Notices

Malaysia in September

Reply

Apr 7th, 2014, 02:25 PM
  #1
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 347
Malaysia in September

I currently have a plane ticket booked to fly in and out of Singapore in September. I initially planned to spend 3 weeks traveling to Indonesia but after visiting a travel show this past weekend, I'm considering visiting Malaysia instead.

I've been to Penang before and loved it. Not sure if I should go back in September though because of the weather. I've also spent one night in Kuala Lumpur but I didn't get to see much given how little time I had in the city. I'm also really interested in visiting the Perhentian Islands and Borneo (Kutching and Kota Kinabalu).

Would those places be enough to cover about 3 weeks or should I add other places? I'd still like to visit Bali but I might keep it for a future trip instead.

Thanks!
mcbg1 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 7th, 2014, 04:07 PM
  #2
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 636
I just got back from a 3 week trip to Borneo and Singapore - posted a trip report a couple of weeks ago. You certainly could keep busy in Malaysia for 3 weeks. You'll note that I wasn't knocked out by Kota Kinabalu (although it's hard to avoid as so many flights within Borneo or between Borneo and other locations go to KK). You might consider spending a few nights in a rainforest lodge (probably in Sabah) and a couple of nights based in or near one of the major parks (e.g., Mt Kinabalu or Bako).

It would be helpful to know what your interests are: culture, wildlife, food, beaches, divings/snorkelling, etc
frogoutofwater is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 7th, 2014, 04:41 PM
  #3
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 347
I would say that food and beaches-snorkelling are my main interests. I'm not a very big outdoorsy person though so I don't see myself hiking in the rainforest or climbing a volcano lol.
mcbg1 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 8th, 2014, 06:04 PM
  #4
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 347
I might ditch the Perhentians in favour of Lankayan-Sibadan in Borneo. It looks AMAZING.
mcbg1 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 8th, 2014, 07:28 PM
  #5
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 31,785
If you are going to Borneo, I can't recommend the Borneo Rainforest Lodge highly enough. It is in well-protected primary rainforest - spending a few nights there was unforgettable.

After our stay at the BRL, our trip to Kinabalu Park and the hikes there were very disappointing... the environment was so degraded in comparison to the BRL. And we saw a goodly amount of wildlife, including orangutans.
Kathie is online now  
Reply With Quote
Apr 9th, 2014, 04:58 AM
  #6
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 347
That place looks amazing Kathie. Which company did you use to book that part of your trip?

Dino
mcbg1 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 9th, 2014, 06:28 AM
  #7
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 31,785
We booked directly with BRL, though I understand from others you now need to go through a local agent in Borneo.
Kathie is online now  
Reply With Quote
Apr 9th, 2014, 07:14 AM
  #8
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 1,020
I have a trip planned for late May and used Tropical Gateway to book BRL and other accommodations within Sabah, Jimmy has been very responsive and well organized.
FromDC is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 9th, 2014, 07:45 AM
  #9
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 31,785
FromDC, is this a local Borneo agency?
Kathie is online now  
Reply With Quote
Apr 9th, 2014, 10:54 AM
  #10
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 636
If you like snorkelling, Lankayan Island is worth considering. However, it doesn't really have a beach to lie on, it's really quiet and it's mostly couples (or at least it seemed so when we were there). But you can snorkel off the jetty and go out on the boat (short boat ride to good snorkelling).

Lankayan Island combines well with a rainforest excursion based on the Kinabatangan River, especially for someone who is not so keen on hiking/outdoor adventures but interested in seeing some wildlife. The "launch point" for both Lankayan Island and river lodges on the Kinabatangan River is the town of Sandakan. It's easy to combine a few days at each with a stopover night in Sandakan (which also will give you time to see some tourist attractions). One of the reasons we chose Sukau Rainforest Lodge instead of Borneo Rainforest Lodge is that it was easier to get from Sukau to Lankayan Island than it was from BRL to Lankayan. And I wasn't sure I wanted to slog around in the jungle, ducking leeches, at BRL. At Sukau, you hop in a boat and cruise the river watching wildlife. (As a city girl, this was my kind of adventure travel.)

The food, however, was not memorable in Sandakan, Sukau or Lankayan. It wasn't bad, it was even tasty, but it wasn't awesome.

By contrast, we had some very good and unusual food in Kuching, which also offered interesting museums and access to nature (the excellent Semenggoh Orangutan Center and also Bako National Park are within a relatively short drive of the city). No beach but our hotel did have a pool.

