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RED HOT DEAL
Pay now & save!

from pp Twin Share

$1,499
Book Now Select

Single Traveller
$1,894 pp

10 Day Borneo Discovery With Turtle Island Small Group Tour

10 Day Borneo Discovery With Turtle Island Small Group Tour

This tour is fully escorted by a dedicated tour leader who will accompany you throughout the tour. If your trip includes multiple countries, you will be met by a new tour leader in each country and any internal flights included will be unescorted.

Escorted Type
Fully Escorted

This tour is conducted at a medium-fast pace. Some long travel days may be required to complete this itinerary and you will typically spend two nights at each destination, with some one night stays required. This trip includes a mix of sightseeing and free time to explore at your own pace. You will be required to move about unassisted, including getting on and off vehicles, walking up and down stairs and some activities will be conducted on uneven or steep terrain. You will be required to handle your own luggage.

Pace
Moderate Pace

These tours are our proudest creations. They have been crafted for Inspiring Vacations travellers exclusively, with personal and unique experiences in mind. Please see the Important Information on your selected tour for exact group size. Enjoy features such as hand-picked accommodation, a sampling of the region’s best culinary delights, and a range of optional activities to choose from to best suit your travel style.

Group Size
Small Group

Take advantage of our 7 day cooling-off period. 

Cooling Off Period
7 Days
Small Group Tour
578 people have travelled to this destination

✓ Small group tour, up to 16 guests only
✓ Incredible sightseeing on this adventure through the tropics, including Dinawan Island, visiting endangered orangutans and sun bears in Sepilok, viewing unique birds and wildlife on a safari cruise along the Kinabatangan River, staying at a turtle hatchery island - Selingan Turtle Island and more
✓ Fully escorted by a professional, English-speaking tour guide
✓ 6 nights at 4-star accommodation
✓ 2 nights immersed in nature at a rainforest lodge
✓ 1 night in a chalet on Selingan Turtle Island
✓ Breakfast daily, 8 lunches including a cooking class, 3 dinners and a high-tea experience
✓ Domestic flight from Kota Kinabalu to Sandakan
✓ Group departure transfer to Sandakan Airport (SDK)
✓ Comfortable, dedicated transportation throughout
✓ In-depth sightseeing and entrance fees as per the itinerary

What we love about this tour

Travel with the experts for a carefully curated, value-packed discovery of the world's most iconic destinations. Our tours are bursting with must-see sights, rich experiences and quality inclusions, all at an unbeatable price. Bucket list dreams are ticked off on these all-encompassing journeys.

Itinerary

Hotel
Grandis Hotel or Similar

Welcome to Malaysia.

On arrival into Kota Kinabalu, arrival transfers can be pre-booked. 

This evening you will have your tour briefing, orientation walk of the surrounding areas and dinner (not included).

Airport transfers are not included. Our transfer portal offers the option to book your airport transfers for an easier arrival experience (additional charges apply). Access to this portal will be available through your Traveller Hub once your booking is confirmed.

Hotel
Grandis Hotel or Similar
Meals
Breakfast, Lunch

Just a 30-minute boat trip from Kota Kinabalu, is a tiny gem of an island with secluded beaches and clear waters to snorkel or explore on a kayak. Ara Dinawan Island is an exquisite addition to Sabah's natural marvels, boasting untouched and pristine beauty that is exclusive to its location. It is now considered one of the most stunning islands in Sabah, unspoiled and untainted by human interference. 

Your boat will take you directly to the coral reefs where your experienced snorkelling guide will point out the best sport to see what’s lurking underwater. Alternatively, you can choose to take a kayak for a paddle through the crystal clear waters. This is the perfect island getaway for a day or a weekend for those looking for some peace and tranquillity to totally unwind and rejuvenate the senses. 

Return to Kota Kinabalu by boat and spend the evening at your leisure.

Hotel
Grandis Hotel or Similar
Meals
Breakfast, Lunch

After breakfast, you will drive to the foothills of Mount Kinabalu. En route, you will stop at local vendor’s shops for refreshment breaks and to also sample the local produce. 

Your first stop will be Poring Hot Springs, a popular destination for locals on the weekend and public holidays. There is a canopy walk, butterfly garden and orchid garden which you will have time to explore. The canopy walk is a steep 15 min walk to the start of the canopy, but views are magnificent.

