Wild Sarawak Trip Notes

At Imaginative Traveller we always aim to provide accurate information for our travellers. Unfortunately information such as the price of optional activities is occasionally subject to change, and this means that we are constantly revising our trip notes. In order to ensure that you have the most up to date information for your trip we suggest that you check the trip notes for your tour around one month before departure.

  • Trip code : ITMSW
  • Trip length : 10 Days
  • Trip starts in : Kuching, Malaysia
  • Trip ends in : Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
  • Maximum group size : 12
  • Ages : Min 15
  • Meals : 8 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners
  • Accommodation : Cabin (multishare) (2 nts), Dormitory (2 nts), Homestay (1 nt), Hotel (4 nts)
  • Transport : 4x4, Ferry, Longtail boat, Plane, Taxi, Van

daily-itinerary1

Day
1

Kuching

Selamat datang! Welcome to Malaysia.

Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6pm on Day 1.

Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader.

Kuching, meaning 'cat' in Malay, is arguably the most pleasant city in Malaysian Borneo. It was home to the infamous White Raja of Sarawak whose mysterious rule in this remote corner of the world sparked the imagination of many people who dreamt of becoming royalty. Rich in architecture, the waterfront houses a wealth of curio shops and local vegetable, spice and fish markets.

Accommodation: Hotel (1 nt)

Day
2

Bako National Park

Transfer via minivan to the fishing village of Kampung Bako (approx 1 hr).

Take a local boat up the coast to Bako National Park. (approx 20 mins)

Bako is the oldest national park in Sarawak and features rainforest, abundant wildlife, jungle streams, waterfalls, interesting plant life, secluded beaches and trekking trails. Millions of years of erosion have created a coastline of steep cliffs, rocky headlands and stretches of white, sandy bays. Wave erosion at the base of the cliffs has carved many of the rocky headlands into fantastically shaped sea arches and sea-stacks with coloured patterns formed by iron deposits.

There are many jungle trails to traverse in Bako, each offering an insight into the island's botanical diversity. Weather permitting, your leader will take you on walk to the beautiful beach at Telok Pandan Kecil (5 km, approx 3 hrs return). For those looking for a longer (or shorter) hike you are free to explore as many of the 18 different trails as you like. Whatever you plan, check with the ranger for the best time to spy the proboscis monkeys coming to feed from the beach mangroves. Wild pigs also grace this abundant island.

Check with your leader to see if the park is conducting a night walk, a rare chance to experience the jungle in a different light.

Accommodation: Dormitory (1 nt)

Day
3

Kuching

Hit the trails early before meeting up with our local driver.

Return to Bako Village by boat (it may be necessary to depart the park earlier or later subject to weather conditions).

Travel in a private minivan to Kuching via the Semenggoh Orangutan Sanctuary.

Explore the Semenggoh Orangutan Sanctuary, a government-funded rehabilitation centre set in lush surrounds. Head into the jungle via a walkway to watch the orangutan feed - a truly remarkable sight.

Return to the hotel where you can freshen up from the heat and head out to one of the many Chinese-influenced hawker markets for dinner and experience the range of local seafood.

Accommodation: Hotel (1 nt)

Day
4

Iban Longhouse

Today we take a flight to Miri where we will be sending our large bags to Limbang and packing a day bag for the next 4 nights.
You will need to carry your own backpack out to the longhouse and along the headhunters trail in Mulu. Your leader can arrange a porter for your small bag for an extra charge.

We drive 1-2 hours to Niah National park. Niah NP is where the oldest human remains in South East Asia have been unearthed dating back 40,000 years. There is a small museum that we can visit before starting the 3.5 KM walk through the rainforest to an Iban longhouse.

Meet the local community and participate in a traditional Iban welcome before we're billeted out into different homes in the longhouse. This is a very traditional and authentic experience and the sleeping and bathing arrangements are very basic.
In the afternoon there is the chance to visit Niah caves a short walk from our longhouse where you can still see some ancient cave drawings and wonder through these vast bat filled caves.

