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“Poor value for money”
Review of Uncle Tan B & B

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Uncle Tan B & B
Reviewed 3 April 2014

This review is for the B&B in Sepilok and NOT the wildlife camp, a whole different venture.
The place is clean, simple and does the job for a night. Very handy for Orangutangs as shuttle is available. Dorm seems very expensive (RM50). It may include meals but meals are basic, especially breakfast which offered less than my RM20 hostel in KK. Male staff hang around smoking around their young children all day whilst women do most work. Major problem with CATS. Everywhere. Small kitten had just been born, lying helplessly in the rain "Not our cats, not our problem", say the staff. Yet the cats wine and cry during dinner, aggravating all the guests, jumping on chairs - staff do nothing. Cats hang around kitchen and food serving area - staff ignore. Sort it out - It's not okay to let animals roam around the place where there is food. Not everyone likes cats and some are allergic.
Babies screaming ALL THE TIME. Get rid of them, woke me up and the smoking fathers do nothing. Staff sleeping areas should be seperate from customers.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled solo
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Thank jgp1991
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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37 - 43 of 75 reviews

Reviewed 28 January 2014

We took the 3 day 2 night trip at Uncle Tan's. It was an amazing experience. There are not luxuries other than amazing and very tasty dinner cooked by Chef Lan. The rooms are basic with open doors and windows. There is a mattress on the floor with mosquito nets. Surprisingly there were few mosquitos in the huts but many in the communal dining area. The bathrooms are very basic - Western style with buckets. Same for showers. The water used is from the river or rain. The safaris are well organized, and we saw orangutans, probiscus monkeys, many birds, and even a crocodile. But you must remember that seeing animals in nature is a hit or miss. We searched for elusive gibbons one morning and did not see any even though they had been spotted the morning before. I'd recommend taking binoculars with you. We were a party of seven with two girls ages 10 and 12-years who were very bug phobic. But they even enjoyed the experience! Definitely worth it and the staff is great!!! 1 hr car ride from HQ and then 45 min by boat. Make sure to have your rain gear handy as it can rain any time! Enjoy roughing it!

Room Tip: The camp assigns rooms!
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  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank szaidi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 August 2013

We did the Uncle Tan 2 night 3 day trip and it was amazing.
Firstly the staff are very enthusiastic and helpful. Teo and Leo were great guides, and were so willing to help with any questions or queries.
The accommodation is basic but perfectly adequate. The food was very good and plentiful and they have a great co-op run bar where you can get beers. The food is always on time and we there is always a big variety to choose from.
There are lots of mosquitoes and yes there are jungle rats and bats and all the rest, but that is surely the point of being in a jungle camp and not in a polished B&B. We really enjoyed the boat tours and managed to see orangutans, proboscis monkeys, gibbons, crocodiles and many types of eagles and hornbills and other birds. But it is luck of the draw - one night the boat tour was cancelled due to rain and lightening - a safe decision.
The rooms are comfortable and it was great sleeping with the noise of the jungle around you! There are no pillows, but there are mosquito nets which are very needed.

Overall, if you're looking for a real jungle experience, I would recommend Uncle Tans. If you stay further down the river, you might see more animals but you will be sharing with 20 other boats. We saw orangutans every day and we were the only people there!

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank Robyn D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 August 2013

Rooms were very basic as expected (but we were moving on to a 3D2N tour so luxury in comparison!). Staff were friendly and helpful. The communal area was excellent, table tennis, darts and pool available with a decent wifi connection as well. There was plenty of food and water available which you could help yourself to, although the food wasn't exactly gourmet but was nice enough. A small room at the corner of the communal area appeared to be the home of a family with young children, and the Mum sells cold drinks and beer from a large fridge at a good price. As long as you're not expecting luxury, you will not be disappointed with the B&B. Oh, and don't expect hot showers either! One final point to note is that there are no single beds that I'm aware of - coming as an unpleasant shock for both me and my nephew!

