Wild-Sarawak




Kuching to Kota Kinabalu 11 days.



  • Route: Kuching to Kota Kinabalu
  • Length: 11 days
  • Transport: 4x4, Boat, Ferry, Longtail boat, Plane, Taxi, Van
  • Accommodation: Dormitory, Homestay, Hotel

Sarawak is one of South-East Asia's best kept secrets. On this trip you'll encounter Orangutans, trek through virgin rainforest, and explore one of the world's biggest cave systems. Learn about the fascinating culture of the Iban people while staying in traditional longhouses. Follow the Headhunters' Trail and experience one of the world's truly intrepid adventures.


trip-grade

 


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.



countries-visited




Malaysia

 

Golden sands line the beaches of many places in Malaysia. There are palm trees as far as the eye can see, and many more wonderful sites.

Enter the beautiful tropical island of Pulau Langkawi and take a cable car from the Oriental village up the hillside. There is a chance to trek to each station, and with the astonishing views that greet you, it is definitely worth it. Ascending through the land, it becomes clear how truly striking the views actually are. The Telaga Tujuh waterfalls are visible and as the peak is reached, so too is the winding curving bridge. Linking the top station to the Machinchang mountain range, the wonderful sights are breathtaking.

In the capital of Kuala Lumpur lie the soaring Petronas Towers. These are among the tallest in the world and there are many like it that rise into the sky. This diverse city checks all the boxes of a modern city, but its history is still flowing, and the Chinatown of this city brings a whole new meaning to the word "exploration". With stalls showing off the goods they have to sell, and traditional food available, the choices are endless. The food, not only in Chinatown, but across Malaysia is a mixture of Chinese, Thai and Indian foods. The staple food of rice varies across the country and when infused with coconut milk and fried anchovies it creates the popular dish of Nasi Lemak. Chicken satay is another popular food within Malaysia and often seen as an icon. Another icon of Malaysia is the music. The many types of music across the country are influenced by Indonesia, Thai, Portuguese, Filipino, British and Chinese music, making many different genres for Malaysian people to enjoy. From contemporary to jazz and even rock and punk, the music scene in Malaysia has adapted through the years.

Malaysia is a country to find so many animals living in their natural habitat. Tigers, crocodiles, elephants and pot bellied pigs are just some that roam the land. To wander the land yourself, you will discover how attractive Malaysia is.

 

daily-itin


Day 1 Kuching

Selamat datang! Welcome to Malaysia.

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

You can arrive at any time as there are no activities planned until this important meeting. 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.

Optional Activities

  • Kuching - Sarawak Cultural Village, Kuching - MYR60.00

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.

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.

Included Activities

  • Bako National Park

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.

Included Activities

  • Semengohh Orangutan Sanctuary

Accommodation

Hotel (1 nt)

Day 4 Iban Longhouse

Today we drive into the interior of Sarawak by minibus to meet our longhouse friends – it’s a long journey of around 6 hours but relax and take in the surrounding countryside.

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.

Join a local guide on a trek through the jungle to visit one of the many waterfalls in the area and maybe the chance for a quick dip to cool down before returning to the longhouse to freshen up. Sitting on the floor, enjoy a traditional dinner before our hosts treat us to an Iban warrior dance - don't miss the chance to join in - after which we have time to spend with the locals learning about their history and culture.

Included Activities

  • Iban Longhouse - Guided walk & traditional dinner

Accommodation

Homestay (1 nt)


Day 5 Sibu

Transfer to the nearby city of Sibu.

On the North bank of the Rejang River, Sibu is a busy trade centre between the coast and hinterland. Check out the 7 storey Chinese pagoda providing lavish detail of Taoism and Buddhism. The top of the pagoda affords sweeping views of the city. If there is still time, check out the local market, definitely worth a look around.

Accommodation

Hotel (1 nt)


Days 6-8 Mulu National Park

Take a flight to Miri (flight included).

