I loved my time on the river, I got to see orangutans and wild elephants. For 690 Ringits I got transport to and from Sandakan, 4 nights accomodation, 5 river cruises, 4 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 4 dinners and a Jungle Trek.
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Transport – For transport from Sandakan to my hostel in Kinabatangan River, I used Choy Mansors shuttle bus service. It costs 50 ringits one way. You can contact him via email firstname.lastname@example.org or via WhatsApp 019 536 1889. Then you can return to Sandakan via the hostels shuttle bus service which cost 45 Ringits one way.
Accommodation – Budget backpackers are limited to Sukau Greenview Bed and Breakfast. It costs 45 ringits a night for a 10 bed room. Other accomodation in the area is considerably more expensive.
Food and Drink – The hostel provides a free breakfast which includes local and Western food. For lunch and dinner you can buy a ‘simple meal’ for 10 ringits or a larger meal for 20 Ringits.
The river cruises are the main selling point of this place. This is your opportunity to breathe in the fresh rain forest area and see monkeys, elephants and crocodiles in their natural habitats.
They run three cruises each day, a morning, afternoon and evening one. Each cruises cost 60 ringits and lasts 2 hours (some cruises were cut short due to rain). Based on my unfortunate experience I would recommend people stand on the jetty at 6.00am, 4.00pm and 7.30pm. Despite the hostel being small there was very little communication between reception and the boat drivers.
One of the activities on offer is a Jungle Trek. It is intended for people interesting in learning about the biodiversity and ‘rules of the forest’ as oppose to fitness fanatics.