preliminary itinerary for Malaysia

Mar 28th, 2014, 07:45 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 7
preliminary itinerary for Malaysia

My wife (58) and I (64) are planning a three-week trip to Malaysia in September-October after a week in Japan visiting friends. We will be taking Singapore Airlines and Air Asia most of the trip.
We are active and like hiking, photography of wildlife and nature and warm-water snorkeling.
We plan to start in Kuching for about 5 days, then Kota Kinabalu for 3-4 days, then to Sandakan where we will do about 7-8 days with either Borneo Eco-Tours or SITours. (Thoughts please) Then maybe 2-3 days at Sipadan for snorkeling (no diving) or where other Forum people suggest. We will leave for Kuala Lumpur for 3 days from either Tawau or Sandakan.
We like a combination of comfortable hotels and apartments and like to have a kitchen sometimes to prepare breakfasts and lunches if possible. I have enough Hyatt points for several nights.
We will leave KUL for the SIN-FRA-JFK flight.

Any suggestions are appreciated.
dpkmd2 is offline  
Mar 28th, 2014, 09:17 AM
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 1,075
I have an upcoming trip to Borneo (and then on to Japan for 6 days) with the following itinerary:
2 nights Kota Kinabalu (staying at Le Meridien) to recover from jet lag and do a bit of sightseeing (consensus research is that KK is not great so I think 3-4 days is too much)
Fly from KK to Sandakan and immediately go to Turtle Island overnight (considered spending the night in Sandakan but with limited time, it didn't seem to be worth it)
2 nights on Kinabatangan (staying at Bilit Rainforest Lodge)
3 nights at Borneo Rainforest Lodge
Fly to Kuching (through KK), stay 4 nights at the Hilton (will have three and a half days of sightseeing before flying to SIN for an overnight before going to Japan).

I've been working with Jimmy at Tropical Gateway Tours and he has been very responsive (I tried a few others, either disorganized or seemed more expensive for similar itinerary). None of these places has a kitchen. If I had more time, I would probably try to do one more stop in Sarawak. You do have the time so you might think about giving up one day in KK and do a 7 day tour in Sabah.
FromDC is offline  
Mar 28th, 2014, 11:05 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 32,788
I agree with From DC that 3-4 days in Kota Kinabalu is too much. You may have to stay another nights upon your return from Sandakan/Sidapan before you can fly to KL, depending on air schedules.

I always recommend the Borneo Rainforest Lodge, as it is the place you are most likely to be able to see orangutans in the wild (as opposed to a "rehab center" where they feed the orangutans).

The Hyatt in KK is nice and shouldn't cost you many points. The Hilton in Kuching is lovely. Sorry, I don't know anything about the availability of services apartments in either city.
Kathie is online now  
Mar 28th, 2014, 06:37 PM
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 636
I was very happy with Borneo Eco Tours, both in terms of their pre-trip service and during the trip itself. I dealt with Nasatia and she was great. I second Kathie's comment about suggesting you cut back your time in Kota Kinabalu.

We did see wild orangutans twice while we were at Sukau - once on a river cruise and once in the trees within sight of our room.

I don't have a view on Sipidan vs Lankayan Island, except to note that our fellow guests seemed quite happy with the snorkelling on Lankayan Island (we were diving). As I mentioned in my trip report, Lankayan Island combined well with Sukau Rainforest Lodge (in terms of the ease of getting from one to the other). I imagine that BRL and Sipidan present a similarly good combination.
frogoutofwater is offline  
Mar 31st, 2014, 03:47 PM
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 612
>>>We will leave KUL for the SIN-FRA-JFK flight<<<

Greetings dpkmd2 and warm welcome to Fodors. And, congratulations on forthcoming ride on 'our' Singapore Airlines flight 26, SIN-FRA-JFK. (As of now, your future SQ26 is scheduled to be on one of SIA's rather serene A380s; enjoy.)

If flying SQ economy, will suggest perusing the ever-evolving: singaporeair dot com, for 'preferred seating' (for fee) and special meals (gratis). If flying business, can personally assure you, just fine of late on her A380 upper decks (and do consider SIA's Book the Cook options). Finally, if you and your beloved are flying Suites, well, sir, I do salute you.

Sounds as though your Kuala Lumpur lodgings could very well be sorted. If not, my review of the KL Mandarin Oriental still stands; class operation and am truly appreciating that Mandarin Oriental Group for business travel. Kuala Lumpur dining, will leave that to the KL-based locals; will say, a recent business dinner at Bijan was most satisfactory.

Savour your planning; very happy for you. As for your Japan journey, signing off from that beloved country (mix of ongoing business and two weekend holidays with cherished Kyoto-based family friends) with more to follow -- some special sakura sightings, to date, yes. Warm Tuesday morning wishes to you and all,

macintosh (robert)

... Singapore Girl, You're a Great Way to Fly ...
AskOksena is offline  

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