GTO Lin Wilson of Solent Events & Leisure/On Tour shares their exciting group adventure to Borneo. 

Our group of intrepid travellers were up at 4.30am on Wednesday 3rd April ready to embark on yet another adventure - this time to the jungles, rivers and beaches of Borneo, organised by Glen Thomas and our favourite long-haul tour operator, Wendy Wu Worldwide Tours.

After a suprisingly comfortable 13-hour flight with Malaysian Airways (and extra leg room!), our exciting 13-day Malaysian tour kicked off with two nights in the modern city of Kuala Lumpur, situated on the Malay Peninsular, just 360kms north of Singapore. I don’t think we will ever forget the city’s airport either - it’s huge and ‘arrivals’ are in another terminal completely.

An aerial view of the skyscrapers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

The group saw many of Kuala Lumpur’s sights including the iconic Petronas Twin Towers. 

With guided tours to explore the city and immerse ourselves in the diversity of the many cultures, we found Kuala Lumpur to be a relatively new city, with many iconic skyscrapers (only 35 years old) buildings and towers and the famous Batu Caves & Temple. Although most did, not everyone was up for climbing the 272 colourful steps in 30-degree heat. 

The Berjeya Times Square Shopping Mall, just five minutes away was the ideal place to have a Thai foot and back massage, which turned out to be both top notch and very cheap!

Memories of our time in the jungles of Borneo will no doubt stay with us forever. 

Dinner was in a typical Malaysian and also Michelin* restaurant near to the hotel, but as it was Ramadam and also a very Muslim city, many restaurants did not serve alcohol, so no pre-dinner G&Ts for us! However, we did find a Latin bar serving Happy Hour Cocktails, so it was silly to say no, especially when they supplied the Mexican hats and music to go with our variety of cocktail orders. Although it was late in the evening, it was a very pleasant 28°C. 

Members of Solent Events & Leisure/On Tour relaxing on the beach in Borneo

The group packed plenty in to their trip and still had time for some much-deserved R&R on the beach! 

Memories of our two-nights in the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur can be summed up with… the spectacular Twin Towers, the Kuala Lumpur Tower and Lewis Hamilton’s Petronas Car, the Merdeka118 Tower, World Peace Monument, Kings Palace, Independence Square, Old Clubhouse & Cricket Pitch (where, interestingly, we saw the locals get ready to break their Ramadam Fast with hundreds of picnics), China Town, Little India, Batik House & the Batu Caves ….. before embarking on a five-night Jungle adventure from Sandakan in Borneo.

For a complete contrast, and much to the relief of most of us, we left the city’s hustle and bustle for the natural landscapes and jungles of Northern Borneo. Very exciting.

Memories of our time in the jungles of Borneo will no doubt stay with us forever. They include the isolated lodges, the river exploration cruises by day and night, the variety of wild animals, mammals and reptiles we saw including the Big 5 Borneo species - Orangutan, Pigmy Elephant, Hornbill, Probiscus Monkey and the crocodile …. and we saw them all!

The huge insects & butterflies and the colourful birds were all experienced in the hottest, most humid weather conditions since our adventure on the Amazon in Peru, back in 2017.

If course we will also remember our wonderful local guides …. Kugan, Leo, Loy, Nicholas & Redwine, who were always on the look out for any ‘movement’ that could result in a sighting.

Our explorations took us to Sepilok, Sandakan; Abai; Sukau and the Danum Valley, ending up on the coast for some R&R at Kota Kibabalu.

The impressive Borneo Rainforest Lodge in the Danum Valley was particularly memorable and I would highly recommend Malaysian Airlines, which was brilliant for two short internal flights. How they manage to serve peanuts, a drink and a tasty lunch on a 55 minute flight, is amazing. 

All systems go again back in the office, for more adventures in the next 12 months…