Travel into azure seas, towering mountaintops and lush green rainforests as you enter Borneo. This fascinating area is part of both Indonesia and Malaysia. Explore Kuching, Mulu National Park and Kota Kinabalu on this six-day itinerary. If you are feeling up for a challenge, add an additional day to climb Malaysia’s highest peak - Mt. Kinabalu. There’s plenty of time for both relaxation and adventure as you trek through incredible scenery and relax in natural hot springs.This itinerary is an example. It’s designed to inspire you and provide you with thoughtfully curated ideas. You can choose to do this exact itinerary or completely personalize it. All trips are 100% bespoke.
• Wildlife: Borneo's adorable and highly-intelligent orangutans are in danger. Learn about their plight with a visit to a rehabilitation center.
• Caverns: Explore massive caves in an extensive underground cave system in Mulu National Park.
• Hot Springs: The thermal pools nestled in the foothills of Mt. Kinabalu are rumored to have special healing powers.
Fly into charming Kuching, a quaint city resting along the banks of the Sarawak River on the northwestern part of Borneo. This ancient city was created by Sultans. Connect through Kuala Lumpur. We recommend staying at the Pullman Kuching Hotel, offering stunning views of the Sarawak River.
Step into the tropical rainforest and visit the Semengogh Oraguntan Rehabilitation Center. Orangutans are extremely endangered. Watch the highly-intelligent creatures play in their natural habitat. Time permitting, enjoy a rare cultural experience and pay a visit to the Sarawak Cultural Village. The area is known as a “living museum.” View traditional life as the village and its 150 inhabitants continue life as if time were stood still.
Travel by short flight to Mulu and visit the Gunung Mulu National Park, the UNESCO World Heritage site that will take your breath away with its natural beauty. Caves and karsts populate the area that is actually a mountainous equatorial rainforest. Take an adventurous trek through the beautiful natural area and visit the caves. The Lang Cave is a show cave that is part of the Deer Caves. The area earned its name from the local deer who used to come and lick the salt off the walls of the caves. Spend the night at Mulu Marriott Resort & Spa, just five minutes from the park.
Continue trekking today, getting plenty of exercise and fresh air. Take a boat ride through the winding rivers to a tribal "Penan" settlement. Continue uprive to two unique caves. The Clearwater Cave is Asia’s longest cave at nearly 70 miles long. There’s a beautiful 1.5-hour nature trail around the cave. Stop at the Wind Cave on your way. The cave is named for the cool breezes passing through the cave’s narrow crevasses.
Spend your morning at leisure before your flight from Mulu to Kota Kinabalu. Relax the rest of the day at your resort. We recommend either the Shangri-La Rasa Ria or Shangri-La Tanjung Aru.
After an exciting drive (winding one lanes with the occasional bumps) and passing by the paddy fields, Dusun folks’ homes located over the ridges of the Crocker Range, you’ll arrive at the foothills of Mt. Kinabalu. Here, you are given a crash course on 5,000 vascular plant species, about 1,000 orchid types, 90 odd lowland mammal species, 300 over bird species, just to name a few. It is then another 40 kilometres to Poring where treetop canopy walkways suspended 41 metres above the forest floor challenge your height tolerance. Finally, relax and soak your legs in the many hot spring pools before returning to the city.
Begin your journey home with a flight back to Kuala Lumpur, then onwards.
Nearby the biodiversity-rich Gunung Mulu National Park UNESCO World Heritage Site, breathtaking caving areas for thrill seekers, and relaxing walking-trails beneath the shade of trees’ verdant canopies lies the Mulu Marriott Resort & Spa. This five-star luxury site houses 101 deluxe rooms and suites standing upon 15-foot stilts, all fitted with modern, first-class amenities. Spectacular views of the surrounding rainforest are visible from the room’s private balconies, showers, and connecting wooden walkways. While the surroundings furnish caves, mountains, waterfalls, and distinct indigenous culture, guests can retreat to the confines of the resort to enjoy Balinese-style treatments at the in-house spa, participate in yoga classes, or laze in the opulent outdoor swimming pool. The resort’s gourmet dining restaurant serves both local and international cuisin.
Surrounded by 400 acres of lush tropical vegetation, some of which is in a nature reserve, the Shangri-La Rasa Ria is set on a beach looking out onto Dalit Bay. The resort’s 490 rooms, all featuring traditional Malaysian decor, complimentary broadband Internet access and cable television, are divided between the freshly renovated Garden Wing and the new Ocean Wing. Visitors should note that the Rasa Ria resort also operates an adjoining nature reserve and orangutan rehabilitation center. Some of the wildlife inhabiting the reserve include the icon of Sabah, the orangutan, as well as various hornbill bird species, peacocks, bear cats, wild rabbits, iguanas and more. A highlight of the resort’s recreational offerings is the tandem 18-hole Dalit Bay Golf Club & Spa. Dining options include Tepi Laut Makan Street, conjuring the delectable world of Malaysian street food stalls; Kozan for Japanese teppan-yaki (hot-plate grilled dishes); Naan, which serves northern Indian cuisine; and several terrace bar/lounge options. The Shangri-La Rasa Ria Resort is a 40-minute drive from Kota Kinabalu International Airport and about 30 minutes north of Kota Kinabalu town.
Located just 10 minutes from the center of Kota Kinabalu, the Shangri-La Tanjung Aru Resort’s 492 rooms are divided between two wings – the Kinabalu Wing, with views of the ocean and Mt. Kinabalu, and the Tanjung Wing, with views of the South China Sea. All rooms come with complimentary broadband Internet access and satellite television. Dining options include Café Tatu for breakfast and dinner, where a variety of open cooking stations offer Mongolian, Tandoori, Asian noodles, dim sum, pasta, and more; Coco Joe’s Bar & Grill, a beach barbecue restaurant; Peppino for Italian and Mediterranean in a chic setting; and Shang Palace for gourmet, traditional Chinese. There are also three bar/lounge options. The property’s CHI Spa comprises five individual Island Villas, three Couples’ Villas and an open Yoga Pavilion, all located on Pulau Bayu, the resort’s private island, and there is also a state-of-the-art health club with juice bar and sauna. The Shangri-la Tanjung Aru Resort is a 10-minute drive from Kota Kinabalu Airport.
Price is based on double or twin hotel room occupancy and includes accommodation, transfers, car/driver, English-speaking guide, activities and entrance fees, breakfasts and some casual lunches while touring. Flights and optional special activities will be quoted separately. Most personal expenses, including dinners, alcoholic beverages, spa treatments and gratuities can be paid on the spot while traveling. Prices may vary depending on season, choice of accommodation and other factors.
With Remote Lands you'll travel with people who have made Asia the solitary focus of their own lifelong adventure. As our guest, you'll discover Asia on a journey that is completely, authentically your own, adapted from our own remarkable experiences and adventures over the years.
With Remote Lands you'll travel with people who have made Asia the solitary focus of their own lifelong adventure. As our guest, in the continent that our north American founders Catherine and Jay have adored and explored for decades, you'll discover Asia on a journey that is completely, authentically your own, adapted from our own remarkable experiences and adventures over the years.
An Asia-focused magazine brought to you by Remote Lands – a platform for adventure, luxury, and authenticity from experts and explorers around the continent.
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