination.

Our tour of Borneo begins in Sandakan before we set sail for Selingan Island where we’ll witness the nesting turtles and see their offspring scrambling across the sand to the open seas. From island waters to jungle, next up we’ll enjoy a unique and remarkable experience as we get up close and personal with the marvellous orangutans at a local rehabilitation centre.

After a drive through rustic countryside and villages, we head to the spectacular Kinabatangan River and Kelenanap Ox-Bow Lake for a stunning river cruise.

Our visit to the natural sulphur waters of the Poring Hot Springs is your chance for a rejuvenating bath, before we take a 40 metre high canopy walk, with views across the landscape and the chance to discover the incredible wildlife that Borneo is so well known for.

On Day 6 we explore the awe-inspiring Kinabalu Park and Mount Kinabalu, South East Asia’s highest summit!

We’ll discover the unique cultural highlights of Kudat and meet the local Rungus people on Day 8, before exploring the pristine white beaches and savouring the local cuisine.

Our tour ends with 3 days of rest and relaxation in charming Kota Kinabalu, staying at the 5 Star Shangri La Rasa Ria Resort.

Relax at the resort, explore the surrounding nature reserve or head into the city to the markets - the choice is yours!

That’s 13 days uncovering a land that many describe as ‘magical’. And with good reason.

Will you join us?




Day 1 - Arrive Sandakan

Upon arrival at Sandakan Airport you’ll be greeted by your Tour Host before being transferred to your hotel. At the hotel there’ll be ample time to settle in and relax before meeting the group for a welcome drink and tour briefing. Get to know your fellow travellers and prepare for the first day on tour!

Accommodation: Four Points by Sheraton Sandakan (Deluxe Room).

Day 2- Sandakan to Seligan

At 9:00am we’ll be picked up from our hotel and taken to the jetty to begin our journey to the beautiful ‘Selingan Island’, also known as ‘Turtle Island’. The hour long journey takes us approximately 40km north of Sulu Sea, just off Sabah’s east coast. Here we’ll discover the main nesting area of the local green turtles. We’ll spend the day relaxing along the shore line, swimming or snorkelling in the waters of the island or just taking in the scenery. After dinner we get to witness a magical wildlife experience. Green turtles and hawksbill turtles come ashore to lay eggs after the sun has set and darkness covers the island. Our Park Ranger will take us to witness this amazing sight. Watch closely as they collect their eggs from the nesting site, plant them in the hatchery and let nature take its course when the tiny baby turtles scramble quickly towards the open sea. A memory you’ll never forget!

Hotel: Seligan Turtle Island (Standard room)

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 3 - Seligan - Sukau

Day 3 starts with breakfast, before we leave at 7:00am to return to Sandakan. Our guide will then take us to the worldfamous and awe inspiring Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre, located deep in the Kabili-Sepilok Forest Reserve. The centre welcomes orphaned and injured orangutans for rehabilitation before returning them to forest life. We’ll learn about the rehabilitation process before embarking on a spectacular walk through the lowland rainforest. The highlight of the day will be at the viewing feeding platforms where we’ll get to see the orphaned orangutans enjoying a spot of morning tea! We then set off on a 2.5 hour drive through rustic Borneo countryside and local villages on our way to the majestic Kinabatangan River. 

The area is teeming with many rare and endangered animals, from the fascinating proboscis monkey, the estuarine crocodile, and a spectacular assembly of birdlife. A short boat ride will take us to our accommodation at the Borneo Nature Lodge, an ideal location to explore the melting pot of wildlife found in Sukau. After check in, we’ll enjoy a late afternoon river cruise. The best way of spotting the local ‘residents’!

Hotel: Borneo Nature Lodge (Standard room)

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 4 - Sukau

There’s no need for an alarm on day 4 as we are woken by the mesmerising sounds of the local birds, insects and animals. We’re up early today for an incredible morning cruise up the Kinabatangan River and into the Kelenanap Ox-Bow Lake. We’ll spend some time here discovering the array of local wildlife before taking a short jungle walk (if weather permits) to experience the real wilderness of Borneo. We’ll return to the lodge for a hearty breakfast after which the afternoon is free to explore the surrounding areas and nearby villages at leisure. In the evening we’ll take another cruise along the river to see the many species of flora and fauna in this spectacular rainforest.

Hotel: Borneo Nature Lodge (Standard room)

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 5 - Sukau - Kinabalu Park

Day 5 begins early with a 6.30am start as we head off to the stunning ‘Poring Hot Springs’. Located in a well-maintained forest park with nature walks for all to enjoy, the springs steam with hot sulphurous water channelled into pools and tubs, perfect for a rejuvenating bathe. After a laid-back lunch, we head off on a Canopy Walk 40m above the jungle floor. The series of walkways are suspended from the trees, providing unique views of the surrounding forest. Keep an eye out for the resident birds and other wildlife. After our day’s adventures, we’ll check-in at Kinabalu Pine Resort for a relaxing evening and the chance to rest our legs!

