Where to go.... Malysia/Borneo
Replies: 8 - Last Post: May 20, 2007 10:05 AM Last Post By: robbu
May 18, 2007 5:11 PM
Where to go.... Malysia/BorneoHi there,
Hope you can give some advice for our trip to Malaysia in september.
We arrive in Bangkok and frome there we wold like to go to Malaysia. we have talked about Borneo to see some wildlife and maybe sailing on the rivers if possible. we would also like to relax on the beach for some time. But where to start and where to end is the question which I hope you canhelp us with...
We have to back to Bangkok when returning to Europe. We are planning to go by plane from Bangkok to Malaysia, because we only have about 17 days and dont want to spend that much time in a bus or train.
We are very open for any suggestions - we just want to get the best holliday....
If you can put some names on the places we just "have to see" that would be great to.
Thanks for your help...
May 18, 2007 11:14 PM
1Hi Jakob !
You're in for a treat - Malaysia Borneo is superb. I would recommend two places as unmissable -
1. Sipadan - if you want to get a glimpse of underwater life, this is one of the world's best dive sites. It broadly consists of a small group of islands of the coast of Sabah near the city of Tawau. It's an absolutely amazing place - when we were there the waters were swarming with turtles, it was unforgettable. Tawau is easy to get to from Kuala Lumpur on AirAsia, a fantastic budget airline I flew with many times. To get to Borneo you'll probably be best to use KL as a hub, but flights from Bangkok to KL are plentiful and cheap !
2. Gunung Mulu National Park - this was phenomenal. Set in the middle of the rainforest, this national park has huge caves out of which millions of bats swarm every evening one such cave, Deer Cave, has one of the largest cave openings in the world. Add to this the option of longboat trips on rivers through the jungle...a fantastic experience and also easy to get to if you are short on time. You can fly to Gunung Mulu from Miri, a largish town in Sarawak. You could get to Miri from Tawau easily by flying with AirAsia, probably via Kota Kinabalu.
These are just two places you could consider going to in Borneo. Of course there's Mount Kinabalu to climb, the Sabah Railway to ride on, huge rafflesia flowers to see and smell...the list goes on. You can see some photos of some the places I visited via the link below. You should also have a look at the websites of AirAsia and FlyAsianExpress. Both have an extensive network within Malaysian Borneo - the flights are excellently priced and the airline very reliable indeed. It's not worth taking buses !
Enjoy your trip !
May 19, 2007 6:04 AM
May 19, 2007 10:12 AM
You will probably have to filter through a lot of suggestions.
My must sees are from Kuching (the people are wonderful, you can talk to the older people for hours):
Damai Beach, there is an Indian Village there but go for a walk through the hills surrounding Damai. You may come across an Indian hunting as well as a lot of native flora and fauna. The one time we walked through there we did see an Indian hunting. Nice beach as well. Also take the local bus to Semmengoh Wildlife Sanctuary and walk up to see the Orangutan.
Kota Kinabalu - go to Tunku Abdul Rahman Nationl Park which is a series of islands off KK. You go by boat and the experience is wonderful. The Borneo Railway tour is really good. At the end of the first run is a market that's not so good. When you take your seat(s) take the left hand side first. Then if you don't get the opportunity to swap with someone else on the trip back you would have seen the best part. We also took a side trip to Sandakan for a day. The Sepilok Sanctuary is worth seeing, it's very touristy but huge with a lot of different creatures to see. Also if you can take a visit to the Malaysian, English and Australian War Memorial it's very interesting and a beautiful place, even though your country was not involved.
Penang is good, but there are no beaches apart from a small one out the front of the Mutiara Hotel. It's a public beach but reasonably small. The hill climb was good, Georgetown was ok, but they guy we had taking us on a rickshaw tour was fascinating and told us a lot about the history. Penang would be 3rd on my list.
If you stay in Kuala for a couple of days do the Petronas Towers tour (get there early, about 8.30a.m.) and also the Batu Caves, but don't pay for audio.
May 19, 2007 3:00 PM
4Thanks for your replys....
We will use them in our planning.
I have looked at the flights, and it seems like we are going from Bangkok to Kota Kinabulu and from there to Kuching and then over KL back to Bangkok. This is the cheapest way with airasia...
