12 Days Highlights of Borneo

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Tour type

Tour Level: Moderate

Tour Comfort: Standard

Tour Period: 12 Days

tour highlights

  • See Mt. Kinabalu, a sacred peak that towers above Borneo
  • Enjoy plenty of chances to learn about local traditions throughout your stay
  • Travel by boat, passing through verdant countryside
  • Visit some of Borneo's national parks and reserves

tour details

Explore the full range of Borneo’s natural and cultural delights on this adventure. You begin by touring Kuching, with its traditional villages and modern attractions. Next up, you’ll visit stunning nature areas, learning about rare and unique plants and animals. A trip to an authentic longhouse of the Iban tribe concludes the first half of the journey as you return to Kuching. Then, you’ll head to Mulu National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, to see caves and riverine forest areas. On the following day, you’ll tour Kota Kinabalu by foot and by boat. Mt. Kinabalu is the highest mountain in the region, towering above the landscape. The foothills are verdant and full of colour, and you’ll get the chance to see some of the 250 endemic orchid species. The visit provides a fitting end to the journey.

Meet & greet at Kuching International Airport upon arrival in the morning. Transfer to hotel in the city for check-in. In the afternoon your guide will introduce you the charming city of Kuching. See all the different facets of the many cultures combined in Kuching, like Malay, Indian and Chinese culture, and learn about the history of Sarawak on this city 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. You will also get to see a Malay Village, the old State Mosque and the Civic Centre with the Chinese graveyard. Not to be missed of course is a stop at the Kuching Waterfront with a view of the Astana, the former "White Rajah Palace", and other colonial buildings.

Overnight at hotel of choice.

Meals included: None
Breakfast at the hotel. Depart from your hotel to Bako National Park. This tour starts with a ride on air-conditioned vehicle from Kuching city to the small Malay village of Bako, where you then venture on a 20 minutes' boat ride to reach the national park. This is a day with plenty of opportunities to trek through the beautiful park and explore flora and fauna at its best. Get to see various animals, such as wild boars, silver leaf monkeys, macaques or warans. If you are lucky you might also spot the odd-nosed proboscis monkeys that can only be found on the island of Borneo. Plenty of trails to choose from, so discuss with your guide which one to take. A packed lunch is included.

Overnight at hotel of choice.

Meals included:Breakfast
After an early breakfast, check out from your hotel. Depart to the Semenggoh Nature Reserve. The entire facility occupies an area of 740 acres and acts as a sanctuary for orang utans that have been rescued from captivity and young orphaned primates. These animals are trained or re-trained to survive in their natural habitat. They learn how to forage for natural food and build nests in the trees. Many have been returned into the surrounding area of the nature reserve. But there are few that will never re-learn their natural skills due to long association with and dependence on humans. There are daily scheduled feeding times. However, sightings of these primates during feeding times are not guaranteed due to the fact that they are roaming freely within the nature reserve.
From here we depart to Batang Ai. You will travel 290 km by air-conditioned vehicle, with a few stops along the way: the first one at Serian town, where we will stop for refreshments. You can also visit a fascinating native fruit and vegetable market. The other stops include a visit to a pepper farm and a stop along the roadside where you can observe wild orchids and also pitcher plants (insect-eating plants). The last stop will be at Lachau, a small up-country Chinese village, where we will stop for lunch.
After lunch we proceed to the final stage of the journey, and arrive at Batang Ai lake. Here you will board native longboats to travel across the lake and further up the river (approx. 40 to 50 minutes) to reach an Iban longhouse. On arrival at the longhouse, you will be taken for a tour of the longhouse, to meet the natives and their families.
The dinner will be served in one of the family's private room. After which the Ibans will then sound their gongs and perform their traditional war dance in full ceremonial regalia. One is often invited to join in.....don't be can be fun...even if you don't understand their language. Don't leave without tasting their rice wine 'tuak'.

Overnight at the longhouse (very simple accommodation).

Basic accommodation in the communal hall of the longhouse with mosquito net, mattress, pillows and blanket provided.

