Classic Borneo
from $3200
Duration: 10 Days
Have an essential Borneo experience on this ten-day adventure to its natural hotspots. Head into lush jungles, down scenic rivers and through the traditional villages of this beautiful region. On the way, soak up stunning mountain vistas, meet local villagers, relax on stunning beaches and have an encounter with some pretty special wildlife. There's no doubt that this adventure in Borneo will find its way into your heart and leave you with unforgettable memories.
  • Experience life in a Dusun village while enjoying a delicious home-cooked lunch of local specialties.
  • Explore the unspoiled wilderness of the Kinabalu National Park by walking the trails at the base of this much-admired mountain.
  • One of the wildest places on earth, Borneo offers rare treats for the nature lover – see orangutans in Sepilok and proboscis monkeys at Labuk Bay.
  • Search for wildlife when you’re cruising the Kinabatangan River on a water safari and while you’re in the depths of the wilderness on a jungle walk.
  • During two days on glorious Manukan Island, there's plenty of time to soak up the relaxed beach vibe, and to get close to marine life on an included snorkelling trip.
  • Complimentary Airport Arrival Transfer
  • Mt Kinabalu National Park - Lower trails guided walk
  • Mt Kinabalu National Park - Mount Kinabalu Botanical Garden
  • Dusun Village - Home-cooked lunch
  • Kinabatangan River - Wildlife spotting cruise
  • Bilit Rainforest Lodge - Lunch
  • Bilit Rainforest Lodge - Dinner
  • Kinabatangan River - Wildlife spotting cruise
  • Kinabatangan River - Orang Sungei guided village walk
  • Sandakan - War Memorial
  • Sukau - Gomantong Caves
  • Sepilok - Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre
  • Sepilok - Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary
  • Tunku Abdul National Marine Park - Boat trip & snorkelling
  • Day 1 Location: Kota Kinabalu
    Selamat datang! Welcome to Malaysia. Your adventure begins with an important welcome meeting at 6 pm. If you have any free time beforehand, why not get out and explore this intriguing city that 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 – the Sabah State Museum is a great place to immerse yourself in its backstory.
    Day 2 Location: Dusun Village - Mt Kinabalu National Park - Kundasang
    Leaving Kota Kinabalu behind, you'll head for the hills and travel towards the unspoiled wilderness of the World Heritage-listed Mt Kinabalu National Park (approximately 3 hours). You will stop off en route at a local home in a  Dusun Village. Sample the local foods with a home cooked lunch to get some insight into what it’s like to live in a rural village. Later you can stretch your legs and soak up the mountain scenery with a stroll through Mt Kinabalu National Park. There are many walking trails from which you can bird watch. The Mt Kinabalu Botanical Garden is an excellent showcase of the diverse plant life on the mountain, as flora from all over the park has been replanted here. Spend the night in a mountain lodge close by to the park in Kundasang.
    Day 3 Location: Kinabatangan River
    After breakfast, head to Kinabatangan River in private minivan – a trip of approximately 5 hours. Your jungle lodge, located beside the river, is ideal for taking in the lush surrounds. At 560 kilometres, the Kinabatangan River is the second longest in Malaysia. It's also a protected forest reserve, containing some of the highest concentrations of wildlife in Borneo. Later in the afternoon you will take a river cruise, hopefully spotting some of the more exotic local creatures. Wild elephants seldom reveal themselves, but crocodiles, macaques, wild orangutan, proboscis monkeys, hornbills and kingfishers are more easily seen. After this short adventure, head back to your lodge and enjoy dinner with the group.
    Day 4 Location: Kinabatangan River
    You might wake to the call of a Bornean gibbon, or perhaps a hornbill. Enjoy an early morning cruise down the river, searching for more birds and wildlife. Keep an eye out for Long Tail Macaques and Pig Tail Macaques – your expert leader can tell you the difference. Later that morning, take a walk to Bilit Village, home to the local Orang Sungei community. The Orang Sungei, which translates to ‘River People’, are one of Sabah’s many indigenous communities and are very hospitable with a diverse cultural heritage. Enjoy some free time in the afternoon before another river cruise to see wildlife along the riverbank. This final river cruise will be your last chance to photograph or simply marvel at your surrounds. Spend one more night in your lovely accommodation right in the heart of the jungle.
    Day 5 Location: Sandakan
    Travelling by private minivan, you will stop to visit the intricate Gomantong Caves. Renowned for their edible swiftlet nets, they are harvested for bird's nest soup. Bird's nest collection is an ancient tradition, though nowadays licences are required for it. Travelling to Sandakan, a journey of 3 hours, you will stop in at the Sandakan War Memorial. Here you will learn about the city's past as you stand on the same ground of the former Japanese Prisoners Of War camp. This site also marks the starting point of the tragic Sandakan Death Marches, on which 2400 POWs were forced to walk through the jungles of Borneo. By the end of the march, only 6 Australians survived, and only because they had escaped. Arrive in Sandakan, which was once the capital of British North Borneo and traditionally has strong trading ties with Hong Kong. The Cantonese influence is obvious in the lively harbour-side market, the many Chinese temples and the local cuisine.
    Day 6 Location: Sepilok - Labuk Bay - Sandakan
    This morning, take a private transfer to the Sepliok Orangutan Sanctuary (approximately 1 hour). The centre was set up to help reintroduce these wonderful creatures back into the wild after a life of domestication or having been orphaned. From the viewing platform, you can watch and photograph these charming creatures as they swing into view and eat the supplementary diet of bananas and milk that is 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. Also included is a new 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 to not disturb the animals. To see more of Borneo’s creatures, there’s the option to visit the newly opened Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Center. Here, rescued Sun Bears that have spent many years mistreated and locked away in cages are cared for, with hopes of rehabilitation and reintroduction into the wild. You will also visit the Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary, where you can watch up close the amazing bachelor proboscis lazing and feeding – an experience that can only be found in Borneo.
    Day 7 Location: Manukan Island
    Transfer to Sandakan Airport today for a flight to Kota Kinabalu. A short boat ride (around 20 minutes) takes you to Manukan Island, just off the coast of Kota Kinabalu. This is one of the larger islands found in the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine National Park. The first of two days on this island will be free for you to explore the island at your leisure – perhaps swimming or local activities. The 1.5-kilometre beach is lovely to stroll along at low tide.
    Day 8 Location: Manukan Island
    Enjoy a snorkelling trip today, where an array of coral and brightly coloured marine life reveals itself, conditions depending. An optional scuba dive trip from Manukan Island is also on offer for those interested in a more immersive experience. If you are interested, let your leader know and it can be arranged. After snorkelling, the afternoon is yours to enjoy. Soak up the turquoise vistas for another few hours as you stroll or swim about in this stunning slice of paradise.
    Day 9 Location: Kota Kinabalu
    Head back to Kota Kinabalu today by boat and minivan. This will take around 40 minutes. Optional activities include a visit the intriguing Mari Mari Cultural Village, nestled deep in the countryside. Here you will see how indigenous ethnic groups of Borneo used to live. Or a visit to the Sabah Museum to learn about Sabah’s past or do some last-minute souvenir shopping at the Filipino market. Tonight, perhaps head out for a meal with your group to celebrate your Borneo adventure.
    Day 10 Location: Kota Kinabalu
    There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time.
    Dates
    Prices
    Availability
    Departure Date:
    09JAN2021
    Return Date:
    18JAN2021
    3455NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    27FEB2021
    Return Date:
    08MAR2021
    3560NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    13MAR2021
    Return Date:
    22MAR2021
    3430NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    03APR2021
    Return Date:
    12APR2021
    3330NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    17APR2021
    Return Date:
    26APR2021
    3330NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    15MAY2021
    Return Date:
    24MAY2021
    3330NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    29MAY2021
    Return Date:
    07JUN2021
    3200NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    12JUN2021
    Return Date:
    21JUN2021
    3265NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    26JUN2021
    Return Date:
    05JUL2021
    3200NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    03JUL2021
    Return Date:
    12JUL2021
    3200NZD
    available
    Last modified (date)

