|Itinerary at a Glance
|5||Kuala Lumpur & Kuching|
|8||Kuching & Batang Ai|
|9||Batang Ai & Longhouse Excursion|
|10||Batang Ai, Kuching & Miri|
|12||Miri & Kota Kinabalu|
|Penang Island Post-Tour Extension|
|14||Kota Kinabalu & Penang Island|
|Style||Fully Escorted & Guided
Dedicated tour escorts & guides throughout
|Departs||Los Angeles (LAX)|
|Highlights||Kuching, Miri, Kuala Lumpur. The Sarawak Cultural Village, Niah Caves National Park & Mt. Kinabulu. Plus Penang Island optional extension|
|Included in the Price||
|What to Expect||This fast-paced, escorted Borneo tour package involves a significant amount of walking or hiking, often on uneven terrain, requiring a high level of physical fitness to fully enjoy the trip.|
Join us on a fascinating journey to the island of Borneo, Malaysia, where a mosaic of indigenous tribes, intriguing history, beautiful, ancient rain forests, rivers and diversified wildlife await. In addition, you'll visit one of the most dynamic and fascinating Asian cities, Kuala Lumpur. Here you'll explore exotic markets, lantern-lit streets, temples and other remnants of Malaysia's unique and colorful heritage tucked among the skyscrapers, shopping malls, restaurants, exciting nightlife and other icons of modern life. All of this is yours in one, fantastic journey of discovery for a price that is as amazing as the destination itself.
Friendly Planet’s staff was pleasant and helpful before we left giving us a feeling of confidence as this was our first time using you. Matt was exceptional in Borneo. He really made us feel important and he went out of his way to make sure we were well cared for. Noi in Bangkok showed consideration and was very helpful in arranging things for us. She was an excellent guide and very thoughtful.
All prices, fees and deposits are per person. Prices below are subject to availability and confirmation. After we receive your booking, we will confirm all prices and availability within 1–2 business days. Prices are subject to change at any time and not guaranteed until we receive your final payment. More about our prices.
|Departures & Prices*|
|Tue||Feb 18||2014||Mon||Mar 3||2014||$3399||Departed|
|Tue||Mar 11||2014||Mon||Mar 24||2014||$3399||Closed|
|Tue||Apr 22||2014||Mon||May 5||2014||$3399||Closed|
|Sat||May 17||2014||Fri||May 30||2014||$3449||Available|
Want to stay longer? We may be able to arrange for you to extend your stay later than the scheduled dates, subject to availability. Contact us about dates, prices and restrictions.
|Single Room Supplement||+$799|
|Penang Island Extension|
|Penang Island Extension|
|All other departures||+$599|
|All other departures||included|
|Single Room Supplement|
|All other departures||+$499|
|Los Angeles (LAX)||included|
Coming from somewhere else? Unfortunately, we don't offer departures from cities that are not listed, but you can book your own connecting flights separately.
To make a reservation, we only require a per-person deposit payment, which you can pay with your credit card. This non-refundable deposit will be applied towards the cost of your package. You can pay the balance due later by credit card, check or money order. Your final payment is due 75 days prior to departure, or within 72 hours of booking, whichever is later.
Ticketing: Airline tickets for this tour are usually issued within 24 hours of your booking, and once issued, cannot be changed, refunded or transferred. To issue tickets, we must receive photocopies of the signature and picture pages of your passport(s) within 24 hours of your booking, or your reservation may be subject to a higher airfare or cancellation.
Day 2: En route. Cross the International Date Line and lose a day en route. (You'll recover a day on your return trip.)
Day 3: Arrive Kuala Lumpur. Arrive in Kuala Lumpur, the capital city of Malaysia. After customs formalities, you'll be escorted to your luxury hotel to check in and rest from your flight. Accommodations: Prince Hotel & Residence.
Day 4: Kuala Lumpur. A city of contrasts, Kuala Lumpur blends modern skyscrapers with impressive historic buildings to create a unique cityscape. Today, enjoy a panoramic city tour including visits to the Petronas Twin Towers, the world's tallest buildings until 2004, King's Palace, the National Museum, the National Monument, the Moorish-style railway station, and the superb buildings at the Independence Square, where you can observe the contrast between historical architecture and modern skyscrapers in an abundant setting of greenery. Conclude the tour at a local handicraft center. Spend the rest of the afternoon at leisure, or join an optional half-day tour of Kuala Lumpur’s countryside.
Optional Excursion: The area surrounding Kuala Lumpur abounds with cottage industries and nature reserves. See how beautiful pewter products are manufactured at the world famous Royal Selangor factory. Then stop by a batik factory and observe how this traditional fabric is designed and printed. The excursion concludes at the Batu Caves, the famous site of the annual Thaipusam festival in January and February, where almost a million devotees congregate. You'll pass a 140ft statue of the Hindu god Lord Murugan, the world's largest, as you climb the 272-steps to the top of a natural limestone cavern which houses a Hindu shrine. This optional excursion can only be purchased locally (MYR135 per person / approx. $60 per person)
Tonight, proceed to a local restaurant for a typical Malay buffet dinner and a vibrant cultural performance. Breakfast & dinner provided.