Can you also help us with were to find the best beaches? We dont need to dive (we dont have certificate) so it will only be for snorkling and relaxing in the hot sand... :o)
How long time is needed in the Gunung National Park to see the very best ?? It looks superb and just what we would like to see.
Is it possible to see some Orangutangs in the same area ??
Damai Beach sounds also like a place we would like to spend som days.
When I read about Kuching vs Kota Kinabulu it seems like there is more to do from Kuching, is that so or just the pages on the internet that I found...??
Would it be better to stay more days in Kuching than in KK ?
Hope you can help us again..
May 20, 2007 5:00 AM
5<Can you also help us with were to find the best beaches? We dont need to dive (we dont have certificate) so it will only be for snorkling and relaxing in the hot sand... :o)>
There really aren't any "phenomenal beaches" in Borneo. But there are some okay beaches just off Kota Kinabalu for snorkeling. These are reached in day trips from the harbor on the north side of the Hilton in town. Other good beaches are in Sarawak at Sematan and Lundu...a couple of hours west of Kuching. Damai has a small beach, which is okay for sunning and such, but it's not really great snorkeling area.
<How long time is needed in the Gunung National Park to see the very best ?? It looks superb and just what we would like to see. >
Gunung means "mountain"...so which "Gunung" NP are you referring to? Gunung Kinabalu, Gunung Mulu, Gunung Gading?
<Is it possible to see some Orangutangs in the same area ??> None of these NP's have wild orangutans. These are only generally observed at the Kinabatangan River, Danum Valley (both in Sabah), and at Batang Ai in Sarawak. Either of these would require a couple of days trip/stay from KK or Kuching, respectively...though the Kinabatangan is about 6 hrs. or so from Mt.Kinabalu.
<<Damai Beach sounds also like a place we would like to spend som days.
When I read about Kuching vs Kota Kinabulu it seems like there is more to do from Kuching, is that so or just the pages on the internet that I found...??>>
In the immediate area (within an hour or two) that's true. For example, there are two orangutan rehabilitation sanctuaries within an hour or two of Kuching, several great little National Parks with lodges and camping facilities (Bako with proboscis monkeys and silvered-leaf monkeys; Kubah/Matang Wildlife Center; Gunung Gading with it's waterfalls and Rafflesia; Pulau Satang Turtle Conservation Area), Damai Beach/Mt Santubong, Mangrove Preserve (with the possibility of seeing river dolphins), Semenggoh Orangutan Reserve; commercialised longhouses; the Bau caves, kayaking, as well as the historically interesting colonial architecture along the waterfront and the Sarawak Museum. In contrast, KK has the TAR Islands with good snorkeling, and the Bird/Wetlands sanctuary. Most trips take almost a full day otherwise.
<Would it be better to stay more days in Kuching than in KK ?>
Kuching...but you would want to travel to other places in Sabah, as well, I'd imagine.
May 20, 2007 5:54 AM
6#3. There's an Indian village near Damai? I was under the impression that there aren't enough Indians in Kuching to even form a village.
OP, the Mt Kinabalu summit climb is a must if you're physically able.
My suggestion for Sabah (starting & ending in KK): 1. Mt Kinabalu summit climb 2. Poring hot springs for post climb therapy 3. Back to KK & a couple of days on the beach/snorkeling on TAR National Park off KK. KK has also recently added a nice looking "pub street" with restaurants & drinking places on the waterfront where the old KK port warehouse used to be. Add in the railway if interested, & this will already take up nearly a week.
I'd give Damai beach a miss as any beach around Kuching will be a massive step down in quality compared to Sabah.
May 20, 2007 9:54 AM
7#5 I was refering to Gunung Mulu National Park - sorry ! Hope that helps to answer my question...
How do you book your flight from Miri to Mulu ? I cant see to find anything on airasia or others ! Can you just go to Miri and then to Mulu without booking in advance ?
Would it be worth the effort going til Perhentian Islands to relax and snorkeling after kuching or is there places you can reach from Kuching with the same "standard" ? I know we have to fly to Perhentian if we are going - so if you can suggest a place which can be reached with boat/bus maybe that would be better...
And what about accomodation in generel (september) - is it like Thailand were you can just show up and find a place to stay or do you have make reservation before you arrive ? We are thinking about guesthouses or hotels (not the most expensive ones!)
Thanks again - your help is very much appreciated...
May 20, 2007 10:05 AM
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