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Exploring Borneo

Borneo to Bali

Experience the wildlife, rainforest, and rugged beauty of Borneo, the fast pace of Kuala Lumpur, and the beaches and culture of Bali. Start your holiday in Borneo where you can wash away the jetlag in the South China Sea and get your first taste of the rainforest on Gaya Island. Head off the beaten track to the Kiulu Valley to see what life in rural Borneo is like before heading down the Kinabatangan River to look for proboscis monkeys, orangutans, crocodiles, Borneo pygmy elephants, and more as you venture into the jungle. Fly to bustling Kuala Lumpur and see the iconic Petronas Towers and maybe try out some local dishes, the food in Malaysia is unlike anywhere else.

Enjoy the remainder of your holiday on the Island of the Gods, Bali. This piece of paradise is home to colourful, ornate temples, stunning beaches, lush rice paddies, and some of the friendliest people we know. We’ve selected one of our favourite beach hotels for this itinerary but we’re full of more ideas if this one doesn’t suit. There’s time to relax, visits to temples, a sacred monkey forest, a chance to watch a kecak dance at sunset, and see the artists’ haven of Ubud. We’ve even included a private Stand-Up Paddle Board lesson.

This Borneo Bali itinerary is here to inspire you as all of our holidays are tailor-made to suit you. We’re happy to add or subtract days, change hotels, and adjust as you see fit. To learn more about this trip, give us a call at UK 020 7112 0019 or email or to start planning your holiday.

For a day-by-day glance at this itinerary, click here.

Your Itinerary


Day 1 - Welcome to Borneo

Touchdown in Kota Kinabalu and transfer to your downtown hotel with views across the South China Sea to the islands. We’ve left this time free for you to settle in. Consider exploring the night market or go for a wander in this small city.

Day 2 - Gaya Island

Get your first taste of the Borneo jungle spending the day on Gaya Island. Trek through the rainforest, have lunch on the beach, and while away the afternoon snorkelling and swimming the clear warm waters of the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park. It’s a great way to get past the jetlag.

Day 3 - Kiulu Countryside & Culture

Venture into the misty Kiulu Valley today to learn about traditional rural life in Borneo. Visit a local market, stroll through scenic landscapes of rice paddies and river valley on your way to a local village where you may get a chance to hear kulintang music or learn about daily life from the residents. Enjoy lunch made from locally sourced ingredients in customary Sabahan dishes. Consider a post-lunch dip in the Kiulu River before returning to Kota Kinabalu for the night.

Day 4 - Sepilok to Sukau

Take an early morning flight to Sukau and visit the Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre and Sun Bear Conservation Centre before heading down the Kinabatangan River to Sukau. Keep your binoculars and cameras at hand as you look for proboscis monkeys, crocodiles, and other wildlife during the transfer.


Day 5 - River Safaris

Enjoy cruises along the Kinabatangan River to look for birds and wildlife. Take a guided tour along the lodge’s Hornbill Boardwalk with an in-house naturalist;  attend an Orang Utan talk, and consider adding a night time river cruise. Or if you prefer, try to imitate the sounds of proboscis monkeys from the Ape Gallery.


Day 6 - Search for Wild Orangutans

Take an early morning river cruise along the Menanggol River by silent electric motor in search of wildlife. In the afternoon, proceed 27 km overland to the vicinity of Gomantong Cave. Traverse deep into the forest along a trail in search of  wild orangutans in the trees. Witness the exodus of over two million bats as well as raptors.

Day 7 - From the jungle to the city

Return to Sandakan by boat and take an afternoon flight to Kuala Lumpur. On arrival, you’ll be met and transferred to your city hotel. This vibrant city is bursting at the seams with excellent restaurants and bars so think about spending a night on the town.

Day 8 - Kuala Lumpur

Start the day with a visit to the Batu Caves, home to a large Hindu temple and a 140-foot tall statue of Hindu Lord God Murugan. In the afternoon, visit Kuala Lumpur’s many highlights including the Petronas Twin Towers, King’s Palace, and the National Mosque.

Day 9 - Bali bound

This morning your driver will collect you for the ride to Kuala Lumpur International Airport and your direct flight to Bali. Transfer to Ayana Resort. This is one of the best places to stay on the ‘Island of the Gods’. Here you can enjoy the hotel’s private beach, the famous Rock Bar, amazing spa, and more

Day 10 - Dramatic Kecak Uluwatu

Our guide will pick you up from your hotel in South Bali at approx. 16.00hrs. Drive to the beautiful Uluwatu Temple, which is perched 30 meters above the cliff facing the Indian Ocean, offering dramatic views of the surrounding areas. At 18.00hrs the Kecak Dance performance begins on a nearby stage with the setting sun as the background. Accompanied by the chanting of 50 male performers, the dance tells the love story of Rama and Shinta.

Day 11 - The Other side of Ubud

Your driver and guide will pick you up this morning and take you to Singapadu village for a closer look at a Balinese compound with its authentic design and architecture. Explore Pura Desa Batuan, one of the finest and oldest temples in Bali. Continue to the Sacred Monkey Forest, home of long-tailed macaques and the Pura Dalem Agung Padantegal temple, a “Holy Spring” bathing temple, and another temple used for cremation ceremonies. Enjoy lunch with a fabulous view over the Ubud countryside. Walk around the Ubud Market where you can shop for art and souvenirs. Visit Arma Museum, Bali’s cultural centre of traditional and contemporary Indonesian arts.

Day 12 - Private Stand Up paddle board lesson

Try your hand at Stand Up Paddle board, great for fitness, also an easy and exciting way to surf waves with no surfing experience required. Enjoy the rest of the day at your leisure.