After a short lunch stop, take a connecting flight (included) to the jungles of Mulu National Park.

The maximum luggage allowance for both flight is 15kg, and Imaginative Traveller won't cover the cost of luggage that exceeds this weight.

Please note: As we are trekking for the next three days through Mulu NP we only carry day packs and our main packs will be forwarded on to Limbang.

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), our base for trekking to Melinau Gorge and into the Kerangas Forest. If you prefer to skip the trekking options, the rustic Camp 5 is a great place to spend the day, swimming in the river or relaxing in the jungle atmosphere.

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.

BROCHURE TEXT CHANGE: Please note we are no longer including the Pinnacles climb on Day 8 due to safety reasons. Instead we will take a hike to explore Melinau Gorgeand the Kerangas Forest.

Included Activities

  • Mulu NP - Longboat ride along the Melinau & Terikan Rivers
  • Mulu NP - Guided walk to Deer and Lang Caves
  • Mulu NP - Guided walk from Camp 5 to Melinau Gorge and Kerangas Forest
  • Mulu NP - Guided walk through Wind and Clearwater Caves

Accommodation

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


Day 9 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).

Included Activities

  • Mulu NP - Guided trek along Melinau and Headhunters' Trails

Accommodation

Hotel (1 nt)

Days 10-11 Kota Kinabalu

Travel by ferry via Labuan Island to our final destination (approx 5 hrs) - a peaceful beachfront resort near Kota Kinabalu where we'll be reunited with our bags.

Your afternoon is free to enjoy the resort or take transport into Kota Kinabalu (approx 40 mins), before spending the evening by the seaside with an optional final group dinner.

There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time. Please check the 'Finishing Point Hotel' section for checkout times and luggage storage possibilities.

Accommodation

Hotel (1 nt)

what-else



Itinerary Disclaimer

Occasionally our itineraries are updated during the year to incorporate improvements stemming from past travellers' comments and our own research. The information given in this itinerary may be slightly different to that in the brochure. It's very important that you print and review a final copy of your Trip Notes a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.

 

Please note that while we operate successful trips in this region throughout the year, some changes may occur in our itineraries due to inclement weather and common seasonal changes to timetables and transport routes. This can happen with little notice so please be prepared for modifications to the route.

Culture shock rating

 

The comforts of home are more of a rarity. English isn't common and the food will be quite different to home. It's important to observe some of the local customs to not cause offence. Many of the locals’ standard of living may be confronting.

Physical rating

 

Be prepared for some serious physical activity. The majority of activities included on this trip will be challenging. The fitter you are, the more you'll enjoy your holiday.

included





Included activities are listed in the day-to-day itinerary, all other activities are optional and at your own expense. If you choose not to participate in the included activities on this itinerary, the cost will not be refunded.

optional-extras





A selection of optional activities are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only. Prices are for entrance only and don't include transport costs to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination. Optional activities aren't necessarily endorsed or recommended by Imaginative Traveller nor included in price of this trip. If you do any optional activities, you do so at your own risk and it must be clearly understood that your participation is your own decision and doesn't form part of your contract with Imaginative Traveller. You may be required to sign/complete a waiver form or a receipt for some optional activities.

money




Money Exchange

The official currency of Malaysia is the Ringgit (MYR).

 

The most convenient and cheapest way to obtain local currency in is via an Automated Teller Machine (ATM). ATM's are now readily available and visa cash advances are available in major banks. Foreign currency notes that are old, torn or faded can be very difficult to exchange, clean bills in small denominations are most useful. Traveller's cheques can be difficult to change.

Spending Money

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. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.

Tipping

If you're happy with the services provided a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it's of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many Imaginative Traveller destinations. Although can be difficult to source we advise you to carry small notes of local currency each day to make tipping easier. Please note we recommend that any tips are given directly to the intended recipient by a member of your group as our group leaders are prohibited from collecting cash for tips.

