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“Messing about on the River”

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Bilit Adventure Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Wellingborough, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
84 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
“Messing about on the River”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 22, 2012

Stayed here for the normal 3 days/2 nights and on reflection would like to have stayed longer. The staff were great, friendly, attentive, relaxed and enjoyed a laugh. Our boat navigator / guide Uding (Ding Dong as he was known - I wonder if he knows of Leslie Phillips) was fantastic. Our first afternoons river trip was curtailed because of the weather but he certainly made up for it the following day..we were the first out and the last back by a long way, in fact on the morning cruise the lodge sent out an outrider to find us as they thought we had broken down....no we had just gone further and longer than the other boats. Wildlife: Well we didn't see elephants but saw everything else you would expect to see - Orangutans,Lond tailed Macaques (so many we gave up spotting them), Short tailed Macaques, Probiscus Monkeys, several types of eagle and hornbill,kingfisher and herons / egrets, some snakes, a crocodile and monitor lizards. On the oxbow lake we saw a very small squirrel and when i mentioned that i wanted to see a Western Tarsier, Uding arranged a night walk and there to order was one of the cheeky things. Nothing was too much trouble for the staff. Food was good. Due to the size of the lodge there was not as some would expect masses of choices, but there was no need as what there was, was good fare and thankfully i only saw chips once!! We had an early start on the last day and there was a power cut in the lodges, but breakfast was still prepared and ready at the time they said it would be.10/10 to the staff. The dining room/communal area was ok and overlooked the river. In the evening the bugs / insects / bats would join us and for those of you out there that don't like things flying around your head or landing on you then you are in for a surprising times. One highlight for me was when a ciccada landed on my neck, i grabbed hold of it and threw it out in to the trees behind me and as it flew threw the aire it audibly screeched its displeasure at being treated this way...it literally went 'weeeeeeeee' The rooms: Ok these were a little disappointing for me. I'm at an age where i like a few comforts and i knew there wouldn't be many here, so that in itself was not a problem, there was still air-con (some of the best around)and a kettle in the room and the room itself was cosy. The one downside was the bathroom. Firstly let me say that it was very clean but for me just a little pokey, awkward to move around and a little basic. However i freely admit that there was actually nothing wrong with it, it functioned correctly, personally it was a noticeable downside (small as it is). But what do you expect in the middle of nowhere!! However, i would certainly return. A magical couple of days.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with friends
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1 Thank Northantstoanywhere
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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121 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
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2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 7, 2012 via mobile

This place was the best part if our 2 week Malaysia holiday and exactly what we were hoping for. Picturesque scenary and a great tour guide meant we really made the most of our short stay. By the end, the bugs and insects got a bit too much but I guess they are unavoidable if you want an authentic experience. Highly recommended.

  • Stayed April 2012
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1 Thank Sobouk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Warrnambool, Victoria
Level Contributor
32 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 29, 2012

Our family of 5 recently booked and went on a 2 day wildlife adventure program on the Kinabatangan River at Bilit which is about a 2 hour drive south of Sandakan, Sabah. We didn't know what to expect when we arrived at Bilit as we had been recommended the trip by a family member. The accommodation was basic, but comfortable, staying right on the river with 3 river cruises included - one at dawn. We saw orangutans, pygmy elephants, hornbill, kingfishers, probiscus monkeys and merquats (sorry about the spelling!) And the kids and guide also spotted a crocodile on the dawn cruise. We went on a night walk into the forrest the first night to spot sleeping wildlife, and avoid leeches! Our guide Fisall was wonderful, the meals were great (although we were served chips for breakfast, lunch and tea - which the kids thought was unreal!!) and the "jungle donuts' for afternoon tea was a real hit. We also the saw the real impact that the palm plantations is having on the wildlife, esp. the orangutans. No TV, internet reception and phone access was limited, back to basics with nature was a welcome relief for a few days, would truly recommend.

Room Tip: We chose the standard plus room which gave us aircon and an ensuite (which was very basic)
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with family
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1 Thank nearing40
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Level Contributor
67 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 25, 2012

We were on a 3 days 2 night trip with includes a night stay at Bilit.It was a rewarding experience as we get to cruise the Kinabatangan river daytime, experience the night jungle walk and had a chance to see slow loris in motion. The guide told us it was his second encounter in the years he was there (around 6-8 yrs i think), normally they will be able to see the smaller animal on the ground (Western Tarsier)which we didn't get a chance to see it but since the Slow Loris is a less common sight, we were more than thrilled. We rented the leech socks and boots from them. Tip to remember is if you have size 5 feet or size 12 feet please let them know in advance and test out the boots earlier. They had to break the lock into the store room to get the special sizes boots as the housekeeper didn't stay in the Lodge in order to get us our boots if not we would have to cancel the walk. It's worth the money as the tracks can be muddy, bringing your own torch light helps. At the end of the walk, as my fiance took of his boots, a leech came leaping out n nearly stick to him. Thankfully the guide was quick and swift to catch it before it landed on my fiance. It was a good trip and the people were friendly and nice. We had a fun time in the lodge as it was low season when we were there. Another thing to bring is raincoat- it was useful when we went for the dawn boat ride. Nothing much to see as it was raining earlier, the day before we saw Prosboscis Monkey, one of few unique type of hornbills. It wasn't a season of Pygmy elephants to my disappointment, but nevertheless, it was a good trip. The lodge room was quite large, newer aircon compare to Sepilok Jungle Resort but the toilet and bathroom water is collected rainwater so please don't boil the water and drink, either you bring your own water or you buy from there, they sells basic stuff there too,like ice cream, drinks..our local line Digi wasn't that strong there but in terms of safety wise, it was pretty much ok for us. An Australian family staying there took the hostel room that has ceiling fan and no aircon and it's cheaper but our room came with the package so we were pretty happy with it. Rooms in the photo were similar to another reviewer who has posted in his review, a queen size bed together with a single bed so its really spacious for a family of 3. :) As we talked to the innkeeper, this lodge was the first to set up along Kinabatangan River, and slowly, other company also started their lodge there. The lodge provide toilet roll and towels and sarongs to keep the mosquitoes away when we eat at night at the dining room. The staff stays there so no worries about being alone. Food is cooked there as well,not brought from mainland but it's simple food, so do not expect extravagant meals. We were quite impressed by the standard and quality of our stay in Bilit, comfortable and quiet getaway from the usual holiday trip.