Continue onto Kinabalu National Park where you will meet an experienced guide who will take us along trails in Malaysia’s first world heritage site. There are a few different options depending on your fitness level and interest. The mountain and its surroundings are among the most important biological sites in the world, with over 800 species of orchid, 600 species of ferns, 326 species of birds, and is the richest place in the world for the Nepenthes insectivorous pitcher plants (five of the thirteen are found nowhere else on earth).

Return to Kota Kinabalu and have the evening at your leisure.

Hotel
Grandis Hotel or Similar
Meals
Breakfast, Lunch

Today you will head into the countryside, approximately 1 hour from Kota Kinabalu, to explore the local customs.

Embark on a captivating excursion to explore the local community and their rich cultural heritage, fully immersing yourself in their customs and way of life. Experience a profound sense of tranquillity as you embrace the serene allure of Kiulu, with its breathtaking vistas of vibrant paddy fields, picturesque farms, rejuvenating woodlands, and undulating verdant peaks. This enlightening day trip will undoubtedly enthral you, leaving an indelible impression that will beckon you to return for further exploration. 

You will stop by a local market to buy basic ingredients before we proceed to the location of your cooking class, guided by a local chef who will teach you how to prepare traditional Sabahan dishes. Here is where you will have lunch, enjoying your culinary masterpieces, along with other traditional Sabahan delicacies. 

After lunch, feel free to dip into the cooling river water before we return to Kota Kinabalu.

Hotel
Selingan Island Chalet or Similar
Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

This morning, you will be transferred to Kota Kinabalu Airport in time for your included flight to Sandakan.

On arrival into Sandakan, you will be transferred by road to the local jetty, in time for your boat transfer to Selingan Island, famous for its turtle hatchery. The boat transfer will take approximately 1 hour as you pass small fishing villages and bamboo fishing traps.

On Selingan Turtle Island, green turtles come ashore to lay their eggs every night of the year. In the afternoon, there's time for swimming, snorkelling or some quality time lazing about on the beach of this tropical island. Snorkelling gear is available for hire.

In the evening, be touched by the sight of giant green turtles coming ashore to lay their eggs under the moonlight and watch the researchers as they release protected hatchlings and guide them in their frantic dash to the ocean. Beware that this is a very delicate environment, and you must follow instructions from your leader and the local rangers to ensure minimal impact on the turtles. 

You will spend tonight on the island.

Please note that a Single Supplement is not available on this night - solo travelers will be roomed with other solo travelers of the same gender.

 

Hotel
Sabah Hotel or Similar
Meals
Breakfast, Lunch

After breakfast, take the return 1 hour boat trip to the mainland where you will commence your touring of Sandakan and its surrounding places of interest.

Visit Sandakan Memorial Park, which is adjacent to the site of the original Sandakan Prisoner of War (POW) Camp. The park commemorates the sacrifice and suffering endured by both Australian and British soldiers who were held by the Japanese as Prisoners of War between 1942 and 1945. 

Next, you will visit the Puu Jih Shih Buddhist Temple, located on a steep hilltop where you can have a magnificent view overlooking Sandakan Bay and the Town Centre. From here, continue to one of the oldest churches in Sabah, St. Michael's Church where you can see a century old building where Christianity is preached.  

You will also visit the Agnes Keith Museum to learn about life in the colonial days of Agnes & Harry Keith. Harry was the first conservator of the Forestry Department in Sabah and Agnes was the author of the three famous books called Land Below the Wind, Three Came Home and White Man Returns. 

Stop at the nearby English tea house where you may have another spectacular view of Sandakan Nature City and have lunch before checking in at your hotel. 

Spend the remainder of the day at your leisure.

Hotel
Sabah Hotel or Similar
Meals
Breakfast, Lunch

Today you will visit one of the most popular locations in Malaysia - The Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre. The centre was set up to help re-introduce these wonderful creatures back into the wild after a life of domestication or having been orphaned. There's also a short film about the orangutan rehabilitation process to watch in the reserve's Interpretation Centre. 

From one animal to another, The Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Center is within walking distance. We will visit this wonderful new centre that is taking care of rescued Sun Bears that have spent many years mistreated and locked away in cages.  

Return to the hotel where the rest of the afternoon is free to enjoy the hotel facilities.

