Borneo Family Holiday
from $2650
Duration: 11 Days
Travel to Borneo on an 11-day family adventure and discover the curious wildlife and spectacular landscapes of the region. Learn how orphaned orangutans are rehabilitated back into the wild, swim among colourful fish, watch baby green turtles take wobbly steps towards the waterfront and relax on sandy beaches. Along the way you'll make friends, try some delicious cuisine and forge some incredible memories. With all of the essentials included, and plenty of free time to explore at your own pace, you and your family will fall in love with the unique animals, lush ecosystem and sandy islands of Borneo.
  • Take a guided walk through the lush lower trails of Kinabalu National Park and witness Mt Kinabalu in all its glory at dawn.
  • Stay overnight among the birds and beasts of the jungle, right next to an oxbow lake, at Kinabatangan Eco Camp.
  • Visit the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre and, if you're lucky, watch baby orangutans learn to swing in a special enclosure.
  • Enjoy a special opportunity to watch protected turtle hatchlings scatter across the beach to the water under the cover of night.
  • Swim, snorkel and stroll along the sandy beaches of Dinawan Island on an included family day trip to this island paradise.
  • Mt Kinabalu National Park - Entrance Fee
  • Mt Kinabalu National Park - Botanical Gardens
  • Poring Hot Springs - Canopy Walk
  • Kinabatangan River - Afternoon wildlife cruise
  • Sabah Tea Plantation - Tea factory tour
  • Kinabatangan - Night jungle walk
  • Kinabatangan - Cooking class
  • Kinabatangan River - Afternoon wildlife cruise
  • Kinabatangan – Cultural Performance
  • Sepilok - Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary
  • Sepilok - Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre
  • Sandakan - War Memorial
  • Dinawan Island - Day trip
  • Kota Kinabalu - Mari Mari Cultural Village
  • Day 1 Location: Kota Kinabalu
    Selamat datang! Welcome to Malaysia. Kota Kinabalu, the capital of Sabah, is an intriguing city located between the Borneo jungle and the South China Sea. Having survived WWII bombings, KK (as it's commonly known) has a charm unique to the frontier town. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 5 pm at your hotel. Here you will meet your leader and fellow family travellers. Following the meeting, perhaps head out with your fellow families to the waterfront market. Here you’ll find smoky stalls serving up grilled meat and fish and heaps of local delicacies. If you arrive with significant time before the welcome meeting, you can immerse yourself in history at the Sabah State Museum or explore the islands off Kota Kinabalu which are excellent for swimming or snorkelling.
    Day 2 Location: Kinabalu National Park
    Head for the beautiful Kinabalu National Park. Stretch your legs and take in the mountain views on any of the numerous walking trails. As you walk along, keep a close eye on the sky and on the trees, as there are many exotic birds to spot – the mountain serpent-eagle, Dulit frogmouth and bare-headed laughing thrushes among them. It's also important to keep an eye on the ground for snakes, and you might encounter a leech or two. There's plenty to see and do in this World Heritage-listed park. The Botanical Garden is an excellent showcase of the diverse plant life on the mountain, and flora from all over the park has been replanted here. The walk in the park takes about one hour. From here we head to the Poring Hot Springs with a scenic canopy walk and a quick dip in the springs themselves. Tonight you will spend the night in a reconstructed longhouse on the tea plantation. Rooms are twin/triple-share and have fans and shared bathrooms.
    Day 3 Location: Kinabatangan River
    This morning we visit a Sabah Tea Factory and learn the process of tea leaves before saying goodbye to the mountain and heading into the jungle. Travel by private bus to Batu Puteh, a small village on the banks of the Kinabatangan River (approximately 5 hours). Your hosts for the night are the local community-run conservation organization KOPEL whose aim is to provide villagers with the means of making a sustainable living from the forest. KOPEL are responsible for a reforestation project in which the community are actively involved in growing seedlings and replanting back degraded forested areas. Arrive in the afternoon meet your hosts and learn a little more about KOPELs work, before jumping in a boat and heading upriver to your accommodation in the jungle (approximately 30 minutes). This afternoon, you’ll head out on a sunset cruise up the river in search of wildlife, including macaques, wild orangutan and proboscis monkeys. Be prepared for an adventure! Return to your jungle camp by an oxbow lake, freshen up for dinner and afterwards, let the cicadas sing you to sleep.
    Day 4 Location: Kinabatangan River
    Wake up to the sounds of the jungle ready for a busy day. After breakfast you’ll head upriver to the village where you take a walk around the village to learn more about the life of the local people. For lunch, it’s all hands-on deck as you partake in a fun traditional cooking class, eating the fruits of your labour for lunch! The afternoon is free to relax, enjoy some boardgames or keep spotting some wildlife. Before heading back on the boat for some more wildlife spotting. After dinner tonight, you’ll don headtorches and head out into the jungle for a night walk in search of insects and nocturnal animals. See what happens to the jungle at night, and what creatures come out to play!