Day 5: Kuala Lumpur & Kuching. Today, transfer to the airport for your flight to Kuching, the gateway to the legendary island of Borneo. Upon arrival, you'll be escorted to your river-front luxury hotel to check in and rest from your flight. Tonight, enjoy a welcome dinner with your travel companions at the hotel restaurant. Accommodations: Merdeka Palace Hotel on Jan 14, 2014 departures, Hilton Kuching or similar on all others. Breakfast & dinner provided.
Day 6: Kuching. Today's half day of touring begins with a short scenic drive to the Semenggok Orangutan Rehabilitation Center. Established in 1975, this 1800-acre virgin forest provides sanctuary to some of Malaysia's most protected wildlife. At the center, the orangutans are carefully nurtured and rehabilitated for eventual release into the jungle, their natural habitat. You will have the opportunity to learn about the rehabilitation process and to observe and photograph the orangutans from a distance. (Note: As the orangutans in Semengok are semi-wild, sightings cannot be guaranteed.)
Later, return to Kuching to discover the romance and charm of the city built during the White Rajah era. Your panoramic city tour includes, among other sites, the Kuching’s Chinatown, Cat statue, the colorful Tua Pek Kong Chinese Temple, the Civic Centre Viewing Platform, where you can take in the best panoramic views of Kuching. Return via the golden-domed City Mosque and through Old Kuching, crammed with spice dealers and textile shops. Pass by the heritage buildings of the White Rajah era, the Pavilion, the Square Tower, the Court House, the Charles Brooke Monument and the Post Office. View the Astana, the former residence of the White Rajahs from across the river at the Kuching Waterfront. After lunch, return to the hotel for the balance of the day at leisure.
Tonight, join your travel companions for dinner at a local restaurant renowned for its variety of seafood specialties. Breakfast, lunch & dinner provided.
Day 7: Kuching. Enjoy a full day at leisure to explore Kuching your own, or take advantage of an exciting optional excursion to Bako National Park, one of the best places in Sarawak to see wildlife in its natural surroundings. Breakfast provided.
Optional Excursion: After arrival at Bako, a Malay fishing village built on stilts over the river, enjoy a 30-minute cruise on the South China Sea to reach this remote coastal park. Millions of years of erosion have sculpted a coastline of steep cliffs, rocky headlands, fantastically shaped arches and seastacks, and stretches of beautiful white, sandy beaches.
The park is a unique botanical treasure housing 25 distinct types of vegetation that form seven complete ecosystems. Your local guide will help you to explore these ecosystems on the well-marked jungle trails. Keep an eye out for some of the park's most famous residents: the rare, long-nosed Proboscis monkeys, macaque monkeys, silver leaf monkeys, sambar deer, Borneo bearded pigs, mousedeer, otter, and monitor lizards. After lunch, trek through the lush forest for more bird watching and wildlife viewing. This optional excursion can only be purchased locally (MYR255 per person / approx. $85 per person). Wildlife sightings and swimming are not guaranteed. Tour is subject to tide and weather conditions.
Day 8: Kuching & Batang Ai. This morning, depart Kuching for Batang Ai Jetty, passing through the scenic countryside consisting of quaint little towns, villages, paddy fields, pepper and oil palm plantations. En route, stop for lunch at Lachau, a small town on the way to Batang Ai. Sit back and enjoy the rest of the drive through the scenic countryside of rice fields, cocoa and rubber plantations, luxuriant tropical rainforest, wild orchids, and mountain ranges. Upon arrival at Hydro Lake, travel by shuttle ferry to your lakeside resort situated on the southern bank. Check in and relax before dinner at the resort’s restaurant. Accommodations: Hilton Batang Ai Longhouse Resort. Breakfast, lunch & dinner provided.
Day 9: Batang Ai & Longhouse Excursion. A special treat awaits you today as you sail by longboat across the lake down the Engkari River to an authentic Iban longhouse, an entire village under one roof. Experience the legendary hospitality and charm of the locals as you learn about their fascinating culture. Enjoy a short cultural performance with traditional dance and music, followed by a blowgun demonstration. Enjoy lunch in the longhouse or a picnic lunch by the riverbank, depending on water conditions. Return to Batang Ai later this afternoon. Breakfast, lunch & dinner provided.
Day 10: Batang Ai, Kuching & Miri. Depart to Kuching via the same route as your arrival. Stop for lunch at a charming roadside town before continuing your journey. Arrive to the Kuching Airport to board your flight bound for Miri. Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel. The balance of the day is yours at leisure to enjoy the resort’s amenities, or join an optional city tour to discover the history and culture of Miri, the largest town in Sarawak. Accommodations: Miri Marriott Resort & Spa. Breakfast & lunch provided.
