The British East India Company established a strategic trading post on the island of Singapore in 1819, which was to become an important post along the Spice Route. Although a thriving and modern metropolis, remnants of these early colonial days can be enjoyed in many traditional pursuits such as a rickshaw ride and Singapore Sling at the famous Raffles Hotel. A compact and efficient city, Singapore offers easy access from most international airports.
The Anambas Archipelago (Indonesian; Kepulauan Anambas) is an Island chain containing 283 known Islands. Located in the South China Sea between the Malaysian mainland to the west and the island of Borneo to the east, the Island group is virtually uninhabited. This coupled with the rich warm waters of the South China Sea provide an excellent opportunity for guests to enjoy the abundant coral reefs and diverse marine life that fringe the islands.
With so many Islands to choose from, your destination today will be determined by the prevailing weather conditions. Most likely the destination will be either Pulau Bawah or Pulau Lintang, both uninhabited and unspoilt tropical oases. You will have the opportunity to explore the fringing reef systems around the Islands. There will be snorkeling opportunities available to satisfy everyone from beginners to the advanced. Should the weather permit your expedition team will conduct snorkel safaris further afield for the more adventurous.
The Natuna Islands (Indonesian; Kepulauan Natuna) are a 272-island archipelago of Indonesia, located in the Natuna Sea between Peninsular Malaysia to the west and Borneo to the east. This little known Island group is home to the main Island of Natuna Besar (also known as Bunguran Island). There is a small population on the main Island with smaller remote fishing villages located on the outlying Islands.
Its location and isolation maintain a spectacular landscape of towering volcanic domes coupled with white sandy beaches fringed by colorful coral reefs. Most likely your destination will be either Pulau Senua or Pulau Tiga, both uninhabited and unspoilt tropical oases. You will be presented with a cultural welcome from the local community and have the opportunity to explore the fringing reef systems around the Islands through numerous snorkeling opportunities today.
Bako National Park heralds an early arrival for you as there is no time to waste in experiencing its rainforests, wildlife, jungle streams, interesting plant life, secluded beaches and trekking trails. Very few places in the world pack so much natural beauty into such a limited area. Bako contains almost every type of plant life found in Borneo, with over 25 distinct types of vegetation from seven complete ecosystems.
A series of walks of varying degrees of difficulty are available today throughout the Bako National Park, providing an opportunity to experience the many different ecosystems that have made this National Park Famous. There is also the chance to view some of the many bird and primate species that may be found throughout the park. Transfers to shore will take in the scenic coastal cliffs and rocky headlands that have been carved into sea arches and sea stacks with colored patterns formed by iron deposition. Hope to be able to spot the proboscis monkeys, silvery lutungs and macaques that have become less wary of humans since the area was afforded complete protection in 1957.
The capital of the Malaysian state of Sarawak, and also the largest city on the Island of Borneo, Kuching is today a vibrant and lively city. The city itself has a bustling China Town district and many delightful buildings such as the palace of the White Rajah along with temples and mosques. Arrive in Kuching mid morning, staying overnight and into the next day.
On offer the first afternoon is a city tour which will visit the Cat Monument, the symbol of Kuching, and Sarawak's oldest temple in the China Town area. The tour will take a route that showcases much of the famous architecture of Kuching including Astana (the former palace of the White Rajah), the old Colonial Law Courts, crossing the Satok Suspension Bridge dating from 1926, past old Malay style stilt houses, and stopping at a beautiful local Mosque. The highlight of the tour will be a visit to the Sarawak Museum which is acknowledged as one of the finest in the world. This evening have an exclusive cultural performance and Malay style banquet ashore.
Kuching is also home to the Semenggoh Wildlife Rehabilitation Center. Established in 1975 for the rehabilitation of confiscated and surrendered wild animals, including orangutans, it is located just south of Kuching city and is situated within the beautiful Semenggoh Nature Reserve.
This morning visit the Semenggoh Wildlife Rehabilitation Center and witness the work they do in caring for orangutans and other wildlife of Borneo. For those feeling a bit more independent a shuttle bus will be available in the afternoon to and from the city area and optional tours are available to purchase to further explore Kuching's rich cultural and natural history.
ANNAH RAIS LONGHOUSE (Half day)
Price: To be confirmed
EXCLUSIVE GUNUNG GADING RAFFLESIA VIEWING (Half Day)
Price: To be confirmed
Tanjung Puting is one of the natural wonders of the world! To make the most of this location we will arrive early, and stay for two days and one night.
The area was originally declared as a game reserve in 1935 and a National Park in 1982. While the Park has a checkered history of weak protection, it remains substantially wild and natural. Best known for the orangutans and made famous through the efforts of Orangutan Foundation International, which is based at the landmark Camp Leakey research station. Tanjung Puting also boasts the bizarre looking proboscis monkey with its “Jimmy Durante” nose as well as seven other primate species. Tanjung Puting hosts over 220 species of birds, including hornbills, deep forest birds and many wetland species. Tanjung Puting is well known for its “bird lakes,” housing seasonal rookeries, endangered waterbirds and nesting grounds for white egrets.
Camp Leakey was established in 1971 by Dr. Biruté Galdikas and former spouse Rod Brindamour. It was named after the legendary paleo-anthropologist, Louis Leakey, who was both mentor and an inspiration to Dr. Galdikas as well as Drs. Jane Goodall and Dian Fossey. Originally consisting of just two huts, Camp Leakey is now an assemblage of permanent wooden structures designed to provide a base for scientists, staff, students, and Park Rangers.
There are two main activities to be enjoyed whilst at Tanjung Puting National Park. One activity involves taking local boats for a full day exploration of the river system surrounding Camp Leakey and visits to several feeding stations and Camp Leakey itself. This area will give you the rare opportunity to get very close and interact with the orangutans. This will be a full day activity including lunch based on the local boats, which are large and spacious and have their own bathroom onboard, and includes the landings at the feeding stations, which are all quite easy to reach on foot.
Today will be a prime wildlife experience like no other! The other activity offered here at Tanjung Puting is a visit to the Orangutan Foundation International's wildlife rehabilitation center. Orion offers you an exclusive look into the operation of the center with all three stages of orangutan rehabilitation being visited; the forest training area, the "pre school" and the infant care facility.
Disembark this morning for your continued journey home.