Borneo - East Malaysia Itinerary

The world's third largest island, Borneo, is shared by three countries, Indonesia with largest part, Malaysia and Brunei with a small part of the land. The Malaysian part is called as East Malaysia

East Malaysia is divided into two regions known as Sabah and Sawarak. Both the regions are full of forest, yet developed. Doing the entire Borneo island requires more time, however, I had only 8 days to make the most out of it. I visited the Malaysian part of Borneo, which is easily accessible.

I have already shared my experience of Borneo attractions and city in separate blogs, this blog is a collection of all the blogs in an itinerary format. 

Day 1: Mumbai (India) - Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia)

We started our journey from Mumbai to Kuala Lumpur in the early morning flight. This was good as we got the whole day to travel around Kuala Lumpur, only down point was that our hotel, IBIS Frazer Suites, was not ready for early check-in. Next day out flight was early morning so we requested the hotel to have breakfast during the day of check in instead of checkout. 

Post breakfast and refresh up in our room, we headed for sightseeing of Kuala Lumpur. Read more about 24 hours in Kuala Lampur.

Overnight in Ibis Frazer Suites

Twin Tower in Kuala Lampur
Day 2: Kuala Lumpur to Mulu National Park via Kutching

Second day started very early with our flight to Mulu via Kutching. Mulu National Park is located in the Sawarak region. It is very close to Brunei and also place of Asia's rainforest. First half of our day went on traveling, but all pain was vanished when we reached our hotel, Mulu Marriott Resorts and Spa.

Mulu Marriott Resort
After lunch we headed straight to Mulu National Park and started exploring the rainforest of Asia. In the evening we opted for Night Safari at Mulu National Park

Overnight in Mulu Marriott Resort and Spa

Cave in Mulu National Park
Day 3: Mulu - Kota Kinabalu

Started our day with a cave visit in the Gunung Mulu National Park. Later, we headed to catch our flight to Kota Kinabalu. Kota Kinabalu lies in the Sabah region. Compare to Sawarak, Sabah is more developed and popular amongst traveller.

Mulu National Park
The remaining day was spent on exploring Kota Kinabalu and doing nearby sightseeing. 

Overnight in Oceania Hotel

Day 4: Kota Kinabalu - Gaya Island

This was the most awaited day in the entire trip as we headed to Gaya Island for some water adventure. We opted for Multi day activity which was consisted of Scuba Diving and Kayaking on the shore of Gaya Island. Read more about Scuba Diving and Kayaking experience at Gaya Island.

We went to places like Devi's, Kohinoor and Little Italy for lunch and dinner in Kota Kinabalu.  


Overnight in Oceania Hotel

On our way to Gaya Island
Kayaking at Gaya Island
Day 5: Kota Kinabalu - Ranau - Mt. Kinabalu Park

Another day in Kota Kinabalu went on exploring places like Hotspring in Ranau and later post lunch, heading to Mt. Kinabalu Park. In between this two place, we also stopped by to the Rafflasia Garden to check out the world's biggest flower. 

Overnight in Oceanka Hotel 

Mt. Kinabalu View
Day 6: Kota Kinabalu - Sepilok (Sandakan)

We caught the early morning bus from Kota Kinabalu bus stop towards Sandakan. We opted to stay in the Sepilok region near Sandakan city.

Later in the day, we headed to Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary to meet Proboscis and Long tail Macaque. 

Overnight in Sepilok Jungle Resort

Probaoscis Monkey at Labuk Bay Sanctuary
Day 7: Sepilok - Sandakan


They say that to see the smaller version of giant elephants, head to Kinabatangan River for a sight of Pygmy Elephant. Hence, after our arrival to Sepilok, we headed to Kinabatangan River for an evening cruise. On our way, we also paid a visit to Gomantong Cave. 

Overnight in Sepilok Jungle Resort

Kinabatang River Cruise
Day 8: Sepilok - Sandakan

The excitement of this day was high as it was not only the last day in Borneo, but also a day of Orangutan sighting. Directly after our breakfast, we headed to Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre. Just next door neighbour to Orang Utan are Bornean Sun Bear in the Sun Bear Conservatory Centre.

After meeting the friendly wildlife, we headed to see the Sandakan city. Sandakan is the second largest city in Sabah and is also the centre for trade. 

The best point of our trip, apart from all the other activities we did over 7 days, was when we opted for Night Safari at Rainforest Discovery Centre in Sepilok. The last attraction of my trip was the high point as we got to see animals like Pygmy Monkey, Slow Loris, Viper Snake and many more! 

Overnight in Sepilok Jungle Resort

Orang Utan at Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre

Sun Bear Conservatory Centre
Viper snake during Night Safari at Rainforest Discovery Centre
Day 8: Sandakan - Kuala Lumpur - Mumbai (India)

The best thing in our life always comes to an end and similarly our wonderful trip to the land of Orang Utan came to an end with return flight to Mumbai via Kuala Lumpur. 

Reach Mumbai with lovely memories of trip to Borneo, an unexplored destination.

Places which we couldn't cover due to time constraint is Kutching, Miri, Tabin Wildlife Sanctuary, Tawau and few more! To roam around the island at leisure, you obviously need more than 10 days. 

The great thing about this trip was no need of SIM card as wifi was available at all places and it was free of cost. Most of our communication and research were done through Internet which made life easy! 

Trip sound hectic, however, the weather and people were so friendly that we didn't feel any pain in traveling across the country. 

Most of our tour booking was done through Downbelow Marine and Wildlife and you can reach them at info@divedownbelow.com

For any assistance with planning your trip to Borneo, write to us at eatravelfun@gmail.com

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