Last Modified: 09 Nov 2012
Classic Borneo & Malaysia
Trip code: TMKMC
Validity: 01 Jan 2012 to 31 Dec 2012
Come and discover an intoxicating blend of diverse cultures, cuisine, history and nature on this 15 day trip through beautiful Borneo and Malaysia. Enjoy mystical lands of headhunters, spot rare wildlife and delve into ancient traditions. Soak in hot springs, visit tribal villages, meet loveable orangutans and soak up incredible views. Throw into this mix some spectacular highlands, an island getaway and a bustling city or two - and you'll see why we love this corner of South-East Asia.
Table of Contents
To save you money and the hassle of booking multiple trips, this journey is a combination of some of our most popular adventures so your leader and the composition of your group may change.
- Comfort is your style of travel if you want the whole grassroots experience with more inclusions, meals and creature comforts. While accommodation is predominantly tourist class (3-4 star), on some itineraries there is the opportunity to stay with a local family, spend the night on a train or camp out in exotic places (without putting up your own tent of course). Along the way, you'll really experience the destination up close. You'll mingle with locals, enjoy a taste of their way of life and gain special insights from your leader. This is not luxury travel, but real world experiences - just with a softer landing!
Day 1 Kota Kinabalu
Selamat datang! Welcome to Malaysia.
Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6:00pm on Day 1.
You can arrive at any time as there are no activities planned until this important meeting. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader.
You'll be met on arrival at Kota Kinabalu airport and transferred to your hotel. Please advise flight arrival details at least 14 days prior to departure if you wish to have this transfer provided. If you plan to arrive earlier, this arrival transfer can only be offered in conjunction with pre-tour accommodation booked through Intrepid.
Kota Kinabalu, the capital of Sabah, is an intriguing city between the Borneo jungle and the South China Sea. Having survived World War II bombings, 'KK' (as it's commonly known) now has a charm that can only be found in a frontier town.
- Complimentary airport arrival transfer
- Boat trip to Tunku Abdul National Marine Park - MYR70
- Kota Kinabalu - Sabah Museum - MYR15
- Kota Kinabalu - River rafting (full day) - MYR230
- Kota Kinabalu - Monosopiad Cultural Village - MYR75
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 2 Kudat
Travel by minivan to Kudat (approx 3 hrs).
The first capital of British North Borneo, Kudat was founded in 1881.
We will take a trip to 'Tanjung Simpang Mengayau' or the 'Tip of Borneo' which is the Northernmost point on the island of Borneo and the meeting point of the Sulu and South China Seas. We will also have an opportunity to visit the Rungus people, the indigenous people and the main ethnic group in the Kudat area to learn about their lifestyle and customs. Traditionally the Rungus people are animistic and live in longhouses, with each family having its own separate quarters off a common hall. Women weave cloth on backstrap looms, and do decorative beadwork.
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 3 Mt Kinabalu
Through the scenic winding roads of this impressive landscape, continue the journey by private minivan to Mt Kinabalu (approx 3 hrs).
Visit the Kundasang War Memorial, commemorating Australian and British POW's who died in Sandakan and during the infamous death marches to Ranau during World War II. The memorial also remembers the people of North Borneo who risked their lives to help the POWs.
The Memorial is made up of four beautiful gardens - the Australian Garden, the English Garden, the Borneo Garden and the Contemplation Garden and Pool - to represent the different nationalities. With its towering pine trees and blooming roses, a walk in the gardens is reminiscent to that of a stroll in a quaint English garden. The Kundasang War Memorial is a place to contemplate and remember the heroes of war. Visitors can also opt to view a brief video on the history of the Sandakan Death March.
Stretch your legs and take in the mountain views on any of Kinabalu National Park's numerous walking trails - keeping an eye out for birds, snakes and the odd leech. There's plenty to see and do in this World Heritage-listed park. The Botanic Garden is an excellent showcase of the diverse plant life on the mountain, as flora from all over the park has been replanted here. Otherwise, feel free to just relax.