Accommodation: Homestay (1 nt)

Day
5-7

Mulu National Park

Today we say goodbye to our hosts and make the short walk back to Niah National park head Quarters (3.5KM) and travel back to Miri airport to make the short flight to Mulu. The maximum luggage allowance for both flights is 15kg, and Intrepid won't cover the cost of luggage that exceeds this weight.

Head into the heart of one of the most spectacular national parks in Asia - Gunung Mulu National Park. Spend the afternoon strolling the walkways and catching the sunset flight of the bats at Deer Cave. This spectacular cave is home to millions of bats and at dusk they emerge for their nightly feeding, looking like a black plume of smoke moving across the sky.

Stay in the park headquarters which has its own restaurant and information centre. Accommodation is multishare rooms with private bathrooms.

Set out to explore the amazing Wind and Clearwater Caves, which contain Asia's longest underground river.

Take a longboat downriver before disembarking to hike through the jungle to Camp 5 (approx 8.5 km). During dry season we may need to push the boats over sections of the river so it is advisable to wear shoes that can get wet or strap on sandals.

At Camp 5 you will sleep on mats on raised open air platforms in a mixed gender dormitory with shared bathroom facilities and cold water showers. Bedding is not provided so bring your own sleeping sheet and a warm layer for cool nights.

Accommodation: Cabin (multishare) (2 nts), Dormitory (1 nt)

Day
8

Headhunters' Trail/Limbang

Set off to tackle the infamous Headhunters' trail. Located in an isolated area of the Borneo jungles this 11.3 km trail (approx 5 hrs) takes its name from its historical role as the route taken by warring parties between the Tutoh and Limbang rivers. The trek is through dense jungle along a well-defined, mainly flat track, although the way can be muddy during the rainy season. You'll also have to cross some streams by bridges, logs or getting your feet wet wading through. Stop midway for lunch before continuing on to the Terikan River. Today is a long, challenging but rewarding day.

Take a longboat to Medamit (approx 4 hrs).

Transfer by minivan to the town of Limbang (approx 1 hr).

Accommodation: Hotel (1 nt)

Day
9-10

Kota Kinabalu

Travel by ferry via Labuan Island to our final destination (approx 5 hrs) - our city hotel located in the heart of Kota Kinabalu - where we'll be reunited with our bags.

Sabah's historic capital, Kota Kinabalu has interesting museums to explore and the surrounding beaches and islands are perfect for swimming or snorkelling.

There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time.

Accommodation: Hotel (1 nt)

included1

  • Bako National Park
  • Bako NP - Night Walk
  • Semengohh Orangutan Sanctuary
  • Niah National Park
  • Cultural Show
  • Mulu NP - Guided walk through Deer and Lang Caves
  • Mulu NP - Guided walk through Wind and Clearwater Caves
  • Mulu NP - Guided trek along Headhunters' Trails
  • Mulu NP - Longboat ride along the Melinau & Terikan Rivers

optional-extras

  • Kuching - Sarawak Cultural Village - MYR60

not-included1

International flights, arrival and departure transfers, departure and airport taxes, visas, all other meals, all optional tours or activities during free time, transfers outside of the tour program, travel insurance, tips and items of a personal nature.

tripgrade1

Standard

For those of you who dream of experiencing a location in depth and comfort but are mindful of budget. Ideal for those that enjoy the quirkier side of a destination without roughing it. Join inquisitive travellers of all ages for an fun, informative experience.

Style Facts

  • Comfortable tourist class hotels
  • Family Homestays
  • Private and local transport
  • More inclusions than Basic tours
  • Fully trained and experienced leaders

Discovery

Discovery tours are all about exploring & experiencing the world with like-minded people, dipping your toe beneath the usual tourist surface & discovering the real essence of a region. They are genuinely innovative, exciting & imaginative tours that offer that little bit more to travellers.

This tour is operated by our partners Intrepid.

visa1

A necessary bugbear of adventure travel, visas can appear complicated, costly and confusing to apply for. Imaginative Traveller recommend applying for visas with a professional visa service who can guide you though the process and take care of lodging and collecting your passport with multiple embassies, so we have teamed up with The Visa Machine.

