Overview

The city of Kuching offers a lot to travelers, from culture to shopping. Explore local attractions including the Urang Sarawak Gallery, the Waterfront & colonial buildings. Wildlife is what attracts travelers to this part of the world, we head to Bako National Park by boat to trek & explore the park’s flora & fauna, including the rare proboscis monkeys. We understand the Orangutan conservation program in detail at Semenggoh Nature Reserve. It is time to add local flair and we visit the local people in Batang Ai, enjoy a night stay at the longhouse & join them in a blowpipe demonstration. The limestone cave systems here are recognized UNESCO world heritage sites and we travel to Mulu to explore them. Visit Deer Cave & Lang Cave. These caves have a large population of bats and its mesmerizing to see them flu out in the evening. We now visit Wind Cave & Clearwater Cave. We explore more of Malaysia’s exotic flora and fauna. After Orangutans we visit the adjacent Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre where we see the world’s smallest bear. Time to enjoy a boat cruise along the Kinabatangan River in search of Proboscis monkeys and other forms of wildlife. We continue exploring wildlife with a trip to the Ox-Bow Lake. This is also a great experience, the early morning ambience of the longest river of Sabah. The evening is again dedicated to a river cruise to search for more wildlife. More natural wonders await us at Gomantong Caves, which are home to millions of swiftlets and bats. Lots of wildlife and some exceptional caves will keep you enthralled throughout this tour.

8 Nights 9 Days 14 Dec, 15 Dec, 16 Dec, and more Kuching Airport
Inclusions/Exclusions
What we'll give. What we won't

What is included in the tour

  • The tour covers 5-nights AC accommodation in a shared twin room that has a private bathroom
  • 1-night accommodation in the community room of a longhouse with shared sanitary facilities
  • When on Sukau/Bilit, stay is in a shared accommodation with limited facilities.
  • Detailed literary talks of the meals covered in the tour
  • All your transfers and tours will be with a local English-speaking driver/guides
  • English Speaking guides will be available on-site as well
  • Transfers and tours will be in air-conditioned vehicles
  • Entrance fees and/or boat fees where ever applicable as per the program
  • Drinking water will be available on your vehicles, except in Miri and Mulu
  • The river cruise exploring wildlife
  • Entrance charges and fee to Sepilok, Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre, and Gomantong
  • Package includes GST 6% (Good and Service Tax)

