Travel Plans – Malaysia and Borneo

Malaysia Borneo Brunei

So, when I first decided to live and work abroad, I also made the decision to plan one big trip for every period between contracts. Welp, I am officially between contracts and so it’s time for that first big trip.

For the four weeks between year one working in Bangkok and year two working in Bangkok, I’ll be traveling through Malaysia, spending the bulk of my time in the province of Sarawak, on the island of Borneo.

Anyway, thought I’d share the rough itinerary I’ve planned out for the three of you who kinda sorta maybe give a rat’s rear.

So, firstly, I fly out to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia’s capital, where I’ll be spending a couple nights and hope to enjoy some torpedo soup (look it up). Next, I fly from peninsular Malaysia to the island of Borneo and the city of Kuching. I’ll be in Kuching for about five days, using it as a base to trek through jungle and float along rivers in the search for proboscis monkeys and orangutans.

From Kuching, I take a five hour boat ride along the coast of Borneo to the city of Sibu, a heavily Chinese city known as the gateway to the Rajang River and the seat of gangsterism in the region. From there I hope to venture up the Rajang and deeper into the jungle to visit the Longhouses of the Iban, former headhunters.

I then bus to Miri, with a day’s stop in Bintulu to break up the long commute and see as much of the region as possible. From Miri, I’ll take a small plane into Gunung Mulu National Park, where I’ll stay for another five days or so. While there, I’ll trek the Mulu Pinnacles and explore the region’s caves. I also hope to see the bat exodus at least once.

From Mulu, I’ll fly back to Miri and then bus into the tiny nation of Brunei and its capital city of Bandar Seri Begawan. After a couple days there, I’ll fly back to peninsular Malaysia to visit George Town, on the island of Penang. There, I plan to explore the colonial city’s street food and street art.

My last stop will be Pulau Langkawi, the largest island in an archipelago if 99 islands and islets. I’m not much for relaxing on the beach doing nothing, but I’ll give it a go here, while also hopefully doing some snorkeling and maybe take a day trip to Koh Lipe, on the Thai side of the nautical border separating the two islands.

On or around April 20, I fly back to Bangkok to, soon thereafter, begin my second year of living and working in Thailand’s capital.

If anyone’s got any tips or suggestions regarding any of the spots I’ve listed above, please do let me know! Otherwise, stay tuned for my own humble advice.