Borneo Bike and Hike
The Borneo Bike and Hike holiday is an eleven day adventure exploring Sabah by bike, climbing the peak of Mount Kinabalu and enjoying a beach resort at the northern tip of the country. Accommodation is varied, from lodges and hostels to jungle camps and beach chalets. It is a perfect holiday for active couples or small groups of friends, and can be adapted to suit families.
The trip includes 2 days biking followed by two overnights in a jungle camp and then a village community homestay, then another 2 days biking to the north coast. A day of water activities and time on the beach is followed by 2 days climb of Mount Kinabalu and then a return to the city. Day 12 is the return to Kota Kinabalu in the morning.
We provide good quality mountain bikes and a support vehicle following throughout. On the mountain we provide a guide, and of course we will make all the bookings and necessary arrangements for this holiday.
1. Arrive into Kota Kinabalu and overnight in local guesthouse with a rest after the flight.
2. Transfer to 1400m mountain pass near Gunung Alab which is the highest peak in the Crocker Range, then bike for 40km with 1100m descent and 200m ascent near Mt Kinabalu. Overnight in local hostel.
3. Biking round Poring Hot Springs area and visit the WWII Sandakan War Memorial. 75kms with 200m ascent. Park hostel with hot tubs.
4. Trek half an hour to a small eco lodge in the forest with waterfalls to relax in and overnight in hammocks or camp shelters.
5. Drive to Kiau Valley and then bike 20kms to Kampung Kaung with excellent views of the mountain. Trek through the jungle and overnight in a community village homestay. Comfortable dormitories with a verandah facing the amazing granite walls of the mountain. Evening local cuisine and rice wine.
6. Full day in the saddle. Head north for 25kms to Taginambur for lunch and then onto Kota Belud. Dinner at the famous Joe's Cafe, popular with the allies during WWII.
7. Full day in the saddle. Today's journey visits Paradise Camp, which was built by British and Australian soldiers during WWII as an outpost to stop the advancing Japanese army from the north. Swimming enroute and then a transfer to Big Fin Resort on the north coast.
8. Relaxing at the Big Fin Resort. Diving, snorkelling, kayaking, stand-up paddle boards and jungle walks.
9., Transfer after lunch to Mt Kinabalu Park for some local wildlife walks and overnight in the park hostel.
10. Begin the climb up Mount Kinabalu on the Mesilau Route through secondary rainforest. 5-7 hours walk up to the Laban Rata hut.
11. Summit of Mt Kinabalu and descent to the park gate. This is a long day with 700m ascent and 2300m of descent. Overnight in a nearby lodge.
!2. Depart to Kota Kinabalu.
When is the best time to visit Borneo (click here for details)?
How fit do I need to be for the Borneo Bike and Hike?
The distances and ascents that we tackle are not huge for regular cyclists but it must be borne in mind that Borneo is hot and humid and some of the route is at a moderate altitude. The biking is on hilly roads and tracks, and the hiking on Mount Kinabalu is hard on the knees.
Borneo Bike and Hike Kit List
The basic idea of the kit you need is to keep you warm/cool, dry, protected from the sun, able to move around efficiently and able to remain comfortable in the evenings and night.
- BAGS - Duffle bag to stay in vehicles or accommodation + daypack for the mountain climb and a small pack to take on the bike so that you can carry snacks, camera, money etc.
- SHELL - waterproof top and bottoms for the mountain and a lightweight water-resistant jacket for the cycling.
- INSULATION - a warm layer for the mountain and at night.
- BASELAYER - Thin layers to wick away sweat and cover up from sun or mosquitoes without getting too hot.
- CYCLING - Thin, light layers. Cycling shorts with some padding.
- FEET - Light trainers or cycling shoes for the cycle, Supportive boots for the treks, comfy shoes for travel and flip flops/sandals for the beach and hot conditions
- SLEEPING - A 2 season sleeping bag or a sleeping sheet. An inflatable sleeping mat is also useful.
- WASHING & personal medical bag.
- OTHER - Documents, electrical devices, power pack, diary, book and water bottles
BORNEO ADD-ON TRIPS
Before or after your trip there are also a number of optional Add-on trips / activities, or hotels that you may like to take advantage of to extend your holiday, or just to cover accommodation before or after joining us. Some of the options are shortened versions of some of our main Borneo trips, others are adventure or relaxng wind downs in their own right. These can be found on the 'More Information' tab on this trip page and the options include:
- A 3D2N ascent of Mount Kinabalu.
- 4D3N trek / climb of Mount Mulu, which is one of Borneo’s toughest - harder and more adventurous than Mt Kinabalu.
- 3D2N visit to some luxury in the Kawag Nature Lodge in Danum Conservation Area for relaxation and wildlife viewing.
- A visit to the tropical islands off the coast of Sandakan including glamping on Turtle Island or Libaran (or a bespoke diving trip to Sipadan Island).
- 2D2N visit to the Hibiscus Beach Resort, which is a stunning and idyllic boutique beach chalet set in a secluded cove on the Kudat peninsula on the northern tip of Borneo.
- 3D2N Big Fin Beach resort for snorkelling, diving, paddle boarding or relaxing at this private and secluded beach resort, just off the coast of Kota Belud, near Kota Kinabalu.
- 3D2N add-on trip to the Danum Valley Conservation Area, staying at the Danum Valley Field Centre, with guided treks through primary rainforest.