What is NOT included in the tour

  • Air-travel Domestic or international to/from Malaysia, this can be quoted separately by us on request
  • Any optional tours you take
  • Charges for arranging guides for other languages if requested
  • Personal expenditure, such as drinks, souvenirs, laundry, camera fees, communications – including phone bills, postage, gratuities and the likes
  • Meals and services other than mentioned in the program
  • Personal travel insurance
  • Drinks with meals and bottled water
  • Porter charges, certificate, and the likes
  • Hotels may charge for early check-in and late check-out, this can be covered only if it is explicitly mentioned in the program
  • Gifts for the longhouse, this is quite a tradition in this part of the world
Highlights
What makes this tour special
  • Explore the enchanting city of Kuching, including Urang Sarawak Gallery & the Waterfront
  • Understand conservation at Semenggoh Nature Reserve and the Bako National Park
  • Visit the cave systems of Mulu and Gomantong
  • See the world's smallest bear and learn about conservation efforts at the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre
  • Travel to Ox-Bow Lake and observe wildlife in the early morning
  • Spend a night stay at a longhouse and understand the local culture
Itinerary
Day 1: Kuching Arrival and Kuching City Tour
  • A courteous English-speaking guide will be at the Kuching International Airport for facilitating your arrival, transfer by AC vehicle to your hotel of choice and hotel check-in. The rest of the morning is designed to give you some time to get used to the tropical climate and to relax away any jet lag that you may experience. Use the afternoon for a half day tour to explore the city of Kuching. The city brings together a number of cultures and has a flavor of all including the Malay, Indian and Chinese culture. You will also get to learn about the rich history of Sarawak.
  • The evening tour highlights include the Gambier spice streets, India street, Urang Sarawak Gallery, the oldest Chinese temple in Sarawak, Kuching South City Hall, as well as the Brooke Gallery at Fort Margherita. The tour will include visiting a Malay Village, the old State Mosque that is situated on the waterfront and the Civic Centre with the Chinese graveyard. Other places of interest that should not be missed are the Kuching Waterfront with a view of the Astana, the former "White Rajah Palace", and other colonial buildings.
  • Return to your hotel for a well-deserved night’s rest.
  • Meals provided: none
Day 2: Bako National Park Tour
  • We have breakfast at the hotel and start for a 30 min drive to the small village called Bako. From here we take a 20 min boat ride to reach the national park. The national park covers the northern tip of the Muara Tebas peninsula and is spread over an area of 27 sq km.  Bako contains a wide range of vegetation – swamp forest, scrub-like Padang vegetation, mangrove forest, dipterocarp forest, delicate cliff vegetation and more. Bako also contains a rich variety of wildlife and a coastline covered with small bays, coves, and beaches. The park has a number of well-marked trails offering interesting walks ranging from short pleasant strolls to serious full-day hikes. Visitors to Bako are almost guaranteed to see wildlife.  Long-tailed macaque monkeys and silver leaf monkeys are ever present, wild boar is often found rummaging around the park HQ, squirrels and monitor lizards are also common. There is every chance of seeing the rare and unusual proboscis monkeys on trails such as Telok Paku and Telok Delima, particularly if you go out late in the afternoon.
  • Once the tour is over we transfer back to the hotel in Kuching.
  • Meals included: breakfast and lunch
Day 3: Kuching – Semenggoh Nature Reserve – Batang Ai
  • A day of activity starts with a sumptuous breakfast at the hotel. We then travel to the Semenggoh Nature Reserve, originally built to protect the Orangutans and to rehabilitate captive and orphaned ones back to the wild.
  • The reserve has its own rare flora and fauna including the giant squirrel, pigmy squirrel and splendid variety of birds. Trekking trails make Semenggoh an ideal place for wildlife photographers and nature lovers.
  • The highlight of the visit is a chance to see an Orangutan, your guide will help spot one during the morning feeding time. This is when the Orangutans swing down from the trees for a free handout of fruit. This reserve is one of the few places in the world where humans can interact with their shy jungle cousins.
  • Our next destination is Batang Ai, where we spend time with the natives of Borneo. This is a 290 Km drive through the countryside. We will stop at local markets and enjoy the local flair throughout the drive. We will enjoy a few well-chosen stops along the way: the first one at Serian town, where we will visit a fascinating native fruit and vegetable market. The other stops include a visit to the pepper farm and a stop for lunch at "Lachau", a small upcountry Chinese village. At Lachau you may wish to make some last-minute shopping, for necessities such as insect repellent or for gifts for the Ibans.
  • The long road will take us to a beautiful lake called Batang Ai. The local lifestyle is what we are exploring on this trip, we shift to a traditional long boat for a 60-90 min boat ride over the lake to reach our destination, a Longhouse. This longhouse belongs to the Ibans (a local tribe), we interact with the resident families and relax over a cup of tea. Your guide will take you through the longhouse encouraging you to take part in daily activities.
  • After dinner, an elaborate local ritual is planned for your visit, The Ibans will sound their gongs and perform their traditional war dance in full ceremonial regalia. Night stay is arranged in the longhouse which has basic accommodation in the community hall. You will be provided with mosquito net, mattress, pillows, and blankets for comfort.
  • Meals included: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
Day 4: Batang Ai - Kuching
  • The longhouse is as close to nature as civilization gets, the morning will be greeted by the singing of cockerels as you wake up and start your day.
  • After a traditional breakfast join the Iban people in a blowpipe demonstration. We now start our return journey by native longboat downriver to arrive back at the jetty. The drive from here to Kuching is by air-conditioned vehicle and we do stop an en-route for lunch at a local cafe. Night stay is at your hotel of choice in Kuching.
  • Meals included: Breakfast and lunch
Day 5: Kuching – Mulu National Park
  • You will be received at the Mulu airport, a quick transfer to your designated hotel follows. Once settled in comfortably, change into your trekking gear. We now move to the Mulu National Park Headquarters for registration. Lunch is arranged at the park’s canteen.
