|Type of tour:||Guided|
|Distance:||21 Miles/day average|
|Dates:||Apr 6, Jun 22, Aug 31, Oct 5, 2014; Feb 8, Apr 5, Jun 21, Aug 30, Oct 4, 2015|
|Start city:||Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia|
|End city:||Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia|
Dense jungles, wild animals and exotic flora will be your introduction to Borneo on this cycling holiday. Rivers, mountains, and beaches follow as you bike on dirt and tarmac roads across the north of Borneo.
You’ll spend two nights in Malaysia’s largest wildlife reserve, where more than 220 species of bird life teems, and explore the active mud volcanoes. You’ll spend an afternoon sighting proboscis monkeys, found only in Borneo, during a boat ride through the mangrove trees of the Kinabatagan River. Then you will visit the sanctuaries for proboscis and orangutans at the Sepilok Rehabilitation Center, where the animals learn to return to jungle life.
You’ll switch gears and find yourself in the footsteps of allied POWs, forced to walk in a series of marches from January to June 1945 from their camp in Sandakan to the small settlement of Ranau. Of the 2,400 prisoners, 6 Australians survived. Our journey will bear little resemblance to what the prisoners went through as you bike through small hamlets along old logging roads through palm plantations.
As you approach majestic Mount Kinabalu, the terrain becomes hillier and a bit more challenging. You’ll ride through orchards, pine forests and a tea plantation. From your position up high with spectacular views of Mount Kinabalu you’ll descend to the stunning coastline and be rewarded for all your effort with a night at the luxurious Rasa Ria Spa Resort.
This trip has it all: unique flora and fauna, spectacular mountain scenery, a beautiful beach and, of course, great cycling!
Learn more about guided tours.
Day 1: Kota Kinabalu
After transferring from the airport you’ll have time to check in and rest at your hotel before a welcome dinner and trip briefing at a traditional local restaurant. Meals: D
Overnight in Kota Kinabalu
Day 2: Kota Kinabalu – Tabin Wildlife Reserve (22 mi/35 km)
A morning flight will take you across Borneo to Lahad Datu, then after lunch there’s a quick drive to your starting point. After making sure the bikes fit you’ll begin your ride on a rolling dirt road to the Tabin Wildlife Reserve. You’ll spend the night in the middle of 123,000 hectares of tropical flora and fauna that comprise the reserve area. This rainforest is also home to more than 220 species of birds, the 3 largest mammals of Sabah -- Borneo Pygmy Elephant, Sumatran Rhinoceros and Temba au -- 9 species of primates, as well as 3 species of cats. You’ll take an evening jungle trek (weather permitting) to give you a glimpse into the nocturnal life around us. Meals: BLD
Overnight at Tabin Wildlife Resort
Day 3: Tabin Wildlife Reserve (12 mi/20 km)
You may opt to wake early and join a morning walk to discover some of Tabin’s exotic bird species. After breakfast, you’ll cycle on dirt roads to the Core Area, with more wildlife sightings en route, and return for a late lunch at the Tabin Resort. The afternoon is yours to enjoy your balcony or wander around some more. Around dusk you’ll go see one of the highlights of the reserve, the active and mineral-rich mud volcanoes, attracting frequent visits by wildlife for their mineral intake and an ideal place for wildlife observation. Meals: BLD
Overnight at Tabin Wildlife Resort
Day 4: Tabin Wildlife Reserve – Bilit (16 mi/26 km)
After breakfast you’ll bike out of the reserve, hoping to catch one last glimpse of some primates or a horn bill, then transfer about two hours to Kg Bilit. You should arrive early enough to savor a late afternoon boat ride on the Kinabatagan River, where you’ll see the rambunctious proboscis monkeys in their element and perhaps other wildlife such as orangutans and pygmy elephants. Meals: BLD
Overnight in Bilit
Day 5: Bilit - Sepilok (22 mi/36 km – 31 m/50 km)