Don't forget to get up early to catch glimpses of Mt Kinabalu before the cloud rises for the day.
- Kundasang - War Memorial
- Mt Kinabalu National Park
- Mt Kinabalu - Guided walk around lower trails
Cottage (1 nt)
Days 4-5 Poring Hot Springs/Sepilok
Leaving the hills behind, we pay a visit Poring Hot Springs (approx 45 mins). We will traverse the tree-tops on a suspended canopy walkway where you can get a birds eye view of the jungle and mountains of this beautiful National Park area.
There'll be some free time to explore the Park - you may like to visit the Butterfly Garden, the Orchid Garden or take a short walk through the jungle to the Kipungit Waterfall where you can have a refreshing swim. Afterwards, relax in the open air hot springs and soak up this unique atmosphere.
Boarding our minivan we continue our travels this afternoon to Sepilok (approx 3.5 hrs). We will arrive at Sepilok in the late afternoon, with plenty of time to settle into our chalets and enjoy a sunset drink.
The Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre was set up to help re-introduce these wonderful creatures back into the wild after a life of domestication or having been orphaned. To aid the orangutans adapt to the wild, a supplementary diet of bananas and milk is laid out on feeding platforms twice a day. From the viewing platform, you can watch and photograph these charming creatures as they swing into view on ropes and vines. We're not permitted to hinder the orangutans as human contact must be kept to a minimum and it's essential that we follow the instructions of the park, as directed by your leader. There's also a short film about the orangutan rehabilitation process to watch in the reserve's interpretation centre.
Visit the Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary where you can watch up close the amazing bachelor proboscis lazing and feeding - an experience that can only be found in Borneo. The sanctuary is a protected forest reserve inhabited by several groups of wild proboscis monkeys.
Situated in a village located near the Sepilok reserve (approx 2 km), our unique wooden accommodation with private amenities offers beautiful views over the rainforest.
- Poring Hot Springs
- Poring Hot Springs - Canopy Walk
- Sepilok - Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre
- Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary
- Poring Hot Springs - Orchid Conservation Centre - MYR10
- Camera fee - Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre - MYR10
- Camera fee - Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary - MYR10
- Sepilok - Rainforest Discovery Centre - MYR15
Hotel (2 nts)
Day 6 Sukau
In our private minivan we travel (approx 2.5 hrs) to the lower Kinabtangan river, Sukau. En route we visit Black Cave, amongst an intricate system of caves known as Gomantong Caves. The caves are renowned for their valuable edible swiftlet nests, which are harvested for bird's nest soup. Birds' nest collection is an ancient tradition, but nowadays locals must have licenses to climb to the roof of the caves, and collect the nests and penalties are imposed on unlicensed collectors.
Our jungle lodge alongside the Kinabatangan River gives us great opportunity to relax and take in the surrounds. The Kinabatangan River is the 2nd longest river in Malaysia at 560 kms from its source at Mt Trus Madi to the Sulu Sea and is also a protected forest reserve which contains some of Borneo's highest concentrations of wildlife.
In the late afternoon we will take a river cruise and hopefully spot some of the local wildlife - wild elephants are rarely seen but we will hopefully find crocodiles, macaques, wild orangutan and proboscis monkeys, as well as hornbills or kingfishers - just some of the many types of animals and birds found in this area.
We will return to our jungle lodge for dinner and there is the option to do a night trek if you're ready for more adventure!
- Sukau - Gomantong Caves
- Sukau - River cruise & wildlife spotting on Kinabatangan River
Chalet (1 nt)
Day 7 Kota Kinabalu
Transfer by minibus to the Sandakan airport (approx 2 hrs) and board a short flight to Kota Kinabalu (approx 1 hr), before transferring to our beachside accommodation in nearby Kinarut (approx 25 km)
Our peaceful beachfront resort is the perfect place to relax. Twin-share bedding with private facilities including air-conditioning, TV, restaurant and pool.
