Malaysia is 8.00 hours ahead of GMT
USD 1 = RM3.12 AUD 1 = RM3.19 NZD 1 = RM2.48
Malaysia’s currency – the Ringgit (RM) is equivalent to 100 sens (cents). Coins are issued in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20, 50 sen and RM1. Notes come in RM1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100.
Foreign currency and traveller's cheques can be converted to Malaysian Ringgit at banks or authorized money changers throughout the country or you can purchase currency in advance. ATM’s are common in larger cities however Malaysian pin numbers are 6-digits and some travellers have reported difficulty receiving cash from ATMs using 4-digit pins. We recommend a combination of cash (US, Euro, AUD, GBP) and credit/debit cards.
The voltage in Borneo is 240v 50Hz AC and the outlet is a UK style three-pin (type G) rectangular pronged plug.
Treated tap water is available in most built-up areas. In rural areas we recommend bottled water which is widely available and inexpensive.
As Rabies are an ever present problem in Malaysia, close animal contact should be avoided and if bitten, you should treat the matter seriously and seek medical attention immediately.
Leeches are present in the jungles and can be a nuisance after heavy rain on jungle walks. Leech socks can be purchased locally and are recommended.
Situated between Thailand and Indonesia and a stop along the traditional trading routes of Europe India and China, Malaysia, by its very location has become a melting pot for food. Now known as Nyona, the cuisine takes elements from both Chinese and Malay culture and is a fusion of an array of amazing food experiences.
The flavours of Malaysian cooking are chillies, garlic, ginger, Limes & lemongrass – essential to the curry pastes which form the base of many of the dishes and also often used by themselves to add flavour. Coconut milk and palm sugar are frequently added to soften the heat.
Wander along the open air eating stalls and try a popiah (spring rolls) or curry puff before moving on to a fish-head curry, Nasi Ayam (Chicken Rice) or a rendang. There’ll be noodles, sambals, seafood curries and fish, all full of flavour. The choice will be limitless, so ready up your taste-buds and get ready to dive-in!
By international standards, Malaysia presents relatively good value for money. Meals at a local market will average USD3, in a restaurant, USD15 for mid-range, rising to as much as USD30 depending on the establishment and what you order. Bottled water is about USD40c and a local beer anywhere from USD2 - USD5. We recommend you budget USD25-USD30 for meals in addition to your tip kitty and entrance fees.
Borneo has an equatorial climate and situated south of the equator, a dry season is the reverse of the rest of south-east Asia: April – November. The rainy season is from December – March and although travel is possible it is less pleasant. At all times of year however, it is usually hot and humid in the lowlands and cooler in the mountains. Mt Kinabalu has its own climate and often experiences freezing temperatures at night.
Whether it is a long-house in Sarawak, a lodge on the Kinabatangan River or chalet on Selingan Island in Sabah, our jungle lodges and beach chalets have been chosen primarily for the experience.
Long-houses located on the periphery of the Batang Ai Reservoir are approximately a 1½ hour longboat ride from boat-launch in a remote area of Borneo. Lodgings are clean with western-style toilets, showers and mosquito nets. Bedding is on raised sleeping platforms in twin bedded or dormitory style rooms. Facilities are shared and power is supplied by a generator. The long-houses are somewhat basic.
Kinabatangan River lodges are accessed by boat from Sandakan and are located amidst primary and secondary jungle hosting a plethora of wildlife. Most lodges possess 24hr electricity, twin bedded and en-suited chalets, with ceiling fans, and netted windows and a water purifying system.
Selingan Island Chalets – Basic though clean and comfortable air-conditioned accommodation with shared facilities. This is not a beach resort; chalets have been built so people have the opportunity to witness the night-time arrival of the turtles.