This is a unique tour that combines some of the oldest civilizations with underwater exploration. The coral reef is remarkably beautiful, and you can explore starting at the depth of just 7 meters. Our visit to the Sibuti Coral Reefs National Park will give you a new perspective on beauty. You can see feather stars, clams, and numerous fish varieties while you dive here. We now move to explore nature on the ground and reach the Niah Cave system. This is also the birthplace of civilization in Asia. The region has had a number of maritime tragedies giving rise to what is now enjoyed as wreck diving. Explore some around the region before flying away to the Northern Highlands. This is the homeland of the indigenous Kelabit tribe. This entire region is known for its peaceful agricultural atmosphere. Visit the Ulung Palang Longhouse, the Bario school, and the oldest longhouse in the region. Explore the salt springs which are the source of the famous Bario Salt. The area is rich in archeological sites including remnants of the region’s ancient people. We will get a chance to visit the mighty Batu Narit Arur Bilit, and the Batu Ipak Upai Semaring.
What is included in the tour
- You will enjoy 6-nights in an Air-conditioned hotel accommodation on twin sharing basis. The hotel rooms will have a private bathroom
- Bario accommodation is basic, 2-nights with shared sanitary facilities
- Meals are covered as stated in the detailed description
- All tour and transfers are with local English-speaking driver or guides in as air-conditioned vehicles
- All entrance fees and/or boat fees as stated in the program
- The use of weights, belts, and compressed air while out diving
- Drinking water available on the vehicles
- Package includes GST 6% (Good and Service Tax)
What is NOT included in the tour
- Air-travel - Domestic or international to/from Malaysia, this can be quoted separately by us on request
- Any optional tours you opt for
- Charges for arranging guides for other languages if requested
- Personal expenditure, such as drinks, souvenirs, laundry, camera fees, communications – including phone bills, postage, gratuities and the likes
- Meals and services other than mentioned in the program
- Personal travel insurance
- Drinks with meals and bottled water
- Porter charges, certificate, and the likes
- Hotels may charge for early check-in and late check-out, this can be covered only if it is explicitly mentioned in the program
- Luggage storage or porter fees
- Charges applicable on the rental of Diving Equipment
- The cost line is as beautiful as it gets. Explore the flora and fauna and the underwater paradise
- Go diving to some of the best sites in the world
- Experience the thrill of wreck diving in various locations
- Experience the vibrant and unique culture of the Kelabit tribe. Hospitality at its best.
- Explore fascinating remnants of the Kelabit's ancestors
- Picturesque forest Trek to a salt spring introduces you to traditional Bario salt making methods
- Your guide will receive you at the Miri Airport and will take you to Miri Marriott Resort & Spa for check-in. The day is used to explore Miri.
- Visit the Local market called Tamu Kedayan, vendors offer fresh produce and handicrafts. Visit the Petroleum Science Museum (Museum is closed on Mondays and public holidays), on Canada Hill to experience hands-on exhibits and explore the region’s oil history. Outside is the Grand Old Lady, a 1910 oil well and local landmark. Enjoy a bird's eye view of Miri from Canada Hill.
- Also, visit the Chinese Tua Pek Kong Temple which has pillars carved with golden dragons.
- We return to the Resort and have the evening to ourselves for some relaxation. The night stay is at the Miri Marriott Resort
- Meals included: none
- We have an early breakfast at the resort and start for Sibuti Coral Reefs National Park by 7:30 AM. We have a transfer waiting to take us to Marina Bay Jetty. We will stop en-route at the dive center for safety instructions and briefing. Miri is one of Malaysia’s most recently discovered diving locations and the largest offshore national park created in the state of Sarawak. The best time to dive is from late March through November each year. The reefs are at depths ranging from 7 meters to 30 meters and the place has an average visibility of 10 meters to 30 meters. Water temperature range between 23'C at depth to the more normal 29-30'C. The reefs house a wide diversity of marine creatures. Some of the popular diving sites are as follows:
Eve's Garden (10 minutes from jetty)
- The closest point to the jetty, this is a shallow reef starting at just 2 meters. It is a place with an abundance of soft corals including leather corals, elephant's ear sponges and sees whips. Giant anemones and clownfishes populate the reef. The site is also characterized by the schooling yellowtail fusiliers and angelfishes.
Anemone Garden (20 minutes from jetty)
- As we move away from the jetty and enter deeper waters the rage of flora and fauna expands exponentially. Anemone Garden starts with depth ranging from 10 meters to 16 meters. At this site, you will find both hard and soft corals thrive in splendid diversity. Anemones and their symbiotic clownfishes are found on this reef. Bubble corals, staghorn corals, and the colorful dendronepthya soft corals can be spotted easily. Other rare creatures include are feather stars, giant clams, and nudibranchs. You will also find large numbers of schooling yellow tails as well.
Batu Belais (45 minutes from jetty)
- As we go deeper into the open waters the sea life we explore becomes richer. This site has the pelagic sea fans, large gorgonian fans of over 4-metre span, yellow coral trees, as well as red, orange and white whip corals in large concentration. The site