Wild Sarawak Trip Notes

Wild Sarawak

These trip notes are valid for departures from 01 January 2016 to 31 December 2016. View the trip notes for departures between 01 January 2017 - 31 December 2017


Last Modified: 07 Sep 2016
Wild Sarawak
Trip code: TMSW
Validity: 01 Jan 2016 to 31 Dec 2016
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
StyleAccommodationFinish point description
ThemesAccommodation NotesFinishing point instructions
Is this trip right for you?Meals introductionEmergency contact
Why we love itMealsVisas
MapTransportWhat to take
ItineraryMoney mattersClimate and seasonal information
Itinerary disclaimerGroup leaderHealth
Physical ratingSafetyTravel insurance
Included activitiesJoining pointA couple of rules
Important notesJoining point descriptionResponsible Travel
Group sizeJoining point instructionsThe Intrepid Foundation
Your fellow travellersFinish pointFeedback
Style
Original
Themes
Explorer, Wildlife
Is this trip right for you?
- It’s best to pack light for this trip. There is a strict 15 kg maximum luggage limit on the included internal flights. Excess luggage will incur extra fees to the traveller.
- A small to medium size day backpack is required for the time in Mulu NP and on the Headhunters Trail. Your main pack will be forwarded on, so there will be days when you don’t have access to it. Pack light and smart.
- When staying in the National Park or at the Longhouse homestay, accommodation is multishare and can be basic. The unqiue atmosphere and wonderful location more than make up for this though.
- This trip includes a number of wonderful long walks through forest and jungle, especially the 11.5 kilometre Headhunters’ Trail, so a good level of fitness is required.
Why we love it
- One of the last remaining truly wild places on earth, Borneo offers rare treats for the nature lover – see Orangutans at the Semenggoh Sanctuary and the quirky proboscis monkeys in Bako National Park
- Discover the colourful history of the Iban people and spend the night in a traditional longhouse with a local family
- Explore one of the world’s largest cave networks and witness a sunset hunting exodus of millions of bats, twisting through the sky like a plume of black smoke in Gunung Mulu National Park
- Follow in the infamous footsteps of tribal warriors on a trek through wild, dense jungle on the Headhunters’ Trail
Map

Itinerary
Day 1 Kuching
Selamat datang! Welcome to Malaysia. 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. Your adventure begins with a Welcome Meeting at 6pm, which you can find details about at the hotel’s reception. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early. 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. In any free time, check out this cosmopolitan city rich in architecture, where the waterfront houses a wealth of curio shops and local vegetable, spice and fish markets. This city of skyscrapers sitting near lush green jungle is easily walked around, so maybe relish the mellow vibe and head out with your new travel companions to try some local dishes like Sarawak Laksa and Kolok mee.
Optional Activities
  • Kuching - Sarawak Cultural Village - MYR60
    Accommodation
    Hotel (1 nt)
    Day 2 Bako National Park
    Hop in a private van to the fishing village of Kampung Bako (approximately 1 hour), then a local boat up the coast to Bako National Park (approximately 20 minutes). 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 formed a coastline of steep cliffs, rocky headlands and stretches of white, sandy bays. Waves have carved the cliffs into fantastically shaped sea arches and sea-stacks, with coloured patterns formed by iron deposits. The many jungle trails in Bako offer an insight into the island's botanical diversity. Weather permitting, you’ll take a leader-led walk to the beautiful beach at Telok Pandan Kecil (5 kilometres, approximately 3 hours return). The trail climbs through the forest before emerging onto an open plateau covered in scrub, from where curious pitcher plants can sometimes be seen. It can be a hot, but always rewarding hike. 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 your plan, check with the ranger for the best time to spy the quirky proboscis monkeys up in the trees. In the evening, you’ll take a night walk, a rare chance to experience the jungle in a different light.

