Classic Malaysia & Borneo Trip Notes

Tour through Malaysia and Borneo and experience the best of these two incredible countries. Immerse in the unique cultures – discover the food, soak up the sun and explore the sights.

    • 19
    • TMKMC
    • Total price tool tip
      USD $4,840
      CAD $4,990
      AUD $4,895
      EUR €3,370
      GBP £2,830
      NZD $5,450
      ZAR R48,995
      CHF FR4,075
      *
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    • Comfort
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There is an earlier version of this trip also available for travel from Jan 1, 2014 to Dec 31, 2014. View earlier Classic Malaysia & Borneo.
Print Version
Last Modified: 06 Nov 2014
Classic Malaysia & Borneo
Trip code: TMKMC
Validity: 01 Jan 2015 to 31 Dec 2015
See what makes Malaysia and Borneo so unique with this classic tour through their beautiful surrounds. Starting in Singapore, journey from bustling cities to remote jungle to idyllic beaches. Get up close with tropical fish, orangutans, proboscis monkeys and maybe even a crocodile or two. Enjoy the old-world charms of Singapore, Melaka and Kuala Lumpur – and don’t forget to fit in a spot of shopping. Visit sites of World War II devastation and pay your respects. Kick back on beautiful beaches and enjoy the view, or strap on a snorkel and tour the incredible underwater world. Sample incredible cuisine and learn how to recreate it for yourself.
This trip is run by our experienced sister company Peregrine Adventures. Your group is therefore likely to be a mixture of Intrepid passengers and other like-minded international travellers.
Table of Contents
StyleImportant notesIssues on your trip
MapGroup sizeWhat to take
ItinerarySingle travellersHealth
Also available to purchaseAccommodationSafety
We also recommendMealsTravel insurance
Itinerary disclaimerTransportResponsible Travel
Culture shock rating Joining point A couple of rules
Physical ratingArrival complicationsThe Intrepid Foundation
Money ExchangeFinish point Responsible Travel projects
Spending moneyEmergency contactFeedback
TippingEmergency funds
Departure taxVisas
Style
Comfort
  • 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!
Map
Classic Malaysia & Borneo
Itinerary
Day 1 Singapore
Welcome to Singapore!
With flourishing retail hot spots, a booming, cross-cultural culinary scene and one of the world's best airports, it's not hard to see why Singapore acts as a launching (and finishing) point for many of our Asian odysseys. From the traditions and heritage of Chinatown to the aromatic delights of Little India and the modernity of glitzy hotels, a few days in sizzling Singapore is the perfect bookend to any Intrepid adventure.
Singapore has few areas untouched by modernisation, but wandering the streets of Little India and Chinatown is a great way to see the old parts of the city. To explore further, check out the renowned shopping precinct of Orchard Road, or stop by Raffles to experience the old world charm of a Singapore Sling. An evening in Singapore is not complete without an evening stroll along Clarke Quay or take a river cruise to learn more about the fascinating history of this city.
An airport arrival transfer is included. This transfer is only valid if arriving on day 1 or if you have booked pre-trip accommodation through Intrepid. Please provide your flight details at the time of booking, or at a minimum 15 days prior to travel (note - we may not be able confirm request made within 15 days of travel). Once you have provided your details a transfer representative will be booked to meet you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel.
Accommodation
V Hotel Lavender or similar (1 nt)
Day 2 Melaka
A public bus journey (approx. 5.5 hrs) takes us to the World Heritage-listed port town of Melaka.
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 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, Chinese Buddhist Temples and a traditional Muslim house-museum.
Included Activities
  • Melaka - Trishaw Tour
  • Baba Nonya Heritage Museum
Optional Activities
  • Melaka - Riverboat Trip - MYR15
  • Sultanates Palace - MYR2
  • Melaka - Eye on Malaysia - MYR20
  • Melaka - Menara Taming Sari (revolving tower) - MYR20
Accommodation
Hatten Hotel or similar (1 nt)
Days 3-4 Kuala Lumpur
Transfer from Melaka to Kuala Lumpur by minivan (approx. 2 hours).
