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borneo with child - safe to travel?

(16 Posts)
bonvivant Sun 09-Feb-14 17:21:30

Trip would take in parts of north and Eastern Sabah including Sandakan for a day before going up the Kinabatangan river for few nights, then going to shangri la rasa ria.

Would you travel there at the moment?

EBearhug Sun 09-Feb-14 17:40:44

How old is the child? How remote will you be (I don't know the Kinabatangan)?

Have you spoken to the doctor about travel medicine? I don't know if there are contraindications on things like malaria meds and children, and you absolutely don't want to take chances there. I also had to have Japanese B encephalitis, but I think you only need that if you're going to the middle of nowhere, and guidelines may have changed in any case.

I think if they said it was okay as far as jabs and so on went, I'd probably go for it, depending on the age of the child, and exactly what I was planning to do. If you're in towns, it's probably fine - I spent some of my time camping in the jungle, and that would be challenging with children.

(I loved my time in Sabah - spent 3 months there in my 20s.)

OneStepCloser Sun 09-Feb-14 17:55:53

DDs just spent 3 months in Sabah, she had a fantastic time and said everyone was amazingly friendly and helpful. Have a great time.

cathpip Sun 09-Feb-14 18:03:09

I went to Borneo at 25 weeks pregnant, went to see the orangutans and turtle island overnight, loved it, enjoy smile

thatwouldbeanecumenicalmatter Sun 09-Feb-14 18:06:31

Didn't know there was any problems out there atm?

I would have thought just jabs and make sure you have plenty bottle water for DC.

Shangri La Rasa Ria is gorgeous - am envy

southchinasea Sun 09-Feb-14 18:12:07

Absolutely fine. The rasa ria is beautiful and relaxing after doing the river trip. KK, Sandakan, turtle island, the orang utan sanctuary at Sepilok all well worth visiting and Sabah very friendly and safe.

specialsubject Sun 09-Feb-14 19:29:56

All malarial so investigate that.

monopoly123 Mon 10-Feb-14 17:51:53

I think the unrest around Lahad Datu with the invasion last year is over. Although I don't know if the problem is solved with the Philipines and there's he potential it could start again.
There are occasional reports of kidnapping around the islands near Sipadan; the foreign office warns about them but I am not sure how often they happen.
I'd have a look at the Malaysian & Singapore news online - new straits times and the Malaysian star are 2 that spring to mind, aljezeera might be good for news in that region.
We were there 3yrs ago with a 4&6yr old - kinabatangen river cruise/semporna/sandakan etc and had a great time but it does seem to have gone a bit dicier since then.

ShanghaiDiva Tue 11-Feb-14 10:35:23

There were problems there last year, but not sure if that has been resolved.
Malaria area so seek advice re tablets and vaccinations. I live in China so have had nearly every jab going, but imagine you need hep b and up to date tetanus at the very minimum.
I took dd there when she was 5 and we had a lovely time - great restaurants and if you don't see the orang utans at Sepilok (sp?) they have a small sanctuary at the Shangri la hotel. There are two shangri la hotels in KK and it is the one out of the city which has the small sanctuary. Transport can be arranged from your hotel, but need to book in advance as limited number of places.

Annebronte Thu 20-Feb-14 09:49:02

I've been thinking of a family trip to Borneo too, but put off by advice on FO website. Have you checked it? A kidnapping and murder in November at a beach resort and tourists advised to take particular care in Sandakan. I'm very cautious, though!

TheGonnagle Thu 20-Feb-14 21:49:10

Sarawak isn't malarial, Sabah is so bear that in mind.
Off shore there is a pirate risk around Sipadan, check the FO advice currently.
RasaRia is a beautiful hotel, really lovely. Also Gaya in the marine park is a bit special.
We are looking at Borneo next year, but will be heading to Kuching and the environs (or Phillipines, not sure yet) as I don't want dd taking antimalarials yet.

bonvivant Fri 21-Feb-14 07:38:55

TheGonnagle, can you please provide any further info re Gaya Island as we did look at that but the Tripadvisor reviews are quite mixed. What did you find special about it?

eurochick Fri 21-Feb-14 07:50:01

We did a similar trip for our honeymoon and it was amazing. We took in a stay on a turtle nesting island, Sepilok, a few days up the river seeing monkeys, orangies and crocs (and narrowly missing some pygmy elephants) and then finished the trip at the Rasa Ria (the small orangie sanctuary there is good too as they have some of the real babies - so cute). There was a piracy/kidnapping risk up in the islands where we went to see the nesting turtles and our island had (discreet) armed guards and we saw no problems. Borneo itself felt very safe but I am not sure if that has changed in the past couple of years. I absolutely loved it there though.

monopoly123 Fri 21-Feb-14 21:57:42

It's hard to say - we spent a while in Malaysia with the children and they kind of made us feel untouchable. People we met were so child friendly and crimes against children seem rare. But then the kidnapping/murder in November shocked me. We stayed at Pom Pom Island (in the dive resort Celebes sea) for a week and felt incredibly safe. I can't imagine someone getting killed there, it was perfect paradise. But even if 100 people were to post and say "we went and we were fine", if one person posted to say they weren't then it would put you off.

TheGonnagle Sun 23-Feb-14 20:41:33

We went a long time ago to be fair. The place we stayed has been given an epic overhaul and now looks very smart indeed. It's now called Gaya Island Resort. WHen we went it was very quiet and the snorkelling was pretty good. We stayed in a water bungalow and jumped into the water for a swim every morning. Did quite a bit of diving, hiking and pottering about and the food was good.

bonvivant Mon 24-Feb-14 21:47:27

It does sound lovely TheGonnagle

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