19-28 JAN 2024 ( 10 days 9 nights accommodation) SABAH EXPRESS - SELF DRIVING EXPERIENCE
(Kota Kinabalu, Tenom, Tawau, Semporna, Lahad Datu, Sukau, Sandakan, Kundasang, Kudat)
Cost per pax RM2100 (11pax)
This is a SELF-DRIVE trip. Preferable to have at least two persons who can drive in one car, to take turn driving throughout the journey.Rental cars (3 standard sedan cars with comprehensive insurance (e.g Bezza/Pesona) will be provided for 11 pax + 1 Yongo Guide)
EXCLUDE SUGGESTED FLIGHT BELOW (AIRASIA RM350 RETURN FLIGHT PRICED AT 27SEPT23)
19JAN24 FRI AA KUL/BKI 1025 1300
28JAN24 SUN AA BKI/KUL 1705 1940
PLEASE DO NOT BOOK THE FLIGHT UNTIL ADVISED BY US
IMPORTANT NOTICE. This is meant to be a "free and easy" budget trip. Participants should be relatively fit, with a good sense of humour, and above all, have the right attitude for close travel with others through possibly some trying times. Most definitely, this is not a trip for prudes, whiners, fuss-pots, and other similiarly assorted types! Although every effort will be made to stick to the given itinerary, ground conditions may change and cause some disruption and/or deviation from the norm. Otherwise, have fun!
Our “Land Below the Wind” is more, much more, than just Mount Kinabalu and Sipadan. There are not many places in Malaysia where one moment you are splashing in clear sparkling seas, and within the next few hours can be walking through pristine lush jungle havens. Let us explore this deliciously diverse Sabah diorama in an approximately 1700km drive taking in all the major, and also many roads less travelled, in a circular loop drive. We may have to stop on the Maliau road to allow for elephants crossing! Bolih Bah!
Day 1 FRI KLIA T2 TO KKIA . Assemble at airport by 830AM, “get-to-know” your travel buddies time and fly KUL (1025) – BKI (1300). On arrival, grab car rentals and drive 150km(~2.5hr) to Tenom via Kimanis Highway! Eta Tenom in time for few cold mugs at Yit Foh Coffee Cottage beer garden or Yong Farmstay, and frontier town dinner. Overnight Tenom.
Day 2 SAT TAWAU - TENOM Mid-morning coffee at Fatt Choy Coffee Hilll for nice town views while sipping strong coffee, and then visit Murut Cultural Center, a little visited gem of a stop. Drive 70km(~1hr) to Nabawan for a payau lunch. We drive another 280km(~4.5hrs) through the ‘underbelly’ of Sabah to arrive Tawau in time for sunset at LA Hotel skybar. Local dinner of likely the best satay and porridge in town, according to the almost 95% local patrons! Overnight Tawau.
DAY 3 SUN TAWAU-SEMPORNA. Back to nature as we take a short hike through lush virgin jungle just 30mins drive from Tawau. See why pristine Sabah jungles made Timber Taukes salivate! If all up to it, we do a full 1.5hr one way hike to a cosy waterfall, passing by to see the tallest tropical tree in the world, and a sulphur hot spring. Seafood noodle lunch with fresh avocado smoothie, before we drive 107km(~1.5hr),
to arrive Semporna mid-afternoon, check-in, and then catch a waterfront sunset over few cold ones followed by seafood dinner. Overnight Semporna.
DAY 4 MON SEMPORNA-LAHAD DATU Islands trip to Timba-Timba, Matangking, and Pom2. Good snorkeling at former two islands, and packed lunch at Matangking. We will be back mainland about 3pm, wash-up, coffee break and drive 130km(~2hr) to Lahad Datu. Local dinner of signature sayur manis with egg, big lala etc! Overnight Lahad Datu.
