About this Cycle Tour
The Malaysian jungle conjures up images of intrepid explorers, dense tropical rainforest, a dazzling array of exotic wildlife and of course, and 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 to the Western tip of Borneo. 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.
An adventure through the Malaysian rainforest is a wild and once-in-a-lifetime experience! Our route takes us through jungle wilderness far from civilization and inhabited only by wildlife and a few locals living off the land. Though we are well off the beaten track on this tour, our hotels and guest houses are often the best available in these remote locations. Please bring a camp towel, extra soap, and a bed sheet or sleeping bag liner for one of our nights in the jungle where the accommodation is very basic. Being prepared will help you enjoy your adventure!
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 a short walk from your hotel. In this ultimate Kuching tour, we explore the culture of the city’s heritage zone with visits to temples and monuments. Take a ride across the Sarawak River on a traditional ‘sampan’ boat and then cycle through rural kampongs (villages). Indulge in local street food in Kubah Ria, the open-air market. 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 short drive (15 mins), to a very scenic spot near Kampong Benuk. 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 ride all the to Annah Rais, where we spend our second night. After a late lunch and longhouse tour, take a short drive in the late afternoon to soak in a hotspring in the river.
We are up early today for another full day of cycling, starting with a gorgeous trip down the river paddling kayaks. After breakfast, we make a quick transfer to the start of the kayak adventure. 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'll savour more views of the tranquil river and rainforest, After lunch and a quick transfer, it's back onto the bikes to cycle through some spectacular limestone karst landscapes and to visit the Fairy Cave, before jumping onto our bikes for a flattish ride of 25km ride to Siniawan. Siniawan is a tiny town dotted with Chinese wooden houses where the locals are friendly and hospitable. Our accommodation tonight in this small town is at a peaceful Buddhist village a few km out of town. The Buddhist village does not serve alcohol, but we will still be able to relax and reflect on our day over a cold beverage, as we will transfer you into town for dinner (at your own expense tonight) and a chance to choose western or local food.
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 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 photo opportunity of the mangrove forest. When we reach the sleepy but friendly town of Lundu, we have a delicious local 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.
After our own breakfast, we head out on a backroad off the beaten track and take a 10 minute local boat crossing, to the old trading post of Semantan. We continue to cycle to cycle past deserted beaches and paddy fields and join the recently completed Trans -Borneo highway to reach the western tip of Borneo at Telok Melano "zero kilometre" of the Pan Borneo Highway, a great place to finish our Sarawak ride and a great place for a group photograph. After a late lunch, we transfer back to the seaside resort of Sematan. 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. After lunch in Sematan town, we transfer back to Kuching and check into our hotel and enjoy last-minute shopping or a stroll along the waterfront. 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.
Disclaimer: The adventure cycling tours we operate often go beyond the beaten track, and the countries where we ride are not always predictable. Due to these reasons, it is occasionally necessary to reroute or update itineraries. Our guarantee is that we will not change a trip unless for safety or to improve it. Our listed hotels are always accurate at the time of writing, but should we have to change any hotel, it will always be for a similar or better one.
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:
Just complete our online booking form or send your booking details offline (email or post), and we will confirm your participation. No deposit is needed to confirm your place on a SpiceRoads tour.
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 the trip status is ‘Limited’ will mean we have only a small number of spaces available for booking. If you are unsure about the trip status, please email us or call our office.
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. For the next steps, you'll need to know the names of the people travelling. If you wish you can also provide extra details such as passport numbers, height (for bike hire), 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). Our system will contact you from time to time to fill in the missing information, as it will be required before departure. However, if the trip that you are booking offers a child discount, you will have to fill out the date of birth of each rider (so we can calculate the appropriate discount).
If you are having any problems please send us an email, or give us a call (+66 026 3295) and one of our travel specialists will assist you with your booking.
Just call us or send an email indicating which trip you want to join and we will happily send you a list of questions and process your booking for you.
We do not require a deposit or full payment to book a place for you on a tour.
The balance of the tour’s cost (final invoice) will need to be paid 60 days before the departure date with fees for any bicycle rental(s), single supplement(s) and extra hotel nights.
In the case where a booking is made when there are less than 60 days until the tour departure date, the tour’s cost should be paid in full within 72 hours of receiving an invoice from SpiceRoads. Payment can be made by credit card using our online payment gateway or by bank transfer. When making payment online you will need to confirm that you have read these booking conditions during the "checkout" process, which equates to agreeing to the terms of services and stipulations as indicated in this document.
In all cases, tour fees need to be paid “in full” before participation in a tour. No person(s) will be allowed to join a tour without fully settling their invoice and receiving a confirmation number from SpiceRoads.
The exception can be made for last-minute miscellaneous fees that can be paid locally (visas, additional local hotel bookings, etc.) can be settled on the day of arrival.
If the tour is cancelled or postponed by SpiceRoads because we didn't make the trip numbers and the tour can’t run, we will make a full cash refund (by bank transfer or on your credit card).
If the tour is cancelled for any other reason, including due to Covid related travel restrictions, we will give you a full credit (with no deductions for admin or any other small-print item) to use on any SpiceRoads tour with no time limit. (Exceptions being flights, special permits and other non-refundable items and these will be advised when booking the trip).
Before paying for your tour, you can cancel your booking with no charge and up until 40 days before departure, you can change your booking to another travel date or move your booking onto another SpiceRoads tour with no charges.
If you need to cancel after you have made full payment, please see our cancellation policy.
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