Wild Sarawak Trip Notes

Hop aboard an adventure tour through the wilds of Borneo's Sarawak region. Crawl through the Mulu caves, hike in Bako National Park and conquer the Headhunters' Trail.

    • 10
    • TMSW
    • Total price tool tip
      USD $2,010
      CAD $2,075
      AUD $2,035
      EUR €1,375
      GBP £1,180
      NZD $2,265
      ZAR R20,370
      CHF FR1,660
      *
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    • Explorer, Wildlife
    • Original
Book
Print Version
Last Modified: 21 Nov 2014
Wild Sarawak
Trip code: TMSW
Validity: 01 Jan 2015 to 31 Dec 2015
Wild, tropical and remote, think of Borneo as South-East Asia's answer to the Amazon. See orangutans swinging through the rainforest treetops in Semenggoh, weave through the vast Mulu cave systems and spend a night in a traditional Iban longhouse. Follow the Headhunters' Trail in Sarawak, wander along Kuching's riverside promenade and relax on golden-sand beaches in Kota Kinabalu.

Table of Contents
StyleImportant notesAlternate Finish point
ThemesGroup sizeEmergency contact
MapYour fellow travellersEmergency funds
ItinerarySingle travellersVisas
Also available to purchaseAccommodationIssues on your trip
We also recommendMeals introductionWhat to take
Itinerary disclaimerMealsHealth
Culture shock rating TransportSafety
Physical ratingGroup leaderTravel insurance
Included activitiesJoining point Responsible Travel
Optional activitiesAlternate Joining point A couple of rules
Money ExchangeAlternate Joining point descriptionThe Intrepid Foundation
Spending moneyArrival complicationsResponsible Travel projects
TippingFinish point Carbon offset
Departure taxFinish point descriptionFeedback
Style
Original
  • Original trips are classic Intrepid adventures. With a mix of included activities and free time, they offer plenty of opportunities to explore at your own pace and take part in activities that really get beneath the skin of a destination. While the occasional meal may be included, you'll have the freedom to seek out your own culinary adventures. Accommodation is generally budget or tourist class (2-3 star), but you're as likely to find yourself as a guest of a local family as staying in a hotel or camping. Transport will vary as well. Depending on the destination and the itinerary you could find yourself travelling on anything from a camel to a train or a private safari vehicle. It's all part of the adventure! Original travellers have a desire to make the most of their travel time and really get to know a place, its people and cultures.
Themes
Wildlife, Explorer
Map

Itinerary
Day 1 Kuching
Selamat datang! Welcome to Malaysia.
Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6pm on Day 1.
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.
Kuching, meaning 'cat' in Malay, is arguably the most pleasant city in Malaysian Borneo. It was home to the infamous White Raja of Sarawak whose mysterious rule in this remote corner of the world sparked the imagination of many people who dreamt of becoming royalty. Rich in architecture, the waterfront houses a wealth of curio shops and local vegetable, spice and fish markets.
Optional Activities
  • Kuching - Sarawak Cultural Village - MYR60
Accommodation
Limetree Hotel or similiar (1 nt)
Day 2 Bako National Park
Transfer via minivan to the fishing village of Kampung Bako (approx 1 hr).
Take a local boat up the coast to Bako National Park. (approx 20 mins)
Bako is the oldest national park in Sarawak and features rainforest, abundant wildlife, jungle streams, waterfalls, interesting plant life, secluded beaches and trekking trails. Millions of years of erosion have created a coastline of steep cliffs, rocky headlands and stretches of white, sandy bays. Wave erosion at the base of the cliffs has carved many of the rocky headlands into fantastically shaped sea arches and sea-stacks with coloured patterns formed by iron deposits.
There are many jungle trails to traverse in Bako, each offering an insight into the island's botanical diversity. Weather permitting, your leader will take you on walk to the beautiful beach at Telok Pandan Kecil (5 km, approx 3 hrs return). For those looking for a longer (or shorter) hike you are free to explore as many of the 18 different trails as you like. Whatever you plan, check with the ranger for the best time to spy the proboscis monkeys coming to feed from the beach mangroves. Wild pigs also grace this abundant island.
In the evening we will take a night walk, a rare chance to experience the jungle in a different light.
Included Activities
  • Bako National Park
  • Bako NP - Night Walk
Accommodation
Bako National Park (1 nt)
Day 3 Kuching
Return to Bako Village by boat (it may be necessary to depart the park earlier or later subject to weather conditions).
Travel in a private minivan to Kuching via the Semenggoh Orangutan Sanctuary.
Explore the Semenggoh Orangutan Sanctuary, a government-funded rehabilitation centre set in lush surrounds. Head into the jungle via a walkway to watch the orangutan feed - a truly remarkable sight.
