Escape into the wilds of East Malaysia on this adventurous 10-day itinerary. Start among the skyscrapers of Kuala Lumpur for a taste of city living, then fly on to Borneo and the Sarawak capital of Kuching. From here, you'll venture deep into Batang Ai National Park, home to the Indigenous Iban people and some of the world's last remaining orangutans. As you hop between jungle lodges and isolated camps, set out on jungle treks to spot the elusive primates alongside other remarkable wildlife.


  • Discover culture, cuisine, and historical sights in Kuala Lumpur
  • Visit Bako National Park and witness exotic wildlife roaming freely
  • Get to know East Malaysia's rainforests as you settle into a jungle lodge
  • Take daily treks into Batang Ai National Park in search of orangutans
  • Learn about the culture of the Iban people and their traditional longhouses

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Kuala Lumpur Kuala Lumpur
Day 2 Fly to Kuching, Gateway to East Malaysia  Kuching
Day 3 Day Trip to Bako National Park Kuching
Day 4 Transfer to Batang Ai Jungle Lodge, Visit a Longhouse  Lubok Antu
Day 5 Nanga Sumpa Orangutan Treks Lubok Antu
Day 6 Hike to Lubok Kasai Camp Lubok Antu
Day 7 Orangutan Treks Near Lubok Kasai  Lubok Antu
Day 8 Transfer to Kuching Kuching
Day 9 Fly to Kuala Lumpur, Explore More of the City Kuala Lumpur
Day 10 Depart Kuala Lumpur  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Kuala Lumpur

Free day in Arrival Location (Kuala Lumpur)
Kuala Lumpur's modern city skyline at night

Welcome to Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia. Upon arrival at the Kuala Lumpur Airport, meet your driver for a one-hour transfer to your hotel in the city center. Once you've checked in, the remainder of the day is free for you to explore this melting pot of diversity and eclectic cultural influences.

You'll find colonial-era landmarks like the Kuala Lumpur Railway Station and the Sultan Abdul Samad Building alongside gleaming, hyper-modern skyscrapers like the Petronas Twin Towers. At a lofty 1,480 feet (451 m) high, these glass-and-steel-clad towers with Islamic motifs dominate the modern skyline, and their public sky bridge and observation deck is the perfect spot to get your bearings with panoramic views across the city. 

Day 2: Fly to Kuching, Gateway to East Malaysia 

Transfer & Flight from Kuala Lumpur to Kuching
View of the Esplanade on the riverside in Kuching at sunset

It's time to head to East Malaysia! Meet your driver for a transfer to the airport to catch a five-hour flight east to Kuching. Upon arrival at Kuching's airport, a driver will be waiting to take you to your hotel in the city. Get settled in, and spend the rest of the day at leisure. Kuching is the capital and largest city of the East Malaysian state of Sarawak and the largest city on the island of Borneo.

There's plenty to see and do in Kuching. Admire the beautiful colonial buildings, numerous museums, riverfront, parks, and diverse restaurants. Start by taking a stroll along the riverfront Esplanade, from where you'll be able to see many of the city's landmarks, including its beautiful Floating Mosque. You can also dive straight into the local cuisine and try delicious foods like Sarawak laksa (noodle soup) and kolo mee (dry pork noodles).

Day 3: Day Trip to Bako National Park

Bako National Park Daytrip
Spot rare species like the green insularis pit viper in Bako National Park

It's time to strike out into nature today, as your driver takes you on the 45-minute drive to the small fishing village of Kampung Bako. Here, you'll board a motorized boat to cruise down the river into the wilds of Bako National Park, one of the smallest national parks in Sarawak but also one of the most diverse. Within its 10.5 square miles (27 sq km), you'll find dramatic coastal cliffs, secluded beaches, lush mangrove swamps, and jungle waterfalls.

Upon arrival, disembark and follow your guide in search of the park's abundant and unique wildlife. Trek along rainforest boardwalks and mangrove trails as you keep an eye out for proboscis and silvered leaf monkeys, macaques, mudskippers, and blue fiddler crabs. You'll also find colorful birdlife, exotic snakes, and remarkable insects as you make your way deeper into the forest. In the afternoon, head back onto the boat and return to Kampung Bako, where a van will be waiting to take you back to Kuching.

Day 4: Transfer to Batang Ai Jungle Lodge, Visit a Longhouse

Plan your trip to Malaysia
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Transfer & Boat from Kuching to Batang Ai Longhouse (Lubok Antu)
Drive to Batang Ai National Park, home to a vast reservoir

Pack your bags this morning and get ready to transfer deeper into East Malaysia. Your destination is the spectacular Batang Ai National Park, known for its vast man-made reservoir, settlements of Indigenous Iban people, and the healthy population of wild orangutans that reside in its dense forests. Along the scenic 4.5-hour drive, you'll stop to stretch your legs in the small outpost of Lachau. Browse the local markets and grab an early lunch, then get back on the road and continue your journey.