Hotel: Kinabalu Pine Resort (Standard room)

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 6 - Kinabalu Park

Today we explore the awe-inspiring Kinabalu Park. Established as one of the first national parks of Malaysia in 1964, the park is Malaysia’s first World Heritage Site designated by UNESCO for its ‘outstanding universal values’. We’ll enjoy a guided walk of the unique gardens, which boast more than 5,000 plant species as well as being home to some 90 lowland mammal species. There’s plenty of time to take in the soaring hills, rainforests and mountain peaks before catching sight of the mighty impressive Mount Kinabalu, South East Asia’s highest summit.

Hotel: Kinabalu Pine Resort (Standard room)

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 7 Kinabalu Park - Kudat

Day 7 sees us head off with our guide on a drive through the winding roads to Kudat, situated about 178km north of Kinabalu Park. With its slower pace of life and fishing boats out in the bay, the capital of Borneo back in the late 19th century has a way of growing on you. As we arrive in Matunggong, we’ll get the extraordinary opportunity to visit the ‘longhouse’ where we’ll experience and observe the local Rungus people’s traditional lifestyle and culture. Next we check in to our unique accommodation at the North Borneo Biostation Resort. The Resort enjoys a beachfront location with each chalet perfectly positioned under the coconut trees. Sit back, relax and soak up the stunning scenery.

Hotel: Kudat Biostation (Standard chalet)

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 8 - Kudat

Day 8 provides us with even more opportunity to discover more about the unique culture of the Rungus people of Sabah. Try your hand at ‘gongmaking’ and honey bee farming or just watch the locals as they demonstrate the incredible crafts of woven basketry and intricate beadwork. In the afternoon, we continue at a leisurely pace to the northern tip of Borneo. The pristine white beaches will take your breath away and provide the perfect setting to relax, unwind and reflect on the beauty of the surroundings.

Hotel: Kudat Biostation (Standard chalet)

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 9 Kudat - Kota Kinabalu

After breakfast, we continue our adventure as we set off to the bustling cowboy town of Kota Belud. Here we’ll visit the local, traditional Pasar Tamu Market, great for picking up tribal handicrafts and traditional clothing. Next we make our way to Kota Kinabalu, with a lunch stop at a local restaurant. Once we arrive at the 5 Star Shangri-la Rasa Ria Resort, there’ll be plenty of time to relax at your leisure and admire the incredible sunset.

Hotel: Shangri La’s Rasa Ria Resort & Spa (Deluxe garden view)

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch
Days 10 - 12 - Kota Kinabalu

Our last three days on tour are all yours to enjoy the old world charm of Kota Kinabalu. Known for its arts and music scene, the friendly locals and impressive sunsets, there’s plenty to discover. Relax at the resort, explore the surrounding nature reserve or head into the city to the markets - the choice is yours!

Hotel: Shangri La’s Rasa Ria Resort & Spa (Deluxe garden view)

Meals : Breakfast
Day 13 - Depart Kota Kinabalu

After breakfast we transfer to the airport for your flight home or onto further adventures. Ask us if you need any travel suggestions!

Hotel: Shangri La’s Rasa Ria Resort & Spa (Deluxe garden view)

Meals : Breakfast

Four Points by Sheraton Sandakan: Situated adjacent to Sandakan Harbour Mall, the sea-facing Four Points by Sheraton Sandakan boasts an outdoor pool and a fitness room. Free Wi-Fi is provided throughout the property. 4 dining options are available. Enjoying views of the harbour or sea, all the air-conditioned rooms are equipped with a flat-screen TV, personal safe and tea/coffee making facilities. En suite bathrooms have a shower. Overlooking the Sulu Sea, Four Points by Sheraton Sandakan is a 10-minute drive from the International Buddhist Temple and a 20-minute drive from Sandakan airport. International cuisine is served at The Eatery, while sandwiches and coffee can be enjoyed at Wrapped cafe. Other dining options include the Lobby Lounge and Best Brew pub.

Selingan Turtle Island: Located just 5km from the city center and 15km from the airport, this 4-star hotel offers easy access to the city's must-see destinations. Each of the 25 rooms exude an atmosphere of peace and harmony and feature complimentary bottled water, tea and coffee making facilities and air conditioning. Relax on the private beach and enjoy some snorkelling while you're there! 

