Best Of Borneo
15 Nights / 16 Days
Go Beyond Tour ¦16 Days¦Physical Level 2
Kuching – Bako – Semenggoh – Kota Kinabalu – Sandakan – Sepilok – Kinabatagan River
An island of unchartered jungles and tribal culture, Borneo is a destination that exudes adventure! Discover ‘headhunter’ heritage, see a wealth of wildlife, delve deep into nature and meet the beautiful orangutans of Sabah and Sarawak on this incredible itinerary.
? Stroll through charming Kuching ? Explore Bako National Park ? Spot orangutans in Semenggoh ? Experience life in an Iban longhouse ? Stand in Mt Kinabalu’s shadow ? Visit Sepilok Orangutan Centre ? Cruise the Kinabatangan River
Best of Borneo tour inclusions:
All sightseeing and entrance fees
All transportation and transfers
English speaking National Escort (if your group is 10 or more passengers) or Local Guides
Specialist advice from our experienced travel consultants
Comprehensive travel guides
Safe and secure with ABTA, ATOL and IATA
Please ask our sales agent to price the International Flights
The only thing you may have to pay for are personal expenditure e.g. drinks, optional excursions or shows, insurance of any kind, early check in or late checkout and other items not specified on the itinerary.
Itinerary – Best of Borneo
Day 1-2: Kuching
Fly to Kuching, where you will be met at the airport in the arrival hall by your Local Guide or National Escort. Together with all other group members who may be arriving at the same time, you will transfer 20 minutes to your hotel and check into your room, or store any luggage if your room is not ready yet. There is no sightseeing today.
Kuching – Kuching is the capital of the Malaysian state of Sarawak. Sarawak, in the north-western part of Borneo, has a very diverse ethnic mix including the native Iban people, Chinese and Malay as well as many other minority groups. Borneo’s most stylish and sophisticated city brings together a multitude of cultures, crafts and cuisines. Wander down the waterfront promenade, and soak up the individual culture by ambling through the contrasting modern and colonial streets.
Day 3: Kuching
Spend the day enjoying the diverse culture of Sarawak with a walking tour, starting at the Chinese History Museum on Kuching’s waterfront. Stroll past the traditional Chinese shop houses of Ewe Hai Street and pay a visit to a ‘sinseh’ (Chinese medicine man) and see him practising his art. Learn about the tinsmithing trade at a ‘Pak Tik’ followed by a ‘Hio Chek’, a shop that sells ceremonial items, and a Chinese temple. Next you’ll be introduced to Sarawak’s delicious food, with a food tasting at a local coffee shop and a lesson on local spices on Gambier Street. Continue to the Urang Sarawak Gallery before a relaxed sampan ride across Kuching’s river to visit a Malay village. This evening, meet your guide in your hotel lobby and take a short drive to your welcome dinner venue.
Day 4: Bako National Park
Drive out to the small Malay village of Bako before boarding a boat for 20 minutes to reach the national park. Explore the park on foot with a guide – one of Borneo’s most biodiverse areas, the diversity of flora and fauna here is incredible, and easily accessible. Following trails along streams, past caves and across plateaus, keeping an eye out for wild boar, macaques, monitor lizards and, if you’re lucky, a proboscis monkey! Dinner tonight is at a local restaurant. After dinner, you can take a leisurely stroll along the Kuching waterfront and make your way back to your hotel.
Please note: The treks around Bako National Park are of varying difficulty, with some being over boardwalk and others up and down more uneven surfaces. The longest trek is 1 and a half hours one way, and may require a walk back. If you wish, you may stay at the café area as all treks return to this point.
Bako National Park
● Bako National Park one of the best places in Sarawak to see rainforest animals in their natural habitat. The park’s edges touch the ocean and is famous for its spectacular coastal scenery, only 37km from downtown Kuching.
