Borneo – East Sabah AdventureBorneo – East Sabah Adventure
Between its intriguing wildlife, skyscraper-height jungle canopies, and gorgeous coastlines teeming with tropical fish, this magical stretch of Borneo is positively bursting with stuff to see and do. This eight-day adventure promises to keep you busy; time spent marvelling at nature’s glory on Libaran Island, close encounters with orangutans at a rehabilitation centre, prowling the streets of Kota Kinabalu by night, and otherworldly wonders in the jungle. Borneo has it all, and in east Sabah, it’s all close at hand.
- Travel Style : Classic
- Service Level : Standard
- Physical Grading : 2 - Light
- Merchandising : Top Seller
- Trip Type : Small Group
- What's Included:Your G for Good Moment: Libaran Island Village Walk, Pulau Libaran
Your Welcome Moment: Meet Your CEO and Group
Your Foodie Moment: Local Farms and Cooking Class, Mesilou Village
Your Local Living Moment: Mesilou Atamis Homestay, Mesilou Village. Morning and evening Kinabatangan River safaris. Guided oxbow lake visit and wildlife spotting (Kinabatangan). Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre visit. Turtle hatchery visit. Internal flight. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.
- Highlights:Gather fresh local ingredients for a cooking class, Embark on a river safari, Keep an eye out for proboscis monkeys and other wildlife, Visit a turtle hatchery on Libaran Island
- Dossier Disclaimer:The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary.
VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.
- Itinerary Disclaimer:While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Aboard expedition trips visits to research stations depend on final permission.
Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.
- Important Notes:1. ACCOMMODATION
It should be stressed that the nature of the accommodation when compared with other areas of SE Asia, is sometimes of a lower standard than normally provided on G Adventures trips. This is often due to the location and type of activities involved (ie high on a mountain and in remote jungle areas). Accommodation is always clean and usually makes up in character and location, what it might not provide in glamour and additional services.
According to the lunar cycle, Ramadan will fall between April 23rd and May 23rd, 2020. Please note that Ramadan is a month of fasting observed by Muslims throughout the world, during which time the followers of Islam should not eat or drink between sunrise and sunset. There may be some limitations to services and disruptions to schedules during Ramadan, but generally our tours still operate effectively during this period and food is available to non-Muslims throughout the day. It is very important to display increased cultural sensitivity during Ramadan. Please wear loose fitting clothes, that cover knees and shoulders, and try to avoid eating, drinking or smoking in public out of respect for those who can't at that time.
3. TRAVEL WARNINGS TO EASTERN SABAH
Various nationalities have a travel warning for Eastern Sabah. Please visit your government website and check with your insurance that any warnings will not affect your insurance coverage, as travel insurance that covers the entire itinerary is mandatory on our tours.
The safety of our travellers is our number one priority at G Adventures. We will continuously monitor the region and will continue to run itineraries to areas that we believe to be safe.
Below are some shortcuts:
Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade - https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/advisories
US Department of State - https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/traveladvisories.html/
UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office - https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice
Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade - https://smartraveller.gov.au/
New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade - https://www.safetravel.govt.nz/
- Group Leader Description:All G Adventures group trips are accompanied by one of our Chief Experience Officers (CEO) throughout. The aim of the CEO is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They 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 countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting- we think it's the best of both worlds.
- Group Size Notes:Max 15
- Meals Included:7 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 4 dinners
- Meals:Eating is a big part of travelling. Travelling with G Adventures you experience the vast array of wonderful food that is available out in the world. Generally meals are not included in the trip price when there is a choice of eating options, to give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat. It also gives you more budgeting flexibility, though generally food is cheap. Our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There is no obligation to do this though. Your CEO will be able to suggest favourite restaurants during your trip. Included breakfasts will usually be asian style consisting of noodles or congee (rice porridge) or bread and eggs. Vegetarians will be able to find a range of different foods, although in some areas the choice maybe limited. While trekking in remote regions food is included, plentiful and made of fresh local ingredients. For all trips please refer to the meals included and budget information for included meals and meal budgets.
- Transport:Private vehicle, plane, boat, walking.
- Local Flights:All local flights are included in the cost of your tour unless otherwise noted. It is important that we have your passport information at the time of booking in order to process these tickets. Internal flight tickets are issued locally and will be given to you prior to the flight departure.
- Solo Travellers:We believe solo travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and solo travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.