The following amounts are per person suggestions based on local considerations and feedback from our past travellers:

Restaurants: Local markets and basic restaurants - round your bill up to the nearest US$1. More up-market restaurants we suggest 10% to 15% of your bill.

Local guides: Throughout your trip you may at times have a local guide in addition to your leader. We suggest US$2-3 per day for local guides.

Drivers: You may have a range of drivers on your trip. Some may be with you for a short journey while others may be with you for several days. We would suggest a higher tip for those more involved with the group, however we suggest US$1-2 per day for drivers.

Your Group Leader: You may also consider tipping your leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline US$2-4 per person, per day can be used. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.

In total, we recommend you budget approx US$5-10 per day of your trip to cover tipping.

At your group meeting on day 1 your tour guide will discuss with you the idea of running a group tipping kitty, whereby everybody contributes an equal amount and then your group leader pays the tips while keeping a running record of all monies spent (except restaurant tips). The record can be checked at any time and any money remaining at the end of the tour returned to group members. This is often the easiest way to avoid the hassles of needing small change and knowing when and what is an appropriate amount to tip.

Please don't tip with coins, very small denomination notes, or dirty and ripped notes. This is regarded culturally as an insult.

Departure Tax

All departure taxes should be included in your international flight ticket.

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.

INTERNAL FLIGHT - LUGGAGE ALLOWANCE

The maximum luggage allowance for the internal flight is 15kg maximum, Imaginative Traveller won't cover the cost of luggage that exceeds this weight.

RAMADAN

The month-long Ramadan Festival will be in progress from the 9th July 2013. 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 2012, the Year of the Dragon is scheduled to be held from 23 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.

Group-Size





Maximum of 12 travellers per group.


your-fellow-trav





As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part.

Due to privacy reasons we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure.

 

Single-Travellers





Our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and don't involve a compulsory single supplement. Single travellers share with people of the same gender in accommodation ranging from twin to multishare. Some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on a mixed gender share basis and where applicable this will be specified in our Trip Notes. On a selection of our trips, you have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure that you have your own room (where available). Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour - pre-trip and post-trip accommodation will be booked on a single room basis.

Accommodation





Hotel (5 nts), Dormitory (3 nts), Homestay (1 nt), Cabin (multishare) (1 nt)



OCCASIONAL ALTERNATIVE ACCOMMODATION

The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our usual accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances.

TWIN SHARE / MULTI SHARE BASIS

Accommodation on this trip is on a twin/multishare basis. Please note there may be times where facilities will be shared rather than ensuite and rare occasions when you share a room with passengers travelling on different Imaginative Traveller trips than your own.

CHECK-IN TIME

Throughout the trip we request that our hotels prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination.

PRE/POST TRIP ACCOMMODATION

If you've purchased pre-trip or post-trip accommodation (if available), you may be required to change rooms from your trip accommodation for these extra nights.

meals




While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. On our camping trips we often cook the region's specialities so you don't miss out. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There's no obligation to do this though.

Meals

4 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 3 Dinners

Budget for meals not included:

USD 250.00

transport





Plane, Taxi, Longtail boat, Van, 4x4, Ferry



LONG TRAVEL DAYS

There are some long travel days and some of the transport can be quite cramped and without air-conditioning.

group-leader




All Imaginative Traveller group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Imaginative Traveller endeavours to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders.

 

Your leader will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. At Imaginative Traveller we aim to support local guides who have specialised knowledge of the regions we visit. If you were interested in delving deeper into the local culture at a specific site or location then your leader can recommend a local guide service in most of the main destinations of your trip.

joining-point





Borneo Hotel

30 Jalan Tabuan

City Centre

Kuching

Sarawak

93100

MALAYSIA

Phone: +60 82244122

Join-point-desc




The Borneo Hotel's rooms have en suite, AC & TV.

Join-point-instruct




An arrival transfer is available - please enquire at time of booking.

 

Taxis are easy to hail from the official taxi rank and cost approx MYR25 with a journey time of approx 25 minutes.