- Tunku Abdul Marine Park - Scuba diving - MYR260
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 8 Kuala Lumpur
Fly to Kuala Lumpur for the second half of your trip. You must arrange your own flight from Kota Kinabalu to Kuala Lumpur. This flight is NOT included in the cost of the trip. Please refer to the Important Notes section for further details.
Kuala Lumpur, the cosmopolitan capital of Malaysia, is affectionately known as KL and you'll almost always hear locals refer to it by its acronym. Communities of Indian, Chinese and ethnic Malay people mingle peacefully, allowing travellers to get the best of all three worlds.
Enjoy a fantastic introduction to Malaysian culture with an entertaining dinner and cultural performance where you'll see dance traditions from around Peninsular Malaysia and Borneo. Look out for the dangerous blow pipe hunter from the jungles of Sarawak!
If you arrive early, grab a map and talk to the hotel staff about things to do in KL. Combine the markets of Chinatown, Indian food and traditional Malay arts and you have the heart of Kuala Lumpur. You might be tempted to head out of town to visit the famous Batu Caves or the Orang Asli Museum and the evening is best spent at the night market sampling the many different cuisines on offer and bargain hunting amongst the many stalls.
As this is a combination trip, your group leader and the composition of your group may change at this location. There will be a group meeting to discuss the next stage of your itinerary and you're welcome to attend, as this is a great chance to meet your new fellow travellers.
- Kuala Lumpur - Half-day sightseeing tour - MYR180
- Orang Asli Museum - MYR10
- Menara Tower - MYR42
- Islamic Arts Museum - MYR12
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 9 Cameron Highlands
Travel by minivan to the dramatic and beautiful Cameron Highlands (approx 4 hrs).
The Cameron Highlands were a favourite getaway of the colonial British - a place of tranquillity and beauty to escape the humidity of the jungles.
In the evening you will have time to try Malaysia's famous 'steamboat' lunch.
Take a tour of the famous BOH tea plantations in the beautiful rolling hills - a great opportunity to photograph the picturesque plantations and do some tea tasting.
Hotel (1 nt)
Days 10-11 Melaka
Travel by minivan to the old port town of Melaka (approx 6 hrs).
Once the most important trading port of Malaysia, Melaka attracted Chinese, Indian, Dutch, Portuguese and British traders, all seeking wealth or an opportunity to control the Straits of Malacca, a vital trading route between the Indian and Pacific oceans. Today, Melaka's wealth of historical sites remind visitors of times gone by and its multicultural past is revealed in its distinctive cuisine.
Take a special Nonya cooking class. A colourful fusion of Chinese and Malay cuisine that people travel from afar to taste, be prepared to savour a great deal of this unique fare.
Take a quaint trishaw tour along the narrow winding streets to get a taste of old Melaka and learn about the ancient spice trade. Take in sites such as; Harmony street, a mosque visit, Chinese Buddhist Temples and a Muslim house museum.
- Melaka - Trishaw tour
- Baba Nyonya cooking class
- Riverboat trip - MYR15
- Sultanates Palace - MYR2
- Baba Nonya Heritage Museum - MYR8
- Eye on Malaysia - MYR20
- Menara Taming Sari (revolving tower) - MYR20
Hotel (2 nts)
Days 12-13 Pulau Langkawi
Transfer by minivan to Kuala Lumpur airport.
Take a short flight to Langkawi (approx 45 mins).
Pulau Langkawi is only 487.5 sq km in area but it's one of Malaysia's premier tourist destinations, featuring stunning beaches and some of the best sunsets you'll find in the country.
It's essential to treat yourself to a swim, snorkel or sunbake on the sultry exotic white sand beaches or perhaps unwind in a boutique spa.
Take a day trip to explore some of the smaller islands. Please note, if the weather is too wet we'll do a day tour of the main island instead.
Not to be missed is a trip on the cable car with spectacular views over the Andaman Sea and some of the 99 tropical islands of Langkawi.
