Tour Code: BTS 19

Day 1Take your flight to South-East Asia and on to Kuching in magical, mystical Borneo. Kuching, the capital of the East Malaysian state of Sarawak, can be accessed by flights from Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and other towns and cities in Borneo. Flights to Kuching from Kuala Lumpur arrive throughout the day. You will be met at the airport and transferred to the Kuching Hilton Hotel which lies close to the Sarawak River in the middle of the town – depending on arrival time, have the remainder of the day at leisure or get some rest.

Day 2Morning tour of the sights of Kuching City – purported to be the cleanest city in Malaysia. Discover the charms of the city, as well as spending some time uncovering the past and pondering the future at the world famous Sarawak Museum, completed in 1891, which is definitely one of the best museums in the whole of South-East Asia. In the city centre, see buildings dating back to the time of the white Rajahs, ancient Chinese temples and colourful markets displaying the produce which first brought the traders to Borneo. At the conclusion of the tour, you will return to the hotel. Afternoon at your leisure to look for local handicrafts and artefacts in the traders’ street known as Main Bazaar near the Sarawak River waterfront. Overnight at the Kuching Hilton Hotel [Breakfast included]

Kuching City Skyline and Sarawak River


Batang Ai Resort


Day 3Travel by coach to Batang Ai in the South-East of Sarawak. You will pass through paddy fields, pepper gardens, oil palm plantation estates and small villages, arriving at the Hilton Batang Ai Longhouse Resort in the early afternoon. There will be a stop for lunch en route. Spend the remainder of the afternoon at your leisure absorbing your surroundings. Be sure not to miss the sunset over the lake while staying at Batang Ai. [Breakfast and Lunch included]

Guiding the Longboat through the rapids


Day 4Take a full day trip up the Ai River to the Batang Ai National Park. You will be taken by long boat from the resort in the morning to the Ai River, then up the rapids to Batang Ai National Park, where you will spend some time hiking through the park looking for wildlife. A short trip in the longboat will then bring you to either the Tibu longhouse or the Delok longhouse. You can decide whether to eat lunch on the river bank, or with the locals in the longhouse. After lunch, enjoy a bit of the atmosphere in the longhouse, taking the opportunity to observe the day to day life of the villagers. You will also be offered locally made handicrafts to buy. Return to Batang Ai Resort in the late afternoon. [Breakfast and Lunch included]

Batang Ai Canopy Walkway


Day 5Spend the morning at leisure around the resort. There is an interesting rainforest trail you can walk – see the front desk for directions, and also a canopy walkway. Return to Kuching by coach in the early afternoon, arriving at Kuching Hilton about 18.00 hrs. [Breakfast included]

Day 6Morning transfer to the airport for your flight to the oil town of Miri. On arrival in Miri, you will be met at the airport and taken immediately on a tour of the town. Visit the native market. As you walk among the stalls, you will be introduced to a variety of edible plants from the jungle displayed at this colourful market. A few streets further towards the city centre, discover the fish market and the Chinese Temple. Continue to Canada Hill, a limestone ridge overlooking Miri town. There, pay a respectful visit to the “Grand Old Lady”, which is the first oil well which was spudded by Shell far back in August 1910. Driving down to the seashore, share the secrets of success of the industrialists of Miri, as your guide points out at their magnificent villas. You will be taken to the Miri Marriott Resort and Spa for your overnight accommodation. After checking in, spend the remainder of the afternoon at leisure to do a bit of exploring on your own. [Breakfast included]

The Grand Old Lady on Canada Hill


Day 7Morning transfer to the airport for your flight to Mulu Caves. Gunung Mulu is the jewel in the crown of Sarawak’s national parks network. The park contains the largest limestone cave system in the world. The park is now a recognised World Heritage listed area.

Mulu Caves


Mulu’s system of caves is truly spectacular and justifiably famous. The world’s largest natural chamber (Sarawak Chamber), the world’s largest cave passage (Deer Cave) and the longest cave in South-East Asia (Clearwater Cave) are all found at Mulu.Tour the Deer and Lang’s Caves on your first afternoon and evening in Mulu National Park. [Breakfast included]

Mulu Rainforest- boardwalk to the Deer and Lang Caves


Day 8Morning tour the Wind and Clearwater Caves and enjoy a picnic lunch and perhaps a swim in the mountain stream. The remainder of the afternoon can be spent at your leisure. There is plenty to see and do above ground, without having to venture into the caves. The park contains 15 different types of forest – including mixed dipterocarp, heath, peat swamp, moss forest and montane vegetation – and thousands of species of ferns, fungi, mosses and flowering plants, including 170 species of wild orchid and 10 species of pitcher plant. Mulu’s wildlife is as rich as its flora, and is inhabited by an impressive variety of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, insects and other invertebrates. Spend the night at Marriott Mulu Resort and Spa [Breakfast and Lunch included]