Day 13 - Ayana

Relax and enjoy the facilities of the resort. It would take weeks to discover them all!

Day 14 - Time for home

At the suitable time your driver will pick you up for the transfer back to the airport for your flight homeward.

Bon voyage!


This itinerary costs from £2,500 per person based on two adults sharing excluding peak seasons. The price includes all transfers and flights as shown in the itinerary but not international flights.

International flights tend to cost between £600 and £900 return – do ask us for advice. Alternatively we can book the flights for you but a booking fee may apply.

What's included?

  • Prices start from £2,500 per person
  • Accommodation on B&B basis
  • Full board on days 4-6, lunch on day 11
  • Transfers in an air-conditioned vehicle or boat as mentioned
  • Internal flights as mentioned
  • Local taxes except those which can only be paid locally
  • Entrance fees
  • All excursions and activities mentioned in the itinerary
  • All trips are ATOL protected or ABTA bonded to ensure you are fully covered
Make a booking
Kota Kinabalu
An easy city to see on foot, Kota Kinabalu is the gateway to Sabah. Hop a ferry to the islands, relax by the beach north of the city, tuck into a meal at the night market, and settle into the easy pace of Sabahan life. More
Tip of Borneo
Empty beaches, clear water, and fantastic villas perfect for those looking to get away from it all. The Tip of Borneo is a quiet place for a self-drive holiday from Kota Kinabalu. A longhouse homestay, traditional villages, and a jungle home to proboscis monkeys are easy day visits. Snorkel, dive, kayak, trek, bicycle, or simply sit by the water. More
Mount Kinabalu
The highest mountain in Southeast Asia offers more than an incredible hike. With multiple mountain environments and climate zones, Kinabalu Park hosts more than 300 bird species and 5,000 flowering plants including the large rafflesia. For those up for the challenge, climbing Mount Kinabalu is an unforgettable overnight hike to see the sunrise at 4,095 meters. More
Considered by many one of the top dive sites in the world, Sipadan Island has coral-covered walls dropping well below recreational limits. Sharks, turtles, and schools of fish that number in the thousands are routinely seen by divers and snorkelers. Only 120 visitors are allowed per day so we recommend staying on nearby Mabul and diving its macro-rich waters on your non-Sipadan days. More
Danum Valley
The largest piece of preserved virgin rainforest in Malaysia sits within the Danum Valley Conservation Area. This remote jungle hosts a magnificent array of wildlife from the largest in the region to some of the smallest. Sun bears, orangutans, clouded leopards, wild cattle, Sumatran rhino, horned frogs, flying frogs, flying squirrels, the list goes on. Previously only accessible to researchers, campers, and those with a very high budget, we've found a lodge that gets you close to the action without the hefty price tag. More
Tabin Wildlife Reserve
Bornean gibbons, pygmy elephants, clouded leopards, proboscis monkeys, orangutans, and a few of the nearly extinct Sumatran rhinoceros are protected within the Tabin Wildlife Reserve. A stay here will have you trekking to a mud volcano and a waterfall, looking for birds and nocturnal creatures on night walks and drives, and if you're lucky, getting a peek at some of Borneo's incredible wildlife. More
Kinabatangan River
A trip down the Kinabatangan River to Sukau is an almost guaranteed way to see proboscis monkeys in the wild. These unique monkeys are endemic to Borneo and line the protected river corridor. Wild orangutans, pygmy elephants, silver leaf langurs, macaques, crocodiles, kingfishers, hornbills, owls, civets, and an array of other wildlife can be spotted in the region. Fireflies light up near Abai and the Gomantong Caves boast a bat population in the millions. Nearby Sepilok is the home to an Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre and Sun Bear Conservation Centre, both worth a visit. More
The nation of Brunei Darussalam sits between the two states of Malaysian Borneo. Its capital city, Bandar Seri Begawan, reveals the country's wealth with lavish mosques, gold towers, and carefully groomed outdoor spaces. People are friendly and when the sun sets the country's name, abode of peace, makes perfect sense. More
Built along the Sarawak River, Kuching makes a lovely base for exploring western Borneo. Architecturally interesting with Malay, Chinese, Indian, Muslim, British, and other influences apparent, the city is pleasant to walk around and easy to navigate. Nearby Bako National Park and Semenggoh Nature Reserve are great places to see wild proboscis monkeys and semi-wild orangutans. Each can be visited on a day trip from Kuching although spending a night in Bako is well worth it. More
Mulu National Park
The caves of Mulu are some of the largest in the world and the only ways to get there are on foot or by plane. This remote rainforest is full of walking trails and caves, the latter of which can only be visited with a guide for safety reasons. For the adventurous, serious trekking options exist and for the comfort-seekers, a lovely little resort sits just outside the National Park. More
Batang Ai
Traditional culture is alive and well in Batang Ai where the Iban people still live in communal longhouses. No longer feared headhunters, the Iban have incorporated touches of modernity into their traditional way of life. Trek through the park in search of wild orangutans, walk through the canopy looking for birds, sit down with an Iban chief to learn about their culture, or just look out over the many waters for which the region is named.
Caves of Niah
With evidence of human habitation dating back more than 40,000 years, the Niah caves are a fascinating and beautiful area that can be explored on a day visit from Miri. See etchings on the wall of Painted Cave, traditional ladders for those collecting the nests of swiftlets, and huge caverns as you walk the boards and visit the small museum.
Maliau Basin
The "lost world" of Sabah, the Maliau Basin is a naturally enclosed basin drained by tributaries of the Maliau River. A multi-day trek in this dense rainforest is a challenging and rewarding way to get up close and personal with an extremely wide array of plants and animals. More

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