Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia: Tours & Excursions
Hotels and tour companies offer tours and excursions to the popular attractions situated at the outskirts of Kota Kinabalu. Plenty of tours are available to cater everyone's expectations and everyone's budget. Regular and daily day trips, hiking tours, rafting tours, and diving tours are available. Early booking is really advisable to have a schedule that will fit what tourists want. Transfers and hotel pick-up and drop-offs are already inclusive, however, there are hotel locations that may require additional charges. Activities including water sports may also acquire added costs on top of the tour package's price. Popular tours are in the neighboring state of Sarawak including the Gunung Mulu National Park, the Sarawak Cultural Village, and rafting tours on the rivers of Sarawak. There are also tours and excursions to and from Kuantan inclusive of airfares, transfers, and hotel accommodation.
Gunung Mulu National Park
The Gunung Mulu National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage SIte and the home of three mighty mountains: Gunung Mulu, Gunung Api and Gunung Benarat. Covering an area of 52,865 hectares of primary rainforest, it is the largest national park in Sarawak. Its main attraction is the the largest cave chamber in the world, the Sarawak Chamber that has the size of nearly 16 football fields. The national park is known for its impressive cave system. The park is also the home of the world's largest cave passage, the Deer Cave, and the longest cave in Southeast Asia, the Clearwater Cave. Filled with hundreds of stalagmites and stalactites, the Cave of the Wind is also housed in the national park. Its signature attraction that adds up to its charm is the The Pinnacles, white limestone crags with sharp peaks that are bunched together over the lush green forest. The national park is an art done by Mother Nature.
For hiking tours, backpackers would be interested about the trails. The Mulu Canopy Skywalk is a 480 meter long walkway with beautiful views from the bridge. A more adventurous path is the Headhunters' Trail. Inspired by the tales of the legendary headhunters, the trail is through the park from Gunung Mulu to Limbang that traverses the tribal war path.
Sarawak Cultural Village
Sarawak is the largest state of Malaysia'sthat covers an area of 124,000 square kilometers. Although a land of classic Borneo attractions, more adventurous and fun cultural attractions are some of the gifts of the state. The Sarawak Cultural Village is also known as a living museum that is tucked away on the foothills of Mount Santubong. Rich with culture, it depicts the heritage of different ethnic groups' lifestyle. There are seven unique houses, each housing information about each ethnic group, that are connected by the Plant Walk, a circular blueprint that connects all the houses.
The first house is the Bidayuh Longhouse beside the main entrance, where tourists can see bamboo carvers and crush sugar cane. Next is the Iban Longhouse, a house to watch an Iban warrior performing a war dance and women doing pua or mat weaving. Walking along the Plant Walk is the Rainforest World with the Penan Hut beside it. Here, tourist can see the last hunter-gatherers and they can even try blowpipe shooting. The next house is the home of the Kayan people, the Orang Ulu Longhouse with displays of wood-carvings and ‘tree-of-life’ murals. Shaman tales and watching sago-palm processing is the activity to be enjoyed in the next house; the Melanau Tall House. A traditional Malay experience with a chance to play games like gasing and congkak is what the Malay Town House offers. The last house is the Chinese Farm House that features a real traditional farmhouse vibe. There are pepper and vegetable gardens and an interesting experience would be tasting the conventional Chinese herbal tea.
Aside from the hiking tours to the mountains and caves, a boat tour on the rivers of Sarawak and an overnight stay in one of the longhouse communities are one of the most popular and exciting thing to do. There are several rivers that run along the state. The Lemanak River is a great spot for an overnight tour. Located at about 220 kilometers from Kuching, there are longhouse communities at the riverbanks that welcome guests warmly to stay to their houses. A visit to the longhouse communities allows tourists to have a glimpse on their lifestyle and culture. An overnight stay is highly recommended. The Batang Rajang River is Malaysia's longest river.There are speedboats that transfers tourists to the longhouse villages of Iban people that warmly welcomes guests to stay or to the logs that are frequently drifted down the river.
Kuantan is the capital of the state of Pahang, the largest state in the Peninsular Malaysia's. There are trips from Kota Kinabalu to Kuantan inclusive of airfares or ferry cruise. It is the busiest tourist hub in Pahang. It is now rapidly growing into a modern commercial center yet retained its unique old colonial structures. The city is also housing several popular beaches. The Cherating Beach is a popular destination in the state of Pahang located 50 kilometers north of Kuantan. The sandy beaches have a serene atmosphere with casuarina trees and calm water. Although the beach is less crowded compared to the other beaches in the country, surfing is a common activity in Cherating because of the best surfing waves that pounds its shores.
Balok Beach is a place for water sports. It is located at about 15 kilometers north of Kuantan. Windsurfing is the most popular activity in this beach. Located at the south of Kuantan is the Lanjut Beach. The area is still undeveloped, however, it has a peaceful environment with some hotels for accommodation. The Beserah Beach is a tiny fishing village situated 10 kilometers from the town. It is known for its unique way of transporting the fishermen's catch from the sea wherein water buffaloes pull the carts of fish.
Aside from the beaches, other popular spots are the natural attractions. Kuantan is also the home of the 1,000 meter high Panching Hill. Other natural attractions are the rivers and the Taman Gelora.There are river cruises that start from the Shahbandar Jetty near the Esplanade River. The river cruise heads over to the Tanjung Lumpur Fishing Village located at the mouth of the Kuantan River. The journey continues to the Mangrove Forest Reserve. It is a 340 hectares reserve with diverse flora and fauna of the swamp. Near the Teluk Chempedak Beach is the Taman Gelora. It is a sightseeing spot for a picnic or a quiet stroll. The park has several lakes and network of trails for walking and biking. It is also sporting tennis and volleyball courts and a football pitch.