Day 9Late morning transfer to Mulu airport for your flight to Kota Kinabalu. You will be met at KK airport and transferred to Shangri-la’s Tanjung Aru Resort. After checking in at your hotel, and getting a bite to eat, take in an afternoon tour of highlights of the the thriving city of Kota Kinabalu which is now the capital of Sabah. The tour of the city includes the main city area as well as the Sembulan Water villages in the vicinity of the City. Tour highlights include a trip to the Signal Hill lookout for a picturesque view of the city, off-shore islands and surrounding areas, Kampung Likas, Likas Bay and the Tun Mustapha Tower (former Sabah Foundation Building), Po Toh Tze Buddhist Temple, the Sabah Museum, the State Mosque, and Tanjung Aru Beach and hawker stalls. [Breakfast included]

Day 10A full day trip to Kinabalu National Park and Poring Hot Springs. Enjoy the vista of the jungle covered mountains and valleys as you proceed up to the base of South-East Asia’s highest mountain – you will be driven on the two hour trip across padi fields and Dusun villages over the ridges of the Crocker Range to the foothills of South-East Asia’s highest mountain Mt Kinabalu at 1500 metres (Mt Kinabalu is 4098 m high) to the Park Headquarters at Kundusang, and on to Poring Springs where you will be able to take a “canopy walk” through the canopy of a rainforest. If time permits, you may be able to enjoy a soak in one of the hot baths built by the Japanese around the Sulphur Pools. Return to Kinabalu National Park, enjoy a guided walk through the botanical gardens, home to some of the 26 species of flowering rhododendrons, 9 species of carnivorous pitcher plants, 1000 species of orchids, ferns, 40 species of oak trees and over 300 species of birds. Return to Tanjung Aru Resort in KK for the night. [Breakfast and Lunch included]

Nabalu Handicraft Market near Kinabalu Park


A Rafflesia in Bloom


Day 11The start of a two day trip which across the Crocker Range. Travel about 1 1/2 hours by road from Kota Kinabalu to the Rafflesia Information Centre on the ridges of the Crocker Range (1200 m above sea level). At the Rafflesia Centre you will learn about the unique biology of this parasitic flower which is the largest flower in the world. It is one of the most likely places to see the Rafflesia flower in bloom amongst the Liana vines on the jungle floor. If a Rafflesia is in bloom, you will trek along one of the trails in search of the bloom and buds. Even if no flowers are open, you will certainly find some Rafflesia buds.Proceed to the handicraft centre which houses art workshops, and also displays a wide range of artistic Sabahan handicraft. Overnight at Keningau town (twin bed). [includes Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner]

One of many Orchids at the Orchid Centre


Day 12In the morning, drive by road the 46 km from Keningau to the Sabah Agriculture Park (closed on Monday), at Lagud Sebrang. The Agricultural Park showcases gardens, tropical fruits, Borneo orchids, beverage plants and spices. Later, visit the famous Tenom Coffee factory (open on weekdays only) before driving back to Tanjung Aru Resort in Kota Kinabalu, along the Papar-Kimanis road. [includes Breakfast and Lunch]

Day 13Transfer to the airport for your morning flight to Sandakan. After checking into your chalet at Sepilok Nature Resort and having a quick bite to eat, you will be taken on a tour of the City which was the capital of North Borneo until the Second World War. Sandakan was also the starting point for the Australian Death March to Ranau towards the end of the War in which only 6 men out of a total of 2400 survived. (Refer to Australians in Borneo During WW II for further information). In the evening, you will be taken on a tour along the trails in the adjoining Sepilok Forest, in search of nocturnal animals and listen to the Jungle Orchestra. [Breakfast and Dinner included]

Male Proboscis Monkey


Day 14Firstly, visit the renown Sepilok Orang-utan Rehabilitation Centre for for an audio visual presentation in the theatrette. Then walk ten minutes through the rainforest on timber boardwalks to witness the feeding of the orang-utans at 10.00hrs. You will have plenty of time to watch the orang-utans until they disappear back into the jungle. Depart Sepilok Nature Resort and proceed to Sandakan for lunch, then continue on Sandakan jetty for a 2 hour boat trip to Sukau Rainforest Lodge, along Sabah’s longest river, the Kinabatangan River, with opportunity to view birds and wildlife in virgin mangrove, wetland and rainforest habitats. Check into the lodge on arrival. In the late afternoon, you will be taken on a jungle river tour along a tributary of the Kinabatangan River to see the Proboscis Monkeys readying themselves for the night. If you are lucky, you may even see a herd of elephant, together with a whole range of other animals – including wild orang-utans, and birds.

