An Authentic Adventure in Borneo


 

Most of us crave an adventure. A real, exciting, unscripted, truly memorable adventure. No doubt you’ve seen one of those movies where the lead character travels to some isolated, incredibly scenic place and has a wild, fun, life changing experience which makes you enviously crave your own. However it’s getting harder and harder these days to find that ‘authentic’ experience or adventure that so many of us desire.

The Travelers Struggle for Authenticity

With many places becoming extremely touristy and offering mainly overcrowded tours that only take you to selected locations, travellers are often left somewhat dissatisfied. Tours in these destinations can often feel staged and non-genuine, leaving us wanting and feeling unfulfilled. So it begs the question, where can you go to find to still find that authentic experience you are so desperately desiring? 

An Adventurers Final Frontier

Sabah! There are so many adventures awaiting you in this Malaysian state located in the North on the island of Borneo. It truly is a marvel of the natural world that is guaranteed to take your breath away and leave you with a bounty of treasured memories and endless stories to tell your friends at dinner parties. From mountains and jungles to beaches and coral reefs, there are so many places just begging to be explored and great tours that offer to get you there!

 

A Truly Authentic Experience

One of those unforgettable, authentic tours you simply can’t miss whilst you are in Sabah is a trip to the Padas River for white water rafting. It’s not only the extremely adventurous class 3-4 white water rafting that makes this tour worthwhile; the entire journey from Beaufort will make you feel as though you are in one of those movies that made you jealous.

The Typical Itinerary for a Day on the River

The day starts early with a 5:00am pick-up from your hotel in Kota Kinabalu before a nearly two hour drive to Beaufort. Its from there that the magic begins as you climb aboard the vintage diesel train and head deep into the jungle bound for Tenom. This train is the only means of travel for the many villagers who live along this route providing you a genuine opportunity to mingle with the locals and witness life from their perspective. To fully describe the experience this train gives you in words is a difficult task indeed. There is a kind of nostalgic feel as though the train becomes some sort of time capsule transporting you back to an era where life was simpler, the landscape was beautifully intact and undeveloped, and time was irrelevant. It is that rare kind of experience that could never be emulated or replicated. Truly, authentic!

Once on board, you have the option between a carriage with seats or one where you can sit/lay on the floor. However it’s more likely that you will be constantly moving around, hanging out from the doors and windows to take in all the majestic views as the train continues into the jungle and follows alongside the mighty rivers edge. On certain days that feature the local markets, you could find yourself sharing your ride with a variety of different livestock, even cows, all of which depend on this sole mode of transport.

A little over halfway into your journey you will be asked to switch to a second train that will take you to your destination. This train is much smaller and more cramped with almost the same amount of people as the big train so you are going to want to be quick if you need a seat. This train will bring you the rest of the way to Rayoh Station where you’ll spend a moment changing your clothes and storing your things at the lunch area before jumping on the train once more to head up stream to the starting point. Once arrived, you will be briefed by the friendly and experienced operators, fitted into your life vest and helmets, and directed to rivers edge.

The journey down the river will take you approximately one and a half hours and entails a number of different and exciting sections white water rapids that vary in intensity, each affectionately being given its own name such as the Cobra, Scooby Doo, Washing Machine and Head Hunter. In between these rapids there are number of opportunities for you to leave your raft and have a refreshing swim should you desire to do so. Then it’s quickly back inside the raft to brace yourself for the next set of quickly approaching rapids.

Finally you will arrive at the lunch area where you can dive into the tasty buffet and make up for all those calories you just burned as you vigorously paddled down the river. Then after a short break you will be directed back onto the train and you’re on your way home again. You will probably feel tired by this point but you wont have the mood to sleep as you will be trying to use the short time remaining on that impressive train to soak up all the sights and atmosphere.

Get it on Your Bucket List Today!

All in all this is day out that you will never forget and an adventure you will be dying to repeat. It’s one of those special trips that will create fond memories that make you feel smile every time they are recalled to mind. So if you are planning your trip to this remarkable part of the world, don’t forget to have this on your ‘Must Do” list.

 

An Authentic Adventure in Borneo
An Authentic Adventure in Borneo
An Authentic Adventure in Borneo

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