Best of Borneo - 2017
Day 1 Kota Kinabalu (1D)
Arrive any time during the day. Welcome meeting and included local home meal in the evening.
Day 2 Kudat (1B)
Drive to Kudat on the northern tip of Borneo. Lounge on secluded white-sand beaches. Opt to go fishing on a local boat, jungle trekking or get involved in a local beach cleanup project.
Day 3 Mt Kinabalu (1B)
Enjoy some extra beach time in the morning before driving to Kinabalu National Park in the afternoon. In the evening, attend a briefing on the next day's hike.
Day 4 Hike Mt Kinabalu (1B, 1L, 1D)
Store extra gear in the mountain's HQ and climb to Laban Rata, enjoying a packed lunch on the way. The hike can take from three to seven hours. Indulge in a buffet-style dinner then rest up for an early start to summit the mountain in the morning.
Day 5 Summit Mt Kinabalu/Ranau (1B, 1L)
Summit Mt Kinabalu (3-5 hours) and arrive for sunrise. Return to Laban Rata for a rest and return to HQ for lunch. After, it's a short drive to a homestay. Relax in the peaceful surroundings and enjoy home-cooked food with the host family.
Day 6 Ranau (1B)
Free day to enjoy options like visiting Poring Hot Springs, hiking local trails, visiting Lupa Masa (a primary jungle with loads of wildlife), taking a canopy walk, visiting famous Sabah tea plantations, enjoying the hot springs and visiting a waterfall.
Day 7 Weston (1B)
Drive to the charming fishing village of Weston. Enjoy the quaint atmosphere and in the afternoon, take a boat tour down the river to view wild proboscis monkeys and other wildlife, and again after dinner to see fireflies.
Day 8 Kota Kinabalu
In the morning return back to Kota Kinabalu. Spend the afternoon either exploring the city or the nearby islands.
Days 9-10 Mulu (2B,1L,1D)
After a relaxing morning in Kota Kinabalu, catch an afternoon flight to Mulu. Visit Mulu National Park's UNESCO World Heritage caves, hoping to catch the bats around dusk. Opt for a jungle night walk, use the hiking trails, go adventure caving or try a tree-top canopy walk.
Day 11 Kuching (1B)
Fly to Kuching and opt to enjoy some delicious local seafood.
Day 12 Mentu Village (1B,1L,1D)
Stay one night in a local tribe's longhouse outside Kuching. Enjoy the local food and culture.
Day 13 Kuching (1B,1L)
After a morning trek to see some of the area around the village and some local farms, travel back to Kuching for a final night in the city.
Day 14 Kuching (1B)
Depart at any time.
Traditional dinner in a local home (Kota Kinabalu). Beach time in Kudat. Mt Kinabalu hike, including entrance, climbing permits, and guides. Wildlife boat tour (Weston). Mulu cave visit. Semenggoh Nature Reserve and orangutan visit (Kuching). Internal flights. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.
Watch the sunrise from the top of Mt Kinabalu, spot wildlife on a jungle walk, explore the Mulu caves, overnight in a traditional village, meet an orangutan face-to-face
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.
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.
It should be stressed that the nature of the accommodation when compared with other areas of Southeast 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.
Depending on the lunar cycle, Ramadan will fall between May 27th and June 25th, 2017. 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 in Muslim areas, 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.
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, avg 12
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.
Private van, boat, walking, public minibus, plane, 4x4 vehicle.
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.
We believe single 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 single travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.
Simple hotels/guesthouses (8 nts), homestay (3 nts), national park lodges/mountain huts (2 nts, multi-share).
My Own Room
Please note that if you have booked the "My Own Room" option for this tour, you will receive your own single room for all night stops
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.
For details of your joining hotel please refer to your tour voucher, G Account, the G Adventures App or contact your travel agent.
To reach the G Adventures joining point 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. If you have pre-booked an airport transfer your driver will be waiting for you as you leave the customs hall with an G Adventures sign bearing your name.
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.
Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call either the G Adventures Local Operator (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.
EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures Office Bangkok, Thailand
During Office hours (Weekdays, 9am-5pm Local Time): +66 2 381 5574
After hours emergency number (SE Asia Manager) : +66 (0) 870 496074
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 Australia: 1 300 796 618
Outside North America, Australia 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 overnight trips (30-35 litres/8-9 gallons), for Mt Kinabalu, the jungle camp and for Mulu. In this you will need to carry a change of clothes, torch/flashlight, toiletries, warm clothes and any other essentials. While climbing Mt Kinabalu, we leave our main pieces of luggage at park Headquarters and return following the trek.
• Sleeping bag and liner
• Modest clothing that covers knees and shoulders
• Shawl or scarf
• Flight info
• Insurance info
• Required visas or vaccination certificates
• Vouchers and pre-departure information
• Binoculars (optional)
• Cash, credit and debit cards
• Day pack
• Ear plugs
• First-aid kit
• Fleece top/sweater
• Locks for bags
• Long pants/jeans
• Outlet adapter
• Personal entertainment
• Reusable water bottle
• Small travel towel
• Watch and alarm clock
• Waterproof backpack cover
• Windproof rain jacket
• External battery pack
• Hiking boots/sturdy walking shoes
• Hiking pants
• Thermal base layer
• Walking poles
• Sun hat/bandana
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.