Following breakfast you’ll start riding from the resort, cycling sometimes off road and sometimes on paved road to the Gomantong Caves. Here locals collect birds' nests, a prized delicacy among the Chinese. Three times a year, the harvesters climb up to 100 m on rattan ladders to collect the nests of the resident swiftlets. After your visit you transfer to a junction and bike through palm plantations to the Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary. You should arrive in time for a feeding and a chance to see these unique monkeys up close. You’ll have the option to cycle back out or transfer directly to your resort. Meals: BLD
Overnight at Sepilok Jungle Resort
Day 6: Sepilok - Telupid (39 mi/63 km)
Your morning starts with a breakfast of lots of bananas, but not for us, for the orangutans you’ll visit at the rehabilitation center. After watching these mischievous apes eat and play you take a short drive to Kg Dusun where you start today’s off road riding. The rolling track follows the route of the infamous World War II Sandakan death marches, though palm plantations have since replaced much of the jungle that the prisoners struggled through. You’ll ride on kampung roads through the plantations to Manjang where you’ll have lunch at a local restaurant. Then you’ll head to Muanad junction for a fantastic 22 mi/35 km ride on an undulating dirt road to Ulu Sapi Mill. After the final hill you’ll transfer to Telupid. Meals: BLD
Overnight at Telupid
Day 7: Telupid – Sabah Tea Garden (17 mi/27 km)
You’ll begin the day with a short transfer to the Sandakan Death March track. Today’s riding will be quite hilly, definitely off the beaten path and crossing quite a few small. You’ll transfer to your overnight destination for your well-deserved lunch and check in at the Sabah Tea Garden. After a short rest you’ll head back out for some great off road cycling around the tea plantation, following the route of the Sabah Tea Adventure Race, taking in great views of Mount Kinabalu. Tonight you’ll experience what it’s like to sleep in a traditional Rungus Longhouse. Each room has its own sink, however hot showers are shared. Meals: BLD
Overnight at Sabah Tea Garden
Day 8: Sabah Tea Garden - Ranau (19 mi/30 km)
After breakfast you’ll have a tour of the tea factory and learn how tea is grown without fertilizers and goes from plant to processed tea. You’ll have a short transfer to avoid the highway, then an undulating ride on a mix of tarmac and off road that will take you to Poring Hot Springs. Here you’ll have a chance to go for a swim in the therapeutic waters, go for a canopy walk or hike to a small waterfall. With luck a Rafflesia will be in bloom nearby. After lunch you’ll transfer to Tanah Merah to a POW memorial where you’ll take a break before you enjoy more quiet country roads through orchards to your charming home stay. Your afternoon is free to use the Internet, do some laundry or relax on the wonderful porch built over a stream. Dinner will be a treat, with local specialties made by your hosts. Meals: BLD
Overnight in Ranau
Day 9: Ranau - Kundasang (15 mi/24 km)
Following a traditional local breakfast you’ll transfer 30 minutes to Kibbas to start your day’s adventure. Today’s ride is tough, because as soon as you go down it’s back up again and all on dirt roads. You’ll ride through small farms beneath the shadow of Mount Kinabalu, which rises to an elevation of 16093 ft/4905 m and dominates the landscape, then head to a Kundasang hotel with spectacular views of the peak. Meals: BLD
Overnight in Kundasang
Day 10: Kundasang – Rasa Ria (17 mi/27 km)
You’ll transfer to Taginambur for a mix of tarmac and off road riding, leaving the cool mountain air behind for the heat of the coastal plains. After your efforts you’ll take a short transfer to Kota Belud for lunch, then a one-hour transfer to your luxurious accommodation on the outskirts of Kota Kinabalu. You’ll arrive in the late afternoon so you can enjoy the resort before you meet up for a farewell dinner. Meals: BLD
Overnight in Kota Kinabalu
Day 11: Kota Kinabalu
After breakfast, transfer to the Kota Kinabalu airport.