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.
Take a half-day tour and experience the fascinating cultural mix that gives it such a uniquely cosmopolitan feel. Visit some of the city's most impressive architecture such as the National Monument, National Mosque, Istana Negara (National Palace), Batu Caves and Royal Selangor Pewter.
Enjoy an included dinner at the Old China Cafe in KL.
Included Activities
  • Kuala Lumpur - KL Tower
  • Kuala Lumpur - City tour
Optional Activities
  • Orang Asli Museum - MYR10
  • Islamic Arts Museum - MYR12
  • Culture show and dinner - MYR95
Accommodation
Ancasa Hotel & Spa or similar (2 nts)
Days 5-6 Penang
Private minivan transfer from Kuala Lumpur to 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.
A tour of Penang takes in Fort Cornwallis, the site of the original British settlement. You also take a drive to Kek Lok Si, the largest Buddhist temple in South East Asia.
Discover the flavours of Malay cuisine with a cooking class in Penang.
Included Activities
  • Kuala Kangsar - Royal Town Tour
  • Penang - Malaysian Cooking Class
  • Penang - Fort Cornwallis
Optional Activities
  • Chong Fat Tze Museum - MYR12
  • Khoo Kongsi - MYR10
  • Teluk Bahang National Park - MYR9
  • Tastes & Traditions of Penang Urban Adventure - USD52
Accommodation
Banana Boutique Hotel or similar (2 nts)
Days 7-9 Pulau Langkawi
Fly from Penang to the island of Langkawi. This flight is included in your trip price.
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.
Enjoy a delicious seafood barbecue dinner.
Included Activities
  • Penang - Half Day Sightseeing
  • Langkawi - Cable Car
  • Langkawi - Island Tour
Accommodation
Holiday Villa Langkawi or similar (3 nts)
Day 10 Kota Kinabalu
Fly from Langkawi to Kota Kinabalu. This flight is included in your trip price.
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.
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.
Optional Activities
  • Kota Kinabalu - Sabah Museum - MYR15
  • Kota Kinabalu - Monosopiad Cultural Village - MYR155
Accommodation
Horizon Hotel or similar (1 nt)
Day 11 Mt Kinabalu
Leaving Kota Kinabalu behind, head for the beautiful Kinabalu National Park in private mini van (approx 3 hours).
Mt Kinabalu (located within Kinabalu National Park) at 4,095.2 metres, is the highest mountain on the island of Borneo. Mount Kinabalu is one of the youngest non-volcanic mountains in the world. It was formed within the last 10 to 35 million years. The mountain still grows at a rate of 5 millimetres a year. Kinabalu National Park covers an area of 754 square kilometers and was Malaysia's first UNESCO World Heritage Site. The mountain and its surroundings are among the most important biological sites in the world, with over 800 species of orchid, 600 species of ferns, 326 species of birds, and is the richest place in the world for the Nepenthes insectivorous pitcher plants (five of the thirteen are found nowhere else on earth).
Here we will stretch our legs and take in the mountain views on one of the numerous walking trails - keeping an eye out for birds, snakes and the odd little leech.
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.
Tonight we stay amongst the grounds of a tea garden.
Included Activities
  • Kundasang - War Memorial
  • Mt Kinabalu - Guided walk around lower trails
  • Mt Kinabalu National Park
  • Poring Hot Springs - Canopy Walk
  • Poring Hot Springs
Accommodation
Sabah Tea Garden Cottage or similar (1 nt)
Days 12-13 Kinabatangan River
Rising early, we catch a glimpse of the sunrise while taking a morning walk through the tea plantation.
Then it is time for a tour of the tea factory itself, concluding in some tea sampling.
We then head to Kinabatangan River in private mini van (approx 5 hours)
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.
On the following day you may be woken up by the calling of the Borneo Gibbon or Hornbill or both, breaking the silence around the resort. We head out on an early morning cruise down the Kinabatangan River. Search for more wildlife and birds today including Proboscis Monkey, Borneo Gibbon, Long Tail Macaques and Pig Tail Macaques.