Return to the Lodge for a solar hot water shower, candle light dinner and a slide show presented by a naturalist. [Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included] Sukau Rainforest Lodge underwent extensive renovations and rebuilding to upgrade all its facilities in 2010. There are no longer any of the old rooms left.
The new Sukau Rainforest Lodge offers guests added facilities which will enhance their jungle experience The lodge is currently in the midst of some extension works (December 2016). The works include the construction of a new restaurant/jetty adjacent to our existing restaurant/jetty and also the expansion of the kitchen. The lodge continues to operate normally as the existing restaurant and kitchen are not affected by the work. Any noise and visual disruption to guests will be kept to a bare minimum wherever possible. It is hoped that the works will be completed by the end of March 2017. Day 15 Wake up to the calls of gibbons and hornbills. Head off at 06.00hrs for a river cruise up the Kinabatangan River to view more birds and wildlife. Proceed to the Kelenanap ox-bow lake for a short jungle walk (if weather permits). The area is known for its herd of Asian elephants. Experience the wilderness of Borneo. In the afternoon, proceed on another river cruise in search of more wildlife. Wild Orang-utan are often encountered on this cruise preparing their nests in trees for the night. After dinner, an optional (at a surcharge) night safari cruise spotting nocturnal animals, crocodiles and birds. Return to Sukau Rainforest Lodge for dinner and the night. (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included)

Dawn on the Kinabatangan


Sunset on the Kinabatagan


The rear of Simud Hitam Cave at Gomantong Caves near Sukau on the Kinabatangan River


Day 16Leave Sukau Rainforest Lodge and drive to Lahad Datu. Proceed 27 km overland to Gomantong Caves. Trek 20 minutes through the rainforest to the cave entrance. Your guide will brief you on the cave fauna, including bats, swiftlets and crabs among others creatures, and their contribution to maintaining a balanced ecology and the significance of the caves to the local economy. When in season, witness the collecting of birds’ nests by the local people using bamboo ladders and poles. (the nests are made from the saliva of swifts which inhabit the caves, and are the main ingredient in the famous Chinese delicacy – birds nest soup) Enjoy lunch in a local restaurant in Lahad Datu, before transferring to Borneo Rainforest Lodge in the Danum Conservation Area. The Sultan of Brunei and the King and Queen of Sweden have been recent visitors to Borneo Rainforest Lodge. (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included)

Day 17Spend a full day in and around Borneo Rainforest Lodge with local guides who will be able to show you, and explain to you, everything of interest. Activities of interest include:

  • visit an ancient Dusun burial site complete with belian coffins and ceramic spirit jars – visit the jacuzzi pool on the way down – quite safe for swimming and also leech free. Burial caves have a special place in the myths and legends of the Orang Sungai in Borneo. They believe in the combining powerful spirits of hills and water. In Danum Valley, three burial sites have been discovered, two near the Field Centre and one below the cliff overlooking Borneo Rainforest Lodge.
  • undertake nature walks with experienced naturalists through undisturbed riverine and lowland dipterocarp forest;
  • use the 170 metre long canopy walkway to experience the abundance of bird life in the canopy of the forest;
  • take a night drive in an open jeep in search of wildlife;
  • visit beautiful waterfalls and rivers including Sungai Purut 7-tiered pools which is one of the spectacular waterfalls and pools found in Danum Valley Conservation Area. It is situated on the way to Gunung Danum. This waterfall is about 20 m in height with 7-tiered pools. It takes about 4 hours of jungle trekking from the Field Centre to reach the pool. Visitors can either choose to camp overnight or do a day trip
  • enjoy evening wildlife video and slide presentations by naturalists;
  • take in a jungle wildlife trek along the escarpment with panoramic views over a wild orang-utan habitat;
  • take advantage of the opportunity for extensive wildlife photography.

Overnight at the lodge. [Breakfast, Dinner and Lunch included] Day 18 Enjoy a morning trek in search of mammals and birds. Return to the Lodge for lunch. Shortly after lunch, you will be driven to Lahad Datu where you will take the late afternoon flight back to Kota Kinabalu. You will be met on arrival at the airport and transferred to Tanjung Aru Resort. (Breakfast, and Lunch included) Day 19 Spend your last morning in Borneo at your leisure. Depending on your departure time, we can recommend a trip to one of the nearby Islands of Tunku Abdul Rahman Park – perhaps Manukan or Sapi – to take in some snorkelling on the nearby reefs, or just soaking up the sun. We can organise the trips for you, or you can take one of the many shuttle boats to the islands. Alternatively, you may like to make a trip into the city to find that last minute souvenir. In the afternoon, board a flight to Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Brunei etc. to take you on to your next destination (home?). [Breakfast included] Prices:

Tour Code Itinerary Duration Inclusions Joining Point 1 person 2 people 3 people
BTS19 A Nature Lover’s Dream 19 days/18 nights Transfers, Accommodation, internal flights, meals indicated Kuching $9,200 $5,050 $4,785

Prices per person in Australian Dollars and valid 01 April 2017 to 31 March 2018 (E.O.E.) Refer to General Booking Conditions Accommodation is based on hotels, resorts and lodges indicated in itinerary. Tour prices based on twin share or triple share (in the case of three people). Single supplement will apply if separate rooms are required. High Season Rates apply to some accommodation during Easter, July/August, December/January and Chinese New Year – please contact us for details. Photographs on this page are copyright to  Phil Youdale, Marriott Mulu Resort & Spa Resort , Albert Teo (Proboscis Monkey and Kinabatangan Dawn) and Borneo Rainforest Lodge.