    01 Aug 2020

    Trip title

    Classic Borneo

    Trip code

    TMKB

    Validity

    Validity: 01 Jan 2020 to 31 Dec 2021

    Introduction

    Have an essential Borneo experience on this ten-day adventure to its natural hotspots. Head into lush jungles, down scenic rivers and through the traditional villages of this beautiful region. On the way, soak up stunning mountain vistas, meet local villagers, relax on stunning beaches and have an encounter with some pretty special wildlife. There's no doubt that this adventure in Borneo will find its way into your heart and leave you with unforgettable memories.

    Style

    Comfort

    Themes

    Explorer,Wildlife

    Transport

    Boat,Plane,Private mini van

    Physical Rating

    2

    Joining point

    Jesselton Hotel

    69, Jalan Gaya, Pusat Bandar Kota Kinabalu

    Kota Kinabalu

    88000

    MALAYSIA

    Joining point description

    Jesselton Hotel offers accommodation in the heart of Kota Kinabalu where guests can enjoy meals at the in-house restaurant or have a drink at the bar. Free WiFi is available throughout the property. Air-conditioned rooms at the hotel are equipped with a TV with cable channels and a marble bathroom with toiletries and a hairdryer. In addition to an in-room safe, tea/coffee making facilities and a minibar are included.