Day 5: Kuching – Sri Aman
This morning you have the opportunity to meet Borneo’s most famous native; the orangutan! Semenggoh is a centre dedicated to the rehabilitation of rescued or orphaned young orangutans – here they are taught how to survive in the wild. The area you are visiting is where the orangutans are released after their training, to live freely in the nature reserve, so please bear in mind that even at the feeding time, it is not guaranteed that you will spot a resident. Drive for approximately 4 hours to Sri Aman, stopping at a local market, a pepper plantation and Chinese village of Lachau en route. On arrival at Sri Aman, you will be checked into your hotel. You may wish to enjoy a guided stroll of the town of Sri Aman, taking in Fort Alice and the majestic Tze Yin Khor Chinese temple. Dinner will be at a local restaurant.
Please note: it is recommended to pack a smaller bag for your 2-night stay in Sri Aman. Your main luggage will be kept in safe storage at the hotel in Kuching, and you will pick it up on your return.
Semenggoh Nature Reserve
● The entire facility occupies an area of 740 acres and acts as a sanctuary for orangutans that have been rescued from captivity and young orphaned primates. Many have been returned into the surrounding area of the nature reserve; nonetheless, there are a few that will never re-learn their natural skills due to long association with and dependence on humans.
Day 6: Iban Longhouse
Today you will discover more about Borneo’s native Iban people, renowned for their former practice of headhunting. After breakfast, drive approximately 1 hour 30 minutes to the jetty, where you will board a traditional Iban longboat for a 45-minute river journey to a tribal longhouse. On arrival, enjoy a tour of the longhouse, meeting the Iban families. Witness a performance of a traditional war dance, in full regalia, and lunch on Iban cuisine. Return to the hotel, where the rest of the day is at leisure.
Iban People – Mostly located in Sarawak, the Iban people have long been considered a fearsome and strong tribe, notorious for their history of headhunting (the practice of taking and preserving a person’s head after killing them). Traditionally living in basic accommodation called longhouses, more recently these dwellings have progressed along with modern technology, with some even having access to electricity and internet!
Day 7: Sri Aman – Kuching
After breakfast, check-out and return to Kuching by air-conditioned vehicle with a stop en-route for lunch at a local café. Transfer to your hotel in Kuching for check-in. This evening, meet your guide in the hotel lobby for your dinner transfer. After dinner, walk back to your hotel.
Day 8: Kuching – Kota Kinabalu
Transfer to the airport and fly over to Malaysian Borneo’s other state, Sabah, and the vibrant city of Kota Kinabalu. On arrival, the rest of the day is at leisure. Please note that today a light lunch will be provided on the flight only, due to the flight time.
Kota Kinabalu – Known as KK, the city lies to the west of Mt Kinabalu, its namesake. Due to its popularity with tourists, easy access by flight and being one of the major industrial and commercial centres of East Malaysia, Kota Kinabalu is one of the fastest growing cities in Malaysia.
Day 9: Kota Kinabalu
Begin your city tour explorations at the Sabah State Museum, where you can learn about the state’s diverse cultural and natural heritage. Afterwards, take in some of the city’s beautiful architecture, including the Blue Mosque, surrounded by reflecting pools, and Chinese Temple, home to the largest statue of Kwan Yin, Goddess of Mercy. Browse the piles of wares at a handicraft market and spice bazaar before strolling through the oldest part of the city. Lunch will be at a local restaurant, before returning to the hotel for an afternoon at leisure. Tonight, proceed on foot to a nearby restaurant to dine on traditional Malay cuisine. Please note: Today you will be walking around the city; please ensure you are wearing comfortable footwear.
Day 10: Kinabalu National Park
Depart your hotel in Kota Kinabalu for a 2-hour drive along the ridges of the Crocker range, to arrive at the Kinabalu Park, at the foot of Mt Kinabalu, Borneo’s highest mountain, where you will spend the day exploring Kinabalu Park, Malaysia’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site. Join a guided walk along one of the forest trails to get a firsthand impression of the Park and its unique flora before visiting the Mountain Garden, with its collection of orchids and other plants unique to Kinabalu. Enjoy an informative slide show on the natural wonders of the park. After lunch, explore more of the park’s coniferous forest, appreciating its importance as one of the most important biological regions in the world.
