Anyone been to Kuala Lumpur and/or Borneo?

(19 Posts)
waitingforgodot Mon 07-Jul-14 15:11:48

If so, what did you enjoy best? What is best avoided? Many thanks in advance!

PuddingAndHotMilk Mon 07-Jul-14 15:19:01

We went to Borneo in 07 and loved it. The caves in Mulu are well worth a visit. The orang utan sanctuary at Sandakan is good and if you fancy getting off the track a bit check out Uncle Tans wildlife camp.
I regret not finding the time to climb Mount Kinabalu confused
We are divers too and Sipadan is a must!

Enjoy thanksthanks

Boleh Mon 07-Jul-14 15:32:03

Been to KL several times, live in Borneo :-)

I'm not a massive fan of cities generally however, in KL we enjoyed the bird park and Batu Caves temple but we mainly go there for shopping and the climbing wall - you probably don't need to travel to KL for IKEA! So I'll let others advise more on that.

On Borneo, I highly reccomend Mulu for an easy way to walk in real jungle (if you stick to the boardwalks), amazing caves, boat along the river and some serious jungle hikes if you want them. We are going for our 3rd visit next weekend! Also in Sarawak look into Kuching, lots of things to do from Bako national park (lovely hiking and wildlife), orchid garden, pretty waterfront, colonial architecture and apparently the cultural village is good too although we haven't been several local friends have recommended it. The Orangutang centre there is OK but absolutely nothing else to see or do there now (all the trails are closed) and they close it outside of the feeding times - I much preferred the one at Sepilok in Sabah. Miri has Niah Caves nearby and the Lambir Hills national park. Also in Sarawak look into visiting Bario, in the interior, a bit off the main tourist trail but a wonderful place where the village are taking on the modern world on their own terms and visitors to the home stats are treated like family.

In Sabah look into trips on the Kinabantangan river combined with Sepilok. If you can afford Danum Valley it sounds fabulous! If you scuba dive visit Sipidan, Mabul and Kapilai - try to stay offshore though, Semporna is a bit of a dump in my view although the seafood is good! Of course there is also Kota Kinabalu, the islands offshore are meant to be very pretty and Mt Kinabalu sounds like a great hike but I'm afraid I haven't yet done either!

Brunei has a fabulous hotel called the Empire Hotel and also has some good wreck diving. I'm afraid I don't know what the onshore attractions are.

I hope this gives you somewhere to start from.

waitingforgodot Mon 07-Jul-14 15:36:36

Brilliant! Thank you both x

specialsubject Mon 07-Jul-14 20:18:42

KL - fascinating and very different city but (cough, choke, splutter) and takes ages to get anywhere.

Batu caves very memorable though. I'd say three days is plenty.

also came away with dengue, but that's tropical travel for you.

waitingforgodot Mon 07-Jul-14 20:22:46

Thanks for that! Not good re dengue!

Boleh Tue 08-Jul-14 00:44:11

Wow, that was very unfortunate. I know it's endemic here but in 18 months I don't know anyone that's had it. I hope you are fully recovered and well.

specialsubject Tue 08-Jul-14 11:33:27

Thanks. It was himself, not me - took six months to get over it and we will not be returning to the tropics.

odds are low and we used our DEET, but we walked into an outbreak and it only takes one mosquito. Fortunately I missed out.

angelicjen Thu 10-Jul-14 08:09:31

Getting to the top of Mount Kinabalu and seeing a wild orang-utan make her bedtime nest are two of the most magical, unforgettable experiences of my life. I cannot recommend Borneo enough, it's a truly amazing place.

waitingforgodot Thu 10-Jul-14 08:28:13

How long does it take to climb angelicjen?

chocomochi Fri 11-Jul-14 19:19:06

Agree with Mount Kinabalu - takes a good few hours to climb on day one (you need to take it slowly to acclimatise), get there late afternoon, have early dinner and early bed time as you have to get up around 3am to climb to the summit for sunrise the next morning.

River Kinabatanga and Danum Valley are amazing, for the wildlife and walks. We went to an diving resort about 2 hours away by boat from Sandakan, called Lankayan. It's wonderfully secluded with a beautiful beach. You can go diving or snorkelling there, and kayaking too.

