All the places where the group ate together provided good, traditional food and those who took on the job of ordering for us did a really good job. A special highlight was dinner on our final night where it seemed the world and his wife had all turned out to eat, the food delicious and we had much to toast after a great trip.
7-Day Sarawak Coastal & Headhunter's Interior Heartland By Bike
Cycle the Trail of the Legendary Dayaks
Stay in Traditional Longhouses
Experience the Lives of Bornean Natives
One week of culture, history, and adventure as we follow the trail of the White Rajahs in the bygone era of their conquest to suppress the rebellious headhunters. Ride into the Iban Heartland of authentic longhouses, interior waterways, and rustic forts.
Delve into Borneo’s rich history as we follow the trail of the White Rajahs.
Stay in unique Dayak longhouses and enjoy the hospitality of the tribal hosts.
Indulge in authentic cuisines prepared from nature’s freshest ingredients.
Navigate the remote interior riverways and ride the outback country lanes to travel among the Dayak people.
Enjoy this epic 7-day cycling tour which takes you through some of Borneo’s most impressive landscapes
Click the Tabs to Find Out More
- Adult (12+): 7626.00
- Single supplement (for solo travelers who want their own room): MYR 908.00
If you have a group of more than 6 pax, ask for our group pricing!
To be arranged upon booking as it depends on your arrival flight time
- October 24th – October 30th
- November 21st – November 27th
- December 26th – January 1st
- February 13th – February 19th
- May 29th – June 4th
- October 23rd – October 29th
- November 20th – November 26th
- December 25th – December 31st
- February 12th – February 18th
- May 28th – June 4th
- October 22nd – October 28th
- December 24th – 31st December
Contact us if the scheduled dates don’t fit your schedule and you would like to customize your tour to an alternative date.
7 days, 6 nights
Number of Cycling Days
3 full days, 1 half day
Minimum 2 adults, for groups of more than 6, please inquire for a special price
3/5 Active: paved roads and gravel tracks with some undulations and some easy off-road biking
- Airport transfer
- Local, English-speaking guide
- Bikes, helmets, and backup support
- Support vehicle and all luggage transfers
- Rain ponchos
- Drinks & snacks during the rides
- Other non-riding activities as per the itinerary
- Entrance fees
- Bikes – for the longer tours we offer bike hire as a supplement in case you prefer to bring your own bike
- Bikes can be rented from us on an availability basis – we provide front-suspension mountain bikes with lightweight alloy frames, 27-speed gearing, dish-brakes, and Shimano components – all in good condition
- Travel insurance
What to Bring
- Multiple sets of cycling or sporting clothing
- Multiple sets of spare casual clothing, including long trousers and shorts, hat/cap, swimming costumes, sandals, and extra walking shoes
- Cycling gear: gloves and sunglasses
- Personal care: small towel, toiletries, personal medication, sunscreen, and mosquito repellent
- Camera and chargers, dry bag, and torchlight
- Extra cash/credit card
- Passport with 6 months validity and spare pages (additional immigration check at Sarawak’s entry points) and travel insurance details
For More Comfort
- Padded bike shorts with something to put on over the top when not on the bikes
- Cycling shoes or comfortable sports shoes
- Your own personal helmet, water bottle, and raincoat
About Your Guide
From start to finish, your trip will be led by 1 or 2 English-speaking cycling tour leaders, depending on the size of the group. Along with further support from an assistant and support vehicle driver, the team’s aim is to deliver a comfortable, safe, fun, and enriching travel experience by ensuring that everything runs smoothly. Our local, English-speaking tour leaders take great pride in their heritage (as well as their own personal stories) and are well informed on Borneo’s history, culture, and natural wonders.
Good to Know
- Our tour leaders carry spare parts and tools for basic repair
- Age restriction: all participants must be aged 12 and over
- For correct bike sizing, please provide personal height measurements during the booking process
- Tell us your food preference, accommodation preference, and any other personal request, etc
- Come into our shop a day before the tour to meet your tour leader and test out your bike, and for fixing your personal saddle, clips, bike bag or phone rack, etc, if any
- Check out OUR RESPONSIBLE TOURISM COMMITMENT
What You'll Do
Pedal into history on this heritage tour of Kuching, the capital of Sarawak. Explore the main bazaar of the picturesque Old Town, stop at the Square Tower by the ‘stone jetty’. In the early days of the Brooke Rajah, this fort and a nearby courthouse were the full extent of government buildings. Cross the river in the traditional fashion, in a ‘sampan’ ferry deftly steered with oars, to visit Fort Margherita, built by Charles Brooke in 1879 and named after his bride. The Fort’s cannons were trained on the river, both a traffic route and a possible source of an enemy attack. After substantial renovations, it is now a museum of Brooke memorabilia.
Accommodation: Basaga Hotel/The Marian
Today is all about acclimatization with a flat and scenic ride as we hug the coast.
