Hey, I'm off travelling soon, and would love to spend some time in Sarawak or Sabah, I can have up to 6 weeks in that area. I really want to do the whole Orangutan thing, and would love to spend some time in the rain forest, and am completely open to suggestions, as I am sure there are some wicked and amazing things to do that I don't know. I was looking at this place www.thegreatprojects.com. Any help would be great. Thanks Em. x
#1 emily2310 has been a member since 14/6/2011. Posts: 17
I spent almost 3 months in Malaysia a couple years ago and if I was to do it again most of my time would be spent in Sabah.
First check out www.sabahtourism.org for a homestay on the Kinibatangan River...you'll get plenty of jungle, taste of life and wild orangutans. I have been to both Orangutan sanctuaries and would choose the one in Sandakan, Sabah over Kuching. The one in Sandakan had plenty...
You can also see www.borneobackpackers.com (I have stayed there many times) for a base in KK and fo all sorts of ecotourism.
The pinnacles in Gunung Mula park in Sarawak are amazing and the caves are very easy to get around in! Think paved walkways...Kuching is a cool city with awesome hawkers across the river...
And if you want diving...or beach...the check out Mabul. www.scubajunkie.com for some great diving and snorkeling... A bit pricey though...
I would suggest u some destinations for Sarawak besides Gunung Mulu Caves.
1/ Bario - a cool region with paddy field and friendly natives
2/ Marudi - visiting really "natural' Long house (unlike those innovated and close to the cities)
3/ Miri - Lambir waterfall and Niah Caves
People in Bario and Marudi are honest, helpful and friendly, so dun worry to ask for help.
#3 childly1979 has been a member since 27/10/2010. Posts: 24
You seem to know a lot of Sarawak. You're from there? And the mention of Marudi, where it is actually? I had once did a transborneo adventures on motorcycle, (kuching-Sandakan) a 14-days stint and dont really called this place Marudi. Kindly tell more of Marudi. Really interested in return visit.
I just spent a week in Kuching, the capital of Sarawak, and can defiantly recommend spending some time there. A definate highlight was seeing the orangutans the Semengoh Wildlife Centre, which is about 30 minutes drive up the 7 Mile Bazaar. My hotel arranged the trip for RM35 and I had a driver to myself who waited in the carpark for two hours for me. The Orangutans are very loved and the whole centre seemed pretty legit to someone who hates seeing animals in captivity. In fact, it was one of the most beautiful experiences of my life!
Bako National park is also great. If you wish to stay overnight it pays to call them up first as it books up quickly and their website wasn't working properly when I looked. A dorm bed is only a couple of bucks or you can camp if you have your own gear. Very basic, only one 'canteen' foodwise, but you'll wake up in the middle of virgin rain forest which is pretty special. There are treks of varying lenghts, some which take to you to incredible secluded beaches. You don't really need a guide, and you can get there independently from Kuching in about an hour, plus a 30 min boat ride, but you may have to wait a while for the boat to fill if you don't want to charter the whole thing yourself. You could easily spend a couple of days there if you're so inclined.
Accommodation in Kuching is varied and cheap; hostels are mainly of the flashpacker variety with dorm beds/private rooms around RM30/100 a night. There is also a good variety of hotels if you fancy a splurge. I moved around a bit but my favourite was the Limetree Hotel where I got a suite, breakfast and transfers for RM180. As the Rainforrest World Music Festival was on most hostels were booked early so if you're there in July I'd recommend you do the same. As a vege, I didn't eat much hawker food so can't really help there, however there is a great vegetarian restaurant on Chi Chin Ann (just off Jalan Abell), where you get a plate stacked full and fresh juice for under RM10.
East coast Malaysians are some of the loveliest people I've met in my travels; very friendly and welcoming and as a solo female, I felt completely safe the whole time. In fact, most of the time I found the locals quite protective towards me and walking around the town my cheeks would ache from returning all the smiles..
My understanding is that Sarawak is geared a bit more towards independent travel than Sabah, but Sabah has the better beaches/dive sites. Let me know if there's anything more specific you'd like to know about Kuching.
Yes, I'm Chinese Sarawakian. Marudi is a small historical town close to Miri, Brunei, Bario and Mulu. From Miri to Marudi, the options are:
1/ 15 mins flight (not really recommended except if you like to watch stretches of palm oil farm and Baram river, and this is the fastest way to Marudi)
2/ ~2 hours of 4 x 4 car (got a number of Hilux, D-Max and other servicing cars to Marudi that can book within phone, the disadvantage is most cannot communicate in English)
3/ ~3 hours of express boat (the slowest while also the oldest way)
For the last few years, there're a lot of cycling travel teams and heavy motorcycle travel teams came to Marudi while using the roadway from Miri. They call the roadway is "palm oil" roadway as have to pass through the palm oil farm. The roadway is not covered with tar and full of dust like those in the logging camps in Sarawak.
Marudi is a historical town with 110 years old of chinese temple and 110 years old of British Fort. But, I can tell is the gem inside the jungle. That's a waterfall that local people call "Gudan" (not really sure the spelling) is hidden in the jungle. Besides, there are longhouses which are still in very old style and tradition.
From Marudi, you can catch express boat from Marudi to Mulu, this is adventurous and more interesting than catching a flight from Miri to Mulu.
Two years ago, a hot spring pool has been found somewhere close to Marudi (on the middleway from Miri to Marudi). The consequence is Marudi has never been paid attention from the responsible station to develop the tourism possibilities over there.
Somehow, the town is peaceful and people over there are friendly. The lifestyle is in a very slow pace.
#6 childly1979 has been a member since 27/10/2010. Posts: 24
Hey, thanks all for your replies. Got loads to think about. I may be back to pick some brains further v soon!. x
#7 emily2310 has been a member since 14/6/2011. Posts: 17