    Notes: You’ll stay in basic National Park lodgings – fan cooled, multi shared rooms. Most visitors will only come to Bako on a day trip, so after 4pm you’ll have the beach to yourselves at a prime time for wildlife spotting and spectacular sunsets. This is the best time to be at Bako National Park, and why we prefer to stay overnight. Even if the accommodation is basic, it's worth it for this experience!
    Included Activities
    • Bako National Park
    • Bako NP - Night Walk
      Accommodation
      Dormitory (1 nt)
      Meals
      1 breakfast
      Day 3 Kuching
      After an optional, invigorating morning hike, farewell the jungle and return to Bako Village by boat (it may be necessary to depart the park earlier or later subject to weather conditions). Then travel by private minivan back to Kuching (approximately 1 hour). Later you will transfer to the Semenggoh Orangutan Sanctuary – a government-funded rehabilitation centre set in lush surrounds – on the way. The centre was set up to help re-introduce these wonderful creatures back into the wild after a life of domestication or having been orphaned. Head into the jungle via a walkway, where from a viewing platform you can watch and photograph the orangutans as they swing into view and eat the supplementary diet of bananas and milk that is laid out for them twice a day. Take some time to savour the special moments in these animals’ company. Human contact must be kept to a minimum and it's essential that you follow your leader's instructions. Afterwards, return to Kuching and the hotel, where you can freshen up from the heat. This evening perhaps mosey down to the riverbank and watch tambang ferries glide by, visit Sarawak Museum (one of the most popular attractions here), or 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
        Hotel (1 nt)
        Day 4 Iban Longhouse
        Take a 1-hour flight to Miri, sending your large bag on to Limbang and packing a daybag with the essentials for the next 4 nights. You will need to carry your own backpack out to the longhouse and along the headhunters trail in Mulu. If this will be too difficult for you, your leader can arrange a porter for your small bag for an extra charge. On arrival, drive for 1-2 hours to Niah National park, a place where the oldest human remains in South East Asia have been unearthed, dating back 40,000 years. There is a small museum that you can visit before starting the 3.5 kilometre walk through the rainforest to Niah Caves. Pack a torch and wander through the limestone tunnels to caverns alive not only with bats, but also swiftlets and the history of the local people – ancient cave paintings and signs of early human settlement can be found here. Afterwards we will trek a further 2KM to an Iban longhouse where we will spend the night. On arrival, your leader will introduce you to our hosts and you will be split into different family homes. This is a very traditional and authentic experience, so please be aware that the sleeping and bathing arrangements are very basic. In the afternoon feel free to wonder around the village or help your host family with dinner preparations. In the evening we will have a cultural show
        Included Activities
        • Niah National Park
        • Cultural Show
          Accommodation
          Homestay (1 nt)
          Meals
          1 breakfast, 1 dinner
          Day 5 Mulu National Park
          Farewell your hosts this morning and make the short walk back through the atmospheric rainforest to the Niah National Park headquarters (3.5 kilometres). Return a couple of hours back to Miri airport, then make the short 30 minute flight to Mulu. When you arrive in Mulu, head into the heart of one of the most spectacular national parks in Asia – Gunung Mulu National Park. Transfer the short distance to Mulu HQ (2 kilometres) where you’ll stay for the next 2 nights. Your leader will go through some of the options for your free time here. You can take to the some of the self-guided trails around the park, or to the treetops on the world’s longest tree based canopy walkway. Or maybe simply kick back with a book and enjoy the sounds of the nearby jungle. Later there is the chance of an optional night walk to search for some weird and wonderful insects and reptiles. Tonight you’ll stay in the park headquarters, which has its own restaurant and Information Centre. Accommodation is multishare rooms with private bathroom.

