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Advice Sought On East Malaysia Itinerary

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Hi everyone,

I am an adventurous lady bound for Eastern Malaysia in September. I have my international AA award tickets in hand, but I am still trying to build an itinerary, and I would appreciate your help. I am mostly interested in advice about the structure of the itinerary--ie am I going in the right order, are the number of allotted days in each city correct, etc. I would also like to know if I am hitting any holidays or festivals that will hinder my sightseeing.

My interests include day hikes, history, museums, culture, and street food. I do snorkel, but I am not a scuba diver. I am very slow and thorough in museums, and shopping is not a priority for me. I would like to see orangutans (Tabin and Borneo Rainforest Lodge are beyond my budget).

I am concerned about the US State Department travel warnings for Eastern Sabah, so I wonder if it is safe to go to Sandakan, and then the Kinabatanagan River area? I am wondering if I should substitute the Batang Ai area (perhaps the Hilton) for the Sandakan-Kinabatanagan "module."

Here it is---thanks in advance for your suggestions:

Saturday, September 5: Arrive Kota Kinabalu 7:40 PM from LAX via Hong Kong

Sunday, September 6: 6:30 AM visit to Sunday market, then day trip to Kota Kinabalu Park

Monday, September 7: 7 AM flight Kota Kinabalu to Sandakan, arrive at 7:40 AM
War Memorial (WW II POW site), Sepilok Orangutan Center, Sun Bear Sanctuary, Probiscis Monkey Sanctuary, Gomantong Cave

Tuesday, September 8: Take boat, or taxi from Sandakan to Sukau, leave early AM, stop enroute to see whatever I missed the day before.
Evening river cruise on Kinabatanagan River

Wednesday, September 9: More trekking, river cruising, fishing in Sukau

Thursday, September 10: More trekking, river cruising, fishing in Sukau

Friday, September 11: Private taxi from Sukau to Sandakan, then 10:55 AM flight Sandakan to Mulu (via Kota Kinabalu), arrive at 3 PM
Unguided short walking tours, guided night tour

Saturday, September 12: Tour Mulu caves

Sunday, September 13: Tour Mulu caves

Monday, September 14: 10:10 AM flight Mulu to Miri, arrive at 10:40 AM
Lambir Hills National Park: short hike, and relax at waterfall

Tuesday, September 15: Day trip from Miri to Brunei

Wednesday, September 16: 8:35 AM flight Miri to Bario, arrive at 9:25 AM (leave most luggage in Miri because of strict weight limits)
Short hike

Thursday, September 17: Bario hike, meet local people, fish

Friday, September 18: Bario hike, meet local people, fish

Saturday, September 19: 9:50 AM flight Bario to Miri, arrive at 10:40 AM (retrieve luggage)
City tour of Miri

Sunday, September 20: 8:40 AM departure for Kuching, arrive at 9:40 AM
Have driver pick me up at airport, go to Bako National Park for three nights, stop en route?

Monday, September 21: Trek in Bako--need guide?

Tuesday, September 22: Trek in Bako--need guide?

Wednesday, September 23: Taxi to Kuching, early AM --- stop somewhere along the way? Semenggoh Nature Reserve--3:30 PM orangutan feeding

Thursday, September 24: Day trip from Kuching to see indigenous people and cave at Indonesian border?

Friday, September 25: City tour of Kuching

Saturday, September 26: 9:40 AM flight Kuching to Kuala Lumpar, arrive at 11:20 AM
22 hour layover in KL to visit old friend (second visit there)

Thank you everyone,

California Lady

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