Optional Mount Kinabalu trek
If you’re arriving early or staying on after your tour, there is an optional trekking tour to Mount Kinabalu. At 13451 ft/4100 m, Mount Kinabalu is the highest peak in Malaysia and perhaps the most stunning and iconic mountain in Southeast Asia. Conquering its jagged peaks is an attainable challenge for any fit person and will leave you with a profound sense of accomplishment. The 2 day/1 night trip is US$395 per person, based on a minimum of 2 persons, and includes: transfers to and from Kota Kinabalu to park headquarters, guide, climbing fees and permits, mountain bed and blanket, packed lunch and dinner on day 1 and breakfast on day 2.
It's recommended that you bring around US$20 a day for incidentals.
These are sample hotels and may vary based on availability.
Day 1: The Palace Hotel, Kota Kinabalu
Days 2 & 3: Tabin Wildlife Resort
Day 4: Myne Resort, Bilit
Day 5: Seipilk Jungle Resort, Sepilok
Day 6: IPS Resthouse, Telupid
Day 7: Sabah Tea Garden
Day 8: Slagon Homestay, Ranau
Day 9: Perkasa Hotel, Kundasang
Day 10: Shangri-La's Rasa Ria Resort, Kota Kinabalu
Bikes available for rent on this tour (must be reserved in advance at time of booking):
The bikes will have FLAT pedals. If you want to bring your own pedals, please bring your own shoes and also the necessary equipment to change the pedals.
If you plan to bring your own seat, please ensure that it has a universal seat post.
Helmets are available on this tour, but we recommend that you bring or buy your own helmet for safety and hygiene purposes.
The road surfaces are mixed: most days you'll ride on a mix of dirt and bitumen village and plantation roads, though there will also be some good quality tarmac roads. There are enough rides on dirt tracks to mean you will need a mountain bike, preferably one with front shocks.
There is nothing technical involved, and the off road riding experience does make this trip very enjoyable. A support truck is available most of the trip to help, though there are a few sections where there will be limited support.
The beginning of this ride is relatively flat and gets hillier toward the end. Although the distances are not long, the climate is hot and humid, typical of equatorial Sabah.
This is a true journey through the finest terrain and scenery of North Borneo, with the best nature and wildlife thrown in along the way, ensuring you get the very best of everything from your cycling efforts.
This trip is moderately challenging and is recommended for cyclists in good physical condition.
Tour start and end
Nearest airport: Kota Kinabalu
This tour starts and ends at Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia. International flights to and from there are not included in the tour price. A domestic flight to Lahad Datu is included in the price. Please contact us for advice before arranging flights for the best arrival and departure times.
Borneo has an equatorial climate, which is hot and humid year-round. Average daily temperatures are around 30° Celsius and the humidity can be high. Rain is also fairly common though these tours are timed to avoid the monsoon season.
Weatherspark.com offers information on average weather conditions at most destinations throughout the globe. Type a destination in the search box, and select "Averages," and you'll find a range of information such as average high and low temperatures, precipitation, cloudy days, humidity and wind speed/direction.
Of course, if your tour is coming up in the next week, you can also select "Forecast" to get the most current information on upcoming conditions.
Meals are included as per the itinerary where B = breakfast, L = lunch, D = dinner. Most meals are local Malay food and feature noodles, rice, curries and soups. Any special dietary requirements can also be catered for as well. Please let us know at the time of booking.
Keeping you completely hydrated is a job we take very seriously. Cold water, some energy-restoring local fruit and soft drinks are included in the tour price while riding. Soft drinks and other beverages during meals are not included. We are riding in a Muslim country and though beer is available, it might not be served in some halal restaurants where we will eat. Alcolohic beverages are not included in the price.
Passports and Visas
Please verify that your passport is current and make a photocopy that you can carry with you at all times. Travellers from Australia, the United Kingdom, US and EU do not need a visa to visit Malaysia for less than three months.
There are no special vaccinations required for Malaysia. You may want to take Malaria tablets, though, as you will be traveling in Borneo's jungle area. Please see your doctor with plenty of time to begin the treatment prior to departure.
The official currency is the Malaysian ringgit (RM). Foreign currencies are not generally accepted. The airport is the best places to exchange money. ATMs are widely available in cities and towns, but you’ll need cash in villages and in the jungle. Credit cards can be used only in larger hotels.