The Visa Machine ‘live and breathe’ visas and have the expertise to provide current and accurate information and arrange the correct visas for your trip, quickly and at a good price.

Please click here for more information

health-and-fitness

All travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, Intrepid reserves the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund.You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations and anti-malarial requirements before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements (including a spare pair of glasses) as they may not easily be obtained at the locations on this trip. For legal reasons our leaders and guides are prohibited from administering any type of drugs including headache tablets and antibiotics. Please ensure that you are adequately prepared.

Money1

Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping, participating in optional activities, and tipping.

travel-insurance

You must have extensive travel insurance as a condition of booking with us, and without evidence of a valid policy you won’t be allowed to start your trip. Please click here for more information

responsible-travel1

Responsible tourism is at the heart of Imaginative Traveller. For 20 years we have taken customers to places around the world in social and environmentally responsible manner, ensuring everyone involved respects and maintains the natural and often delicate balance of the destination.

As travellers ourselves we are well aware of the impact that tourism can have and whilst economic gain from tourism is often fundamental to a country, it should never be at the expense of its culture or the environment. It is our aim to provide journeys that have minimal negative and maximum positive impact on the places we visit. We do not believe that, as visitors, we should impose our own cultures on others; rather that we should experience foreign cultures and appreciate them for what they are.

We believe giving something back is essential. We therefore work with our customers and the people we visit to ensure the benefits go directly to contribute to local cultures and environmental conservation. This is not only good the communities we visit but it also gives our travellers more enriched adventures.

For further information about responsible travel please click here.

other-important-information

PASSPORT DETAILS
Please provide passport details at the time of booking. If we have not received these details at least a month before the departure date of your tour, there is a risk the internal flight cannot be booked.

BACKPACK REQUIRED
Please note due to space and weight limitations on transport we will be leaving our main piece of luggage in Miri. You will need to bring a small to medium backpack (30-35 litres/8-9 gallons) which will be your main pack for Mulu National Park (including trek to Camp 5) and the Headhunters trail. In this you will need to carry a change of clothes, torch/flashlight, toiletries, warm clothes and any other essentials.

INTERNAL FLIGHT - LUGGAGE ALLOWANCE
The maximum luggage allowance for the internal flight is 15kg maximum, Intrepid won't cover the cost of luggage that exceeds this weight.

RAMADAN:
The month-long Ramadan Festival will be in progress from the 28th of June 2014. This is a festival of sacrifice where the devout refrain from eating or drinking during daylight hours. During Ramadan business hours are shortened, including opening hours at all popular tourist attractions. Alcohol is not permitted during daylight hours and many restaurants will be closed. While you definitely need to expect some delays and inconveniences during this period, the month of Ramadan is a fantastic month to travel in Muslim countries as it offers a chance to witness this fascinating Islamic event and the nightly celebrations when the sun sets and the fast is broken.

CHINESE NEW YEAR:
An important 15-day festival for the Malaysian Chinese, based on the lunar calendar in January or February. In 2014, the Year of the Horse is scheduled to be held from 29 January. This can be a busy time and some transport delays, shop closures and reduced opening hours at some sites may be expected, but there are also many fabulous festivals and rituals to observe during this time, so it's a great time to travel. Although we make all reasonable efforts to avoid disruption a flexible approach from the traveller is appreciated.

TWIN SHARE / MULTI SHARE BASIS
Accommodation on this trip is on a twin/multishare basis. Please note some of the multishare/dormitory accommodation can be mixed gender.

LOCAL DRESS
Malaysia is a liberal Muslim country, and many Malaysian women do not wear headscarves. However, Malaysia is very conservative when compared with standards you may be accustomed to at home, and you should dress accordingly. As a general guideline, shoulders, cleavage and knees should be covered when travelling in Borneo except when on the beach. Wearing skimpy clothing is considered disrespectful to local culture at many of the small local communities we visit.

 

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