- Cable car
- Langkawi island tour
- Seafood dinner
Hotel (2 nts)
Days 14-15 Penang
Board a short flight bound for Penang.
Penang Island was the first destination of the colonial British in 1786. They invited Chinese, as well as others from all over Asia, to live on this island in the tropics. Today, this exotic blend of cultures still exists and the World Heritage site of Georgetown contains a fascinating blend of religious places of worship.
Discover Penang's Chinese and British colonial history around Georgetown. Explore Little India taking a glimpse of the ancient Hindu traditions in its decorative temples and tasting freshly made delicious Indian snacks. Don't miss a visit to the Chinese stilt houses or the chance to have high tea at the legendary Eastern and Oriental Hotel. It's recommended that you book an additional day in Penang to maximise your sightseeing.
You can head out for a final farewell dinner with the rest of the group - perhaps at the famous hawker stalls along Gurney Drive to sample some of the island's signature dishes.
There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time. Please check the 'Finishing Point Hotel' section for checkout times and luggage storage possibilities.
- Chong Fat Tze Museum - MYR12
- Khoo Kongsi - MYR10
- Teluk Bahang National Park - Free
Hotel (1 nt)
Also available to purchase
For many of our trips we have other services or experiences that are also available to purchase to extend your trip or to make your holiday a little easier. Below is a list of other travel products you can purchase in conjunction with this trip.
- TMKMC Single supplement (TMKMC)
Occasionally our itineraries are updated during the year to incorporate improvements stemming from past travellers' comments and our own research. The information given in this itinerary may be slightly different to that in the brochure. It's very important that you print and review a final copy of your Trip Notes a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans. For the latest updated Trip Notes please visit our website: www.intrepidtravel.com
Please note that while we operate successful trips in this region throughout the year, some changes may occur in our itineraries due to inclement weather and common seasonal changes to timetables and transport routes. This can happen with little notice so please be prepared for modifications to the route.
Expect some culture shock. You'll be exposed to signs of poverty and access to services may be sporadic. The food will be quite different to home and English speakers harder to find. Respecting the local culture will make it easier to fit in and really experience the location.
Some easy physical activities included in your trip. No physical preparation is required to make the most of the journey.
Included activities are listed in the day-to-day itinerary, all other activities are optional and at your own expense. If you choose not to participate in the included activities on this itinerary, the cost will not be refunded.
A selection of optional activities are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only. Prices are for entrance only and don't include transport costs to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination. Optional activities aren't necessarily endorsed or recommended by Intrepid nor included in price of this trip. If you do any optional activities, you do so at your own risk and it must be clearly understood that your participation is your own decision and doesn't form part of your contract with Intrepid. You may be required to sign/complete a waiver form or a receipt for some optional activities.
The official currency of Malaysia is the Ringgit (MYR).
The most convenient and cheapest way to obtain local currency in is via an Automated Teller Machine (ATM). ATM's are now readily available and visa cash advances are available in major banks. Foreign currency notes that are old, torn or faded can be very difficult to exchange, clean bills in small denominations are most useful. Traveller's cheques can be difficult to change.
Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping, participating in optional activities, and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
If you're happy with the services provided a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it's of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many Intrepid destinations. Although can be difficult to source we advise you to carry small notes of local currency each day to make tipping easier. Please note we recommend that any tips are given directly to the intended recipient by a member of your group as our group leaders are prohibited from collecting cash for tips.
The following amounts are per person suggestions based on local considerations and feedback from our past travellers:
Restaurants: Local markets and basic restaurants - round your bill up to the nearest US$1. More up-market restaurants we suggest 10% to 15% of your bill.
Local guides: Throughout your trip you may at times have a local guide in addition to your leader. We suggest US$2-3 per day for local guides.
Drivers: You may have a range of drivers on your trip. Some may be with you for a short journey while others may be with you for several days. We would suggest a higher tip for those more involved with the group, however we suggest US$1-2 per day for drivers.
Your Group Leader: You may also consider tipping your leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline US$2-4 per person, per day can be used. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.
