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Asia

Best of Borneo

From €4,790pp including flights
Depart From
Fly from Dublin
Departure Date
Regular departures throughout the year
Duration
16 Days
Destination
Borneo
Price
From €4,790pp including flights
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Fly from Dublin to Borneo and set off on a sixteen-day exploration of this incredible island.

An island of uncharted jungles and tribal culture, Borneo is a destination that exudes adventure! Discover ‘headhunter’ heritage, see a wealth of wildlife, delve deep into nature and meet the beautiful orangutans of Sabah and Sarawak on this incredible itinerary.

These tours are designed for those who wish to see the iconic sites and magnificent treasures of South East Asia on an excellent value group tour whilst travelling with like-minded people. The tours are on a fully-inclusive basis so you’ll travel with the assurance that all your arrangements are taken care of. You will be accompanied by our dedicated and professional National Escorts and local guides, whose unparalleled knowledge will turn your holiday into an unforgettable experience.

Tour Highlights:

  •  Experience life in a tribal longhouse
  •  Spot magnificent orangutans
  •  Cruise the Kinabatangan River
  •  Explore Gomantong Caves
  •  Walk through spectacular rainforest
  •  Stand in the shadow of Mt Kinabalu

Best of Borneo is a moderate tour. This means that the itinerary requires a good level of fitness. 

  • On several days there will be sightseeing on foot for extended periods of time.
  •  At some of the sights visited there are a large number of steps to climb.
  • You will be required to get on and off varying sizes of boats often without assistance.

Of course, our National Escort and local guides will always endeavour to provide the highest level of service and assistance; however, they cannot be expected to cater for customers who are unfit to complete the itinerary.

 Days 1-2: Fly to Kuching

Fly overnight to the relaxed and charismatic city of Kuching, Borneo’s largest city. Depending on your time of arrival the rest of the day is yours to start soaking up the local culture.

 Day 3: Explore Kuching

Spend the day enjoying the diverse culture of Sarawak with a walking tour, starting at the Chinese History Museum on Kuching's waterfront. Stroll past the traditional Chinese shop houses of Ewe Hai Street and pay a visit to a 'sinseh', a Chinese medicine man and see him practicing his art. Learn about the tin smithing trade at a 'Pak Tik' followed by a 'Hio Chek', a shop that sells ceremonial items, and a Chinese temple.

Next you'll be introduced to Sarawak's delicious food, with a food lesson on local spices on Gambier Street. Continue to the Sarawak Museum and Kuching's river to visit a Malay village.

 Day 4: Bako National Park

Travel out to the small Malay village of Bako before boarding a boat to reach the national park. Explore the park on foot with a guide – one of Borneo's most biodiverse areas, the diversity of flora and fauna here is incredible, and easily accessible.

Following trails along streams, past caves and across plateaus, keeping an eye out for wild boar, macaques, monitor lizards and, if you are lucky, a proboscis monkey! Dinner tonight is at a local restaurant.

 Day 5: Semenggoh Nature Reserve

Semenggoh is a centre dedicated to the rehabilitation of rescued orphaned young orangutans. The area you are visiting is where the orangutans are released after their training, so please bear in mind that even at the feeding time, it is not guaranteed that you will spot a resident. Travel to Batang Ai, stopping at a local market, a pepper plantation and Chinese village en route, where you will be staying on the edge of the glorious Batang Ai National Park.

 Day 6: Iban Longhouse

Today you will discover more about Borneo's native Iban people, renowned for their practice of headhunting. Head out into the wilderness in a traditional Iban longboat and cruise to a longhouse where you will meet an Iban community. Witness a performance of a traditional war dance, in full regalia, and lunch on Iban cuisine.

Return to the hotel where the rest of the day is at leisure.

 Day 7: Return to Kuching

Journey back to Kuching, stopping en route for lunch at a local café.

 Day 8: Fly to Kota Kinabalu

Transfer to the airport and fly over to Malaysian Borneo's other state, Sabah, and the vibrant city of Kota Kinabalu. On arrival, the rest of the day is at leisure.