Hotel
Bilit Rainforest Lodge or Similar
Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today you will journey into the heart of Borneo at Gomantong Cave. At this massive limestone cave, you can walk along the boardwalk in one of the two main cave complexes, observe skilled harvesters, and marvel at the rich wildlife, including bats, kingfishers, and wild orangutans. This adventure is packed with natural beauty and intriguing discoveries.

Transfer to your lodge for the next 2 nights.

Upon arrival at the rainforest lodge, check into your accommodation before having lunch. This afternoon, you will embark on your first river safari to view wildlife and birds in its virgin rainforest habitat. Arrive back at the lodge with time to freshen up before dinner.

Hotel
Bilit Rainforest Lodge or Similar
Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Spend today fully immersed within Borean nature as you have early morning and evening river safaris. 

The Kinabatangan River wildlife includes rarities such as the Bornean gibbon, Borneo pygmy elephant, orangutan and proboscis monkey with myriad species of birds that will keep you glued to your binoculars.

Tonight, you will have the chance to go on a nature walk around the lodge to spot nocturnal creatures.

Meals
Breakfast

Today, we say farewell to Borneo as you are transferred to Sandakan Airport (SDK), arriving at approximately 11am, in time for your departure flight.

Note:

Departure transfers are included as part of your package. You will be collected from your hotel at the appropriate time and transferred to the airport to meet your flight. 

If Inspiring Vacations has not provided your international airfares, please ensure you provide your flight details via your Traveller Hub portal no later than 90 days prior to travel so that your transfers can be confirmed.

Inclusions

  • Small group tour, up to 16 guests only
  • Return boat transfers to Dinawan Island
  • High-tea experience on Dinawan Island
  • Entry fees into; Kinabalu National Park, Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary, Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre, Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre
  • Selingan Turtle Island permit fee
  • Return boat transfers to Selingan Turtle Island
  • 6 nights at 4* accommodation
  • 2 nights in a rainforest lodge
  • 1 night in a chalet
  • Breakfast daily, 8 lunches and 3 dinners
  • Cooking class in Kota Kinabalu
  • Domestic economy class flight from Kota Kinabalu to Sandakan
  • Group departure transfer to Sandakan Airport (SDK)
  • Fully escorted by a professional English-speaking tour guide
  • Comfortable, dedicated transportation throughout
  • In-depth sightseeing and entrance fees as per the itinerary

  • Kota Kinabalu - snorkel through the pristine waters of Dinawan Island
  • Kota Kinabalu - explore the treetop canopy walk within Kinabalu National Park
  • Kota Kinabalu - try your hand at Malaysian cuisine during a local cooking class
  • Selingan Turtle Island - observe turtles hatching at night on the famous Turtle Island
  • Sandakan - tour the famous, historical sites of Sandakan Memorial Park a former POW Camp
  • Sandakan - take in all of Sandakan Bay at the vista where the Puu Jih Shih Buddhist Temple sits
  • Sandakan - visit one of the oldest places Christianity has been preached in Malaysia - St. Michael’s Church
  • Sandakan - learn about the colonial times at Agnes Keith Museum
  • Sepilok - visit Borneo’s most famous inhabitants, the orangutans at the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre 
  • Sepilok - visit the world’s smallest bears at the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre
  • Kinabatangan - cruise through the peaceful waterways of the Kinabatangan River
  • Kinabatangan - stay amongst the dense rainforest of the Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Kinabatangan - go on morning and afternoon river safaris trying to spy gibbons, elephants, orangutans and many different bird species

Inspiring Sights
  • A highlight of your time in Borneo is witnessing nature is all its beauty at Selingan Turtle Island. Observe turtles coming ashore to lay their eggs and hatchings make their first 'step's into the wild.
 
Inspiring Tastes
  • Malaysian cuisine is a treat! Try your hand at a Kiulu cooking class, using produce you have sourced from local suppliers. Of course you will be eating your concoctions as part of lunch.
 
Inspiring Stays
  • Fully immerse yourself into the flora and fauna along the Kinabatangan River at Bilit Rainforest Lodge. The lodge is renowned for its local birdlife and Bornean animals (pygmy elephant, Sumatran rhinos, sun bears and proboscis monkeys) traversing through the lodge's grounds.

The island is a natural habitat for green and hawksbill turtles. Both species are currently endangered, however the island serves as a safe haven for laying their eggs. Whilst here, you will need to adhere to the strict rules and regulations dictated by the staff.

