iExplore Best of Borneo

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  • Privately Guided
  • Starting Price: $2,295
  • Length: 8 days
  • Operator: iExplore Exclusive
  • 1-800-267-33479am - 5:30pm Eastern
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Tour Description

Even today, the name Borneo evokes a sense of the exotic- of adventure and a journey into the unknown. Visions of impenetrable jungle, of headhunters and jungle-dwelling tribes and great riches refuse to fade. While the headhunters are long gone, Sarawak's tradition of open hospitality continues, making Kuching Southeast Asia's friendliest city. After a longboat trip upriver, visiting a longhouse, and even witnessing a longhouse celebration or gawai, the taste of Borneo is firmly instilled. If you are lucky enough to hear the haunting music of the sape and witness the dances of the hornbills, memories of Borneo will live in your heart forever!


Day 1: Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia

Today when you arrive at Kota Kinabalu International Airport, you will be met by a local iExplore Representative and transferred to your hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure.

You will be confirmed at the 5-star Shangri-La Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa. With a private beach, views of the sparkling coral islands, and legendary attentive service, Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort and Spa offers the serenity of a secluded tropical Kota Kinabalu luxury resort just 10 minutes away from the center of downtown Kota Kinabalu.

Shangri-La Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa.

Day 2: Kinabalu Park & Poring Hot Springs Tour

After breakfast at the hotel, depart for a full day (10 hours) tour to Kinabalu Park & Poring Hot Springs.

Malaysia's first UNESCO World Heritage Site- Kinabalu Park is one of Sabah's greatest attractions. Here you will learn about the endemic flora within the park. En route you'll visit the Poring Hot Springs. Trek through the rainforest and witness life from the treetops as you walk along the 41m high and 157.8m long Poring Canopy Walkway.

Return to Kota Kinabalu and the Shangri-La Resort where the evening is free.


Shangri-La Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa.

Day 3: Sandakan & Orangutan Sanctuary

Enjoy an early breakfast at your hotel before departing for a full day (12 hours) tour to Sandakan & Orang Utan Sanctuary.

Fly to Sandakan and visit the world's largest Orang-utan Rehabilitation Center.

Witness the feeding of orangutans and learn how they are trained to survive in the wild. The Sanctuary was started in 1964 for rehabilitation of orphaned orangutans and many have since been returned to the forest.

Continue on to Sandakan for a panoramic view from Puh Jin Shih Buddhist Temple and have lunch before catching your flight back. The evening is free.

Breakfast, Lunch

Shangri-La Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa.

Day 4: Kota Kinabalu

Today is free for you to explore as you see fit or you can participate in optional excursions. Please note: the optional excursions are at an additional cost.

A. Whitewater Rafting (Kiulu River)- 6 hours. The drive to the Kiulu River will take you through the scenic countryside. A short briefing will be conducted at the Kiulu River bank before your adventure. Experience fun, excitement and non-stop thrills all the way to the end! For the more adventurous, try body rafting down the rapids and enjoy swimming in the calm stretches between rapids. At the end, relax by the riverside and enjoy a delicious lunch.

B. House of Skulls (Monsopiad Cultural Village)- 3 hours. Drive through the countryside about 20 minutes from the city to the Monsopiad Cultural Village, named after a famous Kadazan native headhunter and warrior, situated by the banks of the Penampung River among shade trees and paddy fields. Here you will be guided to view the human skulls the villagers collected over a span of 300 years. Visit their traditional farmhouses and witness a cultural dance performance and sample the rice wine "Tapai" and learn about the way of life of the Kadazan people.

C. Klias Wetlands River Safari- 8 hours. Travel south to the Klias wetlands for a river cruise in search of the elusive long nose Proboscis monkey, rare Silver leaf monkey, the mischievous macaques and a myriad species of birds that inhabit this unique river environment. As dusk falls, look out for crocodiles lurking by the riverbanks. On a moonless night, be mesmerized by the flickering lights of fireflies against the night sky. Enjoy dinner as you immerse yourself in the sounds of nature in this rustic setting. Remember to bring a raincoat, insect repellent and binoculars.


· Klias Wetlands- 115kms from Kota Kinabalu. Approximately 2.5- 3 hours drive.

· Boat ride to watch wildlife is about 1-2 hours depending on wildlife sightings.

· Wildlife sightings are not guaranteed, of course, as the animals roam freely in their natural habitat.


Shangri-La Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa

Day 5: Kota Kinabalu- Kuching

The morning is free until you are taken to the airport for your flight to Kuching. When you arrive you will be met and taken to the hotel. The remainder of the day is free.

You'll be confirmed at the 4-star Grand Margherita Hotel. Kuching's only riverfront hotel, the Grand Margherita Hotel offers unrivalled views of the picturesque Sarawak River and of colorful Malay villages. Situated in the heart of the city, this luxurious hotel is only 20 minutes from the airport and within easy access to the Kuching Waterfront, the Tua Pek Kong Chinese Temple, Fort Margherita and the main bazaar.

Kuching has held onto much of its original character while new development spreads further away from the old town center. The result is one of the most charming towns in Southeast Asia.


Grand Margherita Hotel

Day 6: Lemanak River Tour

After an early breakfast, depart for a 2-day/1-night Lemanak River longhouse tour.

The journey by road of 225kms takes you through lush, scenic countryside doted with small towns and Bidayuh villages, pepper estates, rubber and oil palm plantations interspersed with creeper-covered jungle and rainforest.

Stop at Lachau for lunch before reaching the Lemanak River where you will board a motorized longboat for a thrilling ride upstream with the excitement of "shooting the rapids".