  • We start our adventure with a 45 min walk to the first set of caves. This walk is on narrow forest paths made of wooden planks that take you through riverine and lowland forests on limestone cliffsides.  The first cave we reach is the Lang’s cave which has an exquisite collection of stalagmites and stalactites. You are observing nature at its creative best, we recommend carrying a good camera for some stunning pictures. The next cave we visit is the Deer cave, this is famous for its passage which is the largest for any cave in the world. The Deer cave is also famous for its large (as many as 3 million) populations of bats. These caves are designated as world heritage by UNESCO.
  • Once the exploration of the caves is done we move to the bat observation platform. The site of millions of bats coming out of the caves in the dusk is simply mesmerizing. It appears like black streams emerging from the caves. You will require a good camera as the light is low when the bats finally decide to venture out in the evening.
  • We return to the park headquarters for a transfer to the hotel.
  • Meals provided: lunch
Day 6: Mulu National Park
  • The day’s adventure begins with a half hour long boat ride. Our first shortstop is at a Penan settlement. This is your chance for understanding the old nomadic lifestyle of the people and indulge yourself in the local handicrafts market. The boat ride then takes us to the wind cave. A plank walk leads from the riverbank to the entrance of the Wind Cave. This cave is so named because of the cool breezes which you can feel at the narrow parts of the cave. This cave is part of the Clearwater system and has many impressive stalactites, stalagmites, flowrocks, helitites and rock corals. Some of these are illuminated in the ‘King’s” Room. A short walk takes us to the Clearwater springs, we take a short break here. 200 steps lead up through the forest to the mouth of Clearwater Cave. Clearwater is a fascinating cave system to scroll around, it has its own underground river system. Plank walks, paths and small floating bridges make this an easy and enjoyable experience. There are excellent photo opportunities for those who are bitten by the photography bug.
  • We now climb down the steps to the picnic area. At the base of the steps, there is a crystal-clear pool, swim in the pool or just relax on the picnic benches and admire the rainforest scenery. Lots of beautiful flora and fauna around, watch the swarms of butterflies that are often found fluttering around near the river bank. Your guide will help spot the Rajah Brooke butterfly with its huge bright-green colored wings. A simple picnic lunch is arranged at Clearwater spring.
  • Transfer to your hotel is arranged. The rest of the afternoon is available at leisure to enjoy the beautiful natural environment of the surrounding areas. There are a number of activities available at the Mulu world heritage area which one can join (separate from the tour). Interesting options include activities like canopy walk, a trek to a waterfall or a night walk. The park also has a short and easy botanical loop trail for you to explore. This trail has interesting information boards about the amazing flora of Mulu National Park. Mulu provides significant natural habitat for a wide range of plant and animal both above and below ground.
  • If you missed the bats the previous evening, now is a great time to walk up to the observation deck, this natural spectacle is worth a view any day.
  • Night stay is arranged at your hotel
  • Meals included: breakfast and lunch.
Day 7: Mulu Departure - Sandakan – Sepilok – Bornean Sun Bear Centre – Sukau/Bilit
  • The morning starts with a sumptuous breakfast at the hotel. We will have a transfer waiting to take you to the Mulu Airport for a flight to Sandakan. We will arrange a pickup from the Sandakan Airport. The first half of our day will involve visiting conservation centers in Sabah. Our first stop will be the Sepilok Orangutan Center, spread in 43sq km this center is home to 60 to 80 orphaned/rescued Orangutans. The center provides all the facilities needed for training these endangered orangutans to go back to life in the wild. We now move to the adjoining Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre. Sun Bears are the smallest bears in the world and are endemic to south-east Asia.  The center is home to as many as 40 of them. This is also an ideal place to learn about the conservation challenges and the success stories.
  • We now take a two-hour drive through beautiful Oil Palm Plantations and picture postcard villages to Sukau/Bilit. Check into your lodge before lunch is served. The rest of the afternoon is free and a time to relax for you.
  • As the day starts to end we take a boat cruise along the Kinabatangan River in search of the Proboscis money and other rate inhabitants of the region. The flora and fauna of the place are unique and rich.
  • Overnight stay is at the lodge with its twin bedrooms that have attached hot water showers.
  • Meals included: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
  • Please note - Boat transfer and river cruise by boat is always on shared basis / join in
Day 8: Sukau/Bilit
  • The day starts early – we go for a pre-breakfast river cruise. This is the best time to spot birds and to experience the beauty of the longest river in Sabah. We come back to the lodge for breakfast and have the rest of the day to ourselves. Enjoy walks around the lodge and explore the natural beauty. Once again, we will go on a river cruise towards late evening. The sights will always amaze you, there is just so much to explore and discover in this beautiful land. We explore wildlife for the entire evening, returning for dinner at the lodge.
  • Overnight stay is at the lodge.     
  • Meals included: breakfast, lunch, and dinner
  • Please note - Boat transfer and river cruise by boat is always on shared basis / join in
Day 9: Sukau/Bilit – Gomantong – Sandakan
  • We enjoy an early breakfast and start our journey to the famous Gomantong Caves. The limestone caves are protected forest area as they are the only known site for the endangered land snail Plectostoma Mirabile. The caves are also famous for a large population of bats and swiftlets.
  • For centuries, the caves have been renowned for their valuable edible swiftlet nests, which are harvested for bird's nest soup. The most valuable of the nests, the white ones, can sell for very high prices. The birds' nest collection is an ancient tradition, and the trading of these nests has been done since at least 500 AD.
  • Once we have explored the caves we move back to Sandakan. The drop is arranged as per your requirements of reaching the Airport or a hotel of your choice.
  • Meals included: breakfast

