I’m back after having a fantastic time in Borneo!
Our guides (Tan & Geoff) were super... more
Discover the capital of Sabah, Kota Kinabalu, national parks and the famous Orang Utan at Sepilok Rehabiliation Centre and view the wildlife along Kinabatangan River.
Arrive Kota Kinabalu Airport, meet, transfer and overnight Grandis Hotel.
0900 meet in the lobby and proceed to Mari Mari Cultural Village, located 25 minutes from the city. Upon arrival, teleport back to the times of ancient Borneo through the magical displays of unique ingenious architecture, simulated lives and ritualistic ceremonies. You will be ushered into the warmth of homes of the different ethnicities of Sabah to get acquainted with each tribe and experience their rich culture. Each home was built by descendants of the tribes and offers you a truly genuine experience seeing everything in and around the village.
Check out the demonstration huts in the village where daily routines of traditional Sabahan life come alive. Grab the chance to see a blowpipe making demonstration, fire starting demonstration using bamboo, tattoo making demonstration and get an in depth look at the mystical symbolisms behind them.
See the demonstration of cutting tree bark for making into a vest and take the chance to dance and jump on a built in Lansaran, a traditional trampoline like floor. Also get a chance to sample Sabahan traditional delicacies from each ethnic group such as the Montoku (rice wine) and witness bamboo cooking.
Have fun and enjoy the cultural performance by the tribes before proceeding for a delectable traditional meal.
Return to Kota Kinabalu city and go for an afternooon in the sunny state capital. First up, some architectural splendor – the Sabah State Mosque, majestic with its Blue inlaid onion dome.
Next stop, the Goddess of mercy and compassion, “Kuan Yin”, stands tall at The Puh Toh Tze Buddhist temple, located off Tuaran Road. Built in 1980, the temple stands out with its traditional Chinese roofing and structure. Ten large statues of deities adorn the temple with the Goddess of Mercy,Kuan Yin, standing tall at the main entrance of the temple.
Up next, the tallest architectural marvel in Kota Kinabalu, The Yayasan Tower standing 122 meters high, also officially known as Menara Tun Mustapha (Sabah Foundation Building). Built in 1977, this 30-storey circular glass sculpture boasts a unique edifice utilizes a single column structure that is one of the very few in the world.
Immerse yourself in some culture at the Sabah Museum. Dive deep into the history that shaped Sabah into what it is today. A heritage Village on the museum grounds grants you passage into the different types of traditional houses of various indigenous groups that brings color and richness to Sabah.
Along the way, a quick pass-by through Kampung Likas and the Likas Wetland, which is a natural bird sanctuary. Winding roads will usher you to Signal Hill where you be greeted with a beautiful birds eye view of the city skyline and nearby islands before arriving at the buzzing Filipino market. Get your knick knacks and travel souvenirs here, also some fishy favourites such as dried seafoods.
Transfer back to your hotel. Overnight. (Breakfast/Lunch included)
Take a scenic 1/2 hr drive to Tamparuli Town. Visit Historical Wooden Shop houses of olden days and walk across the “Jambatan Tamparuli”, a suspension bridge which is the famous landmark in that small town to get a feel of kampong lifestyle.
Thereafter, proceed to Kinabalu Park. Journey will take approximately 1 1/2 hours passing by villages and paddy fields along mountainous roads that wind along the Crocker range. Along the way, make a brief stop at Nabalu. Nabalu is a place where the local natives gather to sell local produce, fruits, home grown vegetables and handicraft souvenirs.
On arrival at Kinabalu Park, you will notice the change in air temperature. Enjoy the refreshing and cooling air as you proceed for a walk along the nature trails in the Botanical Garden. If the day is clear, you may even spot a majestic view of Mount Kinabalu, the highest mountain between the New Guinea and Himalaya. Kinabalu Park boasts an estimate of 4,500 species of plants which include 1,500 species of orchids, 77 of which are endemic to Kinabalu. The park also supports 289 species of birds and 290 different types of butterflies.