Day 11: Kota Kinabalu – Sandakan – Sepilok Resort
Early this morning, before breakfast, you will transfer approx. 15 minutes to the airport for your flight to Sandakan. Visit the Sandakan Memorial Park, which commemorates the British and Australian soldiers who were held as POWs by the Japanese during World War II. Continue into Sandakan itself and tour the city, passing the William Pryer and Sandakan Liberation monuments, and browsing the displays of the Heritage Museum and the Agnes Keith Museum. This evening, transfer to your eco resort in Sepilok, close to the rainforest’s edge. Wild orangutans occasionally pass through the resort; you may photograph them, but please do not feed them.
Please note: it is recommended to pack a smaller bag for your 3-night stay in Sepilok and the Kinabatagan River. Your main luggage will be kept in safe storage at the hotel in Kota Kinabalu, and you will pick it up on your return. Collect your packed breakfast from reception upon check out. Please be aware due to your early flight, you will have an early start this morning. The flight schedule is subject to change.
Day 12: Sepilok and the Bornean Sun Bear Centre
This morning, walk to the nearby Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre, where you will learn about the orangutan rehabilitation program to return to the wild. Pop over the road to the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre to visit the world’s smallest bear, and learn about the conservation efforts to protect them. Proceed on a 2-hour drive that journeys through palm oil plantations and villages to Bilit and enjoy lunch at your lodge. Later, board a cruise along the Kinabatangan River to spot some of the abundant wildlife. The waterway sustains one of the world’s richest ecosystems, including 10 species of primates.
Please note: Any boat transfer/river cruise will be on a shared basis, and you may have other (not Wendy Wu) customers on the boat with you. Please be aware the ecolodge is a simple facility, but is clean and comfortable, is the best option in the area for those who love to stay close to nature, and is in a position where it can be easy to spot local wildlife. The room is equipped with a ceiling fan rather than air conditioning.
Sepilok Orangutan Centre – Sepilok offers another chance to see orangutans in their natural habitat – like Semenggoh, this is a centre for the rehabilitation of former captive and orphaned orangutans, teaching them the skills needed to survive in the wild. Around 60 to 80 orangutans live free within the centre’s forest, and there may be young orangutans to visit in the nursery.
Day 13: Kinabatangan River
Embark on an early morning cruise to the Oxbow Lake, where you can spot wildlife and soak up the peaceful ambience. Returning to the lodge, the rest of the day is at leisure until the late afternoon, when you will head out for another cruise, searching for wildlife once more. You could spot anything from hornbills to pygmy elephants to proboscis monkeys!
Please note: Any boat transfer/river cruise will be on a shared basis, and you may have other (not Wendy Wu) customers on the boat with you.
● Sabah’s longest river, also the second longest river in Malaysia, is one of the most exciting and easily accessible places to explore the rich biodiversity of Sabah. The lower Kinabatangan offers an incredible opportunity to see a large range of wildlife including Borneo’s unique proboscis monkeys, the wild orangutan, Bornean pygmy elephants, crocodiles, otters, bears, wild cats and countless rare and beautiful birds such as hornbills and the Oriental darter.
Day 14: Sandakan – Kota Kinabalu
Return to Sandakan by boat for lunch at a local restaurant before transferring to the airport to fly back to Kota Kinabalu. This evening, enjoy a farewell dinner with a cultural performance featuring a variety of traditional dances.
Day 15-16: Depart Kota Kinabalu
Transfer to the airport for your departure flight, arriving home the following day.
23/04/23 & 21/05/23 & 30/07/23 & 03/09/23 & 17/09/23 & 21/04/24 and many more dates