After a quick transfer out to avoid the busy traffic of Kuching, we will take a traditional sampan boat to cross the Sarawak River to reach an isolated mangrove island of Beliong. Very near to Kuching, yet isolated on an island, Beliong is home to three vibrant communities, each with their own cultural expressions.
We ride through partially gravel roads at a steady pace through mangroves, paddy fields, and Malay fishing villages. Stop to marvel at Beliong Temple before crossing the Sabang River on another wooden boat transfer. We drop by a local fishing market and take photos of the catches of the day. Enjoy the scenic ride on a combination of tarmac road and gravel back lane as we cycle along the river bunds along the South China Sea coastline. Stop at the small buzzling town of Asajaya for lunch before riding to a comfortable Malay homestay at Sadong Jaya. Enjoy the home cooked Bugis Malay dinner at one of the traditional timber Malay village houses.
Accommodation: Sadong Jaya Homestay
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
As we continue our way north-eastward, we’ll cross several wide rivers, including one on a car ferry. Reach Kampung Maludam for a visit to the remote Maludam National Park on a serene boat cruise.
The road is all flat throughout the day as we continue our ride up the coastway. Along the way, we cross two major Borneo rivers, one over a huge bridge and the other using a unique community car ferry. We will end the cycling today by riding into the Kampung Hilir Maludam, a peaceful Malay fishing village, where we’ll check into a local hotel. We will leave our bikes at the hotel and take a 45-minute boat ride to the little-visited Maludam National Park in search of big-nose proboscis monkeys, and if you are lucky, you may have a chance to sight the endangered Red Banded Langur. Spend the rest of the afternoon exploring the quaint Malay fishing village that is famous for its jellyfish and dried fish processing. In the evening, walk to the old town area for some local dinner.
Accommodation: Maludam Hotel
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
Take a drive into the interior, and at Debak, we begin our cycling into the Iban Heartland with a visit to one of the oldest longhouses in the region, before entering Betong to pay a visit to Fort Lily.
After an early breakfast, we take a drive on a scenic road along the coast, and after a ferry crossing into the outpost town of Pusa, we head westward into the interior of Borneo as we enter the Iban communities territory. At the small rustic town of Debak, we get back in the saddle, and you can enjoy the great view of the rainforest dotted with small scale pepper farms, rice fields, and rubber plantations.
After a good stint of pedaling, we disembark at an authentic century-old longhouse and drop in to visit one of the oldest Iban longhouses in the region to walk through their rich history and learn more about their descendants which still plays an important part in the social and political life in Sarawak. We then continue cycling through secondary forests and rubber and palm plantations, taking in the fresh air and peaceful natural surroundings and enter into the township of Betong for a well deserved lunch at a good local coffee-shop!
Visit Fort Lily (1855), built to fortify this ‘outstation’. Lily has seen considerable action in the turbulent times when Iban chief Rentap challenged the Rajah; some of the cannon used in the skirmishes are preserved in the Betong District Office. Overnight is at a local comfortable 2-Stars standard hotel.
Accommodation: Betong Medan Hotel
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
After breakfast, your journey continues by car, a 90-minutes journey, until you reach Sri Aman town. It is then time to get back on the saddle to ride along the mighty Batang Lupar, bypassing longhouse villages, farms and paddy fields. If we are lucky, we can see the natural phenomenon of tidal bore roar pass us during our ride. You’ll enjoy an easy ride along the banks of the great river. A few hills in the distance enliven the landscape; make a couple of detours to have a look at particularly interesting longhouses. At Lingga jetty, you board longboats to proceed in time-honored Sarawak fashion. Remember, the rivers were our highways until not so very long ago!
You’ll disembark at Banting, an old rallying point of the Ibans who use the fertile lowlands for padi farming. The rocky hill by the river was a primitive fort; in times of danger the villagers found refuge here. The early Christian missionaries recognized the importance of the vantage point and crowned it with St.Paul’s Church which, improved and renovated many times, has stood here since 1859.
At the longhouse, take a stroll around the village, climb the hill to inspect the church, ask someone to explain the mysterious rock formations near the river, maybe drop in at the school, see people produce artistic handicrafts like mat-making and weaving, or wander off to the rice fields and vegetable gardens. The river here is famous for its prawns — unfortunately, crocodiles like the tasty crustaceans quite as much as we humans do. Swimming in the river is NOT recommended!
At dinner time, spend time with the rest of the longhouse folks to exchange stories. Longhouse hospitality is from the heart, though the facilities tend to be fairly simple; be prepared to eat seated on the floor, and sleep on a mattress under a mosquito net. Overnight at the longhouse to explore the local community and enjoy spontaneous longhouse hospitality at its best.
