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4 days in Borneo

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immenstadt
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4 days in Borneo

Hi,

We (family with 3 older kids of 18, 16, 14 years) are planning to spend 4 nights in Borneo next August. Our main interest is nature and wildlife. I was thinking of going up the Rejang river to Sibu and maybe further. Does that make sense at all given our time limitations? Or would we be better off just going to Bako and the Orang Utan sanctuary? Or should we consider going to Kota Kinabalu rather than Kuching?

I would be grateful for any advice.

Thanks

Christian

Malaysia
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1. Re: 4 days in Borneo

With only 4 days ,choices are limited

Rejang river is more about long house and speed boat ride.

Nature and wild life >>>Kuching more suitable

Cheers

Edited: 7:41 am, January 06, 2012
Edinburgh, United...
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2. Re: 4 days in Borneo

With only 4 days i would recommend Kuching, Bako national park and the orangutan sanctuary at Semmengoh.

If you don't mind staying in basic accommodation you could stay one night at Bako to enjoy the nature early morning and evening - and spend the other three nights in Kuching city (Semmengoh is just approx 45 mins out of town so is an easy day trip)

immenstadt
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3. Re: 4 days in Borneo

Thanks guys

immenstadt
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4. Re: 4 days in Borneo

Hi again,

What if we could stay for 7 nights? Would there be a better opportunity to venture further inland and perhaps get a bit further away from the crowds?

Thanks

Christian

Edinburgh, United...
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5. Re: 4 days in Borneo

7 nights would allow you to explore a little further.

If wildlife is really important to you, there isn't much of that up the Rejang River - i haven't seen much anyway. Sibu itself is not very interesting either in my opinion, however the 4 hour boat ride from Kuching across the South China Sea can be fun (in good weather)

'Crowds' are relative i suppose, as the crowds in Sarawak are nothing like they would be in Europe, or other more commercial and well trodden parts of SE Asia.

You could spend the extra couple of days and venture further up the coast to one of the less visited national parks - Tanjung Datu www.sarawakforestry.com/htm/snp-np-datu.html

Snorkelling is also possible here if thats of interest. You cant stay overnight at the park - Telok Melano a village close by has homestay options.

Australia
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6. Re: 4 days in Borneo

If you have 7 nights then you should spare a few nights up the Rejang River but travel up to at least Song or Kapit to visit the longhouses. There are many longhouse who have seen extremely few visitors. You need a good guide not only because of the fee but someone who is well connected right from Kuching. There are a few people who are able to arrange the visits and more importantly they always use the actual longhouse folk for transport ie longboat to their longhouses. These good guides usually will see that you spend all nights in different longhouses which are usually remote ones with little exposure to the westerner. Tour companies always use the same longhouse and guides working for them usually are given a budget for food and most times from what we saw tour groups were given crappy food, a single vegetable, fish, rice and a papaya or pineapple cooked by the guide.

Bako is also and excellent recommendation as with Semmenggoh as per above but i would suggest to combine the Semmenggoh visit with some kayaking which makes it a 3/4 day experience.

If you take up the suggestion to visit Tanjung Datu NP then bring a good guide with you, someone who can only bring you to visit the nearby village of Telok Melano but also across the border to the Indonesian Village of Temajuk. The guide (well the one i know and use) will be able to speak to the border guards and have you go over without any passport and introduce you to the Temajuk Village head. Temajuk Village is very remore even by Indonesian standards and is a fishing village. If you want to stay overnight there is a multipurpose government rest house you can use but need to get permission from the village head. The sunsets at Temajuk are simply breathtaking.

Although Telok Melano has homestay options i suggest you stay at the park itself simply because of the much better opportunity to see bearded pigs in the early mornings and evenings that roam the quarters. The park is also home to hornbills which can be seen at the same times. The only issue is food which you have to bring but then again with a good guide these will be taken care off.

If you decide to do the longhouse trip yourself you need to get to Sibu then use the early express boat (6.30 am onwards) to get to Song (2.5 hours) then from there you need a longboat and know which longhouse you want to go. This is the tricky part as if nothing is arranged before hand you need to find someone to bring you if the longhouse folk are not there to meet you and then this can be very expensive. Depending on the longhouse expect to take up to 3 hours to get to destination. There are 102 longhouses on the main river alone, not counting the branches. Beware that some longhouse do not have electricity and living conditions are very basic but good enough for a real longhouse experience.

If you go to Tanjung Datu you need to also arrange before hand a speed boat to take you. Depending on weather/waves can take up to 2 hours. Beware of 'dropping in' the town of Sematan and asking for a boat to bring you. Prices can range from RM600.00 to RM1200.00. The homestay was previously RM50.00 at Telok Melano homestay but i was told is increased to RM60.00 per night PP. If you have a good guide or a reasonable boatman then make sure you drop into Talang Talang Island, part of the Tanjung Datu NP to see the turtle hatchery as you will be passing by quite close, perhaps a detour of 30 minutes. Try and take the boat trips in the early morning when the sea is calmest.

7. Re: 4 days in Borneo

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