Kathie's Borneo trip report

Old Jan 28th, 2007, 02:23 AM
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Kathie,

My fiance and I are planning our honymoon for November and would like to visit Borneo and in particular Sabah. We are particularly interested in;

1. Animal safaris, including orang-utans an elephants etc
2. White sand and clear blue water resorts, maybe some snorkelling or diving,
3. Lagoons/waterfalls and kayaking/rafting type activities
4. Absorbing local village culture.

Can you recommend the best locations for these type of activities and any great resorts hopefully on the beach and in a reasonable price range. (Any bungalows on the beach or even over water bungalows?)
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Old Jan 28th, 2007, 09:08 AM
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mingtsainy, Thanks! Cheryl used a Nikon Coolpix 4500 for the Borneo photos (and most of the trips before that one). Beginning with the 2006 trip, she used a Nikon D70S.

KateandJosh, If you are looking for lovely beach resorts, I'd recommend the two ShangriLa hotels in Sabah. Everyone I've talked to who has stayed there recommends the one closer to Kota Kinabalu. No bungalows on the beach or overwater bungalows. There are some famous snorkling and diving spots in the area.

For wildlife, you have to go fly from Kota Kinabalu. If you want a real adventure and want to see animals in the wild, you can't do better than the Danum Valley Conservation area (fly to Lahad Datu). The Borneo Rainforest Lodge is the only place to stay in the Damun Valley Conservation area. Staying there is really an adventure. I'd recommend two or three nights there. It's pricey - but what an experience!

If you are satisfied with orangutan rehab centers (these orangs will never return to the wild, but they are not caged) you might try Sandakan.

You are unlikely to see elephants in the wild here. They are pretty shy. We saw tracks and poop from an elephant that had crossed the trail we were on earlier that morning, and heard one crashing through the brush another time.

Local village cultures are everywhere. But they are most accessable from Sarawak (fly to Kuching).
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Old Jan 28th, 2007, 10:14 AM
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Kathie, I hadn't read this report until now because I am trying to figure out which country to introduce into my next SE Asia trip.

Sounds like an amazing experience!

I am currently working on my trip report and in it you will be able to read about my leach experience in Laos!

Cheers!

BTW, I am working on setting up a PDX GTG so keep an eye out for the posted date towards the end of Feb.
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Old Jan 28th, 2007, 12:24 PM
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Euro, I'm following your Lao trip report. I look forward to reading about your leech experinces!
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Old Jan 28th, 2007, 12:33 PM
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Kathie, I hadn't read this report before. It sounds amazing. As I will probably be going to Brunei for business later in the year, I had been toying with the idea of popping over the Borneo at the same time, so this is just what I needed.
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Old Jan 28th, 2007, 01:16 PM
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shandy, it really was an amazing experience. And since you'll be so close, it would be a great add-on to your business trip. By the way, you'll have to fly from Brunei to Kota Kinabalu... I had originally hoped that we could go by road or rail along the coast from Kota Kinabalu in Sabah through Brunei to Kuching in Sarawak. It turns out there is no way to do that.
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Old Jan 28th, 2007, 02:06 PM
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Kathie - add me to the list of folks who somehow missed this the first time around! Really enjoyed the report - Borneo isn't at the top of my list (so MANY places I haven't been!), but I might just add it. Your descriptions make it sound fascinating. Thanks for sharing.
Karen
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Old Jan 28th, 2007, 02:48 PM
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KATHIE; DID YOU SNORKEL AND IF SO WHERE? WE ARE AVID SNORELERS AND WHERE ON THE MALAYSIAN PENINSULA, rEGANG AND PREHENSTIAN ISLANDS AND THOUGHT IT WAS SUPERIOR TO PHI PHI, PHUCKET. WHAT IS YOUR OPINION?
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Old Jan 28th, 2007, 02:57 PM
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Karen, so many places, so little time...

Stan, we did not snorkel, but we did bit of research ahead of time, and found that there were several places nearby Kota Kinabalu that are renowned snorkeling and diving spots. Sorry, I can't offer you a first-hand account. We had way too many things we wanted to do while in Borneo!
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Old Feb 12th, 2007, 11:21 AM
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Kathie- We are thinking of going there next Christmas/New years. What will the weather be like? Will it be too rainy? Did you go in early November?
Thank you.
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Old Feb 12th, 2007, 11:35 AM
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Hi Kathie---

Just a quick little thanks for posting this report. Thanks for the incredible detail--judging from these responses it seems that your report has already inspired several others.

If I had a prawn martini within arms reach, I'd toast you...

 
Old Feb 12th, 2007, 11:43 AM
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Julie, I use www.weatherbase.com for weather questions. Note that Kota Kinabalu is less rainy in December than in November. We were there in November. Kuching, however, is wetter in December than in November.

Turnstile, I'm glad to share this trip report with al of my Fodor's friends.
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Old Feb 14th, 2007, 04:11 PM
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I'll have to read this TR too.
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Old Jul 14th, 2008, 12:35 PM
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Topping for Bo.
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Old Jul 14th, 2008, 07:00 PM
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Thanks, Kathie--
You've save me lots of time. I'm planning to settle into the report tonight.
B
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Old Jul 14th, 2008, 07:10 PM
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You're welcome. Enjoy!
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Old Apr 9th, 2009, 06:26 AM
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thanks kathie for all the details uve given.. sounds amazing!! we're planning for a very similar trip but the flights to lahad datu from KK is so exp? Is it worth stopping at KK for one night? just wondering if its better to do a direct flight from kuala lumpor to lahad datu? and with what agency did you book the BRL?

thanks alot
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Old Apr 9th, 2009, 07:54 AM
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We booked the BRL directly with them.

I don't remember the flights from KK to Lahad Datu being terribly expensive. We booked a sequence of flights from BKK to KL to KK to Lahad Datu to KK to Kuching to KL to BKK, so we had a lot of flights for our money. When I checked, there were no non-stop flights from KL to Lahad Datu. I don't klnow whether that has changed. Indeed, at the time of our trip, you had to fly through KK to get to/from Lahad Datu. We had hoped to be able to fly directly to Kuching after our stay at the BRL, but there were no such flights.

KK is intersting for a couple of days, but is not as interesting a city as Kuching, in my opinion.
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Old Apr 10th, 2009, 04:39 AM
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thanks alot for your reply.. this is all new to me really so trying to gather as much info as much and which places to stop of to get the best experience really. So kuching sounds worth the visit.. you said you corresponded with hornbill and sounds amazing what she showed you during ur stay.. do you know how i can contact her to arrange something similar and get some travel tips as wel? thanks
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Old Apr 10th, 2009, 05:15 AM
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also how long do you suggest to stay in kuala lumpur? did you stay long there i wish there were some detailed reports on it like the one you've done on borneo! thanks again
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