    Day 5 Location: Sandakan
    Say goodbye to the Eco Camp and take a drive to Sandakan via the Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary. These unique primates are not found elsewhere in the world! You will be in awe as they leapt from incredible heights to lower branches. We arrive in Sandakan in the afternoon. You will notice the strong Cantonese influence, seen in the lively harbourside market, the many Chinese temples and the local cuisine. Here there is free time to catch up on your essentials, like laundry and banking, as well as to explore the city. Otherwise, just spend some time relaxing by the pool!
    Day 6 Location: Sandakan/Sepilok
    Today is an exciting day and a favourite with the kids – here come the orangutans! It’s a 45-minute drive by minibus to the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre. 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. From the viewing platform, you can see these charming creatures as they swing into view and eat a supplementary diet of bananas and milk, laid out for them twice a day. Human contact must be kept to a minimum and it's essential that you follow the instructions of the park, as directed by your leader, but you are free to snap plenty of photographs. You will also have the privilege of viewing a nursery where you can view young orangutans as they learn how to climb on a specially constructed jungle gym. The viewing area is behind one-way glass so as not to disturb the animals. Heading back to Sandakan you will have the afternoon free.
    Day 7 Location: Turtle Island
    Leave your large bags at the hotel and transfer to a nearby jetty, then board a speedboat bound for Turtle Island. Travel past small fishing villages and bamboo fish traps, arriving at Turtle Island Marine Park after about an hour. The rest of the day is free for you to soak up the island life. Relax on the beach and take a swim or perhaps hire some snorkelling gear and investigate the underwater world. Under the cover of darkness, watch as giant green turtles coming ashore to lay their eggs under the moonlight. Witness the island researchers release protected hatchlings and guide them in their frantic dash to the ocean. It's a moving experience that is bound to be rewarding for you and your family, but please be aware that this is a very delicate environment and you must follow instructions from your leader and the local rangers to ensure minimal impact on the turtles. Spend the night on this beautiful island – even though the accommodation is quite basic, this will be a memorable experience.
    Day 8 Location: Langkah Syabas
    Today you will transfer to Sandakan airport and fly to Kota Kinabalu (approximately 1 hour). Keep in mind that the luggage allowance for this flight is only 15 kg, and any excess baggage may incur a further charge. Then drive to the outskirts of Kota Kinabalu to our resort.Take the opportunity to relax, have a swim, enjoy a drink and enjoy the sunset.
    Day 9 Location: Langkah Syabas
    After breakfast, head out to Dinawan Island. The island is surrounded by reefs and sandbanks, and has pristine beaches, crystal clear water and unexplored forests to discover. You’ll have the full day to experience this slice of beauty, and the best thing is, it’s up to you what you do! Lunch will be included during the day and you’ll all get access to snorkelling equipment. Later in the evening, arrive back to your resort for a relaxing night.
    Day 10 Location: Kota Kinabalu
    Bid farewell to your patch of paradise and head back to Kota Kinabalu. We visit the Mari Mari Cultural Village in the morning and learn about the cultural history and tradition of Borneo’s various indigenous ethnic groups. In the evening, take the opportunity to relax, enjoy a drink and look back on the week's adventures with your family and fellow travellers for your final night.
    Day 11 Location: Kota Kinabalu
    With no activities planned for today, you and your family are free to depart the accommodation at any time following check-out.
    Dates
    Prices
    Availability
    Departure Date:
    03APR2021
    Return Date:
    13APR2021
    2650NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    05APR2021
    Return Date:
    15APR2021
    2705NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    27JUN2021
    Return Date:
    07JUL2021
    2705NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    06JUL2021
    Return Date:
    16JUL2021
    2650NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    11JUL2021
    Return Date:
    21JUL2021
    2650NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    18JUL2021
    Return Date:
    28JUL2021
    2650NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    25JUL2021
    Return Date:
    04AUG2021
    2650NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    01AUG2021
    Return Date:
    11AUG2021
    2650NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    08AUG2021
    Return Date:
    18AUG2021
    2650NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    14AUG2021
    Return Date:
    24AUG2021
    2650NZD
    available
    Last modified (date)

