All About this Tour
Borneo conjures up images of intrepid explorers, dense tropical rainforest, a dazzling array of tropical wildlife and of course, the great ape indigenous to this island, the orangutan.
This adventurous trip takes us off the beaten track as we explore the jungles, rivers, and villages of Sarawak. The trip starts in the capital Kuching, where we have the afternoon to discover the main sites before taking the bus the next day to visit the Semenggoh Nature Reserve. Here, we have our first taste of the jungle and its inhabitants, the orangutans, that Borneo is famous for. Our first ride takes us through fertile plantations on a quiet back road with a stop for a short walk through the jungle before arriving at the village of Annah Rais where we spend our second night. The next day we explore the great Sarawak River by kayak and meet and learn about the local indigenous people - the Dayaks on our way to Siniawan. With Mt. Kubah looming above us, we cycle to the Matang Wildlife Centre for another opportunity to spend time with the endearing great apes. The next day is one of the longest rides as we head beach side to Lundu, following the coastal road. We next head off the beaten track, riding a dirt road to the outpost of Semantan. Our last day takes us back to Kuching finishing with a delightful cruise around the mangroves.
Suitability: The beginning of this ride has a few undulations and flattens out towards the end as we reach the beach. Although distances are not huge, the heat and humidity of equatorial Borneo ensure things feel hot. This is a journey through the finest terrain and scenery of Sarawak, with the best in nature and wildlife, ensuring you get the very best of everything from your cycling efforts.
Biking Conditions: The road surfaces are mixed: most days we ride on a mix of bitumen village roads and some good quality tarmac roads. You will need a mountain bike, preferably one with front shocks. However, there is no technical riding involved on this tour.
On arrival in Kuching, we transfer to our hotel at the edge of town. Kuching is a fascinating, bustling city with a mix of old and new world cultures. In the afternoon, we have a bike fitting and take a short ride along the waterfront, where the locals gather. We stop for a visit to Tua Pek Kong Temple, Kuching's oldest Chinese temple. We continue along the river to the Astana, visiting the residence of the Governor of Sarawak and Fort Margherita, built in 1879 to guard the city against pirates, the Steamship Building, and Court House Complex. We head back to the hotel early in the evening for a welcome dinner.
An action-packed day lies ahead of us! It starts with a transfer to visit Borneo's Semenggoh Nature Reserve, a haven for injured and orphaned orangutans and one of the highlights of the tour. We arrive for the 9 am feeding, where wild orangutans join their friends for a free feed - a magical experience to see these great apes up close. After feeding time, we take a very short drive to the start of our ride, Panchor Dayak Hot Springs where we have time for a quick dip while the bikes are prepared. The cycling today is on a fabulous backroad that winds up and down, meandering around countless curves and bends. It takes us through banana plantations, betel nut tree forests, rice fields, and farming villages, giving us a real feel for rural Sarawak. We stop for a picnic lunch in a village and then take a gentle nature walk through a limestone rainforest, where, if lucky, we may see our first Raffelesia in bloom. These weird looking flowers are the largest in the world, but beware, they let off a rather nasty perfume! From here, it's just another 13 km to Annah Rais, where we spend our second night, and we end the day with another dip in hot springs to ease our tired legs!
We are up early today for another full day of cycling, starting with a gorgeous trip down the river paddling kayaks. After breakfast, it's about an hour cycle through beautiful limestone scenery to the river. The adventure begins as we head out into the crystal-clear waters of the Sarawak River and have a relaxing paddle downstream. This is a great way to spot the river wildlife along the banks, like kingfishers and monkeys, so keep your eyes peeled. We stop for lunch at a Dayak village and have time for a look around and learn about the myriad local and indigenous plants that the Dayak use in cooking and as medicines. Then it's back on the kayaks to glide past more stunning limestone formations and the forest clad banks of this life-giving river. We disembark from the kayaks and jump back in the saddle for a mostly flat 29-km ride to Siniawan. Siniawan is a tiny town dotted with Chinese wooden houses where the locals are friendly and hospitable. We check into a simple guesthouse and reflect on our experiences over a cold beverage.