We recommend that you tuck away a few extra dollars, perhaps US$10, for incidentals. It is customary to tip local tour guides and drivers, however, the amount you give should be dependent on the level of service you receive. As a general guide we suggest US$ 3-4 per person per day is appropriate.
SpiceRoads endeavors to offer high-quality, educational, and adventure-filled itineraries that highlight and focus on the diversity of landscapes found in Asia and its people. As a specialized "niche" bicycle tour operator since 2000, we provide the most authentic, unique and exciting adventures in Asia.
The SpiceRoads family began back in the mid 1990s, when Hamish Keith was creating, operating and leading ground breaking cycle tours throughout Thailand and in emerging destinations such as Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar for well known companies such as Exodus Travels and World Expeditions and his own company the Wild Planet.
In 2000 Hamish decided to concentrate on what he loved doing the most and he established SpiceRoads as a specialist cycle tour operator in the region he knew best - Southeast Asia. The “niche” was to promote bicycle group tours directly to clients all around the world via the internet. Hamish set the standard for all subsequent SpiceRoads tours by offering a high quality tour - from customer service, to bicycles, to well researched routes to the guides we use – at a good value.
In 2002, when Hamish left to pursue other opportunities in the travel industry, Struan Robertson came on board, and with his skills in management, IT and of course cycling, the company has grown to encompass other Asian countries. During the years of growth what hasn't changed is the spirit of SpiceRoads, which is to offer professional, international standard cycle tours and services to independent travellers and cycle enthusiast looking to discover Asia by bicycle.
Our well-planned eye-opening cycling tours provide an active immersion into local cultures, languages, scenery and, of course, the most delicious of foods. By combining legendary service and rare opportunities for cultural experiences, our travel philosophy continues to excite, enthuse, and positively impact every guest. Take a look at our guestbook if you don't believe us!
SpiceRoads' staff and all of our professionally licensed multi-lingual tour guides are passionate about creating the best possible experiences, with fun, creativity, and total dedication to satisfaction.
We're always peddling towards making your tour perfect so you can See Asia by Bicycle!
(Involuntary) On the rare occasions when we, SpiceRoads, must cancel a trip, all payments received to date will be 100% refunded, which constitutes full settlement. There will be absolutely no deductions.
(Voluntary) If you, the client, must cancel your reservation, your cancellation fee will be determined according to the following formula:
For all tours (except short Thailand tours 4 days or less, see below):
Number of days prior to trip start
Cancellation fee per person
50% of tour price
70% of tour price
**Administration fees include bank fees and exchange rate losses.
Exceptions to this policy cannot be made for any reason, including weather or personal emergencies. Please note:
We strongly advise that clients have full personal travel insurance that covers for the refund of monies paid in case either party cancels the tour for any reason.
We regret that we cannot be held responsible for incidental/consequential costs or expenses you may incur as a result of any changes or cancellations. No compensation is payable for minor changes.
Any damages/injuries incurred that are attributable to your own actions, acts of some other party unconnected with the contract services or where the damage/injury results from events/circumstances which our outside our control and could not be reasonably foreseen.
For damages where SpiceRoads is responsible, our liability is strictly limited to twice the total price of the tour. In booking a tour with SpiceRoads you, the client, are agreeing to these terms and you accept this limit on our liability. This limit allows us to keep the prices of our tours as low as possible.
You must be in possession of a valid passport and all the visas and permits required for your tour. This includes any medical certificates that are required. The client accepts full responsibility for obtaining any and all such documentation. Every client is encouraged to contact the consulate/embassy for the countries they are traveling in respectively to receive the latest and most current information about their immigration / transit policies.
SpiceRoads does not accept responsibility if your documentation is not in order. Information provided by the company about these matters and other related items (clothing, baggage, climate etc.) is given in good faith but without responsibility on the part of the company.
For all tours (except short Thailand tours 4 days or less, see below):
SpiceRoads insists that all clients must take out good travel insurance before joining one of our tours. There are inherent risks involved in cycling and mountain biking and we will not be liable for your medical expenses or evacuation in case of an accident.