Accommodation: Banting Longhouse
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
Say goodbye to your longhouse host, you’ll set off by longboat for the Lingga bazaar, center of the lower Batang Lupar where you’ll taste a coffee shop breakfast. After 40 minutes of scenic drive back to the town of Sri Aman, you’ll arrive at Batang Lupar, Sri Aman (formerly known as Simanggang) in time for a visit to Fort Alice. You can’t miss Fort Alice (1864) perched on a riverside hillock, commanding a good view of the river from where trouble might be expected to come in the old days.
After lunch we’ll set off for Kuching. The return journey to Kuching is for relaxing, talking and singing, and re-living the adventure you’ve just enjoyed. Epic Sarawak Coastal and Headhunter’s Trail is a trip to remember! Enjoy one last, glorious meal together at the Topspot Food Center in Kuching. It’s where all the good food of Sarawak comes together. The waiters don’t carry white serviettes over their left arm and the ambiance leaves something to be desired, but the food is, seriously, something to write home about!
Accommodation: The Marian
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
Today the tour concludes. For those who are not in a hurry to leave, the wildlife and adventures of Borneo await. For more information on these amazing adventures and other destinations to extend your holiday, please ask our team at the time of booking. We will take you to Kuching Airport for your return flight.
Frequently Asked Questions
Our bike tours are fully supported by air-conditioned vehicles, so should you want to put your feet up, there will be a seat for you and a place to put your bike. The support vehicle also carries your luggage, as well as keeping you topped up with water, tropical fruit, and snacks.
Wearing a helmet is strongly recommended on all our biking adventures. Your tour leader will conduct a group cycling safety meeting on day one, as well as a briefing at the beginning of each day on what to expect during the day’s ride. Your tour leader is trained in first aid and emergency rescue but, to a certain degree, you must be responsible for your own safety while riding. For non-biking activities such as kayaking, safety measures such as life-jackets are compulsory and a separate safety briefing will be given before the start of each activity.
Meals and snacks are included as per the itinerary. We take care in our planning to include the best of Sarawak cuisine, including delicacies from a mixture of Dayak, Malay, and Chinese cuisine that all use local, fresh ingredients from the tropics. Some can be hot and spicy. We eat dinner together, Malaysian style, by sharing all of our delicious dishes. Alcoholic drinks are available at your own expense, but they might not be served in some Muslim halal restaurants.
We have carefully chosen the best available accommodation in different locations with friendly, local hosts. To ensure your comfort after a hard day in the saddle, we strive to offer a range of accommodation that is clean, comfortable, and represents the local culture. The type of lodging can vary depending on the location and what is available: a local tribal homestay, a jungle lodge, a national park cabin, a historical shophouse, and seaside resorts. Rooms are based on a sharing basis with double beds and if you are a single traveler, you might be paired with another traveler of the same sex unless you pay the single supplement.
The details of the number of cycling days, cycling distances, and difficulty levels for each tour are listed in the fact sheet. All our trips require basic fitness, preferably acquired through cycling. The fitter you are, the more you’ll enjoy the riding. However, we try to make our Sarawak bike tours as accessible as possible with the average cycling distance of 30-40 km per day and the longest distance no more than 70 km. Most cycling terrains are on paved roads (and limited gravel tracks) with some undulations.
Being on the equator, Borneo is generally hot (average daily temperatures are around 30 degrees Celsius) and humid, especially around noon. Therefore, we like to start our day early and rest at points of interest during the hottest part of the day. Short rain showers are fairly common during the mid to late afternoon but we provide waterproof ponchos for continuous riding, which can actually be very entertaining.
Once you have booked your tour, we will send you a pre-tour information pack that will have all the information you need to prepare for the tour, such as the packing list and joining instruction, etc.
Solo travelers are always welcome and those who would like their own room have the option of paying a single supplement. Otherwise, we will arrange for a shared room with another solo traveler (of the same sex) at no extra cost. If there is no roommate available, we will cover the additional cost of a single room.
We include very limited corporate insurance coverage with minimum coverage. It is a condition of participating in a Paradesa Borneo that each traveler holds his or her own travel insurance for the duration of the trip. It needs to include coverage of medical expenses, emergency evacuation, personal liability, and accident insurance. You should email us a copy of your insurance coverage for our reference in case of an emergency.
The official currency is the Malaysian ringgit (RM). Foreign currencies are not generally accepted and currency exchange is only available in major banks, as well as larger hotels. Credit cards can be used only in larger hotels and shops. ATMs are widely available in cities and towns, but you’ll need cash in villages to pay for some extra meals, drinks, activities, and, of course, shopping. There will be limited opportunities to spend money whilst cycling through rural areas outside of personal items, extra snacks, drinks, and the odd souvenir. Tipping at restaurants and for local guides and support staff is uncommon. Should however you feel the staff/guides have provided excellent service you may wish to give them some form of gratuity. We recommend that you bring an equivalent of US$ 400 (in Malaysian ringgit) for incidentals.