Hobbes8 Fri 11-Jul-14 19:25:36

We went to both for our honeymoon. We enjoyed the bird park in KL and the orchid gardens next door. We wanted to go to the butterfly gardens as well, but we were too hot and bothered after the first two.

I'd recommend a cocktail at the rooftop bar of Traders Hotel - great view of the Petronas Tower.

In Borneo we mostly lazed on a beach but we did go to the orang utan sanctuary at Sepilok and combined it with a boat trip on the river where we saw otters and countless monkeys.

Back2Two Fri 11-Jul-14 19:33:08

I have climbed mount Kinabulu too.
Very memorable. A real achievement.
Also have done Uncle Tan's thing. Lots of mud. I saw elephants (lots of them and truely unforgettable)

I loved KL as well. Just simple memories for me of lovely food, night-markets etc.

Both places hold amazing life changing memories for me. Had my first kiss with my gorgeous dh in a hostel in KL.

TheGonnagle Fri 11-Jul-14 19:34:50

I love KL, every time we go to the Far East I try and shoehorn it into our plans. We usually spend three days in a city before moving on somewhere quiet and I really like Kl.
It is much much much cheaper than Singapore, easier to get around and more compact than Bangkok and the beer is cheaper than in HK!
And they sell roti canai, which is one of my favourite things ever. In fact, I really love the food in KL, there is a real jumble of ethnicity so lots of exciting things to eat.
The parks are good, bird park, orchid gardens, butterfly park, KLCC park etc. The playground in KLCC is amazing.
Good shopping too. I like the Pavillion mall for a swan round, more so than KLCC, which is very busy.
Hotels are reasonable, Shangri-La Kl is a third of the price of the Shang in Singapore and just as lovely IMO.
Lots of temples to visit, and the central mosque, and merdeka square, just lots and lots to do.
I love KL (ponders switching Bangkok for KL again

TheGonnagle Fri 11-Jul-14 19:36:12

Oh, been to Borneo too. But really just an uber lazy trip to Rasa Ria Shangri-La, which was lovely. We ahd lots of plans to be adventurous but basically just fell asleep on the beach for a week. <Makes notes to go back to BOrneo and be less lazy, perhaps with a side trip to KL>

minipie Fri 11-Jul-14 20:10:59

KL I remember as being surprisingly laid back for a large city in SE Asia. Nice place, not a lot of sights, the fab food and markets are the main draw.

Borneo - we went to Kuching (nice low key off the main tourist trail town and nearby nature reserve) Sepilok/kinabatangan (for orangutan sanctuary and river safaris - both very memorable) and Lankayan island (lovely beaches and turtle hatchery - memorable snorkelling with turtles).

Wish we'd got to sipadan but there was something funny going on with the dive permits - they were oversubscribed and you couldn't be sure in advance you'd get one - so we didn't risk it. Check the dive permit situation before you go.

Are there DC or is this a couples trip?

ShanghaiDiva Sat 12-Jul-14 15:38:16

Kuching is great - lots of fab restaurants and nearby there is a cultural village which showcases different styles of houses. Thought it would be cheesy, but was well done and kids enjoyed looking around the longhouses. We also went kayaking, saw orangutans in the wild and some modern longhouses.

eurochick Sat 12-Jul-14 15:43:36

We flew through KL but didn't visit, so I can't help with that. We spent our honeymoon in Borneo. We did a lot of the stuff that has been mentioned - Sepilok (there's a lodge attached to it and if you stay there, you can visit when there are fewer day trip tourists around), Lankayan Island, the Kinabatangan River and then had a few luxury days at the end at the Shangri-La Rasa Ria. We booked through Audley travel and they were brilliant at sorting everything. The one thing we didn't do that we wanted to was to climb Mount Kinabalu, but we just couldn't fit it in.

Cerisier Sun 27-Jul-14 21:33:07

We weren't that impressed with KL. Nowhere near as exciting as Singapore or HK. Not much to do once you've been up the Petronas Towers. We did enjoy the Sunway Lagoon Petting Zoo, where you can pet small animals. The main zoo is pretty depressing though and I felt sorry for the animals there. The DC loved the Hilton swimming pool, I had trouble getting them out of it.

In contrast Borneo has tons to do. As others have mentioned, Sandakan and the orangutan sanctuary are great, at KK there is whitewater rafting, walking and an interesting town to explore. You can take boat trips out to islands and villages built on the water. We thoroughly enjoyed KK.

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