 Day 9: Explore Kota Kinabalu

Begin your explorations at the Sabah State Museum where you can learn about the state's diverse cultural and natural heritage, before exploring some of the city's beautiful architecture, including the Blue Mosque and Chinese Temple.

Browse the piles of wares at the Handicraft Market and spice bazaar, before strolling through the oldest part of the city. Lunch will be at a local restaurant before returning to the hotel for an afternoon at leisure. Tonight, dine of traditional Malay cuisine.

 Day 10: Kinabalu Park

Head out of the city to the foot of Mt Kinabalu, Borneo's highest mountain, where you will spend the day exploring Kinabalu Park, Malaysia's first UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Embark on a guided walk along one of the many forest trails to discover some of the unique flora and fauna that calls the area home – you may spot orangutans, gibbons, mouse deer, hornbills and eagles, to name just a few. You’ll also visit the Mountain Garden to view its collection of orchids.

 Day 11: Sandakan

Transfer to the airport for your flight to Sandakan. Visit the Sandakan Memorial Park, which commemorates British and Australian who were prisoners of war during World War II.

Continue into Sandakan itself and tour the city, passing the William Pryer and Sandakan Liberation monuments, and browsing the displays of the Heritage Museum and the Agnes Keith Museum. The rest of the day is at leisure.

 Day 12: Sepilok and the Sun Bear Centre

Sepilok offers another chance to see orangutans in their natural habitat – like Semenggoh, this is a centre for the rehabilitation of former captive and orphaned orangutans.

Pop over the road to the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre to visit the world's smallest bear and learn about the conservation efforts to protect them. Journey through palm oil plantations and villages to Bilit and enjoy lunch at your lodge. Later, board a cruise along the Kinabatangan River.

 Day 13: Kinabatangan River

Embark on an early morning cruise to Oxbow Lake, where you can spot wildlife and soak up the peaceful ambience. Returning to the lodge, the rest of the day is at leisure until the late afternoon, when you will head out for another cruise, searching for wildlife once more. You could spot anything from hornbills to pygmy elephants to orangutans!

 Day 14: Gomantong Caves

Begin the day exploring the Gomantong Caves, a magnificent and intricate system of limestone caves that are home to colonies of swiftlets and bats. Return to Sandakan for lunch at a local restaurant before transferring to the airport to fly back to Kota Kinabalu. This evening, dine on local flavours and enjoy a cultural dance performance.

 Day 15-16: Fly Kota Kinabalu to Dublin

Fly to Dublin, arriving home the following day.

If the dates we have available for this tour don't suit your needs, or you are not sure travelling as part of a group is for you, maybe a Private Departure would be more ideal.

Based on exactly the same itinerary as the group tour, our Private Departures give you the freedom to choose your own departure date and simply enjoy your holiday with your family, your partner, or your friends. On most Private Departures your tour will be led by an English speaking driver and you will be met by local guides at each site.

If you like most of the itinerary which we have suggested but you'd like to change the route and the accommodation, speak to our specialist Tailormade team, who can build your perfect itinerary based around where you would like to go, what you would like to see and how much you'd like to spend.

Just call us or submit an enquiry through the form below and we'll help plan your dream holiday.

Price is per adult sharing and includes:

  • Flights and charges from Dublin
  • All accommodation 
  • All meals 
  • All sightseeing and entrance fees 
  • All transportation and transfers
  • English speaking National Escort (if your group is 10 or more passengers) or Local Guides 
  • Specialist advice from our experienced travel consultants 
  • Comprehensive travel guides 

Please ask us about adding great value:

  • Extend your holiday with a stay on Gaya Island
  • Travel insurance
Subject to availability. Terms & conditions apply. 

For more information please call us on 021 427 7094 or 01 696 5135, email info@shandontravel.ie, request a call back using the red button or submit an enquiry through the form below.

Enquire about this holiday

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