In the afternoon there is an option to take a walk to Ox Bow lakes. The Oxbow lakes are an unusual and unique landscape feature of the Kinabatangan. It is a crescent-shaped lake which is lying alongside a winding river. These lakes are formed through erosion and deposits of soil changing the river’s course over time.
In the evening we get our last chance to take as many photos as we can on a final river cruise. We spend one more night in our lovely accommodation right in the heart of the jungle.
Included Activities
  • Tea Garden - Sunrise Morning Walk
  • Tea Factory Tour
  • Tea Sampling
  • Kinabatangan - River cruise & wildlife spotting on Kinabatangan River
Accommodation
Myne Resort or similar (2 nts)
Days 14-15 Sandakan
In our private minivan we stop to visit 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.
We then travel towards Sandakan approximately 2.5 hours stopping at Sandakan War memorial along the way.
Get some insight into the city's past at the emotive War Memorial, built on the site of a Japanese POW camp. This site also marks the starting point of the tragic Sandakan Death Marches, on which 2,400 POWs were forced to walk through the jungles of Borneo. By the end of the march, only 6 Australians survived, and only because they had escaped.
Sandakan was once the capital of British North Borneo and traditionally has strong trading ties with Hong Kong. The Cantonese influence is evident in the lively harbourside market, the many Chinese temples and the local cuisine.
Hop in our private transfer for a quick ride to the Sepliok Orangutan Sanctuary.
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 newly opened Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Center. This is a wonderful new center taking care of rescued Sun Bears that have spent many years mistreated and locked away in cages. Borneo Sun Bear Conservation center is giving a better life to these bears by caring for them with the hope of reintroducing them back into the wild. They are doing great work at promoting Sun Bear conservation in Borneo through animal welfare, conservation, rehabilitation, research and education - to put a stop to these cruel practices. There is plenty of time for an optional visit to see these very cute bears!
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.
Included Activities
  • Sandakan - War Memorial
  • Sukau - Gomantong Caves
  • Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary
  • Sepilok - Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre
Optional Activities
  • Sepilok - Rainforest Discovery Centre - MYR15
  • Bornean Sun Bear Centre - MYR30
Accommodation
Sandakan Waterfront Hotel or similar (2 nts)
Days 16-17 Manukan Island
Transfer to Sandakan airport and fly to Kota Kinabalu. The maximum luggage allowance for this flight is 15kg maximum, Intrepid won't cover the cost of luggage that exceeds this weight.
Located just off the coast of Kota Kinabalu, (20mins by boat) Manukan Island is one of the larger islands located within the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine National Park. We spend two days here, with the first day free for activities. Take the chance to walk along the 1.5km beach at low tide, go swimming, or simply kick back and relax.
Today we explore the island and take a snorkelling trip - be sure to look out for tropical fish and colourful coral.
We stay here for one more night before heading back to Kota Kinabalu.
Please note that we use twin share accommodation at Manukan: some chalets have 1 twin share room with ensuite bathroom whilst others have 2 bedroom chalets with a lounge room - these chalets have 1 bedroom with an ensuite bathroom and the other bedroom’s bathroom is located off the lounge room.
Included Activities
  • Tunku Abdul National Marine Park - Snorkeling Trip
Accommodation
Manukan Island Resort or similar (4 nts)
Days 18-19 Kota Kinabalu
Say goodbye to our island getaway as we head back to our hotel in Kota Kinabalu via boat and mini van. (approx 40 mins)
There is the chance to take an optional visit to Mari Mari Cultural Village to see how indigenous ethnic groups of Borneo used to live. It's a great chance to see what the culture and lifestyle would have been like years gone by seeing first hand how the tribes would cook their meals, starting fire with bamboo and using a blow pipe to hunt. It's a fun, interactive and educational experience.
There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time.
