Borneo & Brunei on my own - meeting other travellers & itinerary advice
Replies: 2 - Last Post: Nov 15, 2012 3:38 PM Last Post By: taryncolless
Nov 11, 2012 12:44 PM
Borneo & Brunei on my own - meeting other travellers & itinerary adviceHi Everyone!
First time to Borneo & I've got 3 weeks to enjoy (13/12 - 5/01). I've backpacked on my own previously (India & Nepal), and found it easy to meet travellers in Nepal but difficult in India.
As I'm only here for three weeks & don't want to be on my own over christmas I booked a 12 day Intrepid tour, which covers climbing Mt Kinabalu & travel around Sarawak & Sabah. At present my proposed plan is like this:
13/12: Arrive, find a hotel & wander around (Kota Kinabalu)
15/12 - 26/12: tour
27/12 28/12: Kota Kinabalu - rock climbing (there is a company which provides equipment)
29/12 - 30/12: Kota Kinabalu - diving
31/12: Bus to Brunei (or other transport?)
1/1: Brunei - get to Ulu Ulu rainforest
2/1 - 3/01: hike / trek
4/1: Get back to Kota Kinabalu (bus or fly?)
5/1: home :(
What's everyone think? Realistic plan or am I trying to fit too much in? (particularly getting over to Brunei?)
At the moment it's just a plan except the tour - I'll be pretty flexible in execution.
Meeting other travellers
How hard is it to meet other travellers? Is there any particular places (bars, hotels etc) I can go to make it easier? Any advice on this would be really appreciated!
Nov 13, 2012 5:17 PM
Your itinerary looks fine, except it is the end of the year and almost end of school holidays. KK will be swarming with Bruneians, you can see their tour buses and cars (licence plates B-- or K-) and meet them along the Promenade hotels and apartments, plus 1Borneo area. BTW, Intrepid is an excellent tour company.
There are a few ways to go to Brunei from KK ie by road (350kms), by ferry (via Jesselton point and Labuan island, and Serasa in Brunei) and fly by Royal Brunei Airlines or MasWings (25mins).
Since you are planning to go to Ulu Temburong on 31 Dec 2012, may I suggest you take a bus (or hitch a ride with a Bruneian family, I emphasise family with MPV for personal safety reason, on the way back from KK to Brunei). Then stop at Bangar, Temburong and proceed to Ulu Temburong with a tour operator there. This way you avoid the long (up to 5hrs) wait to cross the Pandaruan river (50m wide) into Limbang (Sarawak, Malaysia) and Brunei, and you avoid back-tracking. See google map!
Overnite in Ulu Ulu Temburong, and then take the boat from Bangar to BSB going thru mangroves and nipah palms, a must experience. As it is 1st Jan 2013, a public holiday, folks from Temburong and those from KK will be going mostly by road to go back to Brunei via Limbang and Pandaruan river, it will be worse than 31/12 crossing!!! Sabahans and Sarawakians will also be tagging along to get back to work either end.
Check into Pusat Belia @ Youth Centre and pay only B$10/nite for a dorm bed, why pay more?.
Explore BSB and Kampong Ayer on 2/1/13. Next day, take a road trip to see the rest of Brunei, call me if you need help.. Then on 4/1/13, I suggest you take the ferry to Labuan Island, overnite Labuan, it's a duty free port, and has best seafood and cheapest drinks... stay sober for next morning ferry ride back to KK.
Oh yes, do not forget to eat durians in KK and everywhere else, durians will be in peak season.
Nov 15, 2012 3:38 PM
Thanks for your response! Not much I can do about the timing, only time I can get three weeks in a row off work is around holidays unfortunately!
It all looks like pretty sound advice to me. Any ideas on a fun night for new years? I don't really drink much but still like to see the celebrations if they are about.
I will definitely eat durians - I've wanted to try them for ages.
One other question - not really sure what to wear in Borneo. I have a few salwar kameez from India, is this something other people wear or is it quite different fashion?
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