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Sarawak Rainforest World Music Festival
Events
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Kuching to Kota Kinabalu
11 days
Tour code: TMSF

Highlights

  • Journey to Kuching, Sarawak to witness the Rainforest World Music Festival in full swing. This unique festival draws in renowned international musicians and indigenous performers of Borneo for not-to-be-missed performances.
  • Spend a night in the home of one of the regular performers of the festival and learn all about the sape – an instrument used by some of Borneo’s indigenous musicians.
  • Borneo offers rare treats for the nature lover – see Orangutans at the Semenggoh Sanctuary and the quirky proboscis monkeys in Bako National Park.
  • Explore one of the world’s largest cave networks and witness a sunset hunting exodus of millions of bats, twisting through the sky like a plume of black smoke in Gunung Mulu National Park.

Full of lush rainforest landscapes, breathtaking cave systems, rolling rivers and lost islands, Sarawak is one of South East Asia’s best kept secrets. Take the opportunity to experience both the culture and the nature of this verdant wonderland on an adventure including the Sarawak Rainforest World Music Festival. This annual gathering brings a diverse spectrum of performers and culture to the coastline of the Santubong Peninsula for three days of celebration, allowing you to soak in both the beauty of the area and the artistic essence of its people. Meet local musicians, visit an orangutan sanctuary and delve into national parks on a jungle adventure you’ll never forget.

What's included?

Meals

10 breakfasts, 2 lunches, dinner

Transport

Plane , Private mini van , 4x4 Vehicle

Accommodation

Cabin (multishare) (2 nights), Dormitory (1 night), Homestay (1 night), Hotel (6 nights)

Included activities

  • Sarawak Rainforest World Music Festival - 3 day pass
  • Bako National Park
  • Kuching - Semengohh Orangutan Sanctuary
  • Mulu NP - Deer & Lang Caves
  • Mulu NP - Wind & Clearwater Caves
  • Mulu National Park - Canopy Walk

Itinerary

Day 1
Kuching
Selamat Datang! Welcome to Malaysia. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm on Day 1. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask reception where it will take place. If you’re going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We’ll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at the meeting, so have them ready for your leader to collect. Kuching, meaning ‘cat’ in Malay, is arguably the most pleasant city in all of Borneo. Full of captivating architecture, the waterfront here is well worth the visit – it houses a wealth of curio shops and local marketplaces, brimming with spices, vegetables and fresh fish. If you arrive early you may want to head to the Sarawak Cultural Village. A great introduction to the local culture of Sarawak.
Days 2-4
Sarawak Rainforest World Music Festival
Start off your adventures through Kuching with an orientation walk through its sophisticated streets. There’s plenty to do while here – perhaps take a visit to the museum or travel along the Sarawak River by boat. By mid morning, take a transfer to the Santubong Peninsular where the Rainforest World Music Festival takes place. Feel free to interact with the numerous workshops and jam sessions running casually in the area, or perhaps sit in on one of the lectures. There’s also plenty of food stands that your leader can introduce you to. The first performances begin in the early evening. Artists from Solomon Islands to Poland, Mexico to Brazil may be some of the acts that will play a wide range of music at the festival – you may find yourself tapping your toes to some soulful blues, marvelling at a Malay nose-flute player or watching classical string instruments used in a traditional orchestral format. Expect your appreciation for music to be widened in ways you never thought possible by the end of the first day of the festival, then push them even further as the second and third days rolls on. Safe to say, the grand finale will be incredible. If you’re feeling like you need a change of pace on the third day of the festival, there’s always the option to travel off site to catch some fringe theatricals being held in Kuching. Just let your leader know and they’ll be happy to set things up for you.

Included activities: Sarawak Rainforest World Music Festival - 3 day pass

Meals: 3 breakfasts

Day 5
Bau Homestay
In the morning, take a drive to visit one of the performers from the festival. Meet Matthew Ngau – a master of a traditional lute called a ‘sape’. This instrument, used by some of Borneo’s indigenous tribes, is carved from a single piece of wood. Most sapes have three to five strings and produce rich, complex sounds. Matthew will walk you through the production of the sape and even give you an informal lesson on how to play this curious instrument. Spend the evening at Matthew’s house – the rooms are simple and shared but the cultural insights more than make up for it. All meals are included during our time here.

Meals: breakfastlunchdinner

Day 6
Bako National Park - Kuching
Depart from Matthew’s house after breakfast and head onwards to the Bako National Park – you may have an early start depending on the tides. Once you arrive at Bako Jetty, board a boat towards the park itself. Bako is the oldest national park in Sarawak. The rainforests, abundant fauna, vibrant flora, jungle streams, waterfalls, secluded beaches and trekking trails ensure that a breathtaking view lies around every turn and an adventure is never too far away. Explore one of the many trails through the park, following the advice of the best place to spot proboscis monkeys. Return to Kuching in the afternoon.

Included activities: Bako National Park

Meals: breakfast

Day 7
Kuching
Travel by private minivan to the Semenggoh Orangutan Sanctuary. Once you arrive at the sanctuary, a government funded rehabilitation centre, take a walk into the lush jungle for a chance to watch these peaceful primates feed – a truly remarkable sight. Later, travel back to the hotel where you’ll be able to freshen up from the heat. Afterwards, perhaps stroll through one of the many Chinese-influenced hawker markets and grab a dinner of fresh, local seafood.

Included activities: Kuching - Semengohh Orangutan Sanctuary

Meals: breakfast

Day 8
Mulu National Park
Transfer to the airport for a short flight to the Gunung Mulu National Park, one of the most spectacular reserves in all of Asia. Spend the afternoon strolling along the walkways and peering at the forest below before catching the sunset flight of the bats as they pour out of Deer Cave. This spectacular landmark is home to millions of these furry flutterers who emerge every evening to feed in the night – rising from the opening like a black plume of smoke across the darkening evening sky. We stay in multishare cabins inside the park.

Included activities: Mulu NP - Deer & Lang Caves

Meals: breakfast

Day 9
Mulu National Park
Today’s adventures take you spelunking through more of the regions most impressive caves. First though, stop at a local Penan community. Visit the Wind Cave and Clear Water Cave systems, otherwise known as the hidden home of Asia’s longest underground river. You'll enjoy a picnic lunch here too. Take a brief longboat ride upstream and perhaps spend a bit of time splashing in the waters, then it’s time to return to the headquarters in Mulu. You’ve got a bit of free time to spend this afternoon, so perhaps take a trek to the canopy walkways or wander the self guided trails throughout the park. This evening, enjoy a night walk in the park in search of nocturnal wildlife.

Included activities: Mulu NP - Wind & Clearwater Caves

Meals: breakfastlunch

Day 10
Kota Kinabalu
Enjoy an early morning walk through the canopy of the rainforest before breakfast. Take a flight to Kota Kinabalu – the capital city of Sabah. The largest commercial centre of Malaysian Borneo, this coastal city captures a fantastic mix of costal charm, rainforest splendour and bustling streets. After transferring to the hotel, visit the local market for some cultural insight. The last evening has crept up on you – perhaps a fitting end to a trip dedicated to music is to join your group in a karaoke session or check out some local gigs.

Included activities: Mulu National Park - Canopy Walk

Meals: breakfast

Day 11
Kota Kinabalu
There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time.

Meals: breakfast

Pricing and Availability from $2,705

 

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