DAY 5 TUE LAHAD DATU-SUKAU Drive 148km(~2.5hr) to Menara Kayangan to see expansive views of Darvel Bay, and then visit Batu Tulug Archeological site enroute to the Kinabatangan. Lunch at AEBA thick Bugis beef soup. Drive another 50km(~50m) to arrive Sukau about 1500. Coffee and chill before 4-6pm Kinabatangan River wildlife watch cruise. Evening dinner at Sukau lodge of great Malay-style “gulai udang galah”. Overnight Sukau (B,D)
DAY 6 WED SUKAU-SANDAKAN Visit Gomantong working bird-nest cave, with thousands of creepy crawlies and pervasive bat guano smell in the air-the real McCoy! Then drive 90km(~1.5hr) to Sepilok for lunch. Catch sight of the smallest bear in the world at the Malaysian Sun Bear sanctuary, and 3pm feeding time of the adjoining Orang Utan sanctuary. Enroute, drop by the Rainforest Discovery Center for a 700m steel canopy walkway rising about 30m from the ground. Happy hours, massage center and Sandakan seafood dinner all walking distance from hotel. Overnight Sandakan
DAY 7 THU SANDAKAN-KUNDASANG History and nostalgia time with short visit to Agnes Keith House Museum and English Tea House for morning tea and scones! Then drive 40km(~40mins), to Labuk Bay Proboscis Center to arrive 11am+, just in time to watch up close the proboscis and likely some dusky langurs as well. After monkeying around, we drive 58km(~1hr), to have lunch at Kota Kinabatangan about 1pm. With some luck and pre-planning, we may have some large “soonhocks” for lunch! After lunch it is a 210km(~3.5hr) drive to Kundasang to arrive evening. Steamboat dinner will end the day. Overnight Kundasang
DAY 8 FRI KUNDASANG-KUDAT Back to nature again with an easy 1-2hr walk through Kinabalu National Park mossy forest, including the interesting but often overlooked Botanical Garden. Short 24km(~30min) drive brings you Nabalu town for lunch, where one can also pick up some red rice, Dusun crafts etc. Another 28km(~30min) drive will bring us to Melangkap Tagal Ikan, where we will immerse with “tame” mountain fishes, including Kelah and Empurau. Refreshed, we drive 110km(~2hr) to a Rungus Longhouse eta 6pm. Evening Rungus cultural show and local dinner of banana stem, pansoh chicken etc. Overnight at authentic almost 100% bamboo longhouse with shared baths. Overnight Kudat (B,D)
DAY 9 SAT KUDAT-KOTA KINABALU Bang gongs at Sumangkap gong making village, see how virgin coconut oil is made, and look out over the northernmost tip of Borneo and lunch at cosy beachfront local eatery. After that, it’s a 185km(~3hr) drive to Kota Kinabalu, in time to arrive at the waterfront for sunset, happy hours and easy eating. To return the rental car back to the airport today by 4pm as we no longer need it to move around in KK town. Overnight Kota Kinabalu
DAY 10 SUN KOTA KINABALU-KUL Free and easy to explore Gaya Street Sunday Market in the morning, just a hop away from our hotel. After that freshen up, lunch and then Grab to airport to catch BKI(1705)- KUL(1940) flight, and end of Sabah Express trip with fast memories that last!
TERMS AND CONDITIONS
1. Cost covers accommodation, self-driving rental standard sedan cars inclusive comprehensive insurances,Semporna boat for island hopping and snorkelling and Kinabatangan River cruise.
2. To upgrade car is based on agreement of all passengers and EXTRA CHARGES APPLIES
3. Accommodation will be in budget hotels and one night in a local 100% bamboo longhouse with shared bathrooms and common area and simple mattress in private bedrooms
4. Accommodations on TWIN SHARING basis. Single supplementary applies
5. Breakfast and dinners will be provided in two places only, Sukau and Longhouse in Kudat
6. NOT COVERED are flight tickets, fuel, meals except stated included, entrance fees and optional activities
7. A Non-refundable deposit of RM750 is payable to confirm your place