- 4D3N trek into the interior of Sarawak to live with the last nomadic tribe in Borneo, the Penan.
- 4D3N add-on with visits to the Sepilok Orangutan Centre and the Kinabatangan River for stunning wildlife safaris.
- 3D2N treat with a night at the prestigious and award-winning Borneo Rainforest Lodge in Danum Valley Reserve.
- Additional nights accommodation in Kota Kinabalu or for sightseeing and visiting the islands, staying in the Hotel Sixty 3.
Borneo Bike and Hike Itinerary
Arrive Kota Kinabalu, transfer to guesthouse, introductions, resting, briefings.
Transfer by vehicle up to the start of the first cycle stage at a mountain pass at 1400m. Cycle downhill for around 30-45 minutes then up and down for 2 hours before we reach the hostel near a 30m waterfall on the back road to Poring. Approx 40km with 1100 m of descent and 200 m of ascent at the end.
Cycle to Poring Hot Springs area on back road. This is likely to take between 4 and 6 hours depending on cycling speed. En-route stop and visit the memorial commemorating the final campsite of the allied prisoners of the infamous WW2 Sandakan Death March. Approx 75km with around 200m of ascent. It goes down to about 400m via two good hills and then up at the end to 600m We spend the night in the park hostel, chance to relax the legs in the hot tubs
After breakfast, trek 30 mins through the forest to spend an exciting day and nights in a jungle camp with clear rivers and waterfalls to relax in. We can also take short hikes out into the rainforest. We sleep on mattresses or in hammocks in the camp shelters.
You will be collected at Poring Hot Spring before being driven to Kiau Valley where we will begin the ride. We then ride down through Kiau Valley to Kampung Kaung ( 20KM ride) with excellent views of the jungle-clad valley and Mount Kinabalu. When we get to the end of the rideable trail, we put the bikes onto the truck and from here we walk through Kampung Kaung where we begin the jungle trek ( If weather permits). We make a few river crossings until we arrive at the paddy fields of Kampung Tambatuon where we overnight in the village community homestay. There are comfortable dorms and a huge veranda facing the granite walls of the western flanks of Mount Kinabalu. In the evening, there will be a sit-down dinner of local cuisine prepared by our guides with local rice wine to chat through the day's thrills while the team service the bikes and get ready for the second day's adventure.
This is a full day in the saddle. We head north on mostly gravel roads for 25km, stopping to swim in cool rivers and entertain the bemused locals. There are lots of cool drinks supplied by the support vehicle along the way. We stop for some local cuisine at the quiet frontier town of Taginambur for lunch. We then continue riding to our hotel in Kota Belud, a bustling district town just north of Mount Kinabalu. Tonight, we will have dinner at Joe’s café (Dinner location will be advised upon the guest's strict diet. Alcohol at own account if there is any), a piece of Kota Belud’s history, very popular among the allies during the WW, and a home town for one of the tribes in Sabah, known as Bajau or sea gypsy. Originally from the south of Philippines, they have been settled down on the coast from many years ago, and establish their horse riding skills, thus they have been also called the Cowboys of the East.
Day 7 - Military Camp (Paradise Camp)
15kms of riding on very scenic and quite hilly roads with almost no traffic (but plenty of cows!) and stunning views of the northern gullies of mount Kinabalu, including the infamous Low’s Gully. The mountain of Tamboyukon, Sabah’s 3rd highest peak sits in the foreground, forbidding in its jungle shroud. A full day in the saddle. Today’s journey will take us to the military camp or known as Paradise Camp. This camp was built by the British and Australian soldiers during the Second World War as an outpost to stop the advancing Japanese soldiers from the North of Borneo. We continue on sealed road before we enter the gravel section in the jungle for 15kms before we finish the ride by the river. Take a well-deserved swim in the river while our guides load the bikes and gear back in the support vehicle and ready to transfer to lunch. Don’t worry, there is a changing room. Once ready we’ll take a 40 minute drive to Big Fin Dive Resort. Spend the next 2 nights relaxing at this small but beautiful resort.
Free and Easy - optional activities include: Diving, snorkelling, kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, jungle walks.
Check out of Big Fin after lunch and drive 2 hours to Kinabalu National Park. There are well marked trails around the base of the mountain which offer great sightings of many birds and small mammals. Get a good night’s sleep before your mountain trek the following day.
Today we begin our climb of Mount Kinabalu using the Mesilau Route on the South East side of the mountain. The climb up to the Laban Rata hut will take around 5-7-hrs as it is a steep ascent from 2000m to 3250m.
Today we climb to Mt Kinabalu summit then descend via the regular route to Timpohon Gate, the Park HQ then a quick transfer to the nearby lodge. This will be a long day of around 12-14 hrs with 700m of ascent followed by around 2300m of descent.
Depart to Kota Kinabalu
Borneo Bike and Hike cost £1895.00 per person
Based on a group of 2 people.
- All internal transport and travel
- All meals and accommodation
- All National Park fees
- Bike & Helmet hire
- 4x4 back up for luggage
- Guide for the biking and mountain park guide
- Travel Insurance
- Travel vaccinations
- Meals in the city and some personal expenses enroute
Choose a scheduled date or contact us to set up private dates or a bespoke itinerary. The minimum deposit is £100.00 and the balance is due six weeks before travel.