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.
Detailed Trip Notes
The Mt Kinabalu climb is tough, but within the capabilities of any healthy person. An average level of physical fitness is required, athough stubborness (endurance) helps. Walk at your own pace – slow and steady is the way to go – DO NOT RUSH! The only reward for trying to prove something by being first is nausea, vomiting and a splitting headache. Go slowly – plod on at a steady pace, pause, standing to rest – don’t sit too often – it is harder to get going again. Don't worry about whether others are ahead, the path is clear and your guides keep track of where you are. There is plenty of time so walk at your pace regardless of how far behind you may think you are. Remember the sun is intense – wear sunscreen and sunglasses. It is colder than you think, especially in the wind – if you take off layers whilst walking make sure to put them on again as soon as you stop or are in the shade – don’t wait to get cold.
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.
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!
Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $250 (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!
All departure taxes should be included in your international flight ticket.
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 not included in the trip itinerary:
We recommend arriving early if you'd like to take part in any optional activities here.
Tunku Abdul National Marine park- USD10
Sabah Museum- USD2
Kota Kinabalu Bird Sanctuary - USD4
River rafting full-day (day trip from KK)- USD70
Filippino market- great for food and souvenirs
Mari Mari Cultural Village
Fishing trip (local boats)
beach cleanup benefitting the local community and sea turtles
Jungle walk in Lupa Masa
Sabah tea farm
Firefly evening boat cruise
Adventure Caving - USD25
Night wildlife hike
Half-day trekking on Headhunters Trail
Chinese History Museum
All prices are per person (unless stated otherwise), and are subject to change as services are provided by third party operators.
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.
Altitudes are generally defined as follows:
· High altitude 2,400m – 4,200m
· Very high altitude 4,200m – 5,400m
· Extreme altitude above 5,400m
Altitude sickness is caused by the failure of the body to adapt to the reduced level of oxygen in the air at an increased altitude. During the trek it is likely that all climbers will experience at least some form of mild altitude sickness. Everyone reacts to altitude differently and altitude sickness can on set with people irrespective of fitness and age. Even the same person can react differently to altitude at different times.
Danger signs to watch out for: The most common are headaches (although this can also be caused due to dehydration), light-headedness, nausea, loss of appetite, tingling in the extremities (toes, fingers) and a mild swell of ankles and fingers. Communicate any of these symptoms to your guide and follow their advice at all times.
If you have severe and consistent symptoms, don't go higher until you feel better and your symptoms have gone away completely. If they do not stop or at least reduce to a manageable level go to a lower altitude and see if your symptoms improve. Keep going down until your symptoms go away completely.
There are medications available that help the body increase oxygen levels and reduce the effects of altitude sickness. Always check with your medical professional before using any medication.
Don't ignore signs of altitude sickness. People can, and have, died of altitude sickness because of a failure to recognize the danger signs.
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.
Our small group adventures bring together people of all ages. It is very important you are aware that, as a minimum, an average level of fitness and mobility' is required to undertake our easiest programs. Travellers must be able to walk without the aid of another person, climb 3-4 flights of stairs, step on and off small boats, and carry their own luggage at a minimum. Travellers with a pre-existing medical condition are required to complete a short medical questionnaire, which must be signed by their physician. This is to ensure that travellers have the necessary fitness and mobility to comfortably complete their chosen trip. While our CEOs work hard to ensure that all our travellers are catered for equally, it is not their responsibility to help individuals who cannot complete the day's activities unaided. Please refer to the physical ratings in this Trip Details document for more information.
The medical questionnaire can be found online at:
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 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.
Planeterra-The G Adventures Foundation
Through our commitment to responsible tourism we have developed the Planeterra Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of people and communities around the world through support of international charities, local organizations and community projects in the places that we visit on our tours. G Adventures matches all individual donations and pays all administration costs, which means that 100% of each donation is doubled and goes directly to support our projects. For more information about Planeterra and the projects we support, or to make a donation, please visit www.planeterra.org
Planeterra Dollar-A-Day Program
Our Dollar-A-Day Program provides travellers with the opportunity to help us give back to the people and places visited on our tours by donating one dollar per day for the duration of their tour. 100% of these proceeds will go directly to support our G Adventures for Good projects.
To participate in this program please indicate at the time of booking that you would like to participate in G Adventures’ Dollar-A-Day program, either by clicking the check box online, or by advising your G Adventures specialist or travel agent. (Note: Donation will be charged in the currency of your booking)
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.
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.
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Travel Forum - The Watering Hole
Be sure to stop by The Watering Hole, our adventure travel forum. If you're interested in meeting others booked on your upcoming trip, check out the Departure Lounge section of our forum and introduce yourself. Otherwise, just drop in at anytime to share some travel tips, ask questions, meet other travellers and quench your thirst for travel. Our forum is located at wateringhole.gadventures.com.
Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, local guides.
Allow USD150-195 for meals not included.
12 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 5 dinners
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