- Accommodation:Hotels/guesthouses (2 nts), homestay (1 nt, multi-share), jungle lodge (3 nts), permanent tented camp (1 nt).
- My Own Room Exceptions:Day 2 (homestay), Day 5 (multi-share).
- About Accommodation:A variety of styles of hotels/guesthouses are used in Malaysia. In many instances they might not be like what you are used to back home. In some areas we stay in simple local guesthouses in stunning locations - rooms are small and basic and there may only be shared toilet facilities and showers. Service and efficiency can also vary.
- Joining Hotel:For details of your joining hotel please refer to your tour voucher, G Account, the G Adventures App or contact your travel agent.
- Joining Instructions:If you have paid in advance for an arrival transfer, a G Adventures representative will be at the airport to meet you. For the pick-up point at Kota Kinabalu International Airport, there are three different arrival gates known as International, Domestic (within Malaysia), Domestic (within Sabah only). Please wait at your arrival gate. Our airport representative will be at the arrival hall based on your flight. If for any reason you are not met at the airport, please call our local support line at +6012 833 0304, +60128335739. If you are unable to make contact for whatever reason, please make your way to the joining point hotel via taxi.
To reach the G Adventures joining point hotel in Kota Kinabalu take a public taxi from the airport - there is a pre-paid taxi booth directly outside the arrival hall. Taxis are cheap, safe and reliable. Expect to pay around RM15-20.
Please note that Day 1 is an arrival day and no activities have been planned for that day other then your welcome meeting in the evening, so you can arrive at any time.
A G Adventures Representative will organize a short meeting soon after arrival, during which you will meet other tour participants and receive information about general and specific aspects of the trip. A welcome note will be left for you in the hotel so you have all the necessary information regarding the meeting time. If you arrive late, s/he will leave you a message detailing what time and where you should meet the next morning.
- Arrival Complications:We don't expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, as soon as possible please contact your starting point hotel, requesting that you speak to or leave a message for your CEO (if you are not on a group tour please refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier). If you are unable to get in touch with your leader, please refer to our emergency contact details. If you have pre-booked an airport transfer and have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the Starting Point hotel, following the Joining Instructions. Please apply to your travel agent on your return for a refund of the transfer cost if this occurs.
- Emergency Contact:Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call either the G Adventures Local Representative (if one is listed below) or our G Adventures Local Office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.
If you have purchased an arrival through G Adventures or if an arrival transfer is included in the cost of your tour, please note that:
Your arrival transfer has been arranged based on flight information provided to us. If you are advised of a flight schedule change within 48 hours of your scheduled arrival time, we will do our best to rearrange your arrival transfer however we cannot guarantee this. If your arrival transfer does not arrive within 30 minutes after you have exited the arrivals area please take a taxi to your start point hotel.
EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures Office Bangkok, Thailand
During Office hours (Weekdays, 9am-5pm Local Time)
From outside Thailand: +66 2 508 8630
From within Thailand: 02 508 8630
After hours emergency number (SE Asia Manager)
From outside Thailand: +66 87 049 6074
From within Thailand: 087 049 6074
If you are unable for any reason to contact our local office, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you directly with our 24 hour Sales team, who will happily assist you.
Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from UK: 0344 272 0000
Calls from Germany: 0800 365 1000
Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618
Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999
- What to Take:You will be on the move a good deal, so pack as lightly as possible (under 10 kg/22lb). It is to your advantage as you are expected to carry your own luggage, though distances are never great. We do not allow the use of video cameras when staying in the villages as it can be perceived by the local people as highly obtrusive. Most travellers carry their luggage in a pack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice. Suitcases are not appropriate for this particular trip! You need to bring your main piece of luggage as well as a small to medium backpack for any overnight trips (30-35 litres/8-9 gallons).
- Packing List:Conservative Dress:
• Modest clothing that covers knees and shoulders (Long pants, long skirts, shirts that cover shoulders)
• Shawl or scarf (for temple visits)
• Flight info (required) (Printouts of e-tickets may be required at the border)
• Insurance info (required) (With photocopies)
• Passport (required) (With photocopies)
• Required visas or vaccination certificates (required) (With photocopies)
• Vouchers and pre-departure information (required)
• Binoculars (optional)
• Camera (With extra memory cards and batteries)
• Cash, credit and debit cards
• Day pack (Used for daily excursions or short overnights)
• Ear plugs
• First-aid kit (should contain lip balm with sunscreen, sunscreen, whistle, Aspirin, Ibuprofen, bandaids/plasters, tape, anti-histamines, antibacterial gel/wipes, antiseptic cream, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, rehydration powder, water purification tablets or drops, insect repellent, sewing kit, extra prescription drugs you may be taking)
• Flashlight/torch (Headlamps are ideal)
• Fleece top/sweater
• Locks for bags
• Long pants/jeans
• Outlet adapter
• Personal entertainment (Reading and writing materials, cards, music player, etc.)