    Joining point instructions

    A complimentary arrival transfer is included in this trip. Please advise your flight arrival details to your agent at least 14 days prior to your trip departure if you wish to have this provided. Once you exit customs, our representative will be holding a sign with the Intrepid logo on it. At Kota Kinabalu International Airport If you have any problems and cannot locate our transfer representative on arrival (the driver is only able to wait for 1 hour past your scheduled arrival time) 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 10pm – 6am expect to pay a 50% surcharge.

    Finish point

    Jesselton Hotel

    69, Jalan Gaya, Pusat Bandar Kota Kinabalu

    Kota Kinabalu

    88000

    MALAYSIA

    Finish point description

    Jesselton Hotel offers accommodation in the heart of Kota Kinabalu where guests can enjoy meals at the in-house restaurant or have a drink at the bar. Free WiFi is available throughout the property. Air-conditioned rooms at the hotel are equipped with a TV with cable channels and a marble bathroom with toiletries and a hairdryer. In addition to an in-room safe, tea/coffee making facilities and a minibar are included.

    Finish point instructions

    If you have a transfer to the Kota Kinabalu Airport your transfer driver will collect you from your hotel 3 hours before your flight time. If your transfer has not arrived within 15 minutes 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

    1. A complimentary airport arrival transfer is included; valid if you are arriving on Day 1 or if you have booked pre-tour accommodation through us. You must provide your flight details to your booking agent at least 14 days prior to travel. 2. There is a strict limit of 7kg for carry on and 15 kg for check in luggage on the internal flight. Excess luggage will incur additional fees payable on the ground to the airline. 3. A Single Supplement to have your own room is available and includes all nights. 4. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest information on travelling in Eastern Sabah before your departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas of your itinerary.

    Group leader

    All 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

    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

    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 the bigger cities.

    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.

    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

    Experience life in a Dusun village while enjoying a delicious home-cooked lunch of local specialties.

    Explore the unspoiled wilderness of the Kinabalu National Park by walking the trails at the base of this much-admired mountain.

    One of the wildest places on earth, Borneo offers rare treats for the nature lover – see orangutans in Sepilok and proboscis monkeys at Labuk Bay.

    Search for wildlife when you’re cruising the Kinabatangan River on a water safari and while you’re in the depths of the wilderness on a jungle walk.

    During two days on glorious Manukan Island, there's plenty of time to soak up the relaxed beach vibe, and to get close to marine life on an included snorkelling trip.

    Is this trip right for you

    As you travel across Sabah, you'll stay in a variety of different accommodation, from standard hotels, to jungle lodges. Some accommodation may have less amenities than a standard hotel, but the unique locations and proximity to nature make them stand out favourites for travellers. Less time spent in a vehicle; more time to explore each destination. This trip has been carefully designed to give you the best experience of a region by reducing the number of one-night-only stops, giving you extra time in the places that matter. With this in mind, be prepared for some long drives of up to 5 hours. Wherever possible, you'll make stops in interesting locations to break up the trip and we use private transport throughout for extra comfort. You’ll be walking some of the lower trails in Kinabalu National Park, however you do not climb the mountain itself. If this is something that interests you, check out Intrepid’s Sabah Adventure (trip code TMSC) or Borneo: Hike, Bike & Kayak (trip code TMXB) trips. Travelling light is essential, as there is a strict 15 kg maximum luggage limit for check in luggage on your internal flight. Excess luggage will incur extra fees, payable on ground to the airline.

    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. 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. 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: There have been reports of transmission of the mosquito-borne Zika virus in this region 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, we recommend all women who are pregnant or trying to get pregnant to consult with their doctors before booking their trip.

    Food and dietary requirements

    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. 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.

    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 an appropriate amount for things like optional meals, drinks, shopping, optional activities, and laundry. Make sure you have read the itinerary and inclusions thoroughly so you know what is included in the trip price and what you may need to pay for while travelling. We recommend USD300.00 for meals not included. 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. 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 90 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 CONTINGENCY FUNDS We try to plan for every eventuality, but there are still some things beyond our control. We reserve the right to change an itinerary after departure due to local circumstances or a Force Majeure Event. In such emergency circumstances, the additional cost of any necessary itinerary alterations will be covered by you. Please note we are not responsible for any incidental expenses that may be incurred as a result of the change of itineraries including but not limited to visas, vaccinations or non-refundable flights. 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 amount is listed in USD for the relatability of universal travellers, however, local currency may be needed once in the country to cover these costs. 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 MYR 8 - MYR 150.