Return to the hotel where you can freshen up from the heat and head out to one of the many Chinese-influenced hawker markets for dinner and experience the range of local seafood.
Included Activities
  • Semengohh Orangutan Sanctuary
Accommodation
Limetree Hotel or similiar (1 nt)
Day 4 Iban Longhouse
Today we take a flight to Miri where we will be sending our large bags to Limbang and packing a day bag for the next 4 nights.
You will need to carry your own backpack out to the longhouse and along the headhunters trail in Mulu. Your leader can arrange a porter for your small bag for an extra charge.
We drive 1-2 hours to Niah National park. Niah NP is where the oldest human remains in South East Asia have been unearthed dating back 40,000 years. There is a small museum that we can visit before starting the 3.5 KM walk through the rainforest to an Iban longhouse.
Meet the local community and participate in a traditional Iban welcome before we're billeted out into different homes in the longhouse. This is a very traditional and authentic experience and the sleeping and bathing arrangements are very basic.
In the afternoon there is the chance to visit Niah caves a 2km walk from our longhouse where you can still see some ancient cave drawings and wonder through these vast bat filled caves.
Included Activities
  • Niah National Park
  • Cultural Show
Accommodation
Longhouse Homestay (1 nt)
Days 5-7 Mulu National Park
Today we say goodbye to our hosts and make the short walk back to Niah National park head Quarters (3.5KM) and travel back to Miri airport to make the short flight to Mulu. The maximum luggage allowance for the flight is 15kg, and Intrepid won't cover the cost of luggage that exceeds this weight.
Head into the heart of one of the most spectacular national parks in Asia - Gunung Mulu National Park. Spend the afternoon strolling the walkways and catching the sunset flight of the bats at Deer Cave. This spectacular cave is home to millions of bats and at dusk they emerge for their nightly feeding, looking like a black plume of smoke moving across the sky.
Stay in the park headquarters which has its own restaurant and information centre. Accommodation is multishare rooms with private bathrooms.
Set out to explore the amazing Wind and Clearwater Caves, which contain Asia's longest underground river.
Take a longboat downriver before disembarking to hike through the jungle to Camp 5 (approx 8.5 km). During dry season we may need to push the boats over sections of the river so it is advisable to wear shoes that can get wet or strap on sandals.
At Camp 5 you will sleep on mats on raised open air platforms in a mixed gender dormitory with shared bathroom facilities and cold water showers. Bedding is not provided so bring your own sleeping sheet and a warm layer for cool nights. Mosquito nets are available to rent for a small charge.
Included Activities
  • Mulu NP - Guided walk through Deer and Lang Caves
  • Mulu NP - Guided walk through Wind and Clearwater Caves
Accommodation
Mulu National Park Headquaters (2 nts), Camp 5 Mulu National Park (1 nt)
Day 8 Headhunters' Trail/Limbang
Take a longboat to Medamit (approx 4 hrs).
Transfer by minivan to the town of Limbang (approx 1 hr).
Set off to tackle the infamous Headhunters' trail. Located in an isolated area of the Borneo jungles this 11.3 km trail (approx 5 hrs) takes its name from its historical role as the route taken by warring parties between the Tutoh and Limbang rivers. The trek is through dense jungle along a well-defined, mainly flat track, although the way can be muddy during the rainy season. You'll also have to cross some streams by bridges, logs or getting your feet wet wading through. We take a boat from Kuala Trekian to Kuala Medamit a journey of approx. 3 hours. Depending on how much rainfall there has been you may be required to help push the boat over shallow parts of the river. We will stop at a ranger station for lunch along the way. Today is a long, challenging but rewarding day. We will be reunited with our large bags in Limbang
Included Activities
  • Mulu NP - Guided trek along Headhunters' Trails
  • Mulu NP - Longboat ride along the Melinau & Terikan Rivers
Accommodation
Purnama Hotel or similiar (1 nt)
Days 9-10 Kota Kinabalu
Travel by ferry first to Labuan (approx. 2 hours) where we have time to get a quick lunch and perhaps pick up some duty free before taking another Ferry to Kota Kinabalu (approx 3 hrs) - to our city hotel located in the heart of Kota Kinabalu.
Sabah's historic capital, Kota Kinabalu has interesting museums to explore and the surrounding beaches and islands are perfect for swimming or snorkelling.
There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time.
Accommodation
Dreamtel 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.
  • Wild Sarawak - Single Supplement (TMSW)
We also recommend
A great addition to this trip would be to add on our new trip called "Philippines Island Getaway" trip code TOSH. This is an exciting Island adventure that starts and finishes in Puerto Princesa, Philippines only a short flight from Kota Kinabalu.