After the walk, depart for lunch at a local restaurant.
After lunch, depart for another interesting wonder, the Poring Hot Spring. At approximately 47 kilometers from Kinabalu Park, Poring Hot Spring got its name from the tall bamboo plant that is abundant in that area. At this natural hot spring, there are Japanese baths where visitors can soak themselves and let the invigorating sulphurous water stimulate the body. It is believed to have curative powers. Visitors can also try the Treetop Canopy Walk, where suspension bridges are suspended at the top of the tropical jungle. Experience the height of 41 metres above the ground and length of 157 metres. A 20 minutes hike is needed to reach the Canopy Walkway.
After a relaxing soak, bid Kinabalu park goodbye as you return back to your hotel.
Transfer to the Kota Kinabalu Airport for your midday flight to Sandakan. Upon arrival, meet, transfer and check into Four Points Sheraton Hotel.
Afternoon, proceed to the Observation Pavilion for a bird eye view of Sandakan. Proceed to the Central Market where produce from the hinterland and fresh seafood are on sales here. The market is also the focal point for socialising among the locals. Drive up to the Chinese Temple located on a hill where you can see the colourful interior decoration of this magnificent temple with a commanding view. Continue the journey to St.Michael’s Church where you can see a colonial style building where Christianity is preached. Drive to Sim Sim where you can see houses on stilt above the water occupied by local tribes.
Visit the Australian Prisoner of War Memorial, where the infamous Sandakan – Ranau Death Marches commenced in 1945. A commemorative pavilion holds educational material and includes a scale model of the original POW camp. A path winds through the park past preserved wartime relics and towards the obelisk of black granite, erected to commemorate those who died. After tour, transfer back to hotel. Overnight Four Points Sheraton.
Morning, transfer to the famous Sepilok Orang Utan Centre. Founded in 1964 the Centre helps once captive orang utans learn to climb and fend for themselves in the wild with the hope that one day they may return to the forest. The semi-wild orang utans may return to the platform provided by the Centre for milk and bananas twice a day during the process of returning to the forest. Visitors will get a close up view of these orang utans and have the chance to photograph them at close range. Witness the feeding of the orphaned orang utans., walk along jungle trails on board walk, visiting the information centre, exhibits and video presentation on the rehab of these remarkable primates.
After lunch, visit the Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary, where you can see Borneo’s indigenous proboscis monkeys. This privately-owned sanctuary located within an oil palm estate gives you the chance to observe these animals up close and personal. The remarkable males sport big dangling noses, reddish flat-top hairstyles, white tails and markings, and pot bellies. The females on the other hand, are much smaller and have up-turned noses. Witness the feeding at Platform B.
Return to and overnight at Four Points Sheraton.
Pick up from your hotel and transfer to the Gomantong Caves located within the Gomantong forest reserve. Journey takes approximately 2 hours driving through Oil Palm Plantations and rustic countryside studded with villages. Upon arrival, walk on the plank to the cave. Explore the largest bird’s nest cave in Sabah, home to millions of bats and swiftlets. The nest of the swiftlets are collected for the famous Chinese edible bird nest soup.
Continue an approximately 30 mins drive to one of the world’s richest ecosystems, Lower Kinabatangan River, Sukau. Arrive at Kampung Bilit, a base for easy exploration of the incredible diversity of plants, mammals and birds. Take a short boat transfer to Sukau Bilit Rainforest Lodge. Time for orientation briefing, a welcome drink and check in. Lunch will be provided in the lodge restaurant.
At 16:00hrs, join a river cruise in search of endemic proboscis monkeys, different species of birds & other wildlife along the river bank. One may also catch a glimpse of a wild Orang Utan, leaf monkeys, gibbons, macaques or the “Borneon Pygmy Elephants” along the river bank. Return to Sandakan and overnight at Four Points Sheraton.
Pick up from hotel and transfer to Sandakan Airport for your departure flight.
Tour starts in Kota Kinabalu and ends in Sandakan.
To enquire about this tour give us a call on (1300 882 803) or simply fill out the form below.