a VirtualTourist member from Ardmore
For those who have questions about tour operators in Borneo, Borneo Adventure's (BA) highly regarded reviews should be updated (and downgraded). We sought their services based on the writeups of various guidebooks. We did not book ahead but BA had no difficulty accommodating us and other tourists who had similarly shown up without booking ahead. We were surprised by our luck given the guidebook recommendations to plan ahead but soon discovered it was the wrong kind of luck that we had followed the guidebooks' advice. The guide assigned to us had just returned from leading another tour and had had no rest. He was exhausted when we were picked up and the tour was a bust from the start. The guide barely went through the motions and the whole experience, including the actual encounter with the indigenous people (who were also simply going through the motions) screamed of "tourist trap". At the camp, we missed various activities on the itinerary because our guide got drunk. Far from being exclusive, another tour was being led by another operator at the same camp and that group was having a far superior (educational and dining) experience. In fact, several of us decided to join the discussion being conducted at the second group since our guide was nowhere to be found (after serving dinner hours late). Upon return from Borneo, we went directly to BA's main office and lodged a complaint. BA claimed they would investigate but insisted they could not corroborate our description of the tour despite our previously securing permission from other members of the group to be contacted about their experience. Obviously, we were hugely disappointed by BA's service and furious at the lack of professionalism. Evidently, they're relying on their past reputation to essentially defraud customers, especially given the considerable rates charged by BA. Thankfully, the rest of our visit to Malaysia was so enjoyable that in spite of the extremely unpleasant experience with Borneo Adventure, we remember the trip fondly.
VT needs more this kind of tips. Very valuable!!!