Be mesmerised by the magic of the Philippines on this eight-day tour from Puerto Princesa. Explore one of the greenest cities in the country, lunch with locals near Sabang, stroll white-sand beaches and island hop around El Nido. This is a beach getaway abounding with natural beauty, stunning landscapes and beautiful, vibrant culture and is the perfect add on to your Sabah Adventure trip.
Or if you are looking for something completely different try these options below:
  • Sabah Adventure (TMSC)
  • Best of Borneo (TMSXC)
  • Philippines Island Getaway (TOSH)
  • Manukan Island Getaway (one bedroom chalet) (TMAM1-C)
  • Mt Kinabalu Climb (TMAK-O)
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

The comforts of home are more of a rarity. English isn't common and the food will be quite different to home. It's important to observe some of the local customs to not cause offence. Many of the locals’ standard of living may be confronting.
Physical rating

Be prepared for some serious physical activity. The majority of activities included on this trip will be challenging. The fitter you are, the more you'll enjoy your holiday.
Included activities
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.
Optional activities
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 approximate and are for entrance only and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability and it may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination.
Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. This means that it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, however we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with booking these activities. The decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.
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
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 tour leader. We suggest US$2-US$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-US$2 per day for drivers.
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.
In total, we recommend you budget approx US$5-US$10 per day of your trip to cover tipping.
At your group meeting on Day 1, your tour leader 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.
Departure tax
All departure taxes should be included in your international flight ticket.
Important notes
PASSPORT DETAILS
Please provide passport details at the time of booking. If we have not received these details at least a month before the departure date of your tour, there is a risk the internal flight cannot be booked.
BACKPACK REQUIRED
Please note due to space and weight limitations on transport we will be leaving our main piece of luggage in Miri. You will need to bring a small to medium backpack (30-35 litres/8-9 gallons) which will be your main pack for Mulu National Park (including trek to Camp 5) and the Headhunters trail. In this you will need to carry a change of clothes, torch/flashlight, toiletries, warm clothes and any other essentials.
INTERNAL FLIGHT - LUGGAGE ALLOWANCE
The maximum luggage allowance for the internal flight is 15kg maximum, Intrepid won't cover the cost of luggage that exceeds this weight.
RAMADAN:
The month-long Ramadan Festival will be in progress from the 28th of June 2014. 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 2014, the Year of the Horse is scheduled to be held from 29 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.
TWIN SHARE / MULTI SHARE BASIS
Accommodation on this trip is on a twin/multishare basis. Please note some of the multishare/dormitory accommodation can be mixed gender.
LOCAL DRESS
Malaysia is a liberal Muslim country, and many Malaysian women do not wear headscarves. However, Malaysia is very conservative when compared with standards you may be accustomed to at home, and you should dress accordingly. As a general guideline, shoulders, cleavage and knees should be covered when travelling in Borneo except when on the beach. Wearing skimpy clothing is considered disrespectful to local culture at many of the small local communities we visit.
MOTORBIKE BAG SNATCHING:
Be particularly aware of motorbike bag snatching, especially in Kuching.
Group size
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: www.intrepidtravel.com/meetup
Single travellers
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 accommodation (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 on this trip, please ask your booking agent for more information. Please note that on the following nights the supplement is not available:
Day 2 Bako National Park
Day 4 Homestay
Day 5-7 Mulu National Park
Accommodation
Mulu National Park Headquaters (2 nts), Limetree Hotel or similiar (2 nts), Bako National Park (1 nt), Camp 5 Mulu National Park (1 nt), Purnama Hotel or similiar (1 nt), Longhouse Homestay (1 nt), Dreamtel Hotel or similar (1 nt)
OCCASIONAL ALTERNATIVE ACCOMMODATION
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.
TWIN SHARE / MULTI SHARE BASIS
Accommodation on this trip is on a twin/multishare basis. Please note there may be times where facilities will be shared rather than ensuite and rare occasions when you share a room with passengers travelling on different Intrepid trips than your own.
CHECK-IN TIME
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.
PRE/POST TRIP ACCOMMODATION
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.
Meals introduction
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.
Meals
8 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Budget for meals not included:
USD 250.00
Transport
Plane, Taxi, Longtail boat, Van, 4x4, Ferry
LONG TRAVEL DAYS
There are some long travel days and some of the transport can be quite cramped and without air-conditioning.
Group leader
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.
Joining point
Lime tree Hotel
317 Jalan Abell
Kuching
Sarawak
93100
MALAYSIA
Alternate Joining point
For trips departing on the following dates, use this joining point.