When you arrive at Batang Ai in the mid-afternoon, you'll board a traditional longboat and travel up the Delok River to the remote Nanga Sumpa Lodge, your base for the next two nights. Get settled in, then enjoy a traditional dinner before making a visit to a local longhouse. These traditional dwellings of the Iban people are built of natural materials and typically house many families under the same roof. Relax on the ruai (common veranda) and spend the evening sipping rice wine and learning about the culture of your hosts. 

Day 5: Nanga Sumpa Orangutan Treks

Batang Ai (Nanga Sumpa Orangutan Treks)
If you're lucky, you'll observe critically-endangered orangutans at play on today's treks

Rise early this morning and lace up your hiking boots for your first day of orangutan tracking. Striking out from Nanga Sumpa, your guide will help choose a trail based on recent sightings, and you'll set off on a two to three-hour trek. The national park is estimated to be home to about 1,000 of these peaceful, intelligent, and critically-endangered primates, and this morning's hike is one of your best chances to experience seeing them in the wild. 

Head back to the lodge for a late breakfast, then the remainder of the day is free for you to choose your own adventure. You could join another hike to look for more orangutans, spend time in and around the Nanga Sumpa longhouse, or visit a nearby farm. Later on, cool off with a swim in the river and either relax at the lodge or take another orangutan-spotting walk before dinner.

Day 6: Hike to Lubok Kasai Camp

Batang Ai (Hike to Lubok Kasai Camp)
Be on the lookout for hornbills as you make your way to your next jungle camp

Head out early today for a trek along the rainforest trails around Sepulau. While you're on the lookout for orangutans, don't miss the other incredible endemic wildlife like pig-tailed macaques, hornbills, and various exotic birds. While the solitary and shy orangutans can be elusive, you're likely to spot their nests along the trails. Return to the lodge in time for lunch, then travel upriver by longboat to the scenic Enseluai Waterfall. Here you'll have time to cool off, relax, swim, and enjoy the tranquil rainforest surroundings.

Later you'll backtrack along the Delok River by boat before entering the Lalang River to reach your base for the next two nights at Lubok Kasai Jungle Camp. Settle in, go for a swim in the river, and enjoy the sights, sounds, and smells of the jungle. Orangutans are occasionally seen at dusk or dawn in this area, so keep your eyes peeled before sitting down to dinner. As darkness falls, enjoy the night sky without light pollution, or join a short night walk nearby to spot nocturnal wildlife.

Day 7: Orangutan Treks Near Lubok Kasai 

Batang Ai (Orangutan Treks around Lubok Kasai Camp)
Explore more of the Borneo rainforest in search of orangutans

It's time for more jungle treks today as you set out again in search of orangutans. The exact day's activities can be discussed with your guide, and your choice of trails and routes will be influenced by the conditions and previous orangutan sightings in the area. Return to the lodge in time for lunch, and spend some time relaxing in your peaceful surroundings. You'll head out again on the forest trails in the late afternoon, watching for orangutan activity as dusk starts to fall, then return to the lodge before dark to enjoy a well-earned dinner as the sun sets.

Day 8: Transfer to Kuching

Lubok Kasai Camp to Kuching
Enjoy the sunset over Kuching as you settle into modern life again

Bid farewell to the jungle and the orangutans as you set out early to travel downriver to the Batang Ai Lake jetty. Once you've arrived, a driver will be waiting to take you back to Kuching, stopping for lunch along the way. You'll arrive in Kuching in the early evening, and you can spend the rest of the night relaxing after your days of trekking or head out to sample some of the city's cuisine and nightlife. 

Day 9: Fly to Kuala Lumpur, Explore More of the Capital

Flight from Kuching to Kuala Lumpur
Explore the wide boulevards of Jalan Alor Street

It's time to say your goodbyes to East Malaysia as a driver picks you up at the hotel and takes you to the airport to catch a two-hour flight back to Kuala Lumpur. You'll then be greeted and transferred to your hotel in the city.

On your last full day, you may want to visit landmarks like the Moorish Jamek Mosque and the rural enclave of Kampung Baru with its traditional stilt houses. You could also see bustling marketplaces like Chow Kit and Central Market, where you can shop for fresh produce and sample Malaysia's famous street food.

Day 10: Depart Kuala Lumpur

Farewell Malaysia!!

Your epic 10-day East Malaysian adventure draws to a close today. Spend your morning shopping for souvenirs or browsing for more street food delicacies, then meet your driver for the transfer to Kuala Lumpur International Airport to catch your departing flight. Safe travels!

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Map of East Malaysia Adventure: Jungles, Orangutans & Indigenous Culture - 10 Days
Map of East Malaysia Adventure: Jungles, Orangutans & Indigenous Culture - 10 Days