3-Day Northern Highlands – A 4-Wheel-Drive Adventure

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Tour type

Tour Level: High Level

Tour Comfort: Budget

Tour Period: 3 Days


tour highlights

  • Experience a thrilling 4-wheel drive journey along less traveled roads
  • Learn about the local practices of the Lun Bawang tribe as you travel
  • Enjoy authentic local hospitality in a homestay
  • Be amazed by the pristine waters and beautiful forest surroundings of the Merarp Hot Springs

tour details

Spend an invigorating 3 days exploring the pristine northern highlands by 4-wheel drive. You’ll begin by visiting Buduk Bui salt spring, where you’ll learn about the traditional process of mountain salt extraction. After spending the night at a homestay, you’ll wake up early for a trek to Bukit Sarui, which includes an immense panoramic view. Later, you’ll depart for a drive up to the Merarp Hot Springs, surrounded by Lun Bawang Villages. The magnificent Batu Lawi towers overhead as you enjoy the amazing natural relaxation offered by the hot spring. The next day, you’ll travel to Lawas to see the Long Lidung riverine tagang system. You’ll get the chance to feed the fish before continuing on to the city, where you’ll transfer to catch your flight or continue on to Kota Kinabalu.

Meet on arrival in Ba'Kelalan and transfer to a homestay.
After lunch at your host's house, depart by 4-wheel-drive vehicle on a 20 minutes' drive to Buduk Bui salt spring, where you will learn more about the process of extracting mountain salt.
Return to the homestay for dinner.

Accommodation at Ba'Kelalan homestay (simple accommodation).

Meals included:Lunch
06:00 hrs. - If you wish, your guide will bring you on an early morning trek to Bukit Sarui (subject to weather condition). After trekking (moderate) for about 45 minutes to 1 hour you will reach a view point with a breath-taking panoramic view over Ba'Kelalan with its paddy fields and fruit orchards. Enjoy the beautiful scenery while the sun rises over the northern highlands!
Trek back to the homestay for breakfast.
10:00 hrs. - Depart by 4-wheel-drive vehicle to Merarap Hot Springs. This journey will take about 4 hours. Enjoy the beautiful scenery, passing many Lun Bawang villages along the way. If weather permits, we will be able to view the magnificent Batu Lawi. This twin-peaked mountain is a sacred place for many native tribes in the surrounding highlands and subject of many ancient legends. It has also played an important role during the Japanese Occupation in World War II, when it served as an important landmark for pilots from the Royal Australian Airforce and Allies.
Upon arrival at Merarap Hot Springs, lunch will be served. Merarap Hot Springs is one of the hidden paradises in the northern region of Sarawak. Surrounded by pristine jungle, it's an ideal place to seek rest and recreation. The water in the hot spring pool is piped from a nearby mountain source into dip pools with different water temperatures to ensure a complete spa experience.
Your guide will bring you on a short trek to explore the surrounding area.
Rejuvenate by taking a deep soak in the hot spring pool, before dinner is served.

Accommodation at Merarap Hot Springs Chalet (simple accommodation).

Meals included:Breakfast
After breakfast you depart by 4-wheel-drive vehicle to Lawas. The journey will take about 2 hours and 30 minutes.
En-route you will visit Long Lidung with its riverine tagang system. The term 'tagang' originates from the language of the Iban tribe and means 'restriction'. This system was introduced by the Sarawak government and intends to raise awareness about river pollution and overfishing. The whole village has to take responsibility to keep the river clean in order to provide the best possible environment for river fishes to flourish and fishing activities are restricted. While your guide explains the tagang system and its importance to the community to you, you may feed the fishes in the river. If the water level is low, you might even want to step into the river and feel the fish swimming playfully around your legs and taking food from your hand palms.
After lunch, which will be served in Lawas, you have 2 options:
Option A: Transfer to Lawas airport for your flight back to Miri or your next destination.
Option B: Overland transfer to Kota Kinabalu with drop-off at hotel of your choice in the city centre of Kota Kinabalu. The journey will take about 2 to 3 hours. (Note: For a party of 4 person and above, the vehicle for this overland transfer between Lawas and Kota Kinabalu will be switched to air-conditioned van.)

Meals included:Breakfast


  • 1 night accommodation in shared twin room with shared common sanitary facilities in Ba'Kelalan
  • 1 night accommodation in shared twin room with fan and private bathroom at Merarap Hot Springs
  • Meals as stated in the programme B= breakfast, L= lunch, D= dinner
  • Transfers and tours with local English-speaking driver guides in air-conditioned 4-wheel-drive vehicles
  • Entrance fees and/or boat fees as stated in the programme
  • 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


  • MASwings currently flies three times a week from Miri via Lawas to Ba'Kelalan and vice versa, and several times daily from Miri to Lawas and vice versa. The flights are operated on Twin Otter aircrafts and luggage allowance on these flights is limited (please refer to your flight ticket for exact information). If you overnight in Miri before and after this 3 days tour, your suitcases can be stored at your hotel in Miri. In case you just transit in Miri on the way to Ba'Kelalan and on the way from Lawas to your next destination, we can arrange a representative of Diethelm Travel to meet you during your transit in Miri and store the luggage for you (not included in the package; charges depend on size and weight of luggage).
  • This tour package can also be arranged vice versa, starting in Lawas and ending in Ba'Kelalan.
  • Guests have to sign an indemnity form for the 4-wheel-drive ride upon booking of this tour package.
  • Each 4-wheel-drive vehicle has a maximum capacity of 3 passengers.
  • Even if the package is booked on private basis, activities in the homestay may be on shared basis in order to minimise impacts on the natural environment or if other circumstances require so.
  • Rooms at the homestay are private twin-share rooms. Toilets and bathrooms (dip & splash method) are on shared basis.
Tour code: MYYHOBNH3P19

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