• Reusable water bottle
• Small travel towel
• Toiletries (Preferably biodegradable)
• Watch and alarm clock
• Waterproof backpack cover
• Windproof rain jacket
• Shorts/skirts (Longer shorts/skirts are recommended)
• Sun hat/bandana
- Laundry:Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels for a charge. There will be times when you may want to or have to do your own laundry so we suggest you bring non-polluting/biodegradable soap.
- Visas and Entry Requirements:It is your responsibility to arrange visas before you travel. Your travel agent can assist. Below are the visa requirements for Malaysia at the time of printing:Malaysia: A visa is not required for the following nationalities: Australian, British, Irish, New Zealand, Canadian, American, Belgian, Swedish, Swiss, German, Danish and Dutch. Refer to your travel agent for other nationalities.
- Spending Money:Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
- Money Exchange:During this tour the local currency you will use is the Malaysian Ringgit.
As currency exchange rates in Southeast Asia do fluctuate, we ask that you refer to the following website for the most up to date daily exchange rates: www.xe.com for each of the above mentioned currencies.
The best way to carry your money is in debit cards, withdrawing cash in local currencies from ATM machines. ATMs are found throughout Southeast Asia and will generally accept cards on the Visa and Mastercard networks. It is a great idea to travel with both a Visa and Mastercard if at all possible in case of loss or problems with one card, you will have a back up. Please note, your bank will charge a fee for overseas withdrawals.
USD Cash is recommended for times when ATMs are not accessible. You should bring some cash with you for emergency situations (please refer to our trip dossier) but carrying only cash is a high safety risk. ATM card/s and some cash is the ideal mix.
Travellers cheques can be tricky, timely and expensive to exchange. While we do not recommend that you bring them as your primary source of funds, it is great to have one or two cheques in case of emergency. Thomas Cook or American Express travellers' cheques in US currency are the easiest to exchange. Cash advances can also be made with some banks but are time consuming and tend to have high fees attached.Credit cards can be used at some upmarket restaurants, and at some larger stores if shopping for big items.
If you are bringing US Dollars, please make sure that the notes are new and in good condition. Notes older than 2003, or with any tears or blemishes may not be accepted. Be fussy with your bank when buying cash!
- Emergency Fund:Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $200 (or equivalent) as an 'emergency' fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!
- Departure Tax:All departure taxes should be included in your international flight ticket.
- Tipping:It is customary in Asia to tip service providers such as waiters, at approximately 10%, depending on the service. Tipping is expected - though not compulsory - and shows an expression of satisfaction with the people who have assisted you on your tour. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. There are several times during the trip where there is opportunity to tip the local guides or drivers we use. You may do this individually, or your CEO will offer to collect the money and tip as a group. Recommendations for tipping drivers and local guides would range from $1.5-$3.5 USD per person per day depending on the quality and length of the service; ask your CEO for specific recommendations based on the circumstances and culture. Also at the end of each trip if you felt your G Adventures CEO did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline $20-25 USD per person, per week can be used.
- Optional Activities:Kampung Bilit
- Jungle Night Walk (70MYR per person)
- Health:Please note inoculations may be required for the country visited. It is your responsibility to consult with your travel doctor for up to date medical travel information well before departure.
You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information well before departure. We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit and hand sanitizers / antibacterial wipes as well as any personal medical requirements. Please be aware that sometimes we are in remote areas and away from medical facilities, and for legal reasons our leaders are prohibited from administering any type of drug including headache tablets, antibiotics, etc. In Asia pharmacies tend to stock the same western drugs as you get at home but they are usually produced locally so please bring the full drug name with you when trying to purchase a prescription drug. When selecting your trip please carefully read the brochure and itinerary and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please refer to the Physical and Culture Shock ratings for trip specific information. G Adventures reserves the right to exclude any traveller from all or part of a trip without refund if in the reasonable opinion of our CEO they are unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group.
