Borneo & Philippines

Kuala Lumpur - Sepilok - Kinabatangan River - Mabul & Sipadan - Kota Kinabalu - Dauin - Alona Beach & Bohol

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Trip Overview

Highlights & Details

Hotel Nights


for 2 persons,
costs in May 2017

The KL Journal

Small hearty Hotel in the middle of KL with a bar and food street right on the next corner and all sightseeing highlights in walking distance. Pool on the roof. Perfect for some lazy nights in the big city.

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Nature Lodge Sepilok

Small cozy Bungalows near to the Sepilok Orang Utan and Sun Bear Sanctury. Reachable by car. Attention: There is only an ATM at the airport and you have to bring cash with you for the entrance and activities in Sepilok.

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Scuba Junkie

Beach and Dive Resort on the Island of Mabul close to the famous Sipadan Island with world best dive spots. There are two beach front Bungalows with a spacious terrace and direct beach access. Book ahead to get this unique and romantic place on a dream island.

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Le Meridien

A short stop over in Kota Kinabalu asked for a stylish and luxurious hotel after the days on the beach. Pool area with sunshine all day long and cocktails to enjoy. There is an accomplished pre dinner aperitif with fine wine and foods and a generous breakfast buffet to explore.

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Sea Explorers Visayas

Perfect Dive Operator in the Visayas, Philippines. They offer different dive spots and wonderful Bungalow Resorts throuthout the Visayas. And the best part: if you book more than one place, they offer a boat transfer including dives during the travel, so you won’t lose a day of your vacation. Check out Dauin, Alona, Cabilao and Malapascua.

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for 2 persons,
costs in May 2017

Zurich – Kuala Lumpur

  • via Amsterdam
  • 09.20 – 11.00 Zurich – Amsterdam
  • 12.50 – 06.50 Amsterdam – Kuala Lumpur
  • USD 700 (Round trip)
  • Kuala Lumpur – Sandakan

  • Direct Flight
  • 10.30 – 13.15 (2h 45min)
  • USD 70 (one way)
  • Sepilok – Kinabatangan

  • by Minivan & Boat
  • 2h 30min
  • Booked Tour with River Junkie
  • 3 Days / 2 Nights Tour
  • Kinabatangan – Mabul

  • 4h by Boat & Minivan to Semporna
  • 45min by Boat to Mabul
  • Booked Travel with River/Scuba Junkie
  • Mabul – Tawau Airport

  • 45min by Boat back to Semporna
  • 75min by Minivan to Tawau Airport
  • Booked Travel with River/Scuba Junkie
  • Tawau – Kota Kinabalu

  • Direct Flight
  • 15.05 – 15.55 (50min)
  • USD 25 (one way)
  • Kota Kinabalu – Dumaguete

  • via Manila
  • 02.15 – 04.15 Kota Kinabalu – Manila
  • 07.00 – 08.25 Manila – Dumaguete
  • USD 140 (one way)

  • Dumaguete Airport to Dauin:

  • Shuttle from Sea Explorers
  • Dauin – Alona Beach

  • Boat Trip with 2 Dives
  • Organized Travel with Sea Explorers
  • Tagbilaran – Zurich

  • via Manila, KL, Amsterdam
  • 10.15 – 11.40 Tagbilaran – Manila
  • 14.10 – 17.50 Manila – KL
  • USD 150 (one way)

  • 23.20 – 06.00 KL – Amsterdam
  • 07.30 – 08.35 Amsterdam – Zurich
  • Activities


    for 2 persons,
    costs in May 2017

    Jungle Tour

  • Kinabatangan Nature Lodge
  • River Tours with Animal Encounters
  • Jungle Trekking
  • Diving

    Scuba Junkie

    • Muck Diving in Mabul
    • Big Fish Diving in Sipadan

    Sea Explorers

    • Muck Diving in Dauin
    • Coral Garden in Apo Island
    • Best Diving in Balicasag Island
    • Muck and Wall Diving in Alona

    > Explore our favourite Dive Sites

    Kinabalu NP

  • Volcano Kinabalu
  • Trekking (2 Day/1Night)
  • USD 400 p.P.

  • We skipped this tour due to costs & time issues

    Bohol Tour

    by Rental Scooter

  • Philippine Tarsier Sanctuary
  • Tarsier Conservation Area
  • Chocolate Hills
  • Man-Made Forest
  • Dumaluan Beach
  • Go top

    Borneo & Philippines

    Kuala Lumpur

    Day 1-2: Kuala Lumpur

    KL is a fantastic city – one of those places you could imagine living in. It is this harmonic mixture of the old and the new. In Chinatown and little India, you get the best street food and the chance to buy all sorts of gadgets, accessories and nonsense and around the Petronas Towers you got office buildings and shopping malls with all the large brands.