Optional Activities
  • Mari Mari Cultural Village - MYR155
Accommodation
Horizon Hotel or similar (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 2015 (TMKMC)
We also recommend
If this trip is not quite right for you, cast your eye over these alternatives:
  • Classic Borneo (TMKB)
  • Mt Kinabalu Climb (TMAK-O)
  • Classic Malaysia (TMKP)
  • Sabah Adventure (TMSC)
Itinerary disclaimer
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.
Culture shock rating

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.
Physical rating

Some easy physical activities included in your trip. No physical preparation is required to make the most of the journey.
Money Exchange
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.
Spending money
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.
Tipping
On this trip, we have included gratuities for the essential services that you will receive as part of your tour package. This will cover tips to drivers, specialist local guides (where applicable), restaurant staff for included meals, porters, bellboys and other hotel staff, including room-cleaning staff.
This amount DOES NOT include a tip for your tour leader, so you may wish to set aside some funds for this. It is customary to tip your tour leader for outstanding service throughout your trip.
You also wish to put aside some money for your own tipping, such as when you are doing our own optional sightseeing or activity that involves local guides and/or drivers or when joining in optional groups meals or dining out on your own. In these instances, we advise you to carry small notes of local currency each day to make tipping easier. The amounts can vary greatly according to destination, so we suggest that you ask your tour leader to give you guidance on what are appropriate amounts to tip.
Your Tour Leader: You may also consider tipping your tour leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline US$2-US$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.
Departure tax
All departure taxes should be included in your international flight ticket.
Important notes
This trip is run by our experienced sister company Peregrine Adventures. Your group is therefore likely to be a mixture of Intrepid passengers and other like-minded international travellers.
Please note for 2015 the flight from Langkawi to Kota Kinabalu is included.
GOVERNMENT TRAVEL WARNINGS FOR EASTERN SABAH
Please note for various nationalities in particular Australian, UK, Irish, New Zealand and United States, different increased Government travel warnings are currently in place for Eastern Sabah. We ask all of our travellers to familiarise themselves with their own Government Travel Advisories and to check that these Government warnings do not affect the level of coverage that is offered to them by their Travel Insurance provider. Travel insurance is compulsory on all of our tours and your insurance must cover you for all activities and areas visited as part of this tour. Please contact your Travel Insurance provider to ensure you have adequate cover for travel to Eastern Sabah.
We ask all of our travellers to monitor their own Government travel advisories, some of these are listed below,
Australian Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade
http://www.smartraveller.gov.au/zw-cgi/view/Advice/
UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office
https://www.gov.uk/browse/abroad
Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade
http://travel.gc.ca/travelling/advisories
US Department of State
http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/country.html
New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade
https://www.safetravel.govt.nz/
Ireland Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade
https://www.dfa.ie/travel/travel-advice/
The safety of our passengers, leaders and operators is a major priority of Intrepid. With this in mind we monitor world events very closely. Intrepid makes operational decisions based on informed advice from a number of sources including The level of the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade (DFAT) travel advisory. For any Intrepid Travel operated trip if this advisory is at Level 4 'Do Not Travel' then Intrepid will either cancel a trip or reroute the itinerary to avoid the areas concerned. We however also acknowledge that many of our travellers come from many different countries whose own Government travel warnings may differ to the Australian Government. We ask you to familiarise yourself with your relevant Government travel advisories at time of booking and continue to monitor these advisories prior to your trip.
MANUKAN ISLAND
Due to limited number of rooms at Manukan Island Resort, we use two different chalet types to accommodate our groups: single story villas and double storey villas. The double storey villas have one twin-bedded room with an ensuite bathroom and a lounge room (these chalets are used to accommodation either 2 single travellers or a couple). The single storey villas are a 2 bedroom chalet with a shared lounge room – one of the bedrooms has an ensuite bathroom and the second bedroom does not have an ensuite but instead can make use of a bathroom located off the shared lounge room (these chalets are used to accommodate either a couple plus 2 single travellers or 2 couples). The tour leader may also be sharing one of the villas with group members (in his/her own room).
