With its stunning diversity of wildlife, Malaysian Borneo is ideal for intrepid nature lovers. Begin your adventure in Sabah, northern Borneo, where you will stay at a property just minutes away from the Sepliok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre. Founded in 1964, the Centre’s mission is to rehabilitate orphaned orangutans with hopes of transitioning them back into the wild. Aside from hanging with their popular primates, we highly recommend a night walk here, where you can observe the local residents in a different light. With your flashlight, walk along the forest floor where you will track nocturnal creatures like the flying squirrel and slow loris. You will also have the opportunity to meet a local guide and learn about his behind-the-scenes role of standing in as a surrogate parent to various redheaded orphans throughout the years. The next day, enjoy a daily feeding with the orangutans and watch them play, goof around, and show off their acrobatic skills! Later, continue up the Kinabatangan River to a simple lodge for the evening. Here you can explore the smaller tributaries by boat, coasting past playful proboscis monkeys (we swear their noses are more hilarious in person), sunning monitor lizards, and soaking crocodiles to name a few! We haven’t even gotten to the birds yet—reason enough to visit this remote region. Next, enjoy three days in the Danum Valley’s 130 million year-old rainforest at a very special eco-lodge. Here you will have the chance to witness orangutans in their natural element, swinging through the canopies of 800 year-old trees, where they belong.
Then, leap forward in time to the bustling urban giant of Kuala Lumpur, staying our favorite oasis in the city. Take a privately-guided introductory tour of the city that includes a climb to the ancient Batu Caves, the National Mosque, and the iconic Petronas Towers. Next, sample unique Malay and Nyonya cuisine in the charming former colonial outpost of Malacca. Next, fly to the island of Penang, where you will spend two nights at the famed Eastern and Oriental Hotel, a historic, colonial-style luxury hotel located in the center of the one-time important trading post of Georgetown. Tour Penang’s fragrant spice garden and take a cooking class that will let you concoct a traditional meal with the freshest spices. Finally, fly to the sleepy tropical island of Langkawi, where your accommodation is the luxurious Datai, which melds perfectly with the surrounding lush tropical rain forest and pristine beaches. The Datai offers complete indulgence and relaxation for three nights, a perfect way to conclude your visit.
Learn about one Absolute Traveler’s unforgettable journey to Borneo here.