    13 Aug 2020

    Trip title

    Borneo Family Holiday

    Trip code

    TMFG

    Validity

    Validity: 01 Jan 2020 to 31 Dec 2021

    Introduction

    Travel to Borneo on an 11-day family adventure and discover the curious wildlife and spectacular landscapes of the region. Learn how orphaned orangutans are rehabilitated back into the wild, swim among colourful fish, watch baby green turtles take wobbly steps towards the waterfront and relax on sandy beaches. Along the way you'll make friends, try some delicious cuisine and forge some incredible memories. With all of the essentials included, and plenty of free time to explore at your own pace, you and your family will fall in love with the unique animals, lush ecosystem and sandy islands of Borneo.

    Style

    Original

    Themes

    Family,Wildlife

    Transport

    Bus,Minibus,Van

    Physical Rating

    2

    Physical preparation

    These trips are setup to involve and include all the family so no real physical preparation is necessary. The trips all have some degree of physical activity but nothing that is too strenuous. Please check the physical rating on the trip notes and if you need further explanation please contact one of our sales consultants who will provide you with more detailed information.

    Joining point

    Dreamtel Hotel - Kota Kinabalu

    5 Jalan Padang

    Kota Kinabalu

    88000

    MALAYSIA

    Phone: +(60) 88240333

    Joining 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.

    Joining point instructions

    Intrepid Travel offer a pre arranged transfer service option. Enquire with your agent and advise your flight arrival details at least 14 days prior to your trip departure. If you have purchased an arrival transfer you will be met after exiting customs. Our representative will be holding a sign with your name on it. At Kota Kinabalu International Airport, If you have any problems and cannot locate our transfer representative on arrival please go to the Airport Information counter (located on the same floor at arrivals) and ask them to call our transfer operator Vision Transport on +60 16 818 6890 or +60 138819883. If you flight is delayed or you have been put on a different flight number please call our local operator in advance to let them know. If you want to take a taxi on arrival please go to the taxi service counter – here the rate is a set rate of 35 MYR and they will issue a voucher to use with the taxi’s parked outside. If you arrive between 12am – 6am expect to pay a 50% surcharge

    Finish point

    Dreamtel Hotel - Kota Kinabalu

    5 Jalan Padang

    Kota Kinabalu

    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.

    Finish 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

    Important information

    FAMILY TRIPS: Please note that these trips are for adults and children travelling together and there must be at least one child under 18 with you. AGE: Minimum age for children on this trip is 5 years old. DISCOUNT: A discount of 10% applies on this trip to children 17 years and under at time of travel. SINGLE SUPPLEMENT: A single supplement is available on this trip with exception of Days 2 (Kinabalu National Park) and Days 4 & 5 (Jungle Camp) KINABATANGAN ECO CAMP - For some departures throughout the year we will only spend 1 night in the Eco Camp and 1 night in the Village in accommodation with attached bathrooms due to availability. WEATHER: Borneo is a tropical country so rain can be excepted at any time. The wet period in Borneo runs from November to February. Temperatures remain fairly constant year round with averages of 27-32°C/80-89°F and relative humidity of around 80%. Consider bringing a portable small neck fan with you to keep you and your family cool. HOTEL LOCATIONS: Many hotels outside of the big cities of Kota Kinabalu and Sandakan have been built so travellers can enjoy the countryside, forest/mountain views, where people can wake up to nature sounds not cars. Many of the hotels we use are in such locations and can be quite remote. So access to restaurants are limited. FOOD: Borneo’s food is known for being fairly mild, with high reliance on fresh fruit and vegetables. The cuisine is a mix of Thai, Malay and Indian. Cuisine staples include grilled fish, barbecued prawns, fried rice, noodles, and local vegetables seasoned with garlic, ginger, and rich sauces. Fish and chicken based soups with noodles cooked in a hot clay pot are very traditional.

