Not even finished with our first major family holiday (with kid), and we were already planning the next one. Seriously, flying from Hong Kong (HK) to Brisbane, I turn to B and ask “So, where to next?”
His reply: “How about Borneo? If we’re still in Australia, we’ll travel a little closer to home and be more adventurous.”
And that was in 2008. And it really happened. Sure we delayed a couple of times, but we made it in 2011 with two kids, S (5yo) and N (2yo).
The plan was this:
- 3 weeks in Malaysia Borneo (including 4 days or so in Kuala Lumpur);
- Wildlife – lots of wildlife and plenty of research before hand;
- At least 1 Homestay to spend some time with a family;
- At least 1 occasion for snorkeling/diving
- 1 Cooking lesson for B.
The biggest thing for us was ensuring we practiced ‘responsible travel’. There is nothing worse than going to a place for cultural education, and then treating it like a resort/shopping experience.
We started with research on the wildlife – orang utans, elephants, monkeys, turtles, horn-bills. The list goes on and so many of them are in serious trouble just to survive. It’s a bit serious for a 5yo to think about all this when planning a family holiday but S took it all to heart. The big one was reading about orang utans and palm oil plantations (that’s a blog for another day).
The itinerary was as follows:
- 4 nights/4 days in Kuching
- 4 days / 3 nights at Kurakura Homestay (outside Kuching)
- 5 days in Kota Kinabalu
- 2 days Sepilok Jungle Forest
- 1 day and night Turtle Island
- 3 days Bilit Adventure Lodge (River and Jungle Safari)
- 4 days KL
The following blog posts will detail the trip itself. All travel contacts will be provided. If you want to know specific details, send me an email.
The total cost of this holiday was $8500 – including frequent flyer points for one adult. Most of the savings was through direct contact with the business owners themselves. Plus yummy street vendor food. Yummy….
Edit: Just realised a couple of things to add here.
Travel dates – we travelled in Sept 2011. An excellent time – almost perfect for the wildlife, and yet we still avoided the heaviest of the wet season. The wet season really kicks in around October.
Equipment – Two (2) wheeled backpacks (about 60L capacity) for all our clothes; Kathmandu backpack carrier with detachable bag (for N on B’s back); small Lo-Pro camera backpack (including DSLR, 2x lens, iPad); small wheeled backpack for S; tiny wheeled backpack for N. Check out the equipment section for full details (which will be up and running end of the weekend).