  • Use of personal cameras whilst on the island incurs a RM10 per unit fee (camera fee contributes to conversation costs)
  • Flash photography is prohibited
  • Video taking is prohibited

It is necessary to travel light to the island for various reasons including capacity of the boat and the island having no permanent jetty. We strongly recommend taking an overnight bag with only necessities - your remaining luggage will be securely stored and returned to you upon arriving back into Sandakan.

Due to limited capacity of accommodation, solo travellers will be roomed with other solo travellers of the same gender whilst staying at the chalet.

Fine Print

This product requires full payment upfront to secure your booking.

Once you have created your booking you will be directed to your invoice to choose your preferred payment method.

This package is a flight add-on package

This package has the option of adding international airfares to your booking when selecting your departure city. Select your departure city after clicking ‘Book Now’ and a cost will be stated next to your selected departure city. This cost will then be added to your booking and international flights will be added to your booking.

Visit our Flight Hub for more information on terms and conditions, amending your flights and information on luggage allowances.

Some of our packages will include airport transfers in either one or both directions when arriving or departing from your destination. To know if transfers are included please view the ‘inclusions’ section of your selected package. If airport transfers are stated, transfers will be included as advised.

If transfers are not included, we also offer the option to book your airport transfers using our online portal. Access to this portal is available through your Traveller Hub once your booking is confirmed. Transfers are readily available and do not need to be booked until your final hotel list has been confirmed. Once you have made a transfer booking, please refer to your confirmation email for all transfer details including a local contact number for the transfer company.

If you book pre and/or post-tour accommodation on your own arrangement, and the tour includes transfers, note that these will be forfeited. The transfers are only provided in line with the tour dates and pre and/or post-tour accommodation purchased through Inspiring Vacations when available.

It is the traveller's responsibility to ensure they have a valid passport. The passport must be valid for a minimum of six months from the intended date of return. Visas may be required for your destination. For further visa information, click here.

Fitness Requirements
While the tour itinerary should give you some guidance and overview to the expected requirements, to determine if this tour is right for you we categorise each of our tours in terms of their intensity. These guidelines are to ensure that each tour group is conducted as expected and to ensure the overall satisfaction of all Inspiring Vacations customers.

As a general rule, porterage is not included, therefore at all times you are expected to handle your own luggage where help may not be available.

This particular tour is categorised as a ”3”

3 – Moderate Tour: A good level of fitness and mobility is required, as this tour includes a moderate level of physical activity and is considered a medium-fast paced tour. You should be able to walk up and down stairs, get on and off the coach and able to walk reasonable distances of approximately 2 kilometres per day or more with ease. Any physical ailments you may have must be disclosed at the time of booking to determine your suitability. If you have any form of walking aids, other than a walking stick or hiking poles, then this tour is not suitable.

Tipping
A friendly reminder that tipping is not included in your package. Tipping is not compulsory on your trip, but they can make a big difference to locals employed in the tourism industry. If you feel that your guide and driver have done an impeccable job, you can choose to give a gratuity, but this is entirely your decision.

Accommodation
The accommodation listed is subject to change. Any changes will be of an equal or higher standard. Bedding configurations (double or twin) are requests only. All efforts will be made to meet your preferences, but we can’t guarantee your request will be available at all properties.

Single travellers
When booking this tour, solo travellers will be presented with three options:

1 - Single Supplement
By paying an additional $395.00 per person, in addition to the twin-share price, you guarantee the privacy of your own room throughout the entire trip.

2- Shared Room with a known friend
If travelling together with a friend, you can opt to share your room with him/her and avoid paying a single supplement. 

You and your friend can create a unique booking each. Creating a unique booking, gives each of you the flexibility of making different travel arrangements (such adding extra accommodation, flights, etc), make separate payments and have individual access to our Traveller Hub

During the purchase path, you will need to provide your friend’s booking ID (if known) or at a minimum, your friend’s full name.

3- Shared Room with a fellow traveller
In this trip you can opt to share a room with a fellow traveller of the same gender – as specified in your passport - and avoid paying a single supplement.

If you believe you may prevent your travelling companion from enjoying a peaceful night’s rest, please refrain from selecting this option.

You will meet your rooming companion at the beginning of your trip. 

Changes to room configuration during the trip must be organised by travellers directly with the hotel, subject to availability and additional charges.

This option is not available on additional accommodation booked before or after the tour.

Triple Share
Not available.

Travel Insurance
Travel insurance is recommended to protect yourself against the unexpected. In addition to the support that a policy may provide, you may be asked to present a copy of your travel insurance documentation while traveling.