    Group leader

    All Intrepid Family trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to assist your family take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Your leader will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for fun things to do and see- for both kids and parents, recommend great local eating venues that will even get the kids trying new things, 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 countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. Our leaders are not babysitters on this trip - we leave that to you (the experts), but they will make sure that group members of all ages are able to explore their destination safely and with as much fun as possible. Our group leaders are not responsible for looking after children at any time and children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian at all times throughout this itinerary.

    Safety

    Most national governments provide regularly updated foreign travel advice 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 destinations and activities on your trip. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trips here: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/travel-alerts We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, flight tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your 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 or relax and take it easy. 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. Intrepid's operational safety policies can be viewed on our website at the link below. We recommend that you take a moment to read through this information before travelling, and would appreciate any feedback on how safety is being managed on our trips.

    https://www.intrepidtravel.com/safety-guidelines

    GOVERNMENT TRAVEL WARNINGS FOR EASTERN SABAH Please note for various nationalities in particular Australian, UK, Irish, New Zealand and United States, different increased Government travel warnings are currently in place for Eastern Sabah. We ask all of our travellers to familiarise themselves with their own Government Travel Advisories and to check that these Government warnings do not affect the level of coverage that is offered to them by their Travel Insurance provider. Travel insurance is compulsory on all of our tours and your insurance must cover you for all activities and areas visited as part of this tour. Please contact your Travel Insurance provider to ensure you have adequate cover for travel to Eastern Sabah. We ask all of our travellers to monitor their own Government travel advisories, some of these are listed below, Australian Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade http://www.smartraveller.gov.au/zw-cgi/view/Advice/ UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office https://www.gov.uk/browse/abroad Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade http://travel.gc.ca/travelling/advisories US Department of State http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/country.html New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade https://www.safetravel.govt.nz/ Ireland Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade https://www.dfa.ie/travel/travel-advice/ The safety of our passengers, leaders and operators is a major priority of Intrepid. With this in mind we monitor world events very closely. Intrepid makes operational decisions based on informed advice from a number of sources including The level of the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade (DFAT) travel advisory. For any Intrepid Travel operated trip if this advisory is at Level 4 'Do Not Travel' then Intrepid will either cancel a trip or reroute the itinerary to avoid the areas concerned. We however also acknowledge that many of our travellers come from many different countries whose own Government travel warnings may differ to the Australian Government. We ask you to familiarise yourself with your relevant Government travel advisories at time of booking and continue to monitor these advisories prior to your trip.

    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!

    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.

    LIFE JACKETS: While life jackets are generally available on water craft, there may be occasions where they are not provided and child size life jackets are not always readily available. If travelling with children and this safety issue concerns you we will be able to advise alternative methods of transport (where available) for you to travel to the next destination. You can choose to travel independently for this leg of the journey. This would be at your own expense.

    Communications

    With the modern world you may want to bring along tablets of smartphones for the children to document their adventure - there are a wide variety of apps out there which we suggest downloading before you depart. There will be opportunities to charge ( just make sure you bring the correct adapter) and there will be wi-fi available on your trip, although it will probably not be at the speeds you are used to at home and it won't be available everywhere.

    Visas

    PASSPORT You will need a valid passport to travel internationally. As a general rule, most countries require that your passport has a minimum of 6 months validity remaining. Your passport details are required to complete your booking. Please ensure the name on your passport matches the name on your booking and airline tickets exactly and contact us immediately if there are any errors. We recommend taking copies of the main passport pages and other important documents with you as well as leave copies at home with family or friends. VISAS Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. Entry requirements can change at any time. It is important that you check your government's foreign travel advisories along with the consular website of the country or countries you are travelling to for the most up to date information specific to your nationality and circumstances. Please be aware that not all visa information found online from other sources may be valid while COVID-19 restrictions are in place. Visas can take several weeks to process, so make sure you research the requirements as soon as you have booked your trip to allow for obtaining any necessary documents as well as the application and processing time. Your booking consultant can advise on a visa processing service or you can apply yourself directly through a consulate. Below you will find general visa advice about the destinations on your trip. Due to constantly evolving COVID-19 requirements and restrictions, please refer to your government's foreign travel advice for most up to date information. 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.

