Blogger meetup in Kuala Lumpur
While staying in Kuala Lumpur, I had the great opportunity to meet with fellow bloggers David from Malaysia Asia and Mei AKA Agent Cikay from CC Food Travel. It was great to talk blogging with two pros that I have been corresponding with for over three years on Twitter.
When I mentioned to David that my next stop was Kuching, which is the capital of the Malaysian state of Sarawak on the island of Borneo, he said he knew a contact there that might be able to help me. He sent a text and shortly afterwards a reply came. They agreed to host me and show me around. It turned out that the contact had read my blog: probably this guest post from Mei herself on Borneo.
This three week trip in Southeast Asia I was doing at my own expense and was not looking for any type of sponsorship. However, when you are halfway around the world, it is nice to know someone and to have a plan for accommodations and tours.
Picked up by Planet Borneo
I was picked up at the airport and taken to Planet Borneo. Right away I felt comfortable with the staff, the location, and the lodging arrangement. I had a room with wi-fi and air-conditioning. I could not ask for more.
They also arranged for several tours. Mona, the manager, said that a lot of the intense distant trips in Borneo would be impossible on such notice, but there were plenty of day tours I could do in the area. I was only staying five days, so this sounded perfect to me.
Planet Borneo tour experiences
I was then taken on a series of tours and one was more incredible than the next. I started out with a tour of the Sarawak Cultural Village. The next day started with a visit to the Semenggoh Wildlife Center to see semi-wild orangutans feeding followed by a hike in Gunung Gading National Park where I was fortunate to see the world’s largest flower, the rafflesia, in bloom.
The next day I ventured out on my own to visit Bako National Park, and the last day I had a crazy experience on a scouting trip of a Borneo longhouse. The Borneo longhouse trip was especially memorable as this was a kind of trip not many travelers get to experience as it was even new for the guides who brought me.
Staying at the Planet Borneo lodge
Throughout the tours, I had the run of the Planet Borneo lodge in Kuching. Each morning I had bread, jam, and coffee waiting for me. When I returned from a tour, I had the beautiful dip pool to relax in outside with a cold beer. When you are suffocating in jungle temperatures near the equator, a pool and several cold beers are essential.
Feeling at home
What made my stay Kuching and Planet Borneo stay so special though was the amazing staff and guides at Planet Borneo. I felt like I was staying at the home of a close friend.
I realize I am a blogger and they were expecting I would raise awareness to Borneo, Kuching, and their tour company, but they were very laid back about my stay. Instead of having this feeling that something was wanted or expected of me, I got the feeling that I was part of the team.
Planet Borneo is highly recommended
The reason I write this is that their sincerity and genuineness cannot be faked, and I know that they will treat their customers in the same way. Therefore, I highly recommend that travelers coming to Kuching book tours and stay with Planet Borneo. Make Planet Borneo your home away from home. They can help make your stay in Sarawak incredible with a trip to a national park or a visit to a longhouse.
Their lodge is perfectly located just on the edge of downtown. You walk to the riverfront in 15 minutes, and it is also close to city parks, museums, and fun places to eat and drink. It is far enough away from the downtown area that it is peaceful and you can even see a few birds.
My stay and most tours were taken care of by Planet Borneo, but if I had paid double for the experience, I still would be writing kind words about the company. The words, views, opinions, photographs are my own.
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Heya Ted, nice write and likewise on meeting you finally here in KL. Also, glad you loved Kuching, Sarawak Borneo and hoping to catch you again here. Maybe this time around, Sabah Borneo?
David @ MalaysiaAsia recently posted..WIN 3 Pairs of Jersey Boys VVIP Tickets
I would definitely love to check out Sabah. Please send me all your Sabah contacts 🙂 Great meeting you in KL and congrats again on your blogging award.
so like, is chiang mai DEFINITELY the homebase for TBHOF, or is borneo on the table, too?
the lazy travelers recently posted..no travel required: #frifotos
I would love to see the TBHofF in Kuching, but that might be considered hearsay. If the Chiang Mai contingent sees this comment, I could be in hot water. Please don’t tell 🙂
I like the look of that dip pool!
@mrsoaroundworld recently posted..The Luxury Travel Blog Network – March 2014 Edition
Too bad there is that goofball in there ruining the scene.
This looks like a fabulous way to stay – you were clearly well taken care of. I will keep in this in mind for a future visit. 🙂
Erin at The World Wanderer recently posted..Ways to Live in the Present Moment.
They are a fantastic operation to work with and very blogger friendly. I think blogger friendly equates to customer friendly.
That was great of David to arrange the set-up and what a bonus to end up working with a company that made your stay memorable.
I don’t know if or when I’ll make it to Borneo but this company will go to the top of my list.
The cold beer and pool combo would be essential for me too. I’m not normally a beer drinker but in hot climates, its the way to go.
Leigh recently posted..Discover Canada: 100 Inspiring Outdoor Adventures
It was an unexpected and welcome assistance. I love how the blogging world helps each other out. I hope you make it to Borneo someday. Despite the heat, it is an amazing place.
This looks like such a fantastic trip! I stayed with the most adorable old lady and her family as part of a home stay program, it was incredible, she fed us and looked after us so well each day. Borneo is the most fascinating place! Great islands, diving, hiking.. 🙂
Veronica recently posted..How to Stay Fit & Eat Well While Traveling
Borneo is a special place. Staying with a home stay program sounds like a great idea.
Sounds the type of place I prefer to stay at – where the experience and the staff are genuine and “normal”, not forced smiles. And Borneo sounds like an interesting place – not currently on my list but likely to be added!
Raul (@ilivetotravel) recently posted..Monticchiello: Charm in the Middle of Tuscany
If you are ever in Southeast Asia, I would recommend Borneo. An incredible island that you can explore for weeks and months.