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Fitting it all in?

Penang Island...
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Fitting it all in?

Can anyone advise. We are planning a trip to Sabbah and we have too many things that we want to do. We would like to do the following in a 10 day trip:

North Borneo Railway (KK)

Tunku Abdul Rahman Park (KK)

Traditional Longhouse stay (2 nights) (Kudat)

Jungle trekking/wildlife at the base of Mount Kinabalu

Orang Utans (Sandakan)

The problem is its too much to fit into 10 days, I'm flying in to and out of KK, and I think 4 destinations is too much. I'm travelling with my wife and 2 children and I think something has to give.

My question is two fold:

1) Can I find a traditional longhouse like that found in Kudat in any of the other locations we are visiting (KK, Mount Kinabulu or Sandakan)

2) Can we see Orang Utans anywhere other than Sandakan (not zoo or 5 star hotel)? Looking for a way to stay on the west coast and reduce travel if possible, although as planning on heading to Mount Kinabalu we are half way, its just the 6 hour return trip with kids?

PS. also on a tight budget so would be looking to travel by bus rather than flying or hiring a car for 10 days...

Thanks in advance

Petaling Jaya...
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1. Re: Fitting it all in?

1) Sabah is made up of many different ethnic groups, and not all the ethnic groups traditionally lived in longhouses. The two main groups that did live in longhouses are the Murut or the Rungus. The Muruts in the south-west interior area of Sabah around Keningau, Tenom, Nabawan and Pensiangan; and the Rungus in the Kudat area. I don't think you will find Rungus longhouse homestays other than in Kudat.

In the KK area you could visit the Sabah museum area or the Mari-Mari Cultural Village to see recreated traditional houses, but thats about it, I think.

2) If you don't want to go to the Shangri-La Rasa Ria sanctuary or the Lok Kawi zoo, then you have not much choice but to go to Sepilok or the east coast to see Orang-Utans.

Kota Kinabalu
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for Sabah
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2. Re: Fitting it all in?

Hi stumac350,

You can fit in your itinerary within 10days quite easily.

If you are on a tight budget, i would advise you to skip Borneo Railway, it is priced at RM250 per person.

Here it goes:

Stay 2 nights in KK City Hotel, you could visit Tunku Abdul Rahman Park Islands and other nearby attraction within these 2 days.

Then head to Kudat by bus for another 2 nights stay in the long house. The experience is awesome and the price could not get cheaper than this.

I am not too sure whether there are buses that travels from Kudat to Kundasang, but i am sure you could get a bus from Kota Kinabalu. So your next destination, Kundasang, stay for a night, enjoy the trek as you've mentioned.

Then head to Sandakan, you can flag down any Sandakan buses that passes Kundasang, as long as there are spaces, they will stop. Stay in Sandakan for a night, visit the Sepilok Orang Utan Sanctuary which is about 14km from town. You could choose to stay at the lodge near Sepilok as well. There are backpackers around that may fit your budget.

There you go, there is still another 3/4 days left for you to plan around.


Kota Kinabalu...
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3. Re: Fitting it all in?

10 days are more than enough to do what you want to do. I'm assuming you arrive and depart on day 1 and 10 respectively, so let's start with Day 2.

Day 2: North Borneo Railway - takes up half a day (but check, it's not every day), so only that today. Consider doing the Fireflies & Proboscis Monkeys Cruise in the afternoon.

Day 3: Tunku Abdul Rahman park. Spend the whole day lounging around on 1 or 2 islands. Beach on Manukan / Sapi or proper jungle trekking on Gaya island.

Day 4: Depart early for Kudat via Rasa Ria for 1st feeding (book ahead) - honestly, the orang utang experience here is better than Lok Kawi and similar to Sepilok, which doesn't get much better unless you go look for them in the wild, which is a chance encounter anyway. Overnight in Kudat.

Day 5: Explore Kudat, Tip of Borneo, some nice beaches. Overnight in Kudat. The longhouse again, if you want, or other options available on / near the beach also.

Day 6: Travel back and detour to Mt. Kinabalu. Spend the night, nice and cool.

Day 7: Do some jungle trekking in Kinabalu Park to either Mesilau Nature Resort or Poring Hot Springs with more great trails and treks. Overnight in one of many accommodation options between Kundasang Town and Kinabalu Park.

Day 8: Head back to Kota Kinabalu. Consider doing some white water rafting on the Kiulu River near Tamparuli on the way back (mild grades, perfect for families) or just head back to KK and relax.

Day 9: How about a cultural village, museum, trying some great Sabahan food or just souvenir shopping?

You could do all this by bus, but that would add a substantial amount of hassle to your itinerary. Renting a car is a great option - you can hire a 1.3 litre car, which will do you nicely for around RM160 a day (you only need to rent it for days 4 - 8), will give you super flexibility and save lots of time. Petrol is relatively cheap and roads are easy to navigate.

Edited: 17 February 2012, 07:52
4. Re: Fitting it all in?

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