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Thinking of Borneo - advice needed

England
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Thinking of Borneo - advice needed

Hi all,

We are a party of 2 adults from the UK beginning to plan our holidays for next year and one place I have always wanted to go to is Borneo, but I really don't know where to start, can anyone advise?

We would be going around the last week of july and have 3 weeks max to play with. Ideally I would like to get a taste of the jungle aspects and wildlfe of Borneo and combine it with a relax beach stay. Having been to the Maldives and Seychelles, I am interested to know if the islands are worth considering for the beach side. If so, which are the most beautiful? Should weather be a cosideration i.e. eastern side/west?? What sort of budgets are needed? Due to health reasons we couldn't undertake a strenuous tour and are also unabale to participate in treks.

If anyone can give me just a few pointers to get me started, it would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks in advance

Maz

KL
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1. Re: Thinking of Borneo - advice needed

MIddle of the year, the weather is great. There is some rain but more sunshine to brighten your day.

Start from Kota Kinabalu - Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Parks is a cluster of islands with beautiful beaches. Here you can snorkel or scuba. Then go to Mount Kinabalu Park where you do jungle trekking. Climb the highest mountain in South East Asia if you wish. Continue to Sandakan for Orang Utan Sanctuary, Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey and Kinabatangan Wildlife. Continue your journey to Tawau, visit Sipadan Island. Great place for snorkel and scuba. Back in Tawau, you can either visit Lembah Danum or Maliau Basin for more wildlife. These are virgin jungles with beautiful waterfalls.You need to spend about 14 days in Sabah.

Then from Tawau you take a flight to Kuching via KK. There are some interesting tourist attractions like Bako and Kuching Riverside.From Kuching go to Mulu Caves. There you are, 3 weeks spent in Sabah and Sarawak.

A decent 3 star accomodation cost between Myr 200 - 300. Food about Myr 150 (2 person@ economy restaurants). So do your maths. Transportation is also required, you can check from Malaysia Airlines website. Ground transportation can be estimated. If you take a tour it is about Myr per pax (roughly, depends on the destination and arrangement) . Entrance fees are damn cheap.

Need more info, just ask. Thanks

Edited: 12:07 pm, August 14, 2012
England
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2. Re: Thinking of Borneo - advice needed

That's great thanks!

If we were looking to move around less than that - say a 2 or 3 places at the most (with one the relax beach and snorkel,) which would be the top ones? Trekking definately out, as is the climb to the highest mountain!!

Maz

london
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3. Re: Thinking of Borneo - advice needed

Maz

If you definitely only want to visit three areas, then I would suggest 4 to 5 days in a really nice hotel in KK . The Rasa Ria is wonderful ,it is on a beach and has an orangutan scantuary with the cutest baby orangs.

Then fly to Sandakan and visit Sepilok , the Kinabatangan River ( don't come home without doing this) .

For your third stop try the Borneo Rainforest Lodge which is magical but pricey.

You could fly back to KK and stay in the other Shangri La ( the Tanjung Arun) property which is nearer the islands for snorkelling. I'm not sure they will be as wonderful as the Maldives , but many people seem to like them. Alternatively you could keep going and stay in overwater bungalows in Kapalai which has amazing snorkelling.

One option would be to leave most of your luggage in KK , doable if you back that way.

Three weeks is a good spell of time , you will have plenty of down time if you follow this rough itinerary.

Have a great time.

England
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4. Re: Thinking of Borneo - advice needed

I'd love to visit more but I know I'll need some down time due to the nature of my job! How would I go about putting this together? Used to booking separates but some how don't know where to start with this one! Particularly interested as uk links to Borneo seem less common than other places.

Thank you so much for your help so far, I feel I'm getting closer to getting somewhere!

Maz

KL
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5. Re: Thinking of Borneo - advice needed

The flight route would be -

Lhr - Bki (Kota Kinabalu)

Bki to Sandakan

Sandakan - Tawau

Tawau - KK enroute to Kuching(if you like)

The Kinabalu park is midway bet Bki and Sandakan, its 2hrs drive from Bki. If you rent a car then after Kinabalu park continue yr journey to Sandakan. If you wont jungle trek or climb mountain, the park itself is worth a visit. You can also go to Poring Hotsprings 45 min away or visit Sabah Tea plantation. There are 2 major waterfalls in Poring.

Kapalai as mention above is via Tawau. Similar for Sipadan Island.

For domestic travel, book thru Air Asia online.

You need to google for more info or use TA forum search engine.

Wangaratta...
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for Kota Kinabalu, Wangaratta, Sandakan
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6. Re: Thinking of Borneo - advice needed

Flights

Malaysia Airlines, Skytrax 5 star airline, UK to Kualau Lumpar, Kusla Lumpar to Kota Kinabalu.

Stay at Rasa Ria, see top questions on right of page (You need a computer not visible on Iphone apps), for what is available at Rasa Ria including wild life reserve with Orangs.

Top Questions also answers alot of your other questions.

Malaysia
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7. Re: Thinking of Borneo - advice needed

goto these link

sabahtourism.com/sabah-malaysian-borneo/en/

http://www.sarawaktourism.com/

Edited: 9:38 pm, August 14, 2012
Kuantan, Malaysia
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8. Re: Thinking of Borneo - advice needed

Hi mazpazz..

just a suggestion, you might wanna consider

Mt Kinabalu- Higest peak in South East Asia..enjoy ur climb.. breath taking view almost evrywhere.. even the trip from KK to Ranau (climbing point).. get your self photographed with the rafflesia- largest flower in the world.. or the bonzais went u reach higher altitude.. from there, visit the Ranau market and experiance Sabah' culture.. have a taste of the lihing( local brewed rice wine)

If u happen to be in Kota kinabalu on a sunday, make sure u arrange a day trip to Tuaran to visti the "Tamu Tuaran".. its a weekly market.. the most popular in Sabah.. if ur into photographs, this is the place..

staying in Kota Kinabalu- i suggest, Le Meridien... easy excess to evrything.. the Philipino market is just a minute walk or maybe less..

for dinner, try "bah ku teh".. pork soup cooked with traditional herbs.. try the one in Gaya Street..

Wangaratta...
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9. Re: Thinking of Borneo - advice needed

Ranau is some 25km away from the start point of the climb of Mt Kinabalu at the Kinabalu Park. The climb is minimum 2 day event to climb and overnight on the way up. It also needs to be booked well in advance due to limited accomdation on the mountain. Information on the climb is at

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g298307-d482160/Kota-…

and

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g298307-i9429-k558…

Even though the Tuaran (pronounced Twa-ran) Tamu is interesting, it is very much a local market and long way from the most popular in Sabah. The Gaya St Market in Koat Kinabalu city every Sunday would fit that bill and the Kota Belud market is probabaly more popular than Tuaran.

England
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10. Re: Thinking of Borneo - advice needed

Thanks for your responses but as previously stated, trekkking/climbing out due to health reasons.

Maz