In total, we recommend you budget approx US$5-10 per day of your trip to cover tipping.
At your group meeting on day 1 your tour guide will discuss with you the idea of running a group tipping kitty, whereby everybody contributes an equal amount and then your group leader pays the tips while keeping a running record of all monies spent (except restaurant tips). The record can be checked at any time and any money remaining at the end of the tour returned to group members. This is often the easiest way to avoid the hassles of needing small change and knowing when and what is an appropriate amount to tip.
Please don't tip with coins, very small denomination notes, or dirty and ripped notes. This is regarded culturally as an insult.
All departure taxes should be included in your international flight ticket.
The month-long Ramadan Festival will be in progress from the 9th July 2013. This is a festival of sacrifice where the devout refrain from eating or drinking during daylight hours. During Ramadan business hours are shortened, including opening hours at all popular tourist attractions. Alcohol is not permitted during daylight hours and many restaurants will be closed. While you definitely need to expect some delays and inconveniences during this period, the month of Ramadan is a fantastic month to travel in Muslim countries as it offers a chance to witness this fascinating Islamic event and the nightly celebrations when the sun sets and the fast is broken.
CHINESE NEW YEAR:
An important 15-day festival for the Malaysian Chinese, based on the lunar calendar in January or February. In 2012, the Year of the Dragon is scheduled to be held from 23 January. This can be a busy time and some transport delays, shop closures and reduced opening hours at some sites may be expected, but there are also many fabulous festivals and rituals to observe during this time, so it's a great time to travel. Although we make all reasonable efforts to avoid disruption a flexible approach from the traveller is appreciated.
The flight between Kota Kinabalu and Kuala Lumpur is NOT included in the trip cost, and to be booked by the traveller prior to trip commencement. Flights below are from the latest published flight schedule at the time of printing:
Day 8 - Kota Kinabalu - Kuala Lumpur
Air Asia AK5117 or AK5103 @ 10.55 hours
Malaysia Airlines MH2605 @ 10.45 hours
There is a strict 15kg luggage maximum on this trip due to internal flight. Excess luggage is to be paid by the traveller.
Maximum of 12 travellers per group.
Your fellow travellers
As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part.
Due to privacy reasons we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure. However you can download Intrepid's FREE Meet Up app to chat with your fellow travellers before your trip. Meet up, discuss your upcoming trip and share the excitement of planning for your adventure. For more information visit:
Our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and don't involve a compulsory single supplement. Single travellers share with people of the same gender in accommodation ranging from twin to multishare. Some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on a mixed gender share basis and where applicable this will be specified in our Trip Notes. On a selection of our trips, you have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure that you have your own room (where available). Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour - pre-trip and post-trip accommodation will be booked on a single room basis.
A single supplement is available for the Malaysia section of this trip only. We do not offer single supplement in Borneo. Contact your agent for details.
Hotel (12 nts), Cottage (1 nt), Chalet (1 nt)
The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our usual accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances.
Throughout the trip we request that our hotels prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination.
If you've purchased pre-trip or post-trip accommodation (if available), you may be required to change rooms from your trip accommodation for these extra nights.
While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. On our camping trips we often cook the region's specialities so you don't miss out. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There's no obligation to do this though.
11 Breakfasts, 1 Lunch, 3 Dinners
Please budget for additional meals and expenses while on your trip. Our suggestion is based on past traveller feedback but you may choose to spend more or less.
Van, Taxi, Boat, Plane, Trishaw
All Intrepid group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Intrepid endeavours to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders.
Your leader will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. At Intrepid we aim to support local guides who have specialised knowledge of the regions we visit. If you were interested in delving deeper into the local culture at a specific site or location then your leader can recommend a local guide service in most of the main destinations of your trip.
King Park Hotel
Jalan Masjid Lama
Joining point description
The King Park Hotel is centrally located close by to shopping, restaurants, entertainment and within walking distance to attractions such as the Gaya Street Sunday market and the night market in Kampung Air. Also nearby is Jesselton Point, the city's jetty, which provides boat access to the islands of the Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park.