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
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Thank Oohbratt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 August 2013

I did not stay at Uncle tans itself but I went on their 3day 2night jungle safari. The experience was great, I met amazing people and saw many types of wildlife. What you do have to remember though is that you are going into the jungle, it is not a zoo, so you have to go in knowing that you might see everything and you might see nothing, it's the luck of the draw. Many people were upset that they didn't see what they came to see and were quite angry with the staff at the camp. I find this a bit unfair as the staff cannot force the animals to come out of sleeping or eating places and show their faces just so that you can take photos of them. I found the staff very informative and willing to answer any questions you might have about the animals and surroundings. I would personally like to thank Teo, Leo and Marco for being great guides and sources of information.
The accomodation is very basic but if you had done ANY research before hand you would know this. Don't expect aircon, lavish rooms or any other luxuries. The rooms are clean, each person gets a mattress and a mosquito net and the rooms are mostly open with no doors. The bathrooms are clean and there is always enough water. The water is the brown color of the river but it does the job. There is no electricity in the day but it will be on for a few hours in the evening if you need to charge your camera or anything like that.
This would fall under the category of 'Roughing it' so if you don't think that is something you would enjoy then rather do something else.
The best advice I would give is to take A LOT of mosquito repellent wth you! And don't make the mistake of taking the natural stuff bought at local pharmacies like we did. Buy the chemical ones, those buggers bite right through the others. Take long pants and long shirts for the treks to avoid getting bitten and rent the rubber boots the camp has to offer, they are well worth the 3 or so ringgit you pay and it prevents you from ruining your own shoes with mud.
Oh and you have to pay cash for this trip so MAKE SURE to take it with you because if you assumed there would be an ATM arround this tourist destination like we did you would be wrong. We had to drive about 40 minutes out to sandakan to find one and then had to try three others as they don't all accept foreign cards. Just come prepared and save yourself the hassle :)
All in all I would say this was a great experience and you really get in touch with nature. There is nothing like falling asleep to the sounds of the animals at night! Have fun :)

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Natalie B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 July 2013

I stayed here with my family in 2009 and then came back with my boyfriend in 2012 because I loved it so much. The staff are probably one of the best things about Uncle Tans they are very passionate and enthusiastic about the wildlife and ecosystem around them. Both times I have been, there has been an awesome relaxed atmosphere. Everything is basic but I think that is what makes it so great. Both in 2009 and 2012 I saw orang utans and lots of other animals during the boat ride including crocodiles, hornbills, proboscis monkeys and eagles. I couldn't recommend it to open-minded nature loving people more.

  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank Jessica C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 February 2013

I stayed here for one night before joining the wildlife tour. I stayed in a dorm which was 48 ringgits including all meals. The room just had a fan, and was very stuffy during the day. There were only 2 of us in the dorm,'so the temperature at night was OK (might be different if there were 4 in the room!)

The food was an OK standard. Breakfast was toast,, eggs and one type of fruit. Lunch and dinner and maybe 4-5 options of curries/vegetables etc. Tea and coffee were available throughout the day.

The worst part of uncle tans were the bathrooms. In 3 months of travelling and staying in hostels, these were the worst bathrooms I've come across. There was a terrible stench of stale urine in the toilets indicating that it has been a long time since they were cleaned. The showers were equally bad - there is a green mould type substance growing up the walls of the shower room! Also, the plug hole was completely blocked after my shower, so I ended up standing in 2 inches of water.

Being budget accommodation does not mean that standards of cleanliness can be ignored!

  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled solo
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1  Thank orlac2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Uncle Tan B & B

Address: Lot No. 1, Mile 14 Jalan Sepilok, Sandakan 90000, Malaysia
Region: Malaysia > Sabah > Sandakan Division > Sandakan
Hotel Style:
Ranked #17 of 29 Speciality Lodging in Sandakan
Number of rooms: 23
Also Known As:
Uncle Tan B & B Sandakan, Sabah, Malaysia

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