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Libaran Island Lodge

Libaran Island Malaysia
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Libaran Island Malaysia
15Reviews0Q+A2Room tips
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A bit of a late review. Stayed on the island in September '12, with a bit of trepidation after reading other's reviews and talking to travellers we had met. Well, what a surprise!! Yes, it is basic and there are no added extras but what do people expect on a fisherman's island!!!! The staff were friendly and helpful. Had a great chat to the maintenance man and learnt heaps about turtles and his passion for them. Our guide,Wan, took us for a walk through the village which was interesting. The food was great and more than enough. But what a relaxing and peaceful place to end an amazing 10 days in Sabah. We had a trip to two nearby islands to snorkel and to see the turtle hatchery. Then to watch a mother turtle lay her eggs. I was very taken by the passion that the rangers and our guide had for these animals. The huts we had were beautifully clean, had a huge bathroom and plenty of hot water. We even had an air conditioner. We did giggle though as you can have hot water or AC not both at the same time!!! I will fondly remember this place and recommend it to anyone who is able to accept things that are different from what they are used to and don't expect everything to be like "at home" Thanks for the great experience.
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Yes as per the other reviews the accommodation is very basic with few amenities but this place is really magic. We had a two night tour through wildlife expeditions, our guide Wan was amazing, a 30 minute boat trip to the island from sandakan through a river and mangoes and the open water. We arrived to find our party of four were the only tourists on the island. The rooms are simple with two beds and a bathroom, there is an airconditioner and fan in the room which were useful however the generator is not on all the time, we did not mind this though. The food was fantastic and the tour of the island and the village was really interesting. We were taken to a nearby island for snorkelling and a tour of the turtle hatchery, we even got to see the volcanic mud pools. Later that night we were taken to selingan island to see the turtles on the beach before going back to libaran. Yes the place is very basic, yes the beach could be better but this was really an amazing experience. I have read some of the other reviews and I guess some people have high expectations. We had a great time and were incredibly relaxed when we returned to the mainland. Don't expect toiletries, or a safe in the room but do expect friendly locals a comfortable bed and an awesome experience if you are open to one. By the way, no safe in the room but we felt our valuables were perfectly safe, I would only be worried about other tourists not the locals.
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I had heard terrible things about the accommodation on Libaran Island, so much so that we were not going to go there. This is a slice of Malaysian life, set beside a small working fishing village. There were a number of huts which were clean and basic. The air conditioners worked, but we didn't dare leave them on of a night because they started to make strange noises. The shower was a trickle of cold water. We were met at the boat and our cases were taken to our rooms by being loaded onto a wheel barrow. Quite funny. We strolled along the path that took us past local fishermen mending their nets and homes on stilts with interesting gardens of cacti growing in the sand. There were lots of interesting shells to be found on the shore. People were friendly and helpful and the food was surprisingly good. My mother has a very restricted diet and meals were prepared for her with good humour and a minimum of fuss. We went to turtle island and returned at night .As the tide had gone out we had to walk along what we had assumed was an unused jetty. Not only were some of the planks missing , they were unevenly spaced and some of the supports were gone. I wished I had a good strong torch and breathed a sigh of relief when we made it onto dry land. This is no frills and basic accommodation with a great beach and wonderful sunsets .
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Where to start...why did we not look at trip adviser before booked by our travel agent.... When I see one star reviews, especially ones out of context with other reviews, I think that someone may have had a bad day/been unlucky.  I have written a number of reviews and up until now, never awarded one star and rarely two. Therefore, if you do read this before you book, don't think that I just had a bad day - read all the other reviews too and DO NOT go. We had said to our agent that we wanted to go to the turtle islands and expected to be staying on Selignan Island.  However as our schedule specified Libaran Island, we thought little of it and assumed it would be similar to Selignan.   I believe, although have not verified, that Libaran Island resort is operated by Wildlife Expeditions, who just happened to be the local agency who  our holiday was subcontracted to.  As part of our trip we have stayed in basic accommodation - we did in fact stay one night at a very basic longhouse in Batang Ai.  This, although a slightly concerning experience at times, was ok in that it was an authentic experience giving us an insight into how some of the Iban people live. Libaran Island by contrast is simply rubbish accommodation.  I am not sure the island ever had its day but it is now hugely run down.  The 'patio' areas are overgrown and all public areas are in the open. It was 34 degrees when we arrived and our cell, sorry room, was hotter.  It does have air on BUT the generator was found not be be working when we arrived, so NO electric on the island.  our guide told us that someone was being sent from mainland and that it would be fixed, but I did not share his confidence. Other people have mentioned about the beach and it is in a poor state and littered.  We were very unsure how to fill our time before our trip to turtle islands.   We then had lunch (and the food was actually ok) and asked for a drink with it and we're told they had left one sprite, a seven up and a beer..... Another poor sign was that we were the only people due to stay on the island that night - not  surprising perhaps. For the first time ever I think, we baled out and asked our guide to return us to the mainland where I paid for a hotel and the extra transport to get us there. We also missed the turtles as a result. I would strongly advise anyone else not to go there until Wildlife Expeditions decide to spend some money on the place and make it a proper accommodation.  I understand it is a remote location, but there are other resorts which achieve much much better. You have been warned ! PS The reality doesn't resemble the main picture on this website....
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Stayed 2 nights as base to go to Turtle Island. Can't beat the location for that. Also taken to a nearby island beach for good snorkelling as well. And sunsets that were spectacular. Somewhat dated accommodation of pretty basic standard (showers in particular v. poor). Common dining of good standard but limited choice. Don't expect 5* Shangri La! Would be mixed feelings - except the wonderful experience at Turtle Island more than winning out over any gripes.
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Frequently Asked Questions about Libaran Island Lodge
What food & drink options are available at Libaran Island Lodge?
Guests can enjoy an on-site restaurant during their stay.