Arriv-complications




We don't expect any problems (and nor should you) but if for any reason you are unable to commence your group trip as scheduled, please contact your starting point hotel, requesting that you speak to or leave a message for your group leader.

 

If you have pre-booked an airport transfer (where available) and have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the starting point hotel, following the Joining Instructions in these Trip Notes. Should this occur, please apply to your travel agent for a refund of the transfer cost on your return.

 

No refund is available on missed transfers or portions of your trip owing to a different flight arrival or delayed flight arrival. Any additional cost incurred in order to meet up with your group is at your own expense.

finishing-point




Seaside Travellers Inn

Km 20 Papar Highway Kinarut

Papar

Kota Kinabalu

Sabah

88200

MALAYSIA

Finishing-P-Desc




The peaceful beachfront Seaside Travellers resort has clean, comfortable twin share rooms with private facilities, air-conditioning and TV. There is a restaurant and pool in the hotel.

Finish-point-instruc




A departure transfer is available - please enquire at time of booking.

From the Seaside Travellers Inn a taxi to the airport should take approximately 30 minutes and cost around MYR50, please note a 50% surcharge applies between 12:00 - 06:00.

Normal check out time is 12 noon. If you are departing later in the day or evening, luggage storage can be arranged.

emergency




Emergency Contact

In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency, the Thailand Office can be reached on Tel: +66 898 103 722 (Thailand, Laos, Malaysia, Borneo, Indonesia, Burma & Phillipines) and Tel: +855 92 555 969 (Cambodia).

We also have a dedicated 24 hour telephone number which should only be used once you have left the UK and in the event of a real emergency. Should you need to call the number, we will do what we can to help but please bear in mind that real progress or action may not be possible until normal office hours.

If your flight is delayed or cancelled, please let us know and then make your way to the joining hotel as instructed in these trip notes. If you cannot get through leave a message and a contact number as these will be regularly checked. Emergency Number: +44 (0) 7985106564

 

Emergency Funds

Please also make sure you have access to an additional US$400, to be used when unforeseen incidents or circumstances outside our control (eg. a natural disaster, civil unrest or an outbreak of bird flu) necessitate a change to our planned route.

visa-information




Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. The visa requirements for your trip vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. As a general rule most countries expect that you will have at least 6 months' validity on your passport. On arrival visitors may be asked to present return tickets and evidence of means to cover your intended stay.

 

We keep the following information up to date as much as possible, but rules do change - it's important that you check for yourself. Residents from other countries must consult the relevant embassies or your travel agent.

MALAYSIA:

Australia: No - not required

Belgium: No - not required

Canada: No - not required

Germany No - not required

Ireland: No - not required

Netherlands: No - not required

New Zealand: No - not required

South Africa: No - not required

Switzerland: No - not required

United Kingdom: No - not required

USA: No - not required

 

The above nationalities do not need visas to visit Malaysia as a tourist for up to three months. Other nationalities should check with their Malaysian embassy or consulate.

Issues





While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.

 

We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager.

 

You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. But we do ask you to be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is complete.

what-to-take




What you need to bring will vary according to the trip style you have chosen, the countries you are visiting and when you are travelling. Generally speaking you should pack as lightly as possible. On the vast majority of our trips you are expected to carry your own luggage and although you won't be required to walk long distances with your luggage (max 30 minutes), we recommend keeping the weight under 10kg / 22lb.

Most travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. Smaller bags or backpacks with wheels are convenient although we recommend your bag has carry straps. You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water and a camera etc for day trips.

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.

 

We do not allow the use of video cameras when staying in the villages as it can be perceived by the local people as highly obtrusive.