Joining point instructions
An arrival transfer from the Kota Kinabulu airport is included. Please advise flight arrival details to you agent at least 14 days prior to departure. If you plan to arrive earlier, this arrival transfer can only be offered in conjunction with pre-tour accommodation booked through Intrepid. If you have pre-booked your transfer you will be met on arrival at the airport. Our local representative will be holding a sign with your name when you exit the airport terminal.
If you cannot locate your transfer representative please take a taxi from the front of the airport and advise your group leader at the group meeting. Taxis are easy to locate at the front of the terminal where you can purchase your voucher from the pre-paid booth for approx. 45MYR for the 15min drive to the city centre.
We don't expect any problems (and nor should you) but if for any reason you are unable to commence your group trip as scheduled, please contact your starting point hotel, requesting that you speak to or leave a message for your group leader.
If you have pre-booked an airport transfer (where available) and have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the starting point hotel, following the Joining Instructions in these Trip Notes. Should this occur, please apply to your travel agent for a refund of the transfer cost on your return.
No refund is available on missed transfers or portions of your trip owing to a different flight arrival or delayed flight arrival. Any additional cost incurred in order to meet up with your group is at your own expense.
Finish point description
A restored historical building located in the heart of Georgetown Penang, within walking distance of major heritage sites and surrounded by a great selection of restaurants that Penang is famous for. Rooms are equipped with en-suite bathroom, wifi, AC, ceiling fan, tea/coffee making facilities & mini bar.
Finish point instructions
Normal check out time is 12 noon. If you are departing later, you can arrange luggage storage at the hotel.
A departure transfer is available - enquire at time of booking.
A taxi costs approx. 30MYR (approx. 10USD) and takes approx 1hour
Please also make sure you have access to an additional US$400, to be used when unforeseen incidents or circumstances outside our control (eg. a natural disaster, civil unrest or an outbreak of bird flu) necessitate a change to our planned route.
Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. The visa requirements for your trip vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. As a general rule most countries expect that you will have at least 6 months' validity on your passport. On arrival visitors may be asked to present return tickets and evidence of means to cover your intended stay.
We keep the following information up to date as much as possible, but rules do change - it's important that you check for yourself. Residents from other countries must consult the relevant embassies or your travel agent.
Australia: No - not required
Belgium: No - not required
Canada: No - not required
Germany No - not required
Ireland: No - not required
Netherlands: No - not required
New Zealand: No - not required
South Africa: No - not required
Switzerland: No - not required
United Kingdom: No - not required
USA: No - not required
The above nationalities do not need visas to visit Malaysia as a tourist for up to three months. Other nationalities should check with their Malaysian embassy or consulate.
Issues on your trip
While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.
We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager.
You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. But we do ask you to be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is complete.
What to take
What you need to bring will vary according to the trip style you have chosen, the countries you are visiting and when you are travelling. Generally speaking you should pack as lightly as possible. On the vast majority of our trips you are expected to carry your own luggage and although you won't be required to walk long distances with your luggage (max 30 minutes), we recommend keeping the weight under 10kg / 22lb.
Most travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. Smaller bags or backpacks with wheels are convenient although we recommend your bag has carry straps. You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water and a camera etc for day trips.
You can find Intrepid's Ultimate Packing List on our website. It should be used as a guide only and isn't intended to be a complete packing list.
Consider bringing your own water bottle to refill along the way. The sale of bottled water contributes to an enormous environmental problem around the world. In addition to the water in bottles, the production of a 1 litre plastic bottle takes 2 litres of water and 200ml of oil. A large proportion ends up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments. Although it can be difficult to avoid bottled water when travelling, please consider water purification techniques such as iodine or micropur and use the water dispensers which are provided at some of our accommodation. When unable to avoid bottled water it is better to buy the largest available and distribute into your smaller bottle for the day
All Intrepid travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, Intrepid reserves the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund.