Malaysia Digital Arrival Card (MDAC)

What is MDAC?
Malaysia Digital Arrival Card (MDAC) is a form that must be completed by travellers who want to visit Malaysia prior to their arrival.

Commencing on Jan 1, 2024, the MDAC will be mandatory for pre-submission. Travellers are required to complete the MDAC form at least three days before their arrival and must present the filled-out form along with their passport upon entry into the country.

MDAC exemption
Submission of the MDAC is not mandatory for all travellers entering Malaysia. The following categories are exempt from the MDAC requirement:

  • Those transiting/transferring through Singapore without seeking immigration clearance
  • Malaysia Permanent Resident
  • Malaysia Automated Clearance System (MACS) Holder
  • Malaysian Long-Term Pass holders
  • Nationals of Singapore
  • Diplomats and official passport holders
  • Brunei Common Certificate of Identification holders
  • Brunei Malaysia Frequent Traveller Program participants
  • Indonesian Cross Border Pass holders
  • Thailand Border Pass holders

How to apply for the MDAC?
To obtain your MDAC, follow the steps provided below:

  • Visit the MDAC website, and select the register button
  • Fill in your personal information, including your valid email address
  • Enter your travel information, which includes the dates of your arrival and departure, the mode of travel, and the last port of embarkation
  • Click on the submit button

After you submit your application, you can check your email box to receive your PIN. You can use the PIN to access your MDAC file through the Check Registration section on the MDAC website. You will be required to enter your PIN, passport number, and nationality.

Search “MDAC” or visit: 

https://imigresen-online.imi.gov.my/mdac/main

MDAC E-gate
Malaysia has implemented a modernised entry system called E-gate. This automated system offers a convenient way to enter the country with reduced manual intervention.

The E-gate system is currently available at two key locations: Kuala Lumpur International Airport Terminals One and Two, as well as the Johor Bahru Checkpoint.

Only the following categories of travellers are eligible for using the E-gate:

  • Foreign business and social travellers from 10 countries, including Australia, Brunei, Germany, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, the US, and the United Kingdom
  • Submitted Malaysia Digital Arrival Card (MDAC) 3 days before arrival
  • Enrolled a biometric (fingerprint) at the counter
  • e-Passport holder

Group Size
Minimum: 2
Maximum: 16

Children
Children must be 5 years old or above and share a room with parents at all times. Children are charged the same price as adults.

Tour Style
To meet the needs of various types of travelers, we choose to operate various types of tours, and depending on your selected package will mean different services are provided throughout your trip. The following descriptions of each tour style we hope will ensure that each traveller has appropriate expectations before they start their travels: 

  • Fully Escorted - This tour is fully escorted by an expert English-speaking guide who will accompany you throughout the tour.

All participants must be in good physical condition to fully engage in this journey. For the safety and welfare of yourself and fellow travellers, if you are feeling unwell prior to departure, we advise staying home and contacting us to arrange alternate plans.

Prior to selecting your trip, carefully review the itinerary to assess your ability to comfortably manage our travel style. Please be aware that if, based on evaluation by our leader or local representative, a participant is deemed unable to safely complete the itinerary, we retain the right to exclude them from all or part of the trip without reimbursement.

It is advisable to consult your physician for current medical travel advisories and any required vaccinations before embarking. We recommend carrying a first aid kit and any necessary medications in their original packaging, as they may not be readily available during travel. For those carrying medication, it's essential to check your government's foreign travel guidelines for local restrictions or regulations.

You can enhance your holiday by arriving or departing before or after the tour. On this tour you can choose from the following options:

Pre Tour Accommodation - Kota Kinabalu

  • $79.00 per room, per night for double and twin share
  • $79.00 per room, per night for solo travellers

Post Tour Accommodation - Sandakan

  • $82.00 per room, per night for double and twin share
  • $82.00 per room, per night for solo travellers

Please select the number of extra nights required in the 'Additional Nights Accommodation' field when making your purchase. The additional cost for these arrangements will be added to your final payment invoice and are subject to availability.

  • International airfares
  • Arrival airport transfer
  • Visas
  • Travel insurance
  • Tipping
  • Optional activities
  • Personal expenses
  • Anything not mentioned in the itinerary

Departure Dates for 10 Day Borneo Discovery With Turtle Island Small Group Tour

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