Elusive rafflesia, the largest flower in the world, inquisitive orangutans, Proboscis monkeys, abundance of orchids and pitcher plants: Sabah is an extraordinary place. A visit to the Sandakan War Memorial makes this journey even more memorable.
Meet your Ross Tour Leader, Libby Cameron at check-in. Depart Sydney for Kuching, capital of Sarawak State, Malaysia.
Morning city tour of Kuching, once the seat of the White Rajah dynasty where Malay, Chinese, Indian and British created a unique community.
Afternoon visit to Semenggoh Nature Reserve to see orang-utans in their natural environment and their afternoon feed.
Sarawak Cultural village is built on 17 acres on the edge of a beautiful lake. Here we get a good understanding of the major ethnic groups found in Sarawak namely the Bidayuh, Ibans, Orang Ulu, Melanau and Penans. Browse around the village and watch the locals cooking, demonstrating their skills in traditional handicrafts such as pua weaving and bamboo carving and making blow-pipes and other hunting instruments.
After lunch at Bayridge Restaurant we will relax back in our hotel before our evening Sarawak River Cruise (with light refreshments).
A short flight this morning to Kota Kinabalu, capital of Sabah.
After lunch we will travel over the Crocker Range to UNESCO World Heritage Kinabalu Park. Established as a state park in 1964, this botanical paradise emcompasses four climate zones. Stop at the Nabalu hilltop market to buy local fruit and handicrafts.
Back into Kinabalu Park this morning. Mt. Kinabalu is the highest mountain in Malaysia at 4095m (13431 feet). Enjoy the cool air as we trek around the foothills to learn about the unique plants of Borneo including the carnivorous Nepenthes, rhododendrons & orchids.
In the lowland dipterocarp forest at Poring we will traverse the rainforest through the tree tops on the Canopy walkway 35m above ground level. We can take a dip in the Poring Hot Springs or we can bathe in the cool river pools. Hopefully we will see the world’s largest flower, the elusive Rafflesia.
Travel through the heart of Sabah today from Kundasang in the mountains to Sukau on the Kinbatangan River. Relax in the tranquil surroundings of our lodge accommodation.
Dawn and dusk cruises are our treats today as we explore the Kinabantangan River. We will be watching for hornbills, wild monkeys including the remarkable Proboscis monkey and orang-utans in the wild. Our boat will navigate the narrow Menanggul River to enjoy the best bird watching. Bring your binoculars!
Travel by boat downstream to Abai Village. We will participate in a re-forestation project this afternoon along with the locals.
Settle into our hotel before an evening walk in search of frogs and fireflies.
A morning river cruise to Sandakan. Visit Agnes Keith House Museum, the restored heritage quarters of the British Colonial Government called “Newlands”. Lunch today is a grand affair at the adjacent English Tea House overlooking Sandakan Bay.
Visit Sandakan War Memorial on the original POW camp where thousands of Australian and British POW’s died in WW2.
Morning visit to the famous Sepilok Orang-Utan Rehabilitation Centre to watch them feed and learn about the rehabilitation of orphaned orang-utans.
After lunch we transfer to Sandakan airport for a flight back to Kota Kinabalu.
Start the day at the Sunday Gaya Street Fair then an orientation of historic landmarks including the State & City Mosque, University grounds and Kingfisher residential area.
Another treat this afternoon in a beautiful private garden. Wander the waterfront this evening to sample food in the various stalls and cafes.
Head south this morning over the Crocker Range into the beautiful Tambunan Valley. This is farming country with rugged mountain backdrop. Stop at the Tambunan Rafflesia Centre. Check into our hotel with dinner then wander through the night markets.
Tenom Agricultural park is a paradise for plant lovers filled with all the heliconias, gingers, bouganvilleas and tropical shrubs you could dream about.There are 21 gardens including a ‘living crop’ museum, an evolution garden, orchid houses and pitcher plants.
Travel back to Kota Kinabalu via Tambunan with a stop at Kipandi Butterfly Farm to see an exquisite collection of orchids, pitcher plants and hoyas, insects and butterflies.
Free day for optional tours or just relax in our resort hotel. Farewell dinner tonight at Shangrila Tanjung Aru Resort.
Mid morning transfer to airport for return flight to Singapore and connecting with overnight flight to Australia.
Arrive home today.
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