If you wanted to "sample" Borneo but not get all-out-and-buggy, you could do something like the following:

- Just go to Kuching and explore the city and some of the wildife experiences nearby (but stay in a city hotel)

or

- Combine Kuching (2-3 nights) with 2 nights in a river lodge near Sandakan (which might necessitate a one-night stopover in Sandakan)

You can fly direct SIN-KCH (and probably KL-KCH). Getting from Sandakan to Kuching involves a connection in Kota Kinabalu and takes about 1/2 day in total
frogoutofwater is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 9th, 2014, 10:56 AM
  #11
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 636
Oops - should have added that we used Borneo Eco Tours to book the Sukau-Lankayan portion of our trip and they were excellent (we dealt with Nasatia). Very efficient, professional, prompt and friendly. Our arrangements incorporated some side trips to Sepilok (Orangutan Rehabilitation Center), the Rainforest Discovery Center (very interesting gardens) and Sandakan War Memorial, which was very convenient.
frogoutofwater is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 9th, 2014, 11:18 AM
  #12
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 1,020
Tropical Gateway is a local agency in Sandakan. Jimmy is my contact there. They were mentioned (among others) in trip reports for Borneo. I contacted a few local agencies and found them the most responsive and their communications very professionally done. Prices were similar to some other (except one which was quite a bit lower but the communication left a lot to be desired and thought it might be a sign of potential problems).
FromDC is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 9th, 2014, 06:33 PM
  #13
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 347
Thanks for the replies. I think I could fly from Kuala Lumpur to Sandakan, visit Lankayan for 2-3 nights, go back to Sandakan and spend another 2-3 nights to visit Sepilok and Sukau. The river safari looks great! After that, I would fly to Kota Kinabalu for 2-3 nights and then go to Kuching for another 2-3 nights. I definitely want to see the Bako National Park. Does that seem like a reasonable itinerary?
mcbg1 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 10th, 2014, 01:19 PM
  #14
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 636
You might be moving around too much, and therefore spending too much time in transit rather than really experiencing the sights. You also will want to check flight schedules to see if your itinerary works - stopover nights in some cities might be needed. For example:

- The boat for Lankayan Island leaves around 9:30 am. If you can't get from KL to Sandakan by about 8 am, you probably will have to stay overnight in Sandakan the night before to be there in time for the boat's departure. (It was about a 45 minute drive from the airport to the harbour.)
- The boat for Sukau left around 1:30 pm. We were picked up at the airport after our early flight from KK, taken to Sepilok for the morning feeding, and then we joined the tour group for lunch before going to Sukau.
- You leave Sukau fairly early in the morning (around 9 am, I think) and are back in Sandakan by lunchtime.
- I think the boat from Lankayan Island leaves very early (maybe 7 or 7:30 am) and the ride takes 90 minutes or so. So that means it's feasible to connect to flights that leave around 11 (or a bit earlier).

- So it might work better for you to fly KL-Sandakan and then go to Sukau in one day. On your way back from Sukau, you could go sightseeing in Sandakan in the afternoon (e.g., going to Sepilok for the afternoon feeding), stay overnight in Sandakan and then go to Lankayan Island. On return from Lankayan, you could fly either to KK or Kuching. We decided to stay an extra night in Sandakan, because the best flight combination to Kuching left at 10:45 am (and we thought that connection from the Lankayan boat was too tight for comfort).

If you were to cut anything from your itinerary, I'd drop KK and spend more time in Kuching.
frogoutofwater is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 10th, 2014, 01:25 PM
  #15
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 31,785
Remember that two nights somewhere is just one day - especially in this area of the world. I'd suggest no stay shorter than 3 nights. Otherwise, you'll be able to tell everyone about the airports and the inside of the 4-wheel drive vehicle but not about the amazing sightings of wildlife.

One more thing to consider is how much of a purist are you in terms of wildlife? Places like Sepilok call themselves "rehab centers" but the orangutans , while not technically captive, stay in the area because they are being fed. If you go somewhere like the BRL, you will be seeing animals in the wild. That also means no guarantee that you will see them.
Kathie is online now  
Reply With Quote
Apr 12th, 2014, 01:47 AM
  #16
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 441
Personally I'd spend more time in Kuching than Kota Kinabalu. Kuching and the surrounding area is a far better experience in my opinion.
silverwool is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 12th, 2014, 09:08 AM
  #17
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 347
What is there to do in Kuching? Aside from the Bako National Park and exploring the city, I'm not sure what else I could see?
mcbg1 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 12th, 2014, 10:01 AM
  #18
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 31,785
Kuching is a charming city. We enjoyed it a lot. In addition to Bako and the city, it is the jumping off point for visiting some of the tribal groups in the area. There are also the beaches at Damai.

While we liked Kuching more than Kota Kinabalu, Kota Kinabalu is a necessary stop on the way to/from the wildlife areas in Sabah.
Kathie is online now  
Reply With Quote
Apr 14th, 2014, 09:51 AM
  #19
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 636
The Semenggoh Nature Reserve is near Kuching (about a 30 minute drive) - a wonderful place to see orangutans.
frogoutofwater is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 14th, 2014, 12:15 PM
  #20
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 31,785
It is also a "rehab center."
Kathie is online now  
Reply With Quote
 



Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 06:08 PM.