Book Now
Exploring Borneo

Sabah Village Life

Sabah, the eastern state of Malaysian Borneo, is home to incredible wildlife but also unique cultural experiences. Most people live in small villages, some in modernized longhouses. Farming of rice and other staple crops is a way of life. In some villages, a particular craft or product provides livelihood for all.

This short itinerary gives a taste of village life within a day’s drive of Kota Kinabalu. Spend one night in a farmstay where your meals will be locally prepared and otherwise relax at a lovely resort by the South China Sea. This short trip is great for families and combines well with a holiday elsewhere in Borneo, Malaysia, or Southeast Asia.

This 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 Sabah village life in Borneo, give us a call at UK 020 7112 0019 or email borneo@fleewinter.com to start planning your holiday.

Your Itinerary

Shangri-La-Rasa-Ria

Day 1 - Arrive in Kota Kinabalu

Welcome to Sabah, the Land Below the Wind! Your driver will meet you today at Kota Kinabalu International Airport and deliver you to your beachfront hotel. Settle in to your resort.

Day 2 - Mari Mari Cultural Village

This morning you’ll visit the Mari Mari Cultural Village to learn about the tribes of Sabah and their traditional longhouse villages. After lunch, we’ll take you into Kota Kinabalu for a tour of the city’s highlights.

Day 3 - Kiulu Countryside & Village

Experience contemporary village life in the Kiulu Valley. Stop at the market near Tamparuli Suspension Bridge and settle in to your rustic farm stay where you’ll meet your local guide. Walk to the nearby village, passing the local school, lush rice paddies, and the Kiulu River. In the evening, your guide may share a few local legends.

Fig-Tree-Kiulu

Day 4 - Return to the beach

Enjoy a bit of time in the morning listening to the bubbling river and country sounds before you return to your beachside hotel just outside of Kota Kinabalu.

Days 5-6 - Relax by the Sea

These two days are yours to relax by the South China Sea. Your resort is home to a nature reserve so perhaps go for a guided walk to look for wildlife. There’s also a golf course, a kids’ centre, horse stables, and beach that stretches for ages.

Day 7 - Farewell to Sabah

Today you’ll transfer to Kota Kinabalu International Airport for your flight homeward or connecting to your next destination. Safe travels!

DETAILS -

This itinerary costs from £700 per person based on two adults sharing excluding peak seasons of July-August, Christmas and New Year, and Chinese New Year’s. The price includes all transfers and domestic travel but not international flights.

International flights tend to cost between £500 and £800 return – do ask us for advice. Alternatively we can book the flights for you but a booking fee may apply.

What's included?

INCLUDED:
  • Prices start from £700 per person
  • Accommodation on B&B basis
  • Full board on day 3
  • Transfers in an air-conditioned vehicle
  • Local taxes except Malaysia Tourism Tax (only collected 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

Sabah, the eastern state of Malaysian Borneo, is home to incredible wildlife but also unique cultural experiences. Most people live in small villages, some in modernized longhouses. Farming of rice and other staple crops is a way of life. In some villages, a particular craft or product provides livelihood for all.

This short itinerary gives a taste of village life within a day’s drive of Kota Kinabalu. Spend one night in a farmstay where your meals will be locally prepared and otherwise relax at a lovely resort by the South China Sea. This short trip is great for families and combines well with a holiday elsewhere in Borneo, Malaysia, or Southeast Asia.

This 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 Sabah village life in Borneo, give us a call at UK 020 7112 0019 or email borneo@fleewinter.com to start planning your holiday.

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
Sipadan
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
Brunei
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
Kuching
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

Your adventure starts here!

Do you fancy having a chat about Sabah Village Life? Personally, it's one of our favourite things to talk about.

Award-winning and fully-protected holidays
Itineraries & Destinations