    Why we love it

    Take a guided walk through the lush lower trails of Kinabalu National Park and witness Mt Kinabalu in all its glory at dawn.

    Stay overnight among the birds and beasts of the jungle, right next to an oxbow lake, at Kinabatangan Eco Camp.

    Visit the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre and, if you're lucky, watch baby orangutans learn to swing in a special enclosure.

    Enjoy a special opportunity to watch protected turtle hatchlings scatter across the beach to the water under the cover of night.

    Swim, snorkel and stroll along the sandy beaches of Dinawan Island on an included family day trip to this island paradise.

    Is this trip right for you

    There's a wide range of accommodation on this trip, from hotels and guesthouses to jungle camps. Some may be a little more basic than your standard Intrepid hotel, but their unique location and close proximity to wildlife is what makes them special. There are a few days that we cover long distances with some travelling times of 4–5 hours. A little bit of patience will go a long way towards your enjoyment of this beautiful land!

    Health

    GENERAL HEALTH All 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 manage and enjoy 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, we reserve 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 before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements as they may not easily be obtained while travelling. Below you can find some further information about health issues relevant to the destinations visited on this trip. COVID-19 As we start planning our return to running trips, the safety and wellbeing of our travellers, leaders, crew, staff, and suppliers will remain our priority and our return to operations will be done in a safe and responsible way. You can read more about how we will keep you safe on our trips, including our COVID-19 Health & Safety Guidelines here: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/safe-travels We will not require a negative COVID-19 test before joining a trip unless it is a requirement of entry for the country. If you are unwell prior to travelling, please stay at home and contact us to make alternative arrangements. At the group meeting, you will be asked to complete a self-screening health form and report any COVID-19 symptoms as well as any close contact with someone who has suspected or confirmed COVID-19. If you are displaying any symptoms or have any health concerns at this time, we will assist you to seek medical advice and you will not be permitted to join the trip. We ask all travellers to continue to monitor their health throughout their travels and report any relevant symptoms to their tour leader.

    Food and dietary requirements

    While travelling with us you and your family will 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. 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 and your family 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.

    Money matters

    MALAYSIA The official currency of Malaysia is the Ringgit (MYR).The most convenient and cheapest way to obtain local currency is by ATM. Foreign currency notes that are old, torn or faded can be very difficult to exchange, clean bills in small denominations are most useful. MALAYSIA The official currency of Malaysia is the Ringgit (MYR).The most convenient and cheapest way to obtain local currency is by ATM. Foreign currency notes that are old, torn or faded can be very difficult to exchange, clean bills in small denominations are most useful. 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). 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. Optional Tipping Kitty: 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 tour leader pays the tips for drivers, local guides, and hotel staff (excludes restaurant tips). The leader will keep a running record of all monies spent which 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. Participation in this kitty at your own discretion, and you are welcome to manage your own tipping separately if you prefer. Please note the tipping kitty excludes tips for your tour leader. Optional tipping kitty for this trip: MYR 85 per person 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. 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. CONTINGENCY FUNDS: We try to plan for every eventuality, but there are still some things beyond our control. Please make sure you have access to an extra US$500 for emergencies (e.g. severe weather, natural disasters, civil unrest) or other events that result in unavoidable changes to the itinerary (e.g. transport strikes or cancellations, airport closures). Sometimes these things necessitate last minute changes to enable our trips to continue to run, and as a result there may be some extra costs involved. The recommended amounts are listed in USD for the relatability of universal travellers, however the local currency is needed in the countries you are visiting. MALAYSIA DEPARTURE TAX: From 1st September 2019, all travellers departing Malaysia by air will be required to pay a departure levy. The amount depends on the destination as well as the flight class and ranges from RM8 - RM150.