This insurance must include adequate coverage for any personal accident, medical expenses, injury, death and repatriation. Insurance should also provide coverage for cancellations or curtailment of the holiday. Clients should also ensure that there are no exclusion clauses limiting protection for any dangerous or unusual activities that might be included in their tour.
If you join the tour without adequate insurance you may be disallowed from continuing on the tour without the right of refund. Clients are solely responsible for arranging their own insurance and they should ensure that they are covered for the full duration of their tour. Your tour leader will ask for copies of your insurance before allowing you to join the tour. This protects both you and us.
In case of an accident, please consult with your tour leader or contact our reservation staff at +66(0) 89 895 5680 (24 hour hot line).
Upon signing up for a tour you must agree to accept the authority of the tour leader who is the representative of the company. The tour leader should be regarded as the same as a “ship’s captain” or an airline’s “Pilot.”
At all times the authority of your tour leader will be final when concerning matters likely to endanger your own health or safety or in regard to behavior or ill health that is causing or is likely to cause danger, distress or disturbance to the group and the well-being of the tour. Failure to abide by the authority of the tour leader could result in legal proceedings and the immediate termination of your participation in the tour without recourse.
In such circumstances we reserve the right to terminate all travel arrangements without liability on the part of the company. You must always comply with the local law, customs and drug regulations of the country/ies you are visiting. Failure to do so may lead to you being ordered to leave the tour without recourse to any refund or any legal claim against the company. In the case of ill health the company and its operators can make those arrangements that it sees fit and recover all monies paid from the client. The person who signs the booking form (which incorporates these conditions) warrants that he/she does so, with full authority on behalf of all those whose names appear thereon, and confirms thereby that all such persons accept and are fully aware of these conditions.
No refund will be given for non-utilized services, however if we are able to obtain a refund ourselves for these services we will endeavor to pass these on to the client less reasonable administration charges.
SpiceRoads pledges never to increase the tour price except under exceptional circumstances for those that have previously book the tour. Circumstances of this policy include: government action or legislation that directs the company to increase prices, exceptional and unfavorable changes in exchange rates that exceed a 20% fluctuation or currency devaluation.
Clients will be notified of any price increase at least 4 weeks before departure.
We will not accept any liability for any delay in your outward or inward flight/s, whether the cancellation or delay is caused by the weather, airline rescheduling, industrial action or mechanical failure. We will give no refunds or compensation for lost time and services from the itinerary.
Should you have a complaint while on tour, you must notify your guide, or the local operator, at the earliest opportunity, so that they can do what they can to immediately rectify it. Failure to do so will result in the limiting of a client's ability to claim compensation. If the problem is not brought to our attention we have no opportunity to rectify it. Any complaints should be sent to us in writing, or by email, not more than 28 days after the tour ends.
Complaints related to booking, inquires, billing, sales or operations should be directed to the Sales and Marketing Manager and/or the General Manager.
If there is anything else you need to know or want to hear in order to put your mind at rest, please do not hesitate to contact us.
SpiceRoads is not liable for any bodily injury or property damage as a result of (but not limited to): physical exertion for which a guest is not prepared; forces of nature; travel by plane, train, auto, boat or other conveyance, or by bicycle, horseback, foot or other form of active or adventure travel; consumption of alcoholic beverages; civil unrest; terrorism; breakdown of equipment; high altitude; lack of or limited access to medical attention in remote locations; and the adequacy of medical attention once provided.
SpiceRoads is also not liable for: expenses (e.g., meals, transportation or hotel costs) that are not specified as included in the trip cost but may be required to get to or from a trip start or end point.
SpiceRoads reserves the right to make route and hotel modifications as necessary to improve the trip quality or to accommodate the comfort and well-being of guests. Guests grant SpiceRoads express permission to take photographs or make film records of its trips for promotional and commercial use, as well as approve such use by third parties with whom SpiceRoads may engage in joint marketing, without financial remuneration.
To view our liability release form click here. You will be asked to sign this form before you start your tour.