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Updated Borneo itinerary and starting Japan planning

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Because of (limited) availability at Borneo Rainforest Lodge, we had to switch some things around from our earlier draft itinerary. I have a couple of days to fiddle with and would be happy to have comments:

Day 1: Arrive SIN just after midnight, get a few hours sleep at airport hotel then take 9am flight to Kota Kinabalu. Probably stay at Le Meridien
Day 2; KK
Day 3: early morning (7am ish) flight to Sandakan, then transfer to jetty for trip to Turtle Island
Day 4: Transfer to Bilit Rainforest Lodge
Day 5:Bilit RL
Day 6-8: Transfer to BRL, stay 3 nights
Day 9: late afternoon flights from Lahad Datu to Kuching via KK
Days 10-13: Kuching

I feel like 4 full days (5 nights) in Kuching is sufficient for everything I want to do there, including day trips. On Day 15, we have an 8:55pm flight to Tokyo from KUL. I gave up the idea of going to the Cameron Highlands, so here is the dilemma. I’m not particularly interested in spending 2 days in K/L. We were there 5 years ago and did a couple of days of sightseeing and I feel like I’ve really done everything I want to do there (Petronas Towers, Bird Park, Butterfly Park) except perhaps a food tour of Chinatown. I’m not sure there is enough time on either Day 14 or Day 15 for a trip to Malacca (I think I’d be pretty nervous about spending the day there when we have the flight out that night). Any suggestions about filling those days? I really hate to “waste” them just passing time waiting for the next flight but I can’t seem to fill them (no to Batu caves, DH doesn’t do caves).

There is an alternative and I would welcome comments: Day 15 we fly overnight via BKK to NRT and arrive around 8am and we have 4 days in Tokyo. One possibility is changing our flight from KUL to NRT on Day 14 (there are still FF seats available, I checked, the change fee would come out of our AMEX annual airline credit). That would give us an extra day in Japan so I would feel comfortable doing an overnight to Hakone or somewhere else (I don’t want to do an overnight outside Tokyo with only 4 days). I haven’t begun the Japan planning yet other than to read all your wonderful trip reports!

Comments, suggestions welcome. Thanks everyone.

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