24 travelers max, dedicated tour escorts & guides throughout
|Departures||Scheduled Dates: Select a departure from October 2015 – February 2016|
|Departs||Los Angeles (LAX), New York Kennedy (JFK), San Francisco (SFO) (flight schedule)|
|Highlights||Kuching, Miri, Kuala Lumpur. The Sarawak Cultural Village, Niah Caves National Park & Mt. Kinabulu. Plus Penang Island optional extension|
|Themes||Active, Nature & Wildlife|
|What to Expect||This fast-paced, partially escorted 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.|
|As Seen in|
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 Borneo tour package for a price that is as amazing as the destination itself.
Departures & Prices
per person, double occupancy*
|Mon||Sep 7||2015||Sun||Sep 20||2015||$3299||Closed|
|Mon||Oct 5||2015||Sun||Oct 18||2015||$3699||$3299||Available|
|Mon||Nov 9||2015||Sun||Nov 22||2015||$3699||$3299||Available|
|Mon||Dec 7||2015||Sun||Dec 20||2015||$3799||$3399||Available|
|Mon||Jan 4||2016||Sun||Jan 17||2016||$3799||$3399||Available|
|Mon||Feb 15||2016||Sun||Feb 28||2016||$3699||$3299||Available|
Want to stay longer? We may be able to arrange for you to stay later than the scheduled dates, including extra hotel nights and separate airport transfers. Contact us about prices and availability.
|Single Room Supplement||+$749|
|Penang Island Extension|
|Penang Island Extension|
|Jan 4, Feb 15||+$449|
|All other departures||+$399|
|Penang Local Government Fee1 (paid separately)||+$1.50|
|Single Room Supplement|
|All other departures||+$399|
1. Penang ‘Local Government Fee’ was implemented June 1, 2014. The fee is 3 MYR per room, per night and payable directly to the hotel upon check-out. USD amount listed is an approximation of the total cost per person based on 3 nights, double occupancy: 4.50 MYR. Fee is paid in MYR.
|Los Angeles (LAX)||included|
|New York Kennedy (JFK)|
|All other departures||included|
|San Francisco (SFO)||included|
This package includes round-trip flights from the cities listed above, subject to availability. Please review the flight schedule, especially if you're booking connecting flights.
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.
New York (JFK): Due to China Airline's schedule, New York passengers must overnight in Taipei en route back to JFK.
Transfers: Transfers for this package are provided on a group basis only. For passengers deviating in any way from the group program, transfers are not provided. Individual, private transfers can be arranged at a supplement in price. Taxis and other forms of transportation are also available and may cost less than private transfers. If you wish to arrange private transfers, please request this service at the time of reservation.
To make a reservation, simply select an available departure date and reserve online using our secure booking system. Or call us one of our travel specialists at 800-555-5765, Mon–Fri 9:30–6:00 Eastern time. But first, check out our Things to Know section.
We only require a per-person deposit payment, which you can pay with your credit card or PayPal account. This deposit will be applied towards the cost of your package, and is generally non-refundable (details). The balance is due 75 days prior to departure (or within 72 hours, if you're booking less than 75 days prior to departure), and can be paid by credit card, PayPal, check or money order.
Day 1: Depart USA. Your fascinating journey begins tonight as you check in for your flight for Malaysia.
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.
Tonight, proceed to a local restaurant for a typical Malay buffet dinner and a vibrant cultural performance. Breakfast & dinner provided.
Optional Excursion (purchased locally): Kuala Lumpur Countryside & Batu Caves. 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 must be purchased locally.
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: Hilton Kuching. 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 (purchased locally): Bako National Park. 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 must be purchased locally. 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.
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.
Optional Excursion (purchased locally): Lambir Hills National Park. 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 must be purchased locally.
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.
New York passengers must overnight in Taipei en route back to JFK.
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.
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.
Day 16: 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 17: 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.
New York passengers must overnight in Taipei en route back to JFK.
The Friendly Planet staff was responsive to questions and concerns. Everything promised occurred as it was promised and there were some nice bonuses added by our local tour guides. We are flat out impressed at the quality of this trip given the very reasonable price. Our guide for Borneo was great. Our guide for Bangkok was thorough and took good care of us. Batang Ai was the real highlight of the whole trip. The hotel and the visit to the Iban longhouse village were great experiences. The hotel in Kuala Lumpur was the top of the trip. Our tour guide was excellent and added an additional half day tour to our itinerary (for a fee) as well as a Malaysian dinner and show (no additional charge).