- Safety and Security:Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers' cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your CEO has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Your CEO will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgment when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions.
Protests and Demonstrations- Protests and demonstrations, even those that are well intended, have the potential to turn violent with no warning. Counter protests can also turn violent. Action by security forces to disperse demonstrators and protesters may occur at any time. If you are in an area where demonstrators or protesters are gathering, avoid the temptation of staying for a good photo opportunity and leave the area immediately.
Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards) have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s).
Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk.
We take all prudent measures in relation to your safety. For ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling, please visit:
- Trip Specific Safety:We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers' cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.
- A Couple of Rules:Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our CEOs have the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.
- Travel Insurance:Travel Insurance: Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your CEO, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy please bear in mind that all clients must have medical coverage and that we require a minimum coverage of USD 200,000 for repatriation and emergency rescue. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.
- Local Dress:When packing be aware that dress standards are conservative throughout Asia. Malaysia is a predominantly Muslim country. To respect this and for your own comfort, we strongly recommend modest clothing. This means covering shoulders and no short shorts. Loose, lightweight, long clothing is both respectful and cool in the predominantly hot Asian climate. Shorts should be knee-length. Singlets and tank tops are not acceptable. One piece bathing suits are recommended and topless sun bathing is unacceptable.
- Feedback:After your travels, we want to hear from you! Your feedback information is so important to us that we'll give you 5% off the price of your next G Adventures trip if your feedback is completed on-line within 30 days of finishing your trip. Your tour evaluation will be e-mailed to you 24 hours after the conclusion of your trip. If you do not receive the tour evaluation link in the days after your tour has finished, please drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will send it on to you.
- Newsletter:Our adventure travel e-newsletter is full of travel news, trip information, interesting stories and contests. To avoid missing out on special offers and updates from G Adventures, subscribe at www.gadventures.com/newsletters/
Stay current on how our company invests in our global community through our foundation – Planeterra. Sign up for Planeterra's monthly news to learn more about how to give back and support the people and places we love to visit.
- Minimum Age:You must be 18 to travel unaccompanied on a G Adventures tour. For minors travelling with a guardian over 21 years old, the minimum age is 12.
- International Flights:Check-in times and baggage allowances/restrictions vary by airline and can change at any time. For the most up-to-date information for your flight, please contact your airline. We recommend checking in online in advance to avoid potential delays at the airport.
Itinerary (8 days)
Arrive at any time.
Travel to the luscious and welcoming Mesilou Village tucked in the mountainous highlands. Stop at a local family-run farm to enjoy the views of Mt Kinabalu and see the different types of cold-climate vegetables and fruits. Afterward, meet your host family and get to know each other over a traditional lunch. In the afternoon, visit two local farms before learning to cook custom recipes with the community. In the evening, enjoy a sumptuous dinner followed by a traditional Sabahan dance performance.
Travel towards Sandakan and continue to the immersive jungle lodge on Kinabatangan River, Sabah's longest. After settling in, head out on a river cruise to experience the serenity of evening river life (keep your eyes peeled for birds and monkeys and crocodiles, oh my!). Enjoy dinner then opt for a guided night walk through the jungle.
Begin the day with a river safari to witness the morning wildlife activity. After breakfast, visit the nearby oxbow lake with a professional guide and seek out proboscis monkeys, pygmy elephants, macaques, and gibbons. Enjoy another river cruise for a second chance to spot more wildlife (you never know what you may see) before returning to the lodge for dinner.
Depart in the morning and travel to Sepilok - a wildlife haven. Enjoy a visit to the orangutan rehabilitation centre and the adjacent sun bear conservation centre.
Transfer to Sandakan and continue by boat to Libaran Island, also known as Turtle Island because thousands of sea turtles return to nest each year. Take a guided tour of the island's turtle hatchery and learn about the turtle conservation program. Later, visit the local village and experience what life is like on the island. Opt to go snorkelling or kayaking with some free time.
Pulau Libaran/Kota Kinabalu
After breakfast, depart Libaran Island and travel back to the Sandakan jetty. From the jetty, transfer to Sandakan airport for a flight to Kota Kinabalu. On arrival, enjoy a free afternoon to walk and shop at Jesselton Point, a waterfront district lined with shops and street food. Opt to visit the famous Filipino market or get a panoramic sunset view of Kota Kinabalu at the Signal Hill observatory.
Depart at any time.