    What to take

    What you need to bring will vary according to 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. As well as your underwear, toothbrush and other items you always need to pack for travel, below are some items that you specifically need for this trip.

    FLIGHTS:- there is a strict 15kg luggage maximum on this trip due to internal flight. Excess luggage is to be paid by the traveler. You are also allowed a cabin bag of up to 7kg. Please note as this trip starts and finishes at the same hotel you can leave any excess luggage at the hotel in their secure storage room. LAUNDRY– you will have access to paid laundry facilities on this trip, every couple of days in most destinations. We recommend you take a few set of clothes to wear for times when you don’t have access to a laundry. 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. ESSENTIALS - Long trousers/long skirt/shorts (Denim not recommended due to humidity – cotton or quick drying clothes are better) - T-Shirts/cotton shirts - Long-sleeved top (for evenings when mosquitoes are out) - Comfortable shoes for walking with a good grip: Closed-in shoes that are comfortable to walk for an entire day are recommended - Sandals/flip flops/easy to remove footwear: - Sun protection – hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, lip balm - Insect repellent - Day Backpack – for carrying snacks, water bottle, camera etc - Lightweight waterproof jacket – It is not unusual to encounter a short down pour even outside of the rainy season while traveling through South East Asia - Swimming costume RECOMMENDED - Personal medical kit. Your guide will carry a large kit but we recommend you carry items such as, mild pain killers, bandaids and electrolytes. - Camera with spare batteries/charger - Electrical travel adaptor plug - Torch/flashlight - Hand sanitizer - Water bottle – some hotels may have filtered drinking water to refill your bottle. - Money belt or pouch - Binocluars for spotting wildlife - Torch or head lamp - recommended for around your accommodation at night. Some properties have limited lighting and are powered by generators that switch off at a certain time. It’s a good idea to bring a headlamp or torch. OPTIONAL - A good book, a journal and music player - Deck of cards if you like to play cards with your traveling buddies -Travel washing line and Bio-degradable washing detergent MORE! If you need some further tips for packing, you can always check out our ultimate packing list.

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

    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 use the water dispensers which are provided at some of our accommodation or simply refill with tap water (your leader will advise whether tap water is safe to drink in your destination). When unable to avoid bottled water it is better to buy the largest available and distribute into your smaller bottle for the day.

    Climate and seasonal

    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. 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.

    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.

    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 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 Local Operator: +60 13 881 5813

    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 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 predominantly hot Asian climates. In many rural areas in Asia women will need to wear modest clothing even to swim. Singlets and tank tops for daily wear are not unusual attire. When visiting religious sites men often need to wear long trousers and women a long skirt or sarong. BIRDS NEST SOUP Birds nest collection is an ancient tradition dating back to 500AD which is used to make bird nest soup. Today birds nest collection is a regulated practice with locals requiring a government harvesting licence to climb to the roofs of caves to collect the birds nest. The first collection takes place early in the breeding season before the swiftlets lay their eggs. The birds then make another nest in which they lay their eggs. After the young have left the nest a second collection is made. Care must be taken to assure that the nests are collected only after the young swiftlets have abandoned these nests. Edible birds nests are protected under the Birds Nest Ordinance and the Forest Enactment of 1968. There are heavy fines and penalties imposed on unlicensed collectors and Intrepid Travel asks our passengers to refrain from consuming birds nest soup or products to discourage unlicensed collection.

    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/ PALM OIL While travelling through Eastern Sabah, you will likely notice that much of the land is covered in palm oil plantations. Check out our Boeneo Destnation page for more information about this hot topic: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/borneo

    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

    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. SOLO TRAVELLERS This is the beauty of our style of travel: many of our travellers join because they are travelling solo and want to meet and share experiences with like-minded people. As a solo traveller, you will be paired up with another traveller of the same gender as per your passport information. Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour. Pre-trip and post-trip accommodation booked through us will on a single room basis. If you’re not comfortable sharing a room with someone of the same gender, you also have the choice to pay for a single supplement (available on the majority of our trips). If you don’t identify with the gender assigned on your passport, please let us know at time of booking and we’ll arrange the rooming configuration accordingly. Some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on an open gender, multi-share basis and where applicable this will be specified in our Essential Trip Information.

    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.

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