Arrive at Serubah longhouse and experience for yourself a way of life that goes back many centuries.

Have dinner at the guesthouse- equipped with basic amenities.


In the evening, entertainment by longhouse residents will consist of traditional dances to the music of the gongs and drinking tuak (coconut wine).

Breakfast, Lunch, Diner


Day 7: Lemanak River- Kuching

After breakfast take a short trek into the nearby jungle accompanied by Ibans dressed in traditional garb and armed with blowpipes.

Bid farewell to the Ibans and depart for Kuching with lunch en route.

Check in to the 5-star Damai Beach Resort. Imagine lush rainforest, glorious sun and sea, private sandy beach and an array of interesting activities delighting the senses - welcome to the world of Damai Beach Resort, Sarawak.

The evening is at your leisure.

Breakfast, Lunch

Damai Beach Resort

Day 8: Depart Kuching

Enjoy the day as you wish until you are transferred to Kuching International Airport for your departure flight.



Depart any day! Contact iExplore for details. Note: two persons are required to operate this program

Pricing Information

2010 Prices: Valid until March 31, 2011

$2,295 per person double occupancy.

Note: two participants are necessary to operate this program.

Prices for your dates of travel may vary- please contact iExplore for an exact quote. Quoted prices are based on current rates of exchange, tariffs and taxes as of January, 2010. iExplore reserves the right to increase tour prices to cover increased costs, tariffs and taxes received after prices are published, and to reflect fluctuations in foreign exchange rates. iExplore is under no obligation to give breakdown costs involved in any package.


· Airport meet and assist

· Land transfers via private air-conditioned vehicles

· Hotel accommodation as indicated including hotel taxes and daily breakfast

· All tours & sightseeing mentioned in itinerary

· Meals as indicated (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

· English-speaking local guides

· Entrance fees

· Airfare Kota Kinabalu/Sarakan/Kota Kinabalu and Kota Kinabalu/Kuching.

Not included:

· International airfare and taxes

· Services which are not mentioned in the itinerary

· Meals not included in itinerary

· Personal expenses, such as laundry, telephone, etc.

· Travel & Medical insurance

· Holiday surcharges

· Gratuities

All prices are in US dollars and do not include international airfare, unless otherwise noted.

Prices displayed are based on the lowest season base price and assume double occupancy. Prices are shown in U.S. dollars and may or may not include administrative fees, taxes, meals, airfare (where applicable) and Single Supplements. Cancellation penalties, blackout dates and other restrictions may apply.

Options and Extras

Singapore Extension

Day 1:

On arrival at the Singapore airport you will be met and depart on an orientation tour of the city. The tour begins with a drive through the "Colonial Heart" for a view of the Padang, Cricket Club, Parliament House, Supreme Court and City Hall. Then, en route to Thian Hock Keng Temple, one of the oldest temples in Singapore, the coach will pass Chinatown before stopping at Mount Faber for a panoramic view of the harbor before proceeding to a local Handicraft Center.

Continuing on you will visit the National Orchid Garden located within the beautiful Botanic Gardens. The final stop, at Little India, will enchant you with the scent of joss sticks, jasmine and spices.

Proceed to your hotel for check in. You will be confirmed at either the Concorde Hotel or the Swissotel Merchant Court- your choice!

After checking in, the remainder of day is at leisure for shopping or relaxation.

Lunch, Dinner

Concorde Hotel or Swissotel Merchant Court

Day 2:

After breakfast, enjoy a Sentosa Island Escapade! Get away from the hustle and bustle of the city to Sentosa - the resort island of peace and tranquility. Enjoy a scenic cable car ride and catch a bird's eye view of Singapore's skyline and busy port. Once on the island, visit the Butterfly Park and Insect Kingdom with more than 3000 species of butterflies and insect specimens on display. Stroll through the cool outdoor conservatory that has over 1500 live butterflies and watch the blossoming of new life at the live pupae enclosure. Next, visit the Underwater World, Asia's largest and most innovative tropical oceanarium that is home to over 2500 marine animals. Tour concludes with a coach ride back to the mainland. The afternoon you will have additional free time for shopping.

This evening depart on the World's First Night Safari, set in 40 hectares of secondary jungle adjoining the Singapore Zoo, where the mystery and drama of the tropical jungle will unfold after dusk. See a myriad of nocturnal animals, from fierce predators to timid forest dwellers, in their natural habitat under the subtle moonglow lighting. Roam the jungle in the complete safety and comfort of a tram. The tram ride takes you through the east and west Loops passing by a large reservoir and weaving through selected habitats designed specially to replicate the natural environment from the Himalayan Foothills of the Southeast Asian Rainforest and Indian Subcontinent.

On completion of the tram ride, your tour guide will lead you on a walking trail where you will be able to view the animals at closer quarters.


Concorde Hotel or Swissotel Merchant Court

Day 3:

Enjoy the morning at leisure until you are driven to the airport for your flight to your next destination.


Pricing- valid until December 31, 2010:

$1,075 per person double occupancy.

$925 per person triple share.

$1,895 solo traveler.


· Arrival & departure transfers accompanied by an English-speaking guide.

· An English-speaking guide accompanies all tours.

· Admission/entrance fees to sites/tours in the itinerary.

· Two nights accommodations including daily breakfast.

· One lunch on Day 1.

· One dinner on day 2.

Not included:

· International airfare and taxes

· Services not included in the itinerary

· Departure taxes

· Meals not mentioned in itinerary

· Personal expenses, such as laundry, telephone

· Travel & Medical insurance

· Holiday surcharges

· Gratuities

Tour Notes