Meals included:Breakfast
The cockerels will sing loud and clear for you to wake up the next morning. Observe the special atmosphere in the early hours of the day when the first rays of sunlight wake the longhouse and the natives prepare for their daily chores in the rice fields and pepper farms. After a simple breakfast, you may try your skills with the blowpipe, the ancient hunting weapon of Borneo's natives.
Depart the longhouse and venture on a nature walk (approximately 1 hour) through the farmland of the Ibans to arrive at a small stream. A typical native lunch, cooked in bamboo over an open fire, will be served by the stream (subject to weather condition; in case of rain the lunch will be served in the longhouse).
After lunch proceed by longboat downriver to the Aiman Batang Ai Resort & Retreat. Check-in at the resort.
In the afternoon you can venture on another short nature walk including a canopy bridge (subject to weather conditions). The rest of the day is free at your own leisure to use the many facilities of the resort.

Overnight at Aiman Batang Ai Resort & Retreat, Standard Room.

Meals included:Breakfast
After breakfast you depart the resort by ferry and travel back to Kuching by air-conditioned vehicle with en-route stops for refreshments and local lunch.
Transfer to your hotel for check-in. The rest of the day is free at your own leisure.

Overnight at hotel of choice.

Meals included:Breakfast
Breakfast at the hotel. Check-out and transfer to Kuching Airport for your flight to Mulu (airfare not included).
Meet & greet upon arrival in Mulu and transfer to your choice of accommodation for check-in. After a local lunch you will proceed to the headquarters of Mulu National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. An approximately 45 minutes' walk along a wooden plank path through riverine forest will lead you from the park headquarters to Lang's Cave. Explore this beautiful cave with its astonishing rock formations! Next, you will venture into the Deer Cave, the world's largest cave passage! After the exploration of these two caves you will wait at the bat observation platform to witness the bats flying out of the caves for their nightly hunt (no guarantee to see the bats; subject to weather conditions).
Walk back the same path to the park headquarters and return to your accommodation.

Overnight at hotel of choice.

Meals included:Breakfast
This morning, after breakfast, take a boat ride (30 to 40 minutes) to reach Wind Cave, with a stopover at a Penan village. After exploration of Wind Cave, take a 10 minutes' walk to reach the Clearwater Springs. After a short tea break, climb the 200 steps up to the cave entrance and explore Clearwater Cave. A simple picnic lunch will be served next to the Clearwater Springs, after which you can enjoy a swim in the beautiful stream outside the cave. Return to your accommodation.
The rest of the day is free at your own leisure to enjoy the beautiful natural environment or to sign up for one of the many other activities (not included) offered by the national park, such as a canopy walk or a night walk.

Overnight at hotel of choice.

Meals included:Breakfast
After breakfast, transfer to Mulu airport for your flight to Miri (airfare not included).
Meet & greet at Miri International Airport upon arrival. A 3 hours' overland transfer will bring you to Bandar Seri Begawan, the capital city of the Sultanate Brunei.
After check-in at your city hotel the rest of the day is free at your own leisure.

Overnight at hotel of choice.

Meals included:Breakfast
Breakfast at the hotel and check-out.
Today's tour begins with pick up from your hotel. Highlights include visits to the morning market, Brunei Museum, Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque, Hassanal Bolkiah Mosque (on Thursdays and Fridays both mosques are open to Muslims only and the tour will cover a view from the garden area only) and photo stop at the entrance of the Istana Nurul Iman, the biggest residential palace in the world and the official residence of the Sultan of Brunei.
After lunch at a local restaurant, continue with a visit to the Royal Regalia Museum, which was built in 1992 to commemorate the silver jubilee of His Majesty's The Sultan of Brunei accession to the throne in 1967. The museum houses a collection of royal paraphernalia and also an exhibition on the constitution of the nation.
After that, proceed on a scenic boat ride around the biggest Malay water village in the world. This experience will give you a view of two different worlds - on one side you will see the modern developing capital city of Brunei and on the other side of the river, you will see the nostalgic serenity of the Malay water village. During a visit to a local home you can witness the daily livelihood of a typical villager living in houses on stilts on Brunei river. Local refreshments will be served.
After the tour you have some time free at leisure to stroll along the Waterfront or to visit the shopping mall at Yayasan Complex.
In the late afternoon or evening, you will be transferred to Brunei International Airport for your flight to Kota Kinabalu.
Meet & greet at Kota Kinabalu International Airport and transfer to your accommodation of choice.