          Notes: The maximum luggage allowance for today’s flight is 15kg. Excess weight will incur an extra cost to the traveller, not Intrepid.
          Accommodation
          Cabin (multishare) (1 nt)
          Meals
          1 breakfast
          Day 6 Mulu National Park
          Today you have a free morning to explore or have a sleep in. Spend the afternoon strolling the walkways of this 180-million-year-old rainforest, and then catch the sunset flight of the bats at Deer Cave. The World Heritage-listed park has absolutely spectacular limestone geology, with enormous caves, vast cave networks, rock pinnacles, cliffs and gorges. In fact, its system of caves is the largest known in the world, formed when surface water worked its way through the rock, carving gigantic passages through the bedrock. Deer Cave has one of the single largest cave passages in the world, 2.2 kilometres long and 220 metres tall at its highest point. Before it was part of the park the cave was a well-known hunting ground for deer, who were attracted to the pools of salty water running off the heaps of guano. The guano comes from the millions of bats who call the cave home, and at dusk there’s a mass exodus as they emerge for their nightly feeding, like a seemingly endless black plume of smoke twisting across the sky. In nearby Lang cave you can appreciate the work that the water does on the limestone, sculpting waves on the ceiling, drawing stalagmites, columns and stalactites.
          Included Activities
          • Mulu NP - Guided walk through Deer and Lang Caves
            Accommodation
            Cabin (multishare) (1 nt)
            Meals
            1 breakfast
            Day 7 Mulu National Park
            Leave Park HQ behind and head into the jungle. Take boats for around 30 minutes downriver to the amazing Clearwater and Wind caves, which contain Asia’s longest underwater river. The Clearwater cave system runs for 107 kilometres, 75 of which have been explored. The system gets its name from the bright jungle pool at the base of the steps that lead up to the cave mouth. Wind Cave draws a cooling breeze through its lengths and features some of Gunung Mulu’s best cave formations, while Clearwater is covered in a species of bright green plant that is unique to the park and offers a real opportunity to see the water at work on the rock. Afterwards, take a longboat downriver before disembarking to hike through undisturbed jungle to Camp 5, nestled at the end of Melinau Gorge (approximately 8.5 kilometres). During dry season, the boats may need to be pushed over certain sections of the river, so it is advisable to wear strap on sandals or shoes that can get wet. At Camp 5 you will sleep in these wonderful surrounds, 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. Please be aware that at certain times of the year there can be many bees around Camp 5.
            Included Activities
            • Mulu NP - Guided walk through Wind and Clearwater Caves
              Accommodation
              Dormitory (1 nt)
              Meals
              1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner
              Day 8 Headhunters' Trail/Limbang
              Today you’ll tackle the infamous Headhunters' trail. Located in an isolated area of the Borneo jungles, this 11.3 kilometre (approximately 5 hour) trail 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 rope bridges, wooden walkways, logs or by getting your feet wet as you wade through. You’ll be surrounded by stunningly diverse flora, massive bird-filled trees, and the magical sounds of the forest – a hornbill flapping its wings, the cries of monkeys, and the pulse of cicadas and crickets. Then you’ll take a boat from Kuala Trekian to Kuala Medamit, a journey of around 3-4 hours. Depending on how much rainfall there’s been, you may be required to help push the boat over shallow parts of the river. There will be a stop at a ranger station for lunch along the way. Today is a long, challenging but rewarding day. You’ll then transfer by minivan to the town of Limbang (approximately 1 hour), where you’ll be reunited with your large bags.
              Included Activities
              • Mulu NP - Guided trek along Headhunters' Trails
              • Mulu NP - Longboat ride along the Melinau & Terikan Rivers
                Accommodation
                Hotel (1 nt)
                Meals
                1 breakfast, 1 lunch
                Day 9 Kota Kinabalu
                Leave Limbang and travel by ferry to Labuan (approximately 2 hours) where there’s time for a quick lunch and to perhaps pick up some duty free goods, before taking another ferry to Kota Kinabalu (approximately 3 hours). Your accommodation tonight is located right in the heart of the city. Sabah's historic capital, the intriguing city of Kota Kinabalu was born between the Borneo jungle and the South China Sea. Modern-day 'KK' is a vibrant modern metropolis, having recovered from World War II bombings. Kota Kinabalu has interesting museums to explore (the Sabah State Museum is a great place to immerse yourself in its backstory), markets to browse, and the surrounding beaches and islands are perfect for swimming or snorkelling. Tonight, perhaps head out for a final meal with your group to celebrate your Borneo adventure – the night market is filled with fresh grilled seafood.
                Accommodation
                Hotel (1 nt)
                Meals
                1 breakfast
                Day 10 Kota Kinabalu
                There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time.
                Meals
                1 breakfast
                Itinerary disclaimer
                ITINERARY CHANGES 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. If you have any queries, please contact your travel agent or our staff. We are here to help you! 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. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary from time to time.

                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.

                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.
                Physical rating

                Included activities
                Bako National Park
                Bako NP - Night Walk
                Semengohh Orangutan Sanctuary
                Niah National Park
                Cultural Show
                Mulu NP - Guided walk through Deer and Lang Caves
                Mulu NP - Guided walk through Wind and Clearwater Caves
                Mulu NP - Guided trek along Headhunters' Trails
                Mulu NP - Longboat ride along the Melinau & Terikan Rivers
                Important notes
                1. Please provide passport details at time of booking, as these are essential for booking services on this trip.
                2. Strict luggage limits apply. See under the Important notes section of Trip Notes for more information.
                3. A Single Supplement is available on this trip, please see trip notes for further information.

                Group size
                Maximum of 12 travellers per group.
                Your fellow travellers
                GROUP TRAVEL
                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.

                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
                Cabin (multishare) (2nt), Dormitory (2nt), Homestay (1nt), Hotel (4nt)
                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
                Transport
                4x4, Ferry, Longtail boat, Plane, Taxi, Van

                TRANSPORT CHANGES
                Please note when the ferry is not operating from Limbang to Labuan we will take a Public bus from Limbang through Brunei to Kota Kinabalu. It will take approx.7 - 8 hours. This includes a lunch stop in Lawas. This is a rare occurrence and your leader will advise you during your trip if there is any changes to your transportation.
                Money matters
                SPENDING MONEY:
                When it comes to spending money on the trip, every traveller is a little different. You know your spending habits better than we do, so please budget a sensible amount for things like meals not included, drinks, shopping, optional activities and laundry. It's always better to bring a little more than you think you'll need. Also make sure you've read your trip details thoroughly so you know what's included in the trip price and what isn't. This should make budgeting a little easier. You'll find this info in the Inclusions section of your Essential Trip Information (that's this document).