Today it's back in the saddle for another full adventurous day. The road is flat but windy, making it an easy and fun ride. We visit the Wind Cave Nature Reserve with its intricate web of caves and follow the enormous sandstone ridge of Mt. Kubah on our way to Matang Wildlife Centre. Here we have our second chance to see enigmatic, rehabilitated orangutans in their natural setting. We overnight in the park, taking in the atmosphere and sleeping to the magical sounds of the forest.
After breakfast, we prepare for a long but worthwhile ride. The route is mostly flat as we cycle along the coast to Lundu, crossing numerous creeks on narrow bridges. After a short break, we ferry across the Sampadi River to an isolated windswept beach, a perfect place for a refreshing swim. When we reach the sleepy but friendly town of Lundu, we have a delicious local seafood lunch. From here it's just a short ride to Gunung Gading National Park, where we can take a cooling dip in a waterfall or go for a quick jungle hike in search of the blooming Rafflesia. Our gorgeous beachside hotel is just 14 km away and has its own sea turtle conservation programme that protects nesting mothers. We can see the hatchlings and learn about these ancient creatures.
After our own breakfast, we watch the baby turtles have theirs before we head out on a dirt backroad off the beaten track to the old trading post of Semantan. The shady road follows the coast, and our ride is relatively short and not too strenuous. We make it to the beach by lunch, and after a meal in a local restaurant, we have the afternoon free to enjoy the infinity swimming pool, swim in the ocean, or explore the local surroundings by bike.
Enjoy your last morning by the sea and take a walk on the long beach to stretch your legs before we jump on the bus back to Kuching. The trip’s not over yet – in the late afternoon, we take a cruise through the spectacular mangroves near Kuching. Keep your eyes open for proboscis monkeys, dolphins, and, for those of you who are “twitchers”, the exotic birds that inhabit these wetlands. The finale is just after dusk when the fireflies come out to play for your evening’s entertainment. We end our tour with a group celebratory dinner and tales of our unique Borneo adventure.
We head home but you can continue your Borneo adventure with a trip to Mulu World Heritage Park and its giant caves or even to the wilds of Sabah in North Borneo.
Because some people can't imagine going on a trip without their own beloved bicycle, we do not provide them as part of this tour. However, you can hire bikes locally for the price listed in the tour pricing section. The bikes are brand name mountain bikes with lightweight alloy frames, 24- to 27-speed gearing, disc/v-brakes, and Shimano components and front suspension. If you bring your own bike, please make sure it is a mountain bike, preferably with front suspension, in good mechanical order.
Basic spares and tools are carried by the guide and on the support vehicle, though we cannot guarantee having spares for every conceivable problem. Carrying a basic tool kit, a spare tube and a pump while riding is recommended.
Wearing a helmet is required on all our biking adventures and is non negotiable. If you do not wear a helmet you will not be allowed to cycle. Your tour leader is trained in first aid and emergency rescue, but to a large degree you must be responsible for your own safety while riding. It is therefore compulsory that you take out travel insurance that will cover you for a mountain biking tour.
You will be led by a local English-speaking guide and if the group is 9 people or more we will add another guide to the tour. All our guides are well informed in the history, culture and religions of the area where you are biking and are skilled at passing that knowledge on to you. Your guide is also medically trained and an experienced cyclist, able to handle most minor repairs en route.
There are no special vaccinations required for Malaysia; however you may want to take Malaria tablets as we will be traveling in Borneo's jungle area. Please check with your doctor prior to departure.
The whole of Malaysia has a classic tropical climate and remains hot and humid throughout the year and rain showers occur almost daily. Average temperature ranges from 15°C/ 59F to 25°C/ 77F at higher elevations and 21°C/ 70F to 32°C/ 90F around the coasts, such as Malacca and surrounding areas. The highlands have a distinctly different climate to the rest of Malaysia. Temperatures average a very pleasant 22°C/ 72F in the daytime and a relatively cool 15°C/ 60F at night – an excellent climate for growing tea, flowers and fruit, and for visitors it offers a pleasant contrast to the hotter lowland areas. A typical day consists of blue skies in the morning, showery afternoons and chilly nights, with rainfall at it’s heaviest between September and early December.
Borneo has an equatorial climate, which is hot and humid year-round. Average daily temperatures are around 30 Celsius and the humidity can be high. Rain is also fairly common though we have scheduled these tours to avoid the monsoon season.