Room Tip: If it's too dark, just ask them to on the lights to light up the bridge from the dining hall to...
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank kohlydia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maidenhead, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 17, 2012

Stayed here for a night as part of an organised tour. We had 2 river cruises included and a walk to the nearby oxbow lake. We turned down a night walk as the weather had been poor during the day and we expected there to be poor conditions.

The room was very clean and tidy, with comfortable beds, effective and quiet air-con. The shower was not great but it worked enough for a wash - lets be honest we were in the jungle so facilities cannot be expected to be perfect.

Food was very good, plentiful and very tasty. It was great sitting over looking the river and having bats buzzing around your head and the jungle noises all around.

It is worth being aware that nature is all around though, we encountered an ants nest moving house along the boardwalk, millions of them moving at once. Not anything that anyone could control and actually really fascinating to watch but I could imagine it freaking some out.

Staff were all frienly and helpful. The boots and leech socks were essential, could have done with them being supplied for the previous night walk we undertook.

As a note to a previous reviewer the paint marks on the walk to the lodge have been very recently re-marked. So we didn't get lost.....

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Lucas021
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Aalborg, Denmark
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 4, 2012

, Stayed at Bilit Adventure Lodge for a 2d2n trip with my wife and our child. The facilities at the lodge were good enough for us to feel comfy on a familiy holiday - nice rooms that were decently clean, with showers and aircon working as expected (actually it was one of the more silent aircons i have experienced, nice to hear the sounds of the jungle instead of just the buzz of an aircon)

Food is plenty, and though the menu is not the most challenging for your tastebuds, it gets you going through full days of exploration, buffet-style.

We had some boat trips to see wildlife, and saw proboscis, macaques, monitor lizards, kingfishers, and even a glimpse of one orangutan and three elephants. The boats are comfy, but with rather noisy and smelly engines. Expect to breathe and smell an (un)healthy dose of exhaust fumes. The life vests provided were not in good working order, and no checks were being done by the staff that people wore them correctly (impossible anyway as buckes and straps were missing). Even the guides didn't use lifevests.

I went on a guided junge trek to the nearby lake to see birds, but our guide got lost (and lost all kinds of control of the situation) on the way back , and without any kind of safety backups or plan B's, we ended up spending a good 2 hours more than expected to get back home. The jungle out there is defintely not just a "walk in the park", and following this experience i've had some discussions with stwadventure (who set up our trip) on how to improve the safety measures for the guided walks. Two days later i received a message that their guides have been out on the route with a bucket of paint to put fresh marks along the trail.

All in all - the place itself is nice, as well as the people there - but the overall impression is that safety is disregarded in favour of getting as many customers to pay for a sighting of some wildlife. If you're lucky and everything goes according to plan, it would probably be a good trip - but be prepared to take care of your own safety if things go wrong, and consider how far out you're willing to be taken by guides you don't know the competence levels or background of.

On the plus side, stwadventure actually handled the dialogue after the episode with the group getting lost, rather professionally and in a constructive manner, and compensated us with a hotel stay later on our journey.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
4 Thank tueolesen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tokyo
Level Contributor
33 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 2, 2012

We stayed here for 2 nights and had a great time. The accommodation was basic but very comfortable. The air conditioning was great to have, the bed was comfy and the shower ok. We saw plenty of wildlife and were lucky enough to see the elephants which was a highlight. Unfortunately it rained for almost all of one day so we couldn't do the day jungle walk. The night walk was good value for money (as was the rental of the leech socks and wellies). The guides for the night walk knew I was interested in bugs so tried really hard to find some cool ones for me to see and did a great job.

The food for breakfast, lunch and dinner was simple but delicious (esepcially the chips) and I ate more than I should have for each meal.

The best thing about this place is the friendly atmosphere due to the staff.

The trip to the Kinabatangan and staying at this lodge was the highlight of our trip to Sabah. Would highly recommend going here. Stay for more than one night so you have a good chance of seeing wildlife and can relax too.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank kiwibug
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Bilit Adventure Lodge

Property: Bilit Adventure Lodge
Address: Lot 3A Gr. Floor | Block 13, Jalan Tiga, Sandakan 90000, Malaysia
Phone Number:
Location: Malaysia > Sabah > Sandakan Division > Sandakan
Hotel Style:
Ranked #10 of 29 Specialty Lodging in Sandakan
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Bilit Adventure Lodge 2.5*
Number of rooms: 24
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Also Known As:
Bilit Adventure Hotel Sandakan
Bilit Adventure Lodge Sandakan, Sabah, Malaysia

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