Notes

  • Due to fluctuations in demand hotels can be changed without prior notice. We do assure you that any substitution will be within the offered category
  • The tour detailed itinerary may change due to unforeseen events - we will cover all that we have stated here only the program by day may change. For example, if our program states a city tour on Day 1, it may be postponed to Day 3 instead. This is mostly a last-minute adjustment and will be without any prior notice
  • Some package can be booked on a private basis, but certain services may be on a shared basis only. This is to minimize impacts on the natural environment or if other circumstances require so.  These services include boat transfers in Bako, boat transfers & activities in the longhouse and land & boat transfers in Mulu.
  • Sightings of wildlife depend on several natural factors (e.g. weather) and therefore cannot be guaranteed.
  • A longhouse is a traditional place mostly untouched by modern facilities, be prepared for some discomfort. We will take the best care, but You will be accommodated in the community area of the longhouse with no privacy. A mattress, mosquito net, pillow, blanket and clean linen will be provided. Simple sanitary facilities are available. Please note - Pets like cats and dogs might be encountered in the communal hall of the longhouse and livestock such as chicken or pigs are roaming freely within the longhouse compound.
  • It is customary to bring some gifts for the Iban longhouse people, which can be divided by the number of families. Your guide can assist you during one of the stops en-route to buy some suitable presents. This custom is only applicable to Iban longhouse tours.
  • The longhouse stay is simple, and we request you to please travel light. Your luggage can be kept safe at your hotel in Kuching.
  • The national park officials strongly discourage use of bright colored clothes in the parks
  • The tours are operated subject to availability of flights.
  • At the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre and Gomantong Caves special permission is needed, and separate charges are levied for professional photography or filming
  • The tour itself or sections of it may require change, the company reserves the right to change or cancel should condition beyond our control render it necessary.
  • Please be advised of the following even for personal use
  • At the Orangutan Sanctuary - camera/video camera charges are MYR10 per camera /video camera.
  • At Gomantong Cave, MYR 30 per camera and MYR50 per video camera is chargeable
  • These are Park rates and change as per park directives
Pickup point
Directions.
Kuching International Airport (KCH/WBGG) (KCH), 900B, Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia View on Map