                We recommend USD250.00 for meals not included.

                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.

                DEPARTURE TAX
                All departure taxes should be included in your international flight ticket.

                EMERGENCY FUNDS:
                We try to plan for every eventuality, but there are still some things beyond our control. Please make sure you bring an extra USD500 for emergencies (e.g. natural disasters or civil unrest). Sometimes these things necessitate last minute changes to our itineraries, and we can’t guarantee there won’t be some extra costs involved.

                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.

                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.
                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.
                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 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 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:

                http://www.intrepidtravel.com/contact-us/safety

                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.

                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.
                Joining point
                The Lime Tree Hotel
                317 Jalan Abell
                Kuching
                Sarawak
                93100
                MALAYSIA
                Phone: 0011 6082414600
                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.
                Joining point instructions
                An arrival transfer is available to pre book - please let us know at least 14 days prior to departure if you wish to have this service provided.

                On arrival in Kuching airport if you cannot locate your arrival transfer please call our local operator Stanley on +62 19-819-4464, +62 019-8888-214
                If your flight number has changed or your flight is delayed please can you call Stanley to let him know that your new flight number/arrival time

                Alternatively you can catch a taxi approx USD17 and takes roughly 15 minutes depending on traffic.
                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.
                Finishing point instructions
                If you have a transfer to the Kota Kinabalu Airport your transfer driver will collect you from your Guesthouse 3 hours before your flight time. If your transfer has not arrived within 15minutes of the scheduled pickup time please ask the hotel / guesthouse reception to call our transfer operator Vision Transport on their 24 hour number on +60 16 818 6890 or +60 13 8819 883. Your group leader will reconfirm this with you before departing
                Emergency contact
                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.

                For general enquiries or questions about your booking, please contact your agent or adventure specialist, or visit us at www.intrepidtravel.com/contact-us

                In case of a genuine crisis or emergency, you can reach our local operator on the number below.


                Intrepid's Thailand Office: +66 898 103 722
                Visas
                As a general rule most countries expect that your passport has a minimum of 6 months validity remaining. Please ensure the name on your passport matches the name on your booking and airline tickets. Your passport details are required to complete your booking. Your consultant will contact you when this is required.
                Take a copy of the main passport pages and other important documents with you, and leave another copy at home with family or friends.

                Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. Entry requirements can change at any time, so it's important that you check for the latest information. Please visit the relevant consular website of the country or countries you’re visiting for detailed and up-to-date visa information specific to your nationality. Your consultant will also be happy to point you in the right direction with acquiring visas. Visas can take several weeks to process, so familiarise yourself with any requirements as soon as you have booked your trip to allow for processing time.

                MALAYSIA:
                Most nationalities do not need visas to visit Malaysia as a tourist for up to three months. Please check with your relevant Malaysian embassy or consulate.
                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.

                Below we have listed the essentials for this trip:

                http://www.intrepidtravel.com/pdf/trips/packinglist.pdf

                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.

                The maximum luggage allowance for the internal flight is 15kg maximum, Intrepid won't cover the cost of luggage that exceeds this weight.

                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.

                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.
                Climate and seasonal information
                RAMADAN:
                The month-long Ramadan Festival will start on the 7th of June 2016. 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, from 7th July 2016.

                CHINESE NEW YEAR:
                An important 15-day festival for the Malaysian Chinese, based on the lunar calendar in January or February. In 2016, the Year of the Monkey is scheduled to be held from 8th 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.
                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 Travel 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.

                AIR POLLUTION
                From June to October, Malaysia can experience air pollution from forest fires in Indonesia. Current recorded pollution readings in a number of states are higher than usual for this time of year. The persistent hot and dry weather conditions also causes dust to remain suspended in the air and accumulate, causing haze. Please be aware of this if you suffer from any medical conditions exasperated by air pollution.

                Zika Virus
                Malaysia is experiencing ongoing transmission of the mosquito-borne Zika virus and we advise all travellers to protect themselves from mosquito bites. Given possible transmission of the disease to unborn babies, and taking a very cautious approach, pregnant women should consider postponing travel to Malaysia or talk to their doctor about possible implications.

                Please see further information about the Zika virus (and our current cancellation/change policy) on our safety page of the Intrepid website at http://www.intrepidtravel.com/contact-us/safety
                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 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.

                http://www.intrepidtravel.com/insurance.php
                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.
                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.

                http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/rt/responsibletraveller

                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.

                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$1,000 per donor and a total of AU$400,000 for all donors in each financial year, excluding emergency appeals). 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:

                http://www.theintrepidfoundation.org/

                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.
                www.theintrepidfoundation.org/projects/hutan/


                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.

                http://www.intrepidtravel.com/feedback