Day 11: Miri. Today, set out on a scenic drive to Niah National Park passing by oil palm plantations and Iban longhouses. Upon arrival at the national park headquarters, cross the Niah River to visit the Sarawak Archaeology Museum which houses artifacts from the nearby caves, dating back over 40,000 years.
Next, walk along a wood plank path through the lush dipterocarp forest to the entrance of the Niah Caves. These caves were once home to some of the first human inhabitants in South-East Asia. They are also home the swiftlet, a small bird that builds its nest almost entirely from fibers in its own saliva. Their nests are harvested from the cave walls and used as the main ingredient in the famous Chinese delicacy, bird’s nest soup. Here you will explore Trader’s Cave, Great Cave and the Large Chamber. Enjoy a boxed lunch before returning to Miri this afternoon. Breakfast & lunch provided.
Day 12: Miri & Kota Kinabalu. Today, enjoy some leisure time at the resort, or join an optional morning excursion to the beautiful Lambir Hills National Park.
Optional Excursion: This morning set off for Lambir Hills National Park, one of the world’s most complex and diverse forest ecosystems. Take a short trek to the tree tower. Then proceed to a nearby waterfall for a swim. Return to Miri after tour. This optional excursion can only be purchased locally (MYR205 per person / approx. $70 per person).
This afternoon, transfer to the airport for your flight to Kota Kinabalu, one of the most beautiful and relaxed cities in the world. You'll find sandy white beaches everywhere, and a water-temperature that is always pleasing. After check-in at your hotel, enjoy leisure time to explore your new surroundings. Accommodations: Pacific Sutera Harbor. Breakfast provided.
Day 13: Kota Kinabalu. After breakfast, travel across the mountainous Crocker Range with a panoramic view of the countryside and soaring hills en route to Kinabalu Park and the Poring Hot Springs. Along the way, you can catch the magnificent sight of Mount Kinabalu, one of the highest peaks in Southeast Asia at 13,435 ft. The Park is a World Heritage Site with incredible amount of bio-diversity. Upon arrival, enjoy a guided nature trek along one of the many trails in the park before proceeding to Poring Hot Springs which offer visitors the opportunity for an invigorating dip into its hot sulfur springs. For a closer look at nature, take a canopy walk 100-200ft above the forest floor. Tonight, enjoy dinner at a local restaurant. Breakfast, lunch & dinner provided.
Day 14: Kota Kinabalu/USA. Enjoy a morning city tour to discover Sabah, starting with a scenic drive through its capital city, Kota Kinabalu. The city, formerly known as "Singgahmata" or "the Place where the Eye Lingers", has risen from the destruction of the last world war to become a vibrant and modern city that still retains its traditional charms. See many places of interests such as the Wisma Tun Mustapha (Sabah Foundation Building), University Malaysia Sabah, Sabah State and City Mosque, and a Chinese Temple. If time permits, enjoy a brief stop along Signal Hill for a spectacular bird's eye view of the city and nearby islands and a chance to shop at a handicraft market. After lunch at a local restaurant, transfer to the airport for your return flight to the US via Taipei or take advantage of your already included international airfare and join our Penang Island Extension (see below). Breakfast & lunch provided.
Extend your Borneo Adventure by adding Penang Island, a tropical paradise off the western coast of Malaysia, famous for its sandy beaches and luxuriant vegetation. Extension includes airfare, 4 nights at the deluxe beach-front Grand Plaza Parkroyal Penang (or similar), buffet breakfast daily, a half day guided sightseeing tour and all transfers. Extension begins on the evening of Day 14 and returns to the USA on Day 18.
Day 14: Kota Kinabalu/Penang Island. Depart Kota Kinabalu for beautiful Penang Island. Transfer to your deluxe beachfront hotel and enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure. Accommodations: Grand Plaza Parkroyal Penang or similar.
Day 15: Penang Island. This morning, set out on a half day tour of Georgetown, the largest city on Penang Island. With its narrow streets and prewar shop houses, the town still maintains its colonial charm, while its diverse Chinese, Indian, and Malay population gives the island unique local flavor. Your tour will bring you to some of the city's most important sites: Fort Cornwallis, Street of Harmony, Little India, and Chinatown. Breakfast provided.
Days 16-17: Penang Island. Enjoy two full days at leisure to rest and unwind from your busy vacation. Your resort hotel is nestled amidst tropical gardens with swaying palms. Enjoy beautiful pool or ocean swimming, a first-class spa, and other facilities. Breakfast provided.
Day 18: Penang/USA. After breakfast this morning, bid farewell to Penang Island as you transfer to the airport for your return flight to the USA. Breakfast provided.
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