    Kuala Lumpur – Sandakan – Sepilok

  • Flight: 2h 20min
  • Costs: USD 70 (one-way)
  • Borneo & Philippines

    Sepilok – Orangutan Rehab Centre

    Day 3: Sepilok – Orangutan Rehab Centre

    Borneo is famous for its orangutans but their population is shrinking because of the growing palm oil industry. To preserve their species from extinction some natural reserves have been created and there are also centers where former imprisoned animals are prepared for their reintroduction to the wild. The same happens to the less known but at least as fascinating sun bears. Its one of the strangest bears you’ve ever seen as they look a bit like black bears but behave like monkeys.

    Borneo & Philippines

    Kinabatangan River & Jungle

    Day 4-5: Kinabatangan River & Jungle

    One of those natural reserves is Kinabatangan River but the area which is protected is not that big. Therefore, it is quite packed with animals. Those animals can be best seen from the boat and on the walks, you can see and learn a lot about the plants in this little paradise. You’ve got the chance to see snakes and lizards, colorful birds, hawks, caimans, huge crocodiles, toucans and wild pigs. And if you are really lucky you may also see an orangutan – what majestic creatures.
    The macaques are easier to spot but not less interesting. You can observe how they behave in a social context. They seem almost human when they interact with each other and sometimes you even recognize a relative of yours in one of them. There is also a group of male proboscis monkeys – the locals call them the bachelors club. They hang around in the trees all day and eat certain leaves that have an effect similar to Viagra. And horny and full of testosterone as they are they do some amazing stunts as soon as they have visitors.

    Borneo & Philippines

    Mabul & Sipadan Island

    Day 6-10: Mabul & Sipadan Island

    While River Junkies is one of the best addresses to explore Kinabatangan, Scuba Junkies is one of the best to experience Mabul & Sipadan Island.
    In Mabul you get to see the small stuff and at Sipadan Island the big stuff. If you’re into macro diving, Mabul will fascinate you. You got the chance to see all sorts of colorful nudibranchs and flatworms including the blue dragon and the pikatchu. Further on you can see transparent crabs, cattle fishes, hermit crabs, porcupine fish, blue spottet stingray, spider crab, devil fish, black/red/yellow ghost pipefish, crocodilefish, peacock mantee shrimp, yellow and white frog fish, turtles, scorpion leaf fish, catfish, boxfish and the juvenile blue ribbon eel.
    On the other hand Sipadan is perfect for people who love big animals. You got the chance to see white tip reef sharks, day octopus, barracudas, napoleon groupers and an entire tornado of jacks. Sipadan is a carefully protected natural reserve and a military base as it marks the border of Malaysia. There used to be a resort on the island but when pirates from Mindanao kidnapped some tourists they decided that it would be smarter to close it down.

    Borneo & Philippines

    Kota Kinabalu

    Day 11: Kota Kinabalu

    KK is the starting point for climbing Mount Kinabalu but if you’re not that much into hiking that you are willing to spend more than USD 400 for it, then KK itself also is a nice place for a stopover. You can explore the market and if your stomach is strong enough even the fish and meat section. Further on the promenade is perfect for a nice dinner and some drinks.
    Unfortunately, the only flight to Manila leaves at 2am and if you continue the same day to Dauin, then you will not sleep much that night. But for some adventures you need to be willing to pay the price.

    Borneo & Philippines

    Dauin & Apo Island Diving

    Day 12-16: Dauin & Apo Island

    The Visayas are just perfect for macro diving and the coral garden around apo island is probably the best you’ve ever seen. So, in addition to what you have already seen in Mabul you can spot black/white/yellow/orange and the hairy frogfish. Further on candy crabs, popcorn shrimps, needlefishes, Pegasus fish, sea horses, porcelain crab and the poisonous banded seasnake. But don’t worry she is not interested in killing divers.
    Besides all the fantastic marine life the staff of Pura Vida makes that place so outstanding. The food they serve is great, Den Den and the other guys are fantastic dive guides and Gaga always makes you laugh.

    Borneo & Philippines

    Alona Beach & Bohol Wildlife

    Day 17-22: Alona Beach & Bohol

    Bohol also offers some amazing dive spots. Probably their best is called black forest because of its black corrals, and it definitely makes you feel like you were in a fairy tale. There are so many turtles down there that you sometimes get the feeling that there must be an important turtle summit. And besides those you see lots and lots of the animals mentioned in the other posts. So many of them that you sometimes feel sorry for them living in such a crowded place.
    Besides diving you can also rent a motorbike and explore the island. There are two tarsier sanctuaries you should not miss as those animals are so cute you almost going to die. Further on there are the famous chocolate hills, the manmade forest and some pretty unique beaches to explore.
    In case you are not a diver but still want to explore a bit the islands and the underwater world, there are plenty of cheap tours to see dolphins, snorkel Balicasac and explore the partly floated virgin island.

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