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Come on the trip of a lifetime, adventure, and yoga with Tais in Borneo. During this retreat, you will dive deep into yoga lessons and meditation sessions, take some walking trails to watch various animals and their habitats, and visit many interesting places to broaden your knowledge of Malaysia. You will stay overnight at charming accommodations after practicing and exploring attractions every day. Make this become one of your precious memories!
During this tour, you will stay in various accommodations including a cottage on day one, a resort on day seven, hotels on day five, eight, and eleven, and chalets on rest days.
Tais Froggatt welcomes you to Malaysia. Your yoga adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6:00 p.m. After that, you will head out for the dinner with the group. If you have any free time beforehand, perhaps you can explore this intriguing city that was born between the Borneo jungle and the South China Sea. Modern-day Kota Kinabalu is a vibrant modern metropolis, having recovered from World War II bombings. The Sabah State Museum is a perfect place to immerse yourself in its backstory. Your dinner will be served.
Leaving Kota Kinabalu behind, you will head for the hills and travel towards the unspoiled wilderness of the World Heritage-listed Kinabalu National Park in approximately three hours. You will stop off en route at a local home at Dusun Village. The Dusun people are wonderfully warm and friendly people, and while here, you will sample the local foods with a home-cooked lunch to get some insight into what it is like to live in a rural village. Later, you can stretch your legs and soak up the mountain scenery with a stroll through Kinabalu National Park.
There are many walking trails from which you can birdwatch, and remember to watch for the odd snake. There is plenty to see and do here. The Mountain Botanic Garden is an excellent showcase of the diverse plant life on the mountain, as flora from all over the park has been replanted here. Late in the afternoon, you will travel by private bus to Sabah Tea Plantation in approximately 30 minutes. Tonight, you will stay amongst the grounds of a lush tea garden. You will have one breakfast and one lunch today.
After the breakfast, you will take a tour of the tea factory itself, ending in sampling some of the delicious varieties. From there, you will head to Kinabatangan River in a private minivan in approximately five hours. Your jungle lodge, located beside the river, is the ideal for taking in the lush surrounds. At 560 kilometers, the Kinabatangan River is the second longest river in Malaysia. It is also a protected forest reserve, containing some of the highest concentrations of wildlife in Borneo.
Later in the afternoon, you will take a river cruise, hopefully spotting some of the more exotic local creatures. Wild elephants seldom reveal themselves, but crocodiles, macaques, wild orang-utan, proboscis monkeys, hornbills, and kingfishers are more easily seen. After this short adventure, you will head back to the lodge to enjoy your dinner.
Included activities in this day are the sunrise Vinyasa yoga class, a tour from Mount Kinabalu to Sabah tea plantation to a tea factory and from Mount Kinabalu to Sabah tea plantation to tea sampling, and a cruise with wildlife spotting on Kinabatangan River. Three meals will be served on this day.
You might awake to the call of a Bornean gibbon or perhaps a hornbill. You will enjoy a morning cruise down the river searching for more birds and wildlife. You should keep an eye out for long tail macaques and pigtail macaques and ask your leader about the difference. Later, you can trek up to a birdwatching tower overlooking the river and visit a Merbau tree.
When it is all over, this evening's river cruise will be your last chance to photograph or simply marvel at your surrounds. You will spend one more night in your lovely accommodation right in the heart of the jungle. Your breakfast, lunch, and dinner will be served.
Travelling by private minivan, you will stop to visit the intricate Gomantong Caves. It is renowned for their edible swiftlet nests, which are harvested for bird's nest soup. Bird's nest collection is an ancient tradition, though nowadays, licenses are required for it. Travelling to Sandakan, a journey of three hours, you will stop in at the Sandakan War Memorial. Here, you will learn about the city's past as you stand on the same ground of the former Japanese prisoner of war camp.
This site also marks the starting point of the tragic Sandakan Death Marches, on which 2,400 prisoners of war were forced to walk through the jungles of Borneo. By the end of the march, only six Australians survived, and only because they had escaped. You will arrive in Sandakan, which was once the capital of British North Borneo and traditionally has strong trading ties with Hong Kong. The Cantonese influence is palpable in the lively harbourside market, the many Chinese temples, and the local cuisine.
