Kayaking through the rainforest in Borneo

During my travels, I really value days were I can relax and do relatively little, but more often than not, I my sense of adventure craves something to do.

My mum always said that I couldn’t sit still as a child. I was always moving around, wondering what the next new, and exciting thing there was to do.

So whilst in Kuching, Sarawak, Borneo. I paid a visit to a few tour agencies, of which there are many, just to get an idea of what was on offer.

There was lots to do, but much of it came with high price tags, especially for a single traveller.
I knew I wanted to do something active primarily for exercise, as the food I am eating here isn’t doing my waistline any good. So when I saw a full day trip of Kayaking through the Rainforest, I was in.
The company I choose to book with was simply called Rainforest kayaking and the trip, which included lunch, and a tour around a local village cost 188 MYR (US$59 or £34). Not bad for a full day of fun, and fun it was.
I was picked up at 9am and driven, along with a French guy to meet the rest of our group (10 of us in all), who had chosen to do a larger tour of visiting the Orang-utans beforehand. The drive then took about 45 minutes to reach the river. We were given lifejackets, and a briefing and we were off. The trip was going to be 11km of Kayaking, with a stop to trek to find a waterfall, and for lunch.

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I’ve only Kayaked a few times, mainly for fun, and I forgot how much of a workout it was. The French guy I was paired with did relatively little work, and lazed at the back of the Kayak for a lot of the journey at the start, which I wasn’t too impressed by.

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After an hour, we stopped by at the waterfall for a swim and the obligatory photograph. The guides were amazing at taking photos, they constantly had cameras out snapping away.

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On we went upstream for another hour or two, through a relatively quiet area, surrounded by trees and hearing nothing but wildlife. Total bliss.

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Our lunch stop was at a wee Malay village in the hills. We were graciously welcomed into, what looked like a local home. A family sat outside eating on the side of the road, whilst we were sat at a table with a banquet laid out for us. We were given ‘Koo Mee’ – spicy pork noodles, a true Sarawakian meal, there was also Mangosteens (my new favourite tropical fruit), coconut pancakes and watermelon. A definite great energy recharge.

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We then had a wander through the village. Something that always surprises me in Malaysia, and in many parts of South East Asia, is how people can live relatively simply. They live off the land, have no smartphones, super swanky cameras or laptops, and are happy as. I watched some of the local kids as the playfully messed around in the water. It was quite special.
During the village trip, we took a wander to a local ‘medicine man’s’ house, he grew a variety of herbs and spices in his garden, many of which we were able to see. We also got to see some fruit trees – a pineapple tree was by far the coolest one I saw, not something you can see in New Zealand or the UK, I was rather impressed.

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9After this, it was back into the Kayak again to continue our trip. We had a good few kilometres to go, and with about an hour left of the trip, the Rainforest, true to its named started chucking it down out of the heavens. It was fantastic though, as it had been so hot, and it provided a wee bit of relief. Although after some time, it got hard to see.

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Back on the land, we dried off, and changed our clothes, then were transported back to our accommodations. Later that evening, a CD of photos was dropped off to us. I was most impressed by this tour operator. A truly wonderful day.
If you are in Kuching, and you’d like to try out this activity, you can book online, or visit the helpful staff at Borneo Eco tours, in town.

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