With any shared accommodation facilities which do not have individual locks on room doors such as this, we highly recommend that clients use the safety deposit boxes provided at reception to ensure the safety of their valuables. Room types will be allocated as fairly as possible.
RAMADAN:
The month-long Ramadan Festival will be in progress from the 17th June 2015. 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 2015,the Year of the Sheep is scheduled to be held from 19 February. 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.
JELLYFISH AND ROUGH SEAS:
There may be jellyfish in the waters surrounding the resort between October to December. The sea may be rough from December to February due to monsoon winds. The beach might retract during king tide and you may find seaweed on the beach, however resort staff engage in daily beach clean ups.
Group size
Maximum of 16 travellers per group.
Single travellers
A single supplement is available on this trip. Please note it does not include the following nights:
Days 16 &17 Manukan Island
Please note at the Myne resort that we stay at Kinabatangan River we use Chalet rooms and Longhouse rooms. When the single room is unavailable in the Chalet you will be accommodated in a single room in the longhouse. There is no river view in the longhouse rooms. All room facilities are the same.
Accommodation
Manukan Island Resort or similar (4 nts), Holiday Villa Langkawi or similar (3 nts), Ancasa Hotel & Spa or similar (2 nts), Banana Boutique Hotel or similar (2 nts), Horizon Hotel or similar (2 nts), Sandakan Waterfront Hotel or similar (2 nts), Myne Resort or similar (2 nts), V Hotel Lavender or similar (1 nt), Hatten Hotel or similar (1 nt), Sabah Tea Garden Cottage or similar (1 nt)
Meals
18 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 4 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.
Transport
Minibus, Trishaw, Taxi, Public bus, Van, Plane, Boat
Joining point
V Hotel Lavender
70 Jellicoe Rd Singapore
Singapore
208767
SINGAPORE
Phone: +65 63452233
Arrival complications
We don't expect any problems (and nor should you) but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, please refer to the Joining Instructions section above for who to contact.
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, again 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
Horizon Hotel
JalanPantai Locked Bag 2084
Kota Kinabalu
Sabah
88999
MALAYSIA
Phone: +60 88518000
Emergency contact
In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency, Intrepid's Thailand Office can be reached on Tel: +66 898 103 722 (Thailand, Laos, Malaysia, Borneo, Indonesia, Burma & Phillipines) and Tel: +855 92 555 969 (Cambodia). For all other enquiries please contact our Reservations department which is open 24 hours, 6 days per week (excluding Sunday). For further contact details please refer to:
Emergency funds
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
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.
MALAYSIA:
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).
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.
Health
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.
DENGUE FEVER:
Rare instances of dengue fever have been reported in this region. This virus is transmitted by mosquitoes. There is no vaccination against it, but there are preventative measures that you can take such as wearing long clothing, using repellent and being indoors particularly around dusk and dawn.
Safety
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:
SNORKELLING:
Your leader will conduct a brief safety discussion before our snorkelling activities.
MOTORBIKE BAG SNATCHING:
Be particularly aware of motorbike bag snatching, especially in Kuching.
Travel insurance
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:
Responsible Travel
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:
LOCAL DRESS:
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 by wearing sleeves and long trousers. Loose, lightweight, long clothing is both respectful and cool in areas of predominantly hot climate. In many rural areas 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:
Responsible Travel projects
Organisations and projects currently supported by The Intrepid Foundation in Malaysia-Borneo include:
* HUTAN - Kinabatangan Orangutan Conservation Program - studying the lives of orangutans and developing innovative solutions to preserve them. Support through The Intrepid Foundation will help HUTAN support the team of 12 research assistants and help ensure the future of these magnificent apes on our planet.
Feedback
After your travels, we want to hear from you! We rely on your feedback. We read it carefully. Feedback helps us understand what we are doing well and what we could be doing better. It allows us to make improvements for future travellers.
Remember that once you’ve left your feedback you’ll automatically be entered into our monthly draw for a US$500 (or equivalent in your local currency) travel voucher.