    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, we recommend you pack as lightly as possible and make sure that you are able to carry and lift your own luggage, and walk with it for short distances or up or down a flight of stairs. Our travellers usually find the smaller their luggage is, the more they enjoy the trip not having to worry about carrying heavy bags! Aim to keep your main luggage under 15kg. Many travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. Smaller suitcases or backpacks with wheels are convenient although we recommend your bag has carry straps or handles. If you are taking overnight trains, or primarily using public transport then the smaller your luggage the easier it will be to store under or above bunks. A lockable bag or small padlock will be useful especially when travelling on public transportation as well. You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water, camera, and jacket etc. when you’re exploring during the day. Below we have listed the essentials for this trip:

    https://www.intrepidtravel.com/packing-list

    LUGGAGE REQUIREMENTS: You need to bring your main piece of luggage as well as a small to medium backpack for overnight trips (30-35 litres/8-9 gallons), such as the jungle camp and homestay. In this you'll need to carry a change of clothes, torch/flashlight, toiletries, warm clothes and any other essentials. The maximum luggage allowance for the flight from Sandakan to Kota Kinabalu is 15kg maximum. Intrepid will not cover the cost of luggage that exceeds this weight. We don't 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. We recommend at least a 1.5litre capacity. 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 end up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments.

    Climate and seasonal

    WEATHER The climate in Malaysia is generally hot and humid throughout the year. Temperatures do not fluctuate much and stay in the 30Cs most of the day, dropping back to the mid to high 20Cs at night. This makes Malaysia a great place for swimming, snorkelling and relaxing in the sun. Humidity is higher during the wet season and can be quite oppressive for those not used to it. The wet season changes from coast to coast. From November to April, the wet season hits the east coast of the peninsula and it is dry on the west coast. During May to October it is dry on the east coast and wet on the west. CHINESE NEW YEAR: An important 15 day festival for the Malaysian Chinese, based on the lunar calendar in January or February. In 2021, the Year of the Ox begins from the 12th of 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 travellers is appreciated if choosing to travel during this time in Malaysia. RAMADAN: The month-long Ramadan Festival will start on 12th April 2021 and end on the 11th of May 2021. 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.

    A couple of rules

    Everyone has the right to feel safe when they travel. We don’t tolerate any form of violence (verbal or physical) or sexual harassment, either between customers or involving our leaders, partners or local people. Sexual relationships between a tour leader and a customer are strictly forbidden. Use or possession of illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. If you choose to consume alcohol while travelling, we encourage responsible drinking and expect that you’ll abide by the local laws regarding alcohol consumption. The sex tourism industry is known to exploit vulnerable people and have negative consequences on communities, including undermining the development of sustainable tourism. For this reason, patronising sex workers will not be tolerated on our trips. By travelling with us you are agreeing to adhere to these rules. You must at all times comply with the laws, customs, foreign exchange and drug regulations of all countries visited, and you also agree to travel in accordance with our Responsible Travel Guidelines. The decision of the group leader is final on all matters likely to affect the safety or well-being of any traveller or staff member participating in the trip. If you fail to comply with a decision made by a group leader, or interfere with the well-being or mobility of the group, the group leader may direct you to leave the trip immediately, with no right of refund. We may also elect not to carry you on any future trips booked. If you feel that someone is behaving inappropriately while travelling with us, please inform your tour leader or local guide immediately. Alternatively, contact us on the emergency contact number detailed in the Problems and Emergency Contact section of this Essential Trip Information.

    Feedback

    Can’t stop thinking about your adventure? Tell us all about it! We read each piece of feedback carefully and use it to make improvements for travellers like you. Share your experience with us at: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/feedback/

    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. Please do be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is completed, so informing us while still travelling will give us the opportunity to resolve the issue in real-time. For general contact details please use the following page: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/contact/ In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency, please contact our local office: Intrepid’s Local Operator: +60 13 8815813

    Responsible travel

    Our Responsible Travel Policy outlines our commitment to preserving the environment, supporting local communities, protecting the vulnerable, and giving back to the places we travel. All our trip leaders, suppliers, and staff are trained on these principles and are core to us delivering sustainable, experience-rich travel. Explore the different parts of our Responsible Travel Policy by visiting: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/responsible-travel LOCAL DRESS: Dress standards are conservative throughout Asia, especially outside major cities. To respect this and for your own comfort, we strongly recommend modest clothing. This means clothing that covers your shoulders and knees by wearing sleeves and long trousers. Loose, lightweight, long clothing is both respectful and cool in areas of predominantly hot climate. In many rural areas women will need to wear modest clothing even to swim. Singlets, tank tops and topless sun bathing are all unacceptable. When visiting religious sites men often need to wear long trousers and women a long skirt or sarong.