Included activities today are sunrise Vinyasa yoga sessions and a tour to Sandakan, war memorial Sukau, and Gomantong Caves. You will have your breakfast before starting the day.
This morning, you will leave your large bags at the hotel and walk 15 minutes to a nearby jetty. You will travel by speedboat past small fishing villages and bamboo fish traps to Turtle Island Marine Park in approximately one hour, where green turtles come ashore to lay their eggs every night of the year. In the afternoon, there's time for swimming, snorkeling, or some quality time lazing about on the beach of this tropical island. Snorkelling gear is available for hire.
In the evening, you will be touched by the sight of giant green turtles coming ashore to lay their eggs under the moonlight and watch the researchers as they release protected hatchlings and guide them in their frantic dash to the ocean. It is a moving experience that makes you think more than twice about trying illegally traded turtle egg delicacies. Please beware that this is a very fragile environment and you must follow instructions from your leader and the local rangers to ensure minimal impact on the turtles. You will spend the night on the island. Your lunch and dinner will be provided.
After the breakfast, you will return to the mainland in approximately one hour, collect your bags, and continue by minibus to a guesthouse located near the Sepilok Orang-utan Rehabilitation Center in approximately 45 minutes. The center was set up to help re-introduce these wonderful creatures back into the wild after a life of domestication or having been orphaned.
From the viewing platform, you can watch and photograph these charming creatures as they swing into view and eat the supplementary diet of bananas and milk that is laid out for them twice a day. Human contact must be kept to a minimum, and it is essential that you follow the instructions of the park, as directed by your leader. Also included is a new nursery where you can view young orang-utans as they learn how to climb on a specially constructed jungle gym.
The viewing area is behind one-way glass so as to not disturb the animals. To see more of Borneo’s creatures, there is the option to visit the newly opened Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Center. Here rescued sun bears that have spent many years mistreated and locked away in cages are cared for, with hopes of rehabilitation and reintroduction into the wild.
There is also the Jabuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary where you can watch up close the amazing bachelor proboscis lazing and feeding, an experience that can only be found in Borneo. Five minutes walk from your guesthouse is the Rainforest Discovery Center, which also has a 147-meter long, 28-meter high canopy walkway with spectacular views of rainforest giants. Your guesthouse is located about 10 minutes walk from the rehabilitation center. Included activities on this day are sunrise Vinyasa yoga lessons and a visit to Sepilok Orang-utan rehabilitation center. You will be served a breakfast in the beginning of the day.
This morning, you will take a private transfer to the Sepilok Orang-utan Sanctuary in approximately one hour after having a breakfast. The center was set up to help re-introduce these wonderful creatures back into the wild after a life of domestication or having been orphaned. From the viewing platform, you can watch and photograph these charming creatures as they swing into view and eat the supplementary diet of bananas and milk that is laid out for them twice a day. Human contact must be kept to a minimum, and it's essential that you follow the instructions of the park, as directed by your leader.
Also included is a new nursery where you can view young orang-utans as they learn how to climb on a specially constructed jungle gym. The viewing area is behind one-way glass so as to not disturb the animals. To see more of Borneo’s creatures, there is the option to visit the newly opened Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Center.
Here rescued Sun Bears that have spent many years mistreated and locked away in cages are cared for, with hopes of rehabilitation and reintroduction into the wild. You will also visit the Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary, where you can watch up close the amazing bachelor proboscis lazing and feeding, an experience that can only be found in Borneo.
You will transfer to Sandakan Airport (SDK) today for a flight to Kota Kinabalu. Please keep in mind that the luggage allowance for this flight is only 15 kilograms of the check-in luggage and one cabin bag of seven kilograms and any excess baggage will incur a further charge paid directly to the airline. A short boat ride around 20 minutes takes you to Manukan Island, just off the coast of Kota Kinabalu.