Overnight at hotel of choice.

Meals included:Breakfast
After breakfast at the hotel depart for a two-hour drive to Kinabalu Park, nominated by UNESCO as a World Heritage site. Enjoy the spectacular mountain scenery as you drive through the Crocker Range to the Park Head Quarters. We shall stop at local fruit and handicraft stalls en-route. The Kinabalu Park is home to Mt. Kinabalu, the highest mountain in Malaysia, which towers majestically at 4,095 m (13,431 feet). Trek along cool forest trail to see and learn more about our unique insect-eating plants, orchids and the lowland dipterocarp forest. In the late afternoon, check into your accommodation for the night.

Overnight at Kinabalu Pine Resort, Standard Room.

Meals included:Breakfast
Early breakfast in the hotel and check out.
Depart for a two-hour drive back to Kota Kinabalu. Transfer to the jetty. Take a 20-minute boat ride to one of the coral islands within the Tunku Abdul Rahman Park. Spend the day swimming, snorkelling or just relaxing on the beach. Enjoy a simple box lunch and return to the mainland in the early afternoon (basic shower facilities are available on the island).
Transfer to your hotel of choice and check in. Rest of the day, free at leisure.

Overnight at hotel of choice.

Meals included:Breakfast
Free at leisure (check-out at hotel: 12:00 hrs. noon) until the transfer to the airport for your departure flight.

Meals included:Breakfast


  • 10 nights accommodation in shared twin room with air-condition (AC) and private bathroom
  • 1 night accommodation in the communal room of a longhouse with shared sanitary facilities
  • Meals as stated in the programme: B= breakfast, L= lunch, D= dinner
  • Transfers and tours with local English-speaking driver guides in air-conditioned vehicles
  • Entrance fees and/or boat fees as stated in the programme
  • Drinking water available on the vehicles, except in Brunei
  • Package includes GST 6% (Good and Service Tax)


  • Domestic airfare and/or International airfare to/from Malaysia (quoted separately, if requested)
  • Optional tours
  • Surcharges for other language guides
  • Personal travel insurance
  • Personal expenditure, such as drinks, souvenirs, laundry, camera fees, communications, postage, gratuities etc.
  • Meals and services other than mentioned in the programme
  • Drinks with meals
  • Early check-in and late check-out at hotels, if not mentioned in the programme
  • Gifts for the longhouse


  • Hotels can be changed without prior notice, but substitute will be within the offered category.
  • Shangri-La Hotel in Kota Kinabalu is not a 5*-property under Shangri-La Hotel & Resort chain.
  • Tours will be offered as stated in the programme but some may be done on different days than stated in the programme. For example, if our programme states a city tour on Day 1,
    it may be postponed to Day 3 instead, without any prior notice given.
  • Even if the package is booked on private basis, certain services may be on shared basis in order to minimise impacts on the natural environment or if other circumstances require so.
    These services include boat transfers in Bako, boat transfers & activities in the longhouse, land & boat transfers in Mulu, and boat transfers in Kota Kinabalu/Coral Island.
  • Sightings of wildlife depend on several natural factors (e.g. weather) and therefore cannot be guaranteed.
  • Please travel light for the overnights at the Iban longhouse and Aiman Batang Ai Resort & Retreat. Suitcases can be stored at your hotel in Kuching.
  • Due to primitive conditions in the longhouse, be prepared for some discomfort. 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. 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. Our 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.
  • What to bring
    1) Backpack
    2) Loose-fitting summer clothing
    3) Swimwear
    4) Sun hat/ cap
    5) Sun block
    6) Insect repellent
    7) Personal toiletries
    8) Flat walking shoes with good grip
    9) Raincoat
    10)Torch or flashlight

Tour code: KCHDKS12DBHP18

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