Explore the islands of Taiwan and Borneo on this multi-centre Asia holiday. You’ll start in Taipei, where delicious street food and traditional art await, before flying to Borneo, where you’ll head straight into the heart of the island with a visit to the famous orangutan sanctuary. Exploring the Kinabatangan River will give you a chance to see them in the wild, as well as proboscis monkeys, hornbills and pygmy elephants who hide along the riverbanks. Finish your holiday on the beach, staying in a luxury hotel to relax after an incredible experience on this two-week Borneo & Taipei holiday.
This itinerary can be tailored to suit your requirements; please contact one of our consultants to start planning your dream trip.
Depart the UK from your chosen airport.
On arrival in Taipei, you will be met at the airport and driven into the city, checking into your hotel for three nights. Taipei is an undeniably cool city packed with intriguing boutique shops and minimalist cafes. Everywhere you turn, you'll find a hint of Japanese style, but with a simpler and more natural vibe.
You'll have two full days to explore this city, steeped in history and culture. In refreshing contrast to other Asian cities, Taipei is a peaceful, tree-lined city, surrounded by lush green mountains.
We recommend that you start your day in Liberty Square, where you can admire the magnificent arch and explore the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall. Next, visit the National Palace Museum with its collection of Chinese art, then head to Longshan Temple in the afternoon to see worshippers gather to chant amongst the incense.
Grab a tasty local bao bun for lunch and enjoy a stroll through the small streets, where aloe vera plants hang from grocery stalls alongside big wasabi roots. Taipei is a top foodie destination with a cuisine flavoured by both Chinese and Japanese influences.
Tonight, we’ve included an evening street food tour to Ningxia Market. Here, you can look forward to sampling fried yam balls, pork leg with rice and shrimp soup, as well as a delicious salt and pepper chicken with barbecue sauce, plus vegetarian dishes like sticky rice with mushrooms or taro balls with egg. Enjoy a bubble tea or a peanut roll ice cream for a sweet finish!
Spend one last morning exploring the cool shops that line the streets of the Shida neighbourhood before being driven back to the airport for your flight to Borneo. On arrival in Kota Kinabalu, you will be met at the airport and taken to your hotel, where you will check in for one night. This evening, you’ll meet your local guide for a walking tour of the city, finishing with dinner at the night market where you can try the delicious local fare.
This morning, you’ll receive a packed breakfast before being transferred to the airport for a short flight to Sandakan. On arrival, you’ll be taken to the Labuk Bay, one of the best places to encounter the proboscis monkey which is endemic to the island of Borneo. You can also spot other animals like pied hornbills and silver leaf monkeys as you wait for the proboscis monkeys to arrive for feeding time.
In the afternoon, you’ll visit the world’s largest orangutan rehabilitation centre at Sepilok, where you can watch the orangutans being fed by the keepers and stroll along the wooden walkways looking out for these magnificent primates amongst the lush forest. Finally, you’ll drop into the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre to see the 36 resident bears who are cared for here, all rescued from poachers. They are beautiful creatures, and you can even adopt one if you want, to help ensure the survival of the centre (and the bears).
You’ll then be taken to your hotel, where you’ll check in for one night.
After breakfast, you’ll take a two-hour scenic drive through the Bornean countryside to Gomantong Cave, where you’ll find the largest bird’s nest cave in Sabah, home to millions of bats and swifts. After walking through the intricate system of caves, you’ll travel to the Kinabatangan River, one of the world’s richest ecosystems. You’ll be taken to your lodge where you will check in for two nights before having a delicious lunch by the river. In the afternoon, your adventure will begin! A river cruise awaits you where you can look out for proboscis monkeys, wild orangutans, gibbons and, if you are very lucky, you might spot the rare pygmy elephants.
You’ll enjoy dinner at the lodge before taking a night safari cruise where you can look out for nocturnal monkeys, birds and even crocodiles.
Wake up to the call of gibbons and hornbills at 6 am before taking an early morning cruise on the oxbow lake where you can look for birds and savour the tranquil morning air. You’ll return in the late morning for breakfast and spend the afternoon at leisure, enjoying the sounds of the rainforest from the lodge.
After breakfast, you’ll spend the morning at leisure before taking the boat over the river and being transferred to Sandakan Airport where you will catch your flight to Kota Kinabalu. On arrival, you’ll be met at the airport and driven to your hotel, where you’ll check in for four nights.
This is your time to relax and enjoy the beach. You’ll be staying at the Shangri La Rasa Ria, a luxury hotel where you can enjoy delicious meals, swim in the turquoise pool and reminisce over your time exploring the wildlife of Borneo.
After one last delicious breakfast, you’ll be picked up and driven to the airport for your flight home.
Taiwan is mostly warm all year round, although there’s a chance of tropical rain, which keeps the island so lush and green. There are around four typhoons a year that tend to hit between July and September, so one of the best times to visit is between October and June.
Borneo is wet between November and February, but the temperatures remain pretty constant year-round. From May to September the days are generally dry and warm, but rain still isn’t unheard of – this is a tropical island after all!
If you'd like to get a feel for this trip, read our blog post What to do in Taiwan in 7 days – written by one of our consultants who has been there.
This itinerary is purely a suggestion and can be tailor-made to your requirements, so please contact us with your dates and requests, and we’ll put together a bespoke quotation for you.