This is one of the larger islands found in the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine National Park. The first of two days on this island will be free for you to explore the island at your leisure, perhaps swimming or local activities. The one and a half-kilometer beach is lovely to stroll along at the low tide. Included activities of this day are sunrise Vinyasa yoga sessions and a snorkeling trip in Tunku Abdul National Marine Park. Your breakfast will be served today.
You will enjoy a snorkeling trip today, where an array of coral and brightly colored marine life reveals itself, conditions depending. An optional scuba dive trip from Manukan Island is also on offer for those interested in a more immersive experience. If you are interested, you can let your leader know, and it can be arranged. After snorkeling, the afternoon is yours to enjoy. You can soak up the turquoise vistas for another few hours as you stroll or swim in this beautiful corner of the world. You will enjoy your breakfast and lunch on this day.
You will head back to Kota Kinabalu today by boat and minivan. This will take around 40 minutes. You will practice sunrise Vinyasa yoga. Optional activities include a visit the intriguing Mari Mari Cultural Village, nestled deep in the countryside. Here, you will see how indigenous ethnic groups of Borneo used to live or a visit to the Sabah Museum to learn about Sabah’s past or do some last minute souvenir shopping at the Filipino market. Tonight, perhaps you can head out for a final meal with your group to celebrate your Borneo adventure. Your breakfast and dinner will be served today.
There are no activities planned for the final day, and you can depart the accommodation at any time after or before having your breakfast.
During this holiday, you will take a guided walk around lower trails in Mount Kinabalu to watch birds and odd snakes and visit the mountain botanic garden and Sabah tea plantation on day two. On day three, you will take a tour of the tea factory in the morning and a river cruise spotting some of the more exotic local creatures in the afternoon.
Your fourth day will begin with a cruise down the river searching for more birds and wildlife, trek up to a birdwatching, visit a Merbau tree, and end up with an evening's river cruise. You will visit Gomantong Caves and Sandakan War Memorial on the next day. On day six, you will spend the whole day on visiting Turtle Island. Your seventh day will be exploring Sepilok Orang-utan Reserve, visiting Sepilok Orang-utan Rehabilitation Center, and watching and photographing charming creatures.
You will continue watching and photographing charming creatures in Sepilok Orang-utan Sanctuary and visit Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary on day eight. The next two day will be snorkeling trips in Tunku Abdul National Marine Park.
Originally from Wahroonga, the suburb to the north of Sydney, Australia, it is no secret that Tais is a very positive vibrant person. She has a big love for the sea and yoga lifts her spirit gracefully. Yoga and the ocean calm and compliments her style of practice, and others feed off her light and energy. A well-traveled woman who has met so many other beautiful and like-minded yogis, she has learned many variations and styles like Yin, Restorative, Ashtanga, and Vinyasa yoga. She finally decided that this was her calling. Many years later, Tais was inspired to become a yoga instructor.
The retreat will take place in Sabah, Malaysia. This lush land of tribal warriors, mysterious headhunters, and far-from-home war heroes has intrigued adventurers, anthropologists, and explorers for centuries. From steamy jungles to blissful mountains, from balmy beaches to peaceful villages, you will love Borneo's bounty of natural treasures seemingly tailor-made for fun, relaxation, exploration, and adventure.
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You will be served 10 breakfasts, five lunches, and five dinners during the trip included in the prices. Tais Froggatt takes food very seriously here at Tais Yoga retreats and it is a key part of their program. They tailor each dish to your personal tastes and dietary requirements whether it be vegan, paleo, vegetarian, pescetarian, dairy free, grain free, low fructose, and many more. Another reason why they set the standards in luxury yoga and surf retreats is sourced from local providores and of the highest quality.
As part of your yoga camp package deal, you will enjoy daily gourmet breakfasts, fresh delicious lunches, gourmet dinners, and snacks attack platters served some afternoons. Their cuisine is about delicious quality fuel, not deprivation. Their menu has been carefully devised by their therapeutic chef, based upon the philosophy of whole foods so they avoid preservatives and processed foods. It is healthy, delicious, and utterly nourishing leaving you to feel satisfied and energized.
Kota Kinabalu International Airport
Transfer not provided
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