a VirtualTourist member
we are soon to book our honeymoon to Borneo next month for August next year, spending 2-3 nights in Kuala Lumpur and then 14 nights in the Rasa Ria. Now we want to spend a relaxing time on the beach and the Rasa is supose to be more relaxing and has more wild life on your door step ( the thought of seeing wildlife from your balcony attracted us to this hotel) and also want to do plenty of trips.We dont like the sound of humping our suit cases everywhere but relise that 7 - 9 days may be wasted paying for our hotel, something we may have to live with. So with that in mind lets get a debate going on our top 8 must things to do so we dont waiste any days. It sounds like the Danum valley is a must as is mt Kinabaly. Souds like a few river cruises to chose from and Orangutangs, the turles and rafting. I think i'm running out of days, so you can see my problem, combining a honeymoon with adventure from the Rasa Ria. Thanks for all your impending advice Paul and Becky
We just got back from 3 weeks in Sabah and Sarawak.
We put together individual tours, planned before we went, combined with a stay at the Rasa Ria.
I would definitely recommend the Rasa Ria, it is really secluded, so perfect for a honeymoon, but there is still lots to do, plus the advantage of the nature reserve. The other hotels in Kota Kinabalu are nice but the possibility of aeroplanes flying low overhead, and many people we spoke to staying in KK were curious about coming to the nature reserve at the Rasa Ria.
Don't worry about the Rasa Ria being in the middle of nowhere, with no towns to walk to (unless you are really bothered about not being able to walk into town), because there is a shuttle bus that goes into KK every day so if you want some city life you just hop on that.
I would say that if you spend your whole two weeks at the Rasa Ria you are going to miss out on alot. Although the nature reserve at the hotel is nice and worth a few visits, it is only a 64 acre site, so you are limited as to what you will see. You certainly don't see stuff running around outside your balcony!It really doesn't compare with spending time in the real jungle! So when you say there is wildlife on your doorstep, yes that is true compared to the other hotels, but it's not the same as going somewhere like Daunum Valley!!
There are two travel agents at the Rasa Ria from which you can organise trips (Wildlife Expeditions is one of them). But, depending where you want to go, some of the trips invlove flights and overnight stays, so when you've paid for a room at the rasa ria it's a bit of a waste to then go somewhere else for a few days.
Personally, I would organise tours before you go, piece them togther with stays at the Rasa Ria.
For instance, we spent 7 nights in Sarawak, had two nights at the Rasa Ria then we did a 3 day trip to Sandakan/Sepilok/Seligan/Kinabatangan. We spent another two nights at the Rasa Ria afterwards, then went on a 3 day trip to Danum Valley. After Danum Valley we went back to the Rasa Ria for 5 nights. We organised the tours before we got there, so you are only paying for the nights at the Rasa Ria that you are actually there. And, because you are always going back to the Rasa Ria, you can leave your suitcases there and just take what you need for each trip (so pack a holdall). Even though you check out each time, they have a concierge service so you don't have to lug cases around.
It's alot of travelling but to be honest, it's a big place with lots to see, so if you want to see stuff, you need to move around.
We booked ours through Thomas Cook signature (see their latest brochure), but to be honest, having been, if I went back again I would organise it all independently myself, as you can do what you want at half the cost. However, if you don't want to do that there are lots of companies that have these different 2-3 day excursions that you can piece together combined with some days at the end or inbetween to relax (I'm not sure if I'm ok to name them but Premier, Travelwinds, Bales, etc all do similar things, just go to your travel agent).
Obviously 14 days is not enough to do everything, so you need to decide want you want to do most. That's the tricky bit!! Everything is excellent!
I would defintiely recommend Danum Valley, but you really need to spend 3days/2 nights there. We saw loads, wild orangutans, birds, gibbons, monkeys + loads more, and fantastic walks and scenery.
Also, the Kinabatangan river is beautiful with the potential to see lots of wildlife, incl proboscis monkeys.We only stayed there 1night and if I went back I'd spend longer there but one night is ok if limited on time.
Obviously Sepilok is a highlight but I would also recommend Turtle Island (Seligan), with the chance to see wild turtles come ashore to lay eggs and release baby turtles.
I don't know if you are just planning to go to Sabah, but Sarawak is great for visiting longhouses + loads of other national parks.
It's a hard choice when you only have so much time, but what we did was buy loads of books and do loads of research on the internet about possible places of interest then decide what we would most like to see. Our tours were geared towards wildlife as that was our biggest interest, but at the same time we missed loads of other places that would have been great to visit.
I think you really need to spend time and do alot of planning to go somewhere like Borneo, as there is so much to see and do, if you just book 2 weeks at a hotel you are going to be so limited as to what you see and miss out on so much.
I've go on and on, so I hope some of it has been useful.
I hope you have fun planning your trip, you will have an excellent time.