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“Excellent tour company, good value but a phenomenal waste of uncomfortable traveling time”
Review of Riverbug Asia

Riverbug Asia
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US$34.76*
and up
Half-Day Mari Mari Cultural Village from Kota Kinabalu
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US$21.57*
and up
Half-Day Kiulu White Water Rafting Grade I-II Adventure
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US$70.72*
and up
Klias Proboscis Monkey and Firefly Cruise from Kota Kinabalu City
Certificate of Excellence
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Bathroom facilities, Activities for older children
Attraction details
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Bathroom facilities, Activities for older children
Reviewed 4 May 2014

Let's be clear. Riverbug is a good company. The guys were excellent. The rafting equipment was well maintained. The time in the water was great. Lunch was fine. Pick-up on time. Facilities all as expected. We paid RM220 each and it's good value.

So, why only three stars? The answer is in the itinerary. You get basically just over one hour in the water. It's a good hour. Fun, thrilling rapids. But only about an hour. And you're out from 5.20am to 5.40pm.

To get this one hour of fun activity you have to get picked up at 5.20am by a coach. At 7.50am you are on the world's most ancient and uncomfortable train (and it's not ancient in a heritage sort of way). That's if you get a seat. Plenty of people were standing. It takes hours to get to the rafting spot. At least there's anticipation during this phase.

The return is excruciating. You've done your hour's activity and have to endure the steamingly hot and lengthy train journey back. Half of it spent standing. Followed by another 90 mins in the coach that was like a sauna for the first half of the journey.

The traveling killed the day for me. You don't get long enough rafting for this type of endurance journey.

But I did like the company and appreciate that they can hardly helicopter people in to do this so it's not their fault as such but we were exhausted when we got back and not from the rafting.

The guys were great though and I will definitely join their other tours around Malaysia where the logistics seem a bit less oppressive.

4  Thank Richard G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 1 May 2014

I was putting up at Gaya Centre Hotel (I really like this budget hotel in the heart of the city), my friend and I had to wake up at 5.20am for this water rafting trip. It took a 2 hour bus journey, followed by another 2 hours via Sabah State Railway (one of the oldest railway in Malaysia). By the time we reached the Padas River at Pangi Station, it was almost 10am. Bottles of water are provided and water melon are given as refreshment as a start. We were given life-jacket and helmet.

I consider myself as a non-swimmer so I sat at the 3rd row from the front of the raft. My captain was just right behind me to navigate the raft and directing us.

There are in total 8 rapids. I was told that this is stage 4 in white-water rafting, considered as the higher class in terms of risk and excitement. The weather that day was bright and sunny, but I think that was the reason why the water was calm and tame and wasn't satisfying to me personally. It was my first time trying out white-water rafting and I really think it could have been better. I felt it didn't worth the long journey there. I could see my captain purposefully direct us to the major rapids to give us the 'shiok' factor, but it wasn't enough, lah. By 1pm you'd be having lunch. The train arrives at 2pm promptly and you'll be making your way back to the city.

I visited it just 2 days ago, 29 April 2014

Thank Carol C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 April 2014

I contacted River bug directly for a rafting adventure for me and my friends. We're living in Sabah for a year and had heard great things about rafting the Padas river. We chose to go with Riverbug and are so happy about the decision! They offered us a group rate and allowed us to meet them directly at the Beaufort train station. Two members of our group were unable to come at the last minute and Riverbug refunded their tickets in full. So flexible and easy to deal with!

We had a great time riding the train- (try riding on the front of the train... the engine??... for a fun experience but bring something to guard your bum from the hot metal!!). The scenery was beautiful! Our guides were awesome! They made our adventure even more fun. We felt very safe and taken care of.

Thank emilicious56
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 April 2014

OMG - what an incredible day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Picked up at stupid O'clock for a 90minute coach trip, then the experience began! A bizarre train ride for 90 minutes into the mountains of Borneo. We used the whole of our battery up taking pictures because the scenery was just so beautiful!!!! Borneo hasn't had a lot of rain so, to be honest we didn't really think the rapids would be that exciting................how wrong we were!!

Billy our main guide, was smiling from the moment we met him till we left him later in the day and was brilliant. We got to the start and were given a safety talk (more could have been done to check our life vests though) and then we hit the river.

Riverbug had 2 rafts out with 6 in each plus 2 guides. Riverbug also had a rescue raft out and 2 kayaks following us. They were the only company out on the river with a rescue boat.

Couple of nice gentle rapids to get us warmed up and then BANG - the big one, a grade 5 and it catapulted all of us out of the boat! Thank god for Billy and the other guide in our raft, they rescued us so quickly but very very scary! What an incredible adrenaline rush. Little did we know there had been a flash flood the night before which had really impacted the water. After we got our breath back we were back on the water and again the same thing happened. The rescue boat really came into its own and had to work very hard!

I have to say this was one of the scariest things we have ever done but the most exciting! Billy and the guides were fantastic. Really good that they had a rescue boat. Lunch that was provided was also good.

One thing to mention though - check the safety......everyone's life vests should be checked because after the experience we had it is so important that they are tight, especially around the middle. I was rescued twice, both times using my lifevest - if it had been loose I wouldn't have had a chance.

1  Thank Beth P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 February 2014

We went there recently, early february and it was a roadtrip from my hometown, Miri. The trip to Padas started in the morning with an approximately 2-3 hrs train ride from beaufort up to the river. Along the journey, you'll see local houses and also beautiful scenery of forests, mountains and a glimpse of the river. The rafting activity was said to be level III & IV which is suitable for experience participants. Level I & II (for beginners) is at Kiulu. But..Fret not! Personally i myself is not an outdoor person(my sport shoes bought by my husband is still brand new) so you can imagine that i was quite nervous at first. However, the whole experience, although overwhelming at first was actually great! So, in a boat you'll be with around 6-7 other people including 2 guides. The sitting arrangement will depend on what kind of a swimmer are you. Non swimmer at the last row just in front of the guides, swimmer and the pros will be at the centre and in front. But then along the journey if you picked up some courage, do sit in front for extra adrenaline rush(totally safe, i'm still alive!). They've given names for the waves, couldn't recall all but i remember one named Cobra because when you approach the point, you'll see the waves looked like a giant cobra wanting to turn your boat upside down. Word of advise, just stick your feet tightly to the sit in front of you then you will not be thrown out from the boat. Lunch was excellent with variety selection. You can buy your pictures and videos afterwards. The price is RM100 including video. You'll get a certificate for your participant as well. All in all it was a great experience!

4  Thank Nur Ilmiah A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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