3 – 12 NOVEMBER 2023 ( 10 days 9 nights accommodation) SABAH EXPRESS - SELF DRIVING EXPERIENCE
(Kota Kinabalu, Tenom, Tawau, Semporna, Lahad Datu, Sukau, Sandakan, Kundasang, Kudat)
Cost per pax RM1950 (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 cars will be provided for 11 pax + 1 Yongo Guide) and petrol are INCLUDED in the trip cost.
EXCLUDE SUGGESTED FLIGHT BELOW
03NOV23 FRI MH KUL/BKI 1115 1355
12NOV23 SUN AA BKI/KUL 1405 1635
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 8.00AM, “get-to-know” your travel buddies time and fly KUL (1115) – BKI (1355). 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-SANDAKAN 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. After cruise, 1 hour drive to Timach Cafe for dinner. If lucky, we may get some "soon hock" fish but no promise here. After dinner, 1 hour drive to Sandakan. Overnight Sandakan (D)
DAY 6 WED SUKAU-SANDAKAN Full day Sandakan sightseeing.Morning to Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre, Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre and Rainforest Discovery Centre. Afternoon to Agnes Keith and English Tea House. Happy hours, massage center and Sandakan seafood dinner all walking distance from hotel. This will give all a welcome break from driving and a chance to catch your breaths, do laundry etc.Overnight Sandakan
DAY 7 THU SANDAKAN-KUNDASANG Morning drive 40km(~40mins), to Labuk Bay Proboscis Center to arrive 930am feeding time at Platform A, just in time to watch up close the proboscis and likely some dusky langurs as well. After monkeying around, we will drive to Kundasang 215km (~4.5hr) with lunch stop along the way. If rafflesia is bloomings, we will divert to Adena Rafflesia Garden at Poring, and arrive Kundasang in time for a quick visit to Desa Dairy Farm. 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(1405)- KUL(1635) flight, and end of Sabah Express trip with fast memories that last!
TERMS AND CONDITIONS
1. Cost covers accommodation, self-driving rental cars and fuel for, boat for island hopping and Kinabatangan River cruise.
2. 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
3. Accommodations on TWIN SHARING basis. Single supplementary applies
4. Meals will be provided in two places only, Timach Cafe, Kinabatangan and Longhouse in Kudat as stated in the itinerary (B = Breakfast, D = Dinner)
5. NOT COVERED are flight tickets, meals except stated included, entrance fees and optional activities
6. A Non-refundable deposit of RM750 is payable to confirm your place