General Tip and Suggestions for Malaysia, Borneo
Replies: 6 - Last Post: Nov 30, 2012 2:42 PM Last Post By: mamade
Nov 19, 2012 7:36 AM
General Tip and Suggestions for Malaysia, BorneoHi Folks,
I am planning a ten day trip to Malaysia, Borneo for ten days in late December until January and I am trying to maximise my time as much as possible. We are both Irish and have been advised that we do not need visas for this trip, is this correct?? We have also been advised that we will not need malaria medication of any type and we need zero shots, can anyone confirm this??
There are several places we definately want to visit. We are definately going to do the canopy walk, has anyone done this? Is it expensive to stay in the lodges for one night? They look amazing and I think staying there could be a fantastic experience. We are also definately going to go to the Kinabalu National Park for a day visit and we will not be attenpting the climb.. Simply not fit enough...:))) We would like to get a few dives in before we leave, but we were mostly looking for some possible hidden treasures to make our trip amazing... If anyone has any any tips or suggestions to help us I would love to hear from you. Thanks in advance for any replies.
Nov 19, 2012 8:45 AM
1Where are you flying into? What are you interested in, other the Mt. K. and diving? Do you want to see the rainforest and wild animals, orang utan, elephants, crocs?
The problem with "hidden treasures" is that as soon as they become known on travel forums, they are usually not hidden any more. The path to the treasures in Malayisan Borneo is well-travelled and there is good touristic infrastucture, so these are no hidden treasures anymore. However, on my Borneo trip, I have never encountered anything that would qualify as mass tourism like in Thailand or the Australian East Coast and 95% of people in Europe would consider Borneo as very much off the beaten track, even if that is not really true for a LP traveller.
There is no "THE" canopy walk. There are serveral places where you can do a walk on a bridge in the forest canopy, though. One is in Sepilok (Rainforest discovery center) and one is in Danum Valley. Prices depend on what lodges you are staying at. Danum is very expensive (but also totally fantastic). Sepilok and Kinabatangan has budget options.
For good diving, you need to go to the east coast. The gateway is Semporna. From there, you can either do day trips or you can go directly to one of the Islands and do your dive trips from there. If you have more then one or two days, I recommend a stay on an island. Semporna is not a nice place to stay.
Edited by: udina
Edited by: udina
Nov 20, 2012 5:25 PM
2I did canopy walks in the Rainforest Discovery Centre and also at Poring Hot Springs. The one at Poring was terrifying for me, as I'm not good with heights, but am glad I did it. The one in the Rainforest Discovery Centre was okay ... not so high and more sturdy!!
We stayed in a fantastic place in Sepilok - Paganakaan Dii - includes free transfers to / from the Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre and also to the main road to catch an onwards bus. (or, pick up from the road if arriving on the road by bus.) Really lovely place to stay, with open sided bathrooms looking out into the jungle area. Also in a deer reserve.
We went to the Orang Utan Centre for morning feed, then walked to RDC for a couple of hours, then back to Urang Utan centre for pm feed.
We did take doxycycline for malaria prevention whilst there ... best to check with a travel nurse back at home.
Not a hidden treasure, but a trip along the Kinabatagan river is really worth it, in my opinion.
Enjoy your trip. :-)
Nov 21, 2012 5:15 PM
Nov 25, 2012 9:48 PM
4We did everything independently, except for the Kinabatangan lake trip - we booked that in advance via an agent in Sandakan town. We got picked up from Sandakan, taken to the forest lodge where we would stay, then on 3 separate river trips - daytime, nighttime and early morning. Also included return to Sandakan.
Paganakaan Dii guesthouse, we booked online before hand. Everything else, we just did when we were there - it was quite easy to take buses between places, arrange places to stay etc. Only reason we booked Paganakaan Dii beforehand was because I fell in love with it through the website and was really afraid of it being fully booked when we actually got there. Every other place I wasn't bothered about where we stayed.
Nov 27, 2012 1:15 AM
5sassy_traveller -- thanks. We've booked a trip to Kinabtangan, also... sounds similar to what you did.
I haven't heard of Paganakaan Dii before, but you're right, the website makes it look really special. I might have the option of staying there (though not in one of the rooms with a jungle view), but have no idea how it compares to what else is out there ('Last Frontier Resort', Sabah Hotel, etc.. ), and it seems there's not much info available outside of their website.
How'd you find it there? Would you recommend it?
Nov 30, 2012 2:42 PM
6We really enjoyed the Poring Hot Springs canopy walk and stayed at the Round Inn (just outside the park and expensive resort). Their food was great and you can get a 3day pass for the hot springs which gives you access to the waterfalls further up the track.
One hidden treasure is Palau Balambangan (up off the Kudat point of Sabah) - We went there with Malaysian friends and it's remote with not much information to find.... quite a lost frontier - http://www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/thread.jspa?threadID=2146697
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