You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations and anti-malarial requirements before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements (including a spare pair of glasses) as they may not easily be obtained at the locations on this trip. For legal reasons our leaders and guides are prohibited from administering any type of drugs including headache tablets and antibiotics. Please ensure that you are adequately prepared.
Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trip.
We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, air tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.
Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your group leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your Intrepid itinerary, and Intrepid makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your group leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns.
For more details on the type of conditions and safety standards you can expect on your trip, please refer to Intrepid's operational safety policy on our website. We recommend that you take a moment to read through this information before travelling, and would appreciate any feedback on how well it's being implemented in the field:
Please be aware that local laws governing tourism facilities in this region differ from those in your home country and not all the accommodation which we use has a fire exit, fire extinguishers or smoke alarms.
Some hotel balconies don't meet UK standards in terms of the width of the balcony fence being narrower than 10cm.
TRAFFIC AND DRIVING ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROAD:
Depending on where you come from please note that drivers in this part of the world may drive on the opposite side of the road from what you are used to. Look both ways before crossing any road. Traffic can be a little more chaotic than you might be used to at home. Be aware!
Please be aware that local laws governing transportation safety may differ from those in the western world or from your home country and not all the transport which we use provides seat belts.
PETTY THEFT AND PERSONAL SAFETY:
While travelling there is always the risk of pick-pocketing and petty theft, particularly in the more touristy cities. We recommend that you exercise caution when walking alone at night and encourage you to walk together and only on main, well-lit thoroughfares. Be particularly vigilant on public transport. Simple measures like carrying your day pack on your front, not hanging your bag over the back of your chair and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing.
While life jackets are generally available on water craft, there may be occasions where they are not provided and child size life jackets are not always readily available. If travelling with children and this safety issue concerns you we will be able to advise alternative methods of transport (where available) for you to travel to the next destination. You can choose to travel independently for this leg of the journey. This would be at your own expense.
Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.
When travelling on a group trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24 hour emergency contact number has been seen by your leader.
If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country.
Please go to our website for links to various travel insurance providers:
We believe strongly in low impact or rather positive impact tourism. Broadly speaking this means that we try to minimise the negative aspects of tourism on the local cultures and environments that we visit and highlight the positive aspects. Please visit our website for further details and suggestions on how you can be a responsible traveller:
When packing be aware that dress standards are conservative throughout Asia, especially outside major cities. To respect this and for your own comfort, we strongly recommend modest clothing. This means clothing that covers your shoulders and knees. Loose, lightweight, long clothing is both respectful and cool in the predominantly hot Asian climate. In many rural areas in Asia women will need to wear modest clothing even to swim. Singlets, tank tops and topless sun bathing are all unacceptable. When visiting religious sites men often need to wear long trousers and women a long skirt or sarong.
A couple of rules
Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land, but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for Intrepid travellers. Intrepid's philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter and in particular, the local people who make our destinations such special places. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our group leader has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.
The Intrepid Foundation
Since Intrepid Travel commenced operating in 1989 we've been committed to giving something back to the communities we visit. One way has been through our support for local humanitarian, development and conservation projects. Many of our travellers want to contribute something too. Whilst it is often tempting to give hand-outs to those less fortunate, this has the potential to promote a culture of begging and dependency. Handouts are not a sustainable way for individuals or communities to live. That’s why we established The Intrepid Foundation – to make it easier for travellers wishing to give back to communities in an effective and meaningful way.
The Intrepid Foundation is a not-for-profit fund offering a selection of excellent grassroots organisations which you can contribute to. All donations to The Intrepid Foundation will be matched by Intrepid Travel dollar for dollar (up to AU$5,000 per donor and a total of AU$400,000 for all donors in each financial year). And every cent gets there as Intrepid Travel pays for all the administration costs. Donating is simple and secure. Please ask your group leader for information on the projects we support through The Intrepid Foundation or go to our website:
Carbon Offset C02-e 479.00 kgs per pax.
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