Borneo Nature Lodge: Located along the banks of Kinabatangan River, Borneo Nature Lodge is nestled among tropical surroundings and wildlife. All rooms are air-conditioned and come with a mosquito net. Rooms are spacious and overlook tropical greenery. Ironing facilities and slippers are provided. En suite bathrooms include shower facilities. Borneo Nature Lodge is a 2-hour drive from Sandakan Airport. The lodge has a common lounge where guests can enjoy programs on its flat-screen satellite TV. Fishing and barbeque facilities are available. Guests can enjoy a selection of Asian and international cuisine in the restaurant and bar.

Kinabalu Pine Resort: Situated in Kundasang Ranau, the hotel is surrounded by vegetable farms and enjoys a temperate climate all year round. The resort has 64 chalets built on stilts and every unit has a view of Mount Kinabalu. The rooms come with a double bed, attached bathroom with heaters, colour TV and coffee/tea making facilities. Pine Restaurant serves both local and Western cusine while there are barbecue pits for outdoor cooking.

Kudat Biostation: Just 12km away fromt he city centre, this hotel offers great service and all the essential amenities. All chalets are non-smoking, air conditioned, and include a balcony/terrace, in-room safe, and refrigerator. Rooms feature complimentary bottled water, tea and coffee making facilities and air conditioning.

Shangri La's Rasa Ria Resort & Spa: Situated on Kota Kinabalu’s Pantai Dalit Beach, Shangri-La's Rasa Ria Resort offers an 18-hole golf course. Other facilities include 8 food and beverage options, 3 swimming pools and a spa.Rooms at the Shangri-La's Rasa Ria feature a private lanais or balcony and free high speed internet access. Each room has air Conditioning, a cable TV, minibar and pillow menu. Guests can visit the resort’s nature reserve, which features a tree-top canopy walkway and wildlife like orangutans. Various water sports including jet skiing, parasailing and windsurfing are available at the beach. Western cuisine is featured at the award-winning Coast Restaurant and Bar. Japanese, Indian and local cuisines are available at the other restaurants. A beachside bar offers drinks and light snacks. Shangri-La's Rasa Ria Resort is a 45-minute drive from Kota Kinabalu International Airport. Private airport transportation and shuttle service to Kota Kinabalu are available for a fee.

Climate

The north-east monsoon (October to January) deluges Borneo and the east coast in rain and often causes flooding, while the west coast (particularly Langkawi and Penang) escape unscathed. The milder south-west monsoon (April to October) reverses the pattern. 

Malaysia is close to the equator, therefore warm weather is guaranteed. Temperatures generally range from 32°C/89.6 ºF at noon to about 26°C/78.8 ºF at midnight. 

Currency

The Malaysian currency is the ringgit, informally known as the dollar (the "$" symbol can be seen on older notes) and abbreviated RM or MYR, is divided into 100 sen. There are coins of 5, 10, 20, and 50 sen as well as bills of RM1, 2 (rare), 5, 10,20, 50 and 100. 5 sen coins are mainly given as change in large establishments and supermarkets, peddlers and street vendors might be reluctant to accept them. Note that the Singapore and Brunei dollars are also known as ringgit in Malay, so when near border areas you might want to check to be sure which currency they are quoting the price in.

Ringgits are freely convertible. Foreign currencies are not generally accepted, although you might get away with exchanging some Euros or US dollars even in more remote areas, but do expect a lot of stares and some persuasion.

Banks and airports are not the best places to exchange money if it is not urgent. Licensed money changers in major shopping malls often have the best rates - be sure to say the amount you wish to exchange and ask for the 'best quote' as rates displayed on the board are often negotiable, especially for larger amounts.

ATMs are widely available in cities, but do stock up on cash if heading out into the smaller islands or the jungle. Credit cards can be used in most shops, restaurants and hotels, although skimming can be a problem in dodgier outlets.

Visas

Australian and NZ citizens do not need a visa provided your passport has at least 6 months validity from the date of arrival back to Australia or NZ, your visit is no more than 3 months and you have a return or onward international ticket.

 

Let us handle your travel arrangements

Remember we are a full service travel company. We can provide a competitive quote and book  your airfare no matter where you are from. Just leave it to us.

Tour Inclusions:

  • Local English speaking tour guide throughout

  • All transport, sightseeing and excursions as per the itinerary.

  • 12 nights hotel accommodation in your own room — always!

  • Group Airport Arrival & Departure Transfers.

  • Meals as per itinerary: 10 breakfasts, 8 lunches, 7 dinners

  • Two’s a Crowd tour host from Australia.

  • Standard CHI Travel Insurance Policy. Additional premium may be payable if over 59 years, have an existing medial condition or wish to extend your travelling dates (underwritten by Allianz).

Tour Exclusions:

  • All international flights.

  • Visas.

  • Services not mentioned in the itinerary.

  • Late check out at hotels.

  • Meals and drinks not mentioned in the itinerary.

  • Tips for leaders, guide and driver.

  • Expenditure of personal nature.

  • Optional activities.

 

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