WATER BOTTLE:

Consider bringing your own water bottle to refill along the way. The sale of bottled water contributes to an enormous environmental problem around the world. In addition to the water in bottles, the production of a 1 litre plastic bottle takes 2 litres of water and 200ml of oil. A large proportion ends up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments. Although it can be difficult to avoid bottled water when travelling, please consider water purification techniques such as iodine or micropur and use the water dispensers which are provided at some of our accommodation. When unable to avoid bottled water it is better to buy the largest available and distribute into your smaller bottle for the day.

fitness





Health

All Imaginative Traveller 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, Imaginative Traveller 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.

safety





Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trip.

We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, air tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.

Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your group leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your Imaginative Traveller itinerary, and Imaginative Traveller makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your group leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns.

 

FIRE PRECAUTIONS:

Please be aware that local laws governing tourism facilities in this region differ from those in your home country and not all the accommodation which we use has a fire exit, fire extinguishers or smoke alarms.

BALCONIES:

Some hotel balconies don't meet UK standards in terms of the width of the balcony fence being narrower than 10cm.

TRAFFIC AND DRIVING ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROAD:

Depending on where you come from please note that drivers in this part of the world may drive on the opposite side of the road from what you are used to. Look both ways before crossing any road. Traffic can be a little more chaotic than you might be used to at home. Be aware!

SEAT BELTS:

Please be aware that local laws governing transportation safety may differ from those in the western world or from your home country and not all the transport which we use provides seat belts.

PETTY THEFT AND PERSONAL SAFETY:

While travelling there is always the risk of pick-pocketing and petty theft, particularly in the more touristy cities. We recommend that you exercise caution when walking alone at night and encourage you to walk together and only on main, well-lit thoroughfares. Be particularly vigilant on public transport. Simple measures like carrying your day pack on your front, not hanging your bag over the back of your chair and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing.

MOTORBIKE BAG SNATCHING:

Be particularly aware of motorbike bag snatching, especially in Kuching.

SWIMMING POOLS:

You may stay at hotels with unfenced pools and no life guard on duty.

travel-insurance




Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.

When travelling on a group trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24 hour emergency contact number has been seen by your leader.

If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country.

Please go to our website for more information:

www.imaginative-traveller.com/travel-insurance




responsible-travel
 

At Imaginative Traveller we love helping our clients experience the beauty and cultures of the destinations we visit. However, hand in hand with this we have always been aware that we have a responsibility to minimise any negative impacts that tourism can bring.

Responsible Travel is twofold. It's about taking people to the places they want to go in a safe and responsible manner but also about respecting and maintaining the natural and often delicate balance of the destination. Economic gain from tourism is often fundamental to a country, but should never be at the expense of its culture or the environment.

Our Aims

  • 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.
  • Whilst it is our aim to show destinations and cultures in a positive light, we do not believe in papering over the cracks or shielding visitors from the realities of life. This does not mean, however, that we condone or endorse certain situations or regimes that may be in place.

Our guidelines are meant not as rigid instructions but rather as suggestions to make our holidays more enjoyable – for everybody. As cultural and environmental sensitivities vary from country to country more specific guidelines can be found in our individual country and trip dossiers.


When packing be aware that dress standards are conservative throughout Asia, especially outside major cities. To respect this and for your own comfort, we strongly recommend modest clothing. This means clothing that covers your shoulders and knees. Loose, lightweight, long clothing is both respectful and cool in the predominantly hot Asian climate. In many rural areas in Asia women will need to wear modest clothing even to swim. Singlets, tank tops and topless sun bathing are all unacceptable. When visiting religious sites men often need to wear long trousers and women a long skirt or sarong.

Rules





Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land, but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for Imaginative Traveller travellers. Imaginative Traveller's philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter and in particular, the local people who make our destinations such special places. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our group leader has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.

Carbon





Carbon Offset C02-e 355.00 kgs per pax



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Your feedback is important to us and to our tour guides and helps shape the quality of our trips. It tells us what we're doing right, what you believe could be done better and what improvements you feel could help future travellers choose and enjoy Imaginative Traveller. Just go to http://on.fb.me/16wYISa for our easy to fill out form. We’d love to hear what you have to say!

 
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