    The Intrepid Foundation

    Help us change thousands of lives by creating meaningful work and supporting skills training in communities around the world. The Intrepid Foundation is the not-for-profit for Intrepid Group. We work with local organisations around the world to improve the livelihoods of vulnerable individuals and communities through sustainable travel experiences. With our travellers’ help, we’ve contributed more than AU $6 million to over 100 community organisations since 2002. Did you know that tourism is one of the biggest contributors to the global economy, making up 1 out of every 10 jobs? That’s why we support local projects that create meaningful jobs and give people the skills they need to work in the destinations we take you to. And it’s why we exist – to make it easy for travellers to give back to the communities and places they’ve been in an effective and meaningful way. Intrepid Group covers all administration costs, every cent goes directly to the projects. Donating is simple and secure. Please ask your leader for information about the projects we support through The Intrepid Foundation or visit our website: http://www.theintrepidfoundation.org/

    Accommodation notes

    GENERAL ROOMING CONFIGURATIONS: Family of two - All family groupings of two will be put into a twin room. Family of three - Wherever possible we will put you in a triple room. Please be aware that in some places triple rooms are in short supply. This means that, in practice, a triple room will often simply be a twin room with a mattress on the floor or a further bed squashed in. Where it is impossible to provide a triple room, you will have to decide which of your party takes the single room. Family of four or more - You will most likely stay in two twin rooms. If and wherever possible we will aim put you in a quadruple room. Whilst we will do our very best to ensure that families are roomed close together (in some cases, we can arrange adjoining rooms), we can’t guarantee this. Most family holidays occur during peak season and we sometimes have little to no control over where you will be put. You need to come prepared for this.

    Travel insurance

    Travel insurance is compulsory on all our trips for those travelling internationally. We require that at a minimum you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. If you are travelling within your home country or region please confirm before travel that you are entitled to access the public medical system easily should an accident occur. We strongly recommend all travellers have a policy that also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage or personal effects. For international trips, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24-hour emergency contact number has been sighted 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 your credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country. Travellers who reside within the European Union or Switzerland receive basic international health insurance, so travel insurance is not mandatory under European Union Law. However, as this does not cover situations such as emergency rescues, private health care, or repatriation to their home country, comprehensive travel insurance is strongly recommended. European Union or Swiss travellers who decline travel insurance when travelling outside of their home region must sign a Travel Insurance Waiver Form at the Group Meeting. For assistance with travel insurance or other services, please visit the link below: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/booking-resources/our-services

    Your fellow travellers

    You will travel in a group with other like-minded families who may have come from all over the world. We find that the kids of all ages usually bond really well and act as a catalyst for the rest of the group. If you are keen to know the ages of other children on the trip then please ask. 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.

    Itinerary disclaimer

    ITINERARY CHANGES Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It is important that you review this information prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays, or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in-country. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary seasonally to ensure our travellers have the best experience. Your tour leader will keep you up to date with any such changes once on tour. OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES A selection of optional activities that have been popular with past travellers are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only for some of what might be available. Prices are approximate, 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 maybe on a join-in basis. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination, so some pre-planning for what you are most interested in is advised. When it's recommended that travellers pre-book these activities, look for a note in the Special Information section of the day-to-day itinerary. For most, they can either be organised independently on the day, or let your leader know you are interested in the Group Meeting and they can assist. Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. Although it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Medium and high-risk activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with organising these activities. Activities that contravene our Responsible Travel policies are also not listed. Please remember that the decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.

    Accommodation

    Hotel (4 nights),eco camp (2 nights),resort (3 nights),chalet (1 night)

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