19 Feb 2015 (TMSW150219), 19 Mar 2015 (TMSW150319), 02 Apr 2015 (TMSW150402), 16 Apr 2015 (TMSW150416), 07 May 2015 (TMSW150507), 21 May 2015 (TMSW150521), 04 Jun 2015 (TMSW150604), 18 Jun 2015 (TMSW150618), 02 Jul 2015 (TMSW150702), 16 Jul 2015 (TMSW150716), 30 Jul 2015 (TMSW150730), 13 Aug 2015 (TMSW150813), 27 Aug 2015 (TMSW150827), 10 Sep 2015 (TMSW150910), 24 Sep 2015 (TMSW150924), 08 Oct 2015 (TMSW151008), 22 Oct 2015 (TMSW151022), 05 Nov 2015 (TMSW151105), 19 Nov 2015 (TMSW151119), 17 Dec 2015 (TMSW151217), 24 Dec 2015 (TMSW151224)
The Lime Tree Hotel
317 Jalan Abell
Kuching
Sarawak
93100
MALAYSIA
Phone: 0011 6082414600
Alternate Joining point description
The Lime tree hotel is in a great location right in the city center, close to China town and less than a 10 minute walk to the Riverside waterfront. There is plenty of restaurants, cafes and shopping centers all within walking distance. The hotel offers a cafe, rooftop lounge, 24 hour reception and all rooms have private bathrooms, TV's and Internet access.
Arrival complications
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.
Please also make sure have a copy of the local operator's emergency phone numbers from our Emergency Contact section of these trip notes.
Finish point
Dreamtel Hotel - Kota Kinabalu
5 Jalan Padang
Kota Kinabalu
Sabah
88000
MALAYSIA
Phone: +(60) 88240333
Finish point description
Centrally located in down-town Kota Kinabalu, rooms are equipped with private en suite, TV, AC, phone, in room safe, tea/coffee making facilities, the hotel also provides a restaurant, free wi-fi internet access & 24 hour front desk.
Alternate Finish point
For trips departing on the following dates, use this finish point.
19 Feb 2015 (TMSW150219), 19 Mar 2015 (TMSW150319), 02 Apr 2015 (TMSW150402), 16 Apr 2015 (TMSW150416), 07 May 2015 (TMSW150507), 21 May 2015 (TMSW150521), 04 Jun 2015 (TMSW150604), 18 Jun 2015 (TMSW150618), 02 Jul 2015 (TMSW150702), 16 Jul 2015 (TMSW150716), 30 Jul 2015 (TMSW150730), 13 Aug 2015 (TMSW150813), 27 Aug 2015 (TMSW150827), 10 Sep 2015 (TMSW150910), 24 Sep 2015 (TMSW150924), 08 Oct 2015 (TMSW151008), 22 Oct 2015 (TMSW151022), 05 Nov 2015 (TMSW151105), 19 Nov 2015 (TMSW151119), 17 Dec 2015 (TMSW151217), 24 Dec 2015 (TMSW151224)
Dreamtel Hotel - Kota Kinabalu
5 Jalan Padang
Kota Kinabalu
Sabah
88000
MALAYSIA
Phone: +(60) 88240333
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$500, 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, although you won't be required to walk long distances with it (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.
SMALL/MEDIUM BACKPACK REQUIRED FOR THIS TRIP
Please note due to space and weight limitations on transport we will be leaving our main piece of luggage in Miri. You will need to bring a small to medium backpack (30-35 litres/8-9 gallons) which will be your main pack for Mulu National Park (including trek to Camp 5) and the Headhunters trail. In this you will need to carry a change of clothes, torch/flashlight, toiletries, warm clothes and any other essentials.
We do not allow the use of video cameras when staying in the villages as it can be perceived by the local people as highly obtrusive.
WATER BOTTLE:
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.
SPECIAL RECOMMENDATION
We recommend you bring a sleep sheet, towel, torch and suitable shoes for river crossings on this trip. You may also want to have a waterproof bag for your camera and personal belongings for the trekking and boat rides.
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.
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 and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers. 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:
FIRE PRECAUTIONS:
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.
BALCONIES:
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!
SEAT BELTS:
Please be aware that local laws governing transportation safety may differ from those in your home country and not all the transport which we use is able to provide 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 or on the floor and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing.
MOTORBIKE BAG SNATCHING:
Be particularly aware of motorbike bag snatching, especially in Kuching.
SWIMMING POOLS:
You may stay at hotels with unfenced pools and no life guard on duty.
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:
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.
Everyone has the right to feel safe and secure on their trip. We don’t tolerate any form of sexual harassment at Intrepid, either between passengers or involving our leaders or local operators. Sexual relationships (consensual or otherwise) between a leader and a passenger are unacceptable. If you ever feel another person is behaving inappropriately please inform us immediately by contacting the emergency contact number detailed in these trip notes.
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 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.
Carbon offset
Carbon Offset C02-e 392.00 kgs per pax.
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.