Hi, I'm new to this forum and really need to consult your expertise, please help!
I'm traveling to Malaysia on March 1st(Fly to KL) and fly out to Thailand on March 12th. I'm trying to put together an itinerary. I really want to go to Borneo and am willing to forgo the peninsula to do this (unless you can convince me otherwise). I'm thinking about flying to Kuching. Somehow getting up to Brunei and then to KK. Then fly back to Singapore and then back to KL. I know this is extremely tight for time. Any suggestions? What should definitely see/do in Borneo? What can i afford to miss? What is the best route to get around in Borneo? Please help!!!
Look at flying between Kuching and KK. It's quick and cheap. Air Asia do flights between a lot of the Borneo cities. That would save you some time.
yeah i went to borneo last summer and its really cheap flying around airasia to all of borneo from mainland malaysia.
I recommend doing the 2 day hike up kota kinabalu on borneo, and also if you like to scuba dive go to a place called semporna and then onto sipidan for some awesome dives. I did the route of kota kinabalu ---> sandakan (orangutan sanctuarys) ---> semporna. And you can fly out of one of borneos southern cities, but not sure if u could fit all this in! Bear in mind, a lot of stuff like the climb and diving needs to be booked as its very popular 😉
Hope this helps.
If you want to see wildlife in Borneo head to Uncle Tan's near Sandakan. It cost around £50 for a 3 day trip including all meals. You stay in the jungle and see so many wild animals - we saw 4 orangutans while walking there as well as countless proboscis monkeys, crocs, exotic birds, wild pigs, etc, etc, etc. They have a website and are really good at getting back to you. It's really worth it.
If you do stay in Sandakan consider staying at Sunset Botik Hotel/hostel. It's nice, clean and the owner there is fantastic. She's called Faridah and is a real character.
As ajbetts says, if you want scuba diving then Semporna is a must. We found scubajunkies (or scubajunky not sure) to be very good.
Check out website about borneo and what your interest 1st than make a short itinerary which you can manage since you have a tight schedule. Place you should visit, Mt Kinabalu take 2 days minimum, Sepilok orang utan, The kinabatangan river and yes uncle tan is pretty good. if not try the B&B at sukau its cheap for a night there Rm30.00 pernight and u can arrange a river cruise with the owner and If you are a diver than Saty at Mabul and dive in sipadan. this are things you should do for a visit to North borneo.
All looks like good advice...
I have been to Kuching, Kota Kinabalu... The best thing I did was climb Mt. Kinabalu... I have a post of my trip so if you want to check it out. You have to book in advance, either online, or when you get to KK through the park administration. It is well worth it. But also very tough!
Kuching has Bako national park which is a beautiful nature reserve with probiscus monkeys etc... And there is a urangutan sanctuary outside Kuching which u can do in 1/2 day trip.
I would recommend KK over Kuching anytime though... From KK you can go east to Sipadan etc or the tip of Borneo (Kudat) They have amazing diving if you are into that.
Skip Singapore... its not worth it - and its expensive... KL is a very pretty and laid back city - I would recommend at least 1 full day to tour around.
12 days is not enough! I'm going back this summer for 2.5 months:-P
If you are flying with Airasia then just ask to chance the dates... cuz a flight to Thailand does'nt cost much anyhow...
If you want to travel by land from Kuching to KK through Brunei - You cannot do it in that short a time!
Hey thanks a lot everybody. Yeah, I really want to do Mt Kinabalu, im an experienced hiker but I need to quit smoking first ;-). I really appreciate all the advice, this has helped tons. How much could I expect to spend to do Kinabalu. From my research it looks like about $150 per person. Is this accurate. Also, ive checked out the airasia flights and their pretty good. Should I book them all in advance or can i expect to show up adn easily book flights to Miri, KK etc.?
Thanks again guys
last minute price is probably at least double... but you can probably do that. I think that my 2 day trip including getting there and back (public bus/shared taxi) was about 100USD
so 150 is a safe bet...
Flight to KK via air asia is pretty easy to book and im sure youv already found that out and its much cheaper to book early like 3 month before or half a year before. as the days gets closer to your traveling time the price will go up so you might want to check that out and make early booking. Any cencelation you will be charged by Airasia and you can carry 5 kig which is chargeable check in for the backage you maty want to find out more on that. there is a lot of unseen infor flying with airasia so need to research 1st and prepare. Climbing mt kinabalu will coast about 380 perperson roughly about the budget you costed. Buses are easy to get from Kota Kinabalu from the KK terminal so that is coverd.
hope this helps you.
Have a nice holiday.
Brandon M Miles
Also it depends what you wanna stay in as well at "base camp" half way up mount kinabalu.. after the first day trek, you can stay in a cheap hostel like, no heating hut! or you can stay in the nicer heated accommodation, i paid a lot less for the cheaper option. And the fact is anyway everyone wakes up at 2am the next morning to start the climb for the top so its not like you are in the accomodation for that long!
Also something like 10 dollars for a guide which you need to have as its a national trust site.
I would personally vouch for the islands of Tunku Abdul Rahman Park, River Cruises (insearch of poboscis monkeys/macaques), Kinabalu National Park and the cultural centres of Monsopiad
or Mari Mari
to discover the traditions of the indigenous tribes of Sabah. If you have ample time, you can then opt to discover Sandakan on the east coast of Sabah; Selingan Turtle Island, Kinabantan/Sukau (haven for proboscis monkeys, pygmy elephants, exotic birds and many more) or the infamous islands of Sipadan/Mabul/Kapalai for excellent scuba diving in Semporna, further down south.
Plan your itinerary well and have a great trip.
thanks again guys. ive taken all your suggestions to heart and am starting to formulate an itinerary. Again, its disappointing to have so little time, but Im trying to make the most of it. I think I have to skip on climing Mt Kinabalu and save it for another time as it will eat 2 of my 10 days and too much money. i booked a flight to kuching. will spend a couple days there. then fly to miri and cross into brunei. spend a few days that general area. then prob up north for the rest. I wont be diving this time. I guess im mainly looking for trekking and animal watching. what are the best national parks i shoudl see? im thinking Bako in Kucing, then to Mulu park.
What would you guys suggest near the Kinabalu?
hello ... i recommend u to go visit these people i met them while i was searching in the net, they arrange trip to all the beautiful islands and beaches in malaysia. And all i can say is .. they are so good in this line, very professional and detail, highly recommended!! The beach are so beautiful, clean and unpolutted. Hope u will have a nice trip :-)
Hey,... partypoo...Mulu is great..its your basic touristic kind of park where you ll find loads of tourist usually visiting the cave and the evening bat ritual flight out of the caves spend 3 days there and check out the cave. u can do i day the clear water caves or do a caving adventure for novice..now that is really fun. Look for a guide name pari wan,..ask the hotel...ask him to guide you..trust me his the guy u want to look for. Brunei,...not so exciting from my opinion its batter to skip Brunei...unless u are interested in mosque and there jerudong park its an amusement park. bako is also cool in Kinabalu try Kiau village next to Mt Kinabalu it a small village that provides home stay program ...... in the national park hostel will cost you about rm120.00 incl bfast which is not worth the stay. U can do a day visit to the national park and also to the hotsprings while staying in kota kinabalu (day trip) transport may cost you..u may want to rent a motorcycle which to get around ..if you ride motorcycle for that matter. if you can make it for sandakan to visit the kinabatangan river...than go for the klias river cruis to see the probocies monkeys not as good as kinabatangan but its almost similar except for the wild orang utans there.
i hope you ll have a nice holiday.
Brandon M Miles