Meals are included as per the itinerary where B = breakfast, L = lunch, D = dinner. Most meals are local Malay food and feature noodles, rice, curries and soups. Any special dietary requirements can also be catered for as well. Please let us know at the time of booking.
Keeping you completely hydrated is a job we take very seriously. Cold water, some energy-restoring local fruit and soft drinks are included in the tour price while riding. Soft drinks and other beverages during meals are not included. We are riding in a Muslim country and though beer is available, it might not be served in some halal restaurants where we will eat. If you choose to purchase some beer please note it is NOT included in the price.
SpiceRoads does not require you to pay a surcharge for travelling alone. We will arrange for you to share accommodation with another traveller of the same gender and if we can not match you up we will provide a single room at no extra charge. If you prefer not to share a single supplement is payable to guarantee your own room. The cost of the single supplement is listed above.
We recommend that you tuck away a few extra dollars, perhaps US$10, for incidentals. It is customary to tip local tour guides and drivers, however, the amount you give should be dependent on the level of service you receive. As a general guide we suggest US$ 3-4 per person per day is appropriate.
The official currency is the Malaysian ringgit (RM). Foreign currencies are not generally accepted. The airport is the best places to exchange money. ATMs are widely available in cities and towns, but you’ll need cash in villages and in the jungle. Credit cards can be used only in larger hotels.
If this is the tour for you here's what you need to do to confirm your place: Read our Booking Conditions
From the tour page click the 'Book Now' link. All departures for this tour will appear, just select the date you'd like to travel. There is a minimum number of participants (usually 2) required to enable the trip to go ahead. Once the minimum number is reached, the trip status will change from 'Available' to 'Guaranteed to Depart'. Once a trip is guaranteed to depart you are free to book your flights and make other travel arrangements. If you are unsure about the trip status, please email us or call our office. For the next steps you'll need to know the names of the people traveling and have either a Visa or a MasterCard. If you wish you can also provide extra details such as passport numbers, height, or you can add that later by logging into Manage My Trip (we'll set up an account for you automatically if you don't already have one). However, if you wish to get a children's discount, please do fill out the date of birth of the riders. If you are having any problems, please send us an email, or give us a call (+66 2 381 7490) and one of our travel specialists will assist you with your booking.
For Long Tours (7 days or more) to guarantee your place we require a 30% or 500 USD deposit, whichever is the greater. For Short Tours (6 days or less) we require full payment to guarantee your place. We also require that you take out travel insurance when you book your holiday. Besides covering you during your holiday it will also enable you to claim for any money that you have paid to us, including your deposit, should you have to cancel your trip.
Full payment must be paid 45 days before the departure date with fees for any bicycle rental(s), single supplement(s) and extra hotel nights. Our confirmation will include personal details you provided us (including your flight information), visa application advice, a packing suggestion list and a detailed tour itinerary. It will also include a checklist to ensure you get everything ready for your holiday.
On the rare occasions when we, SpiceRoads, must cancel a trip, all payments received to date will be 100% refunded, which constitutes full settlement. There will be absolutely no deductions. If you, the client, must cancel your reservation, your cancellation fee will be determined according to when you cancel. For full details, please read our cancellation policy.
For those who have been on several long tours with us we reward customer loyalty by offering repeat customers a special discount off the tour price (excludes single supplement and bike rental). If this is your fourth scheduled tour or more you will receive a 5% discount. If this is your eighth scheduled tour or more we will extend a 10% discount. The discount will be reflected in your online booking, but please contact us if any questions. Loyalty discounts can not be used in conjunction with any other offer. Note: Only tours of 7 days or more will be applicable for loyalty discount.
International flights, to and from the start and finish points are not included in the tour price. Once your tour is Guaranteed to Depart you can book your flight. Please contact us for advice before arranging flights for the best arrival and departure times. We would only cancel a trip for an extreme circumstance, but in that case, where we cancel your trip, we cannot be liable for losses incurred relating to any flight booking you have made. Please claim any losses from your travel insurance that you acquired when you booked your holiday.
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The information in this document is given in good faith, and covers the average range of conditions likely to be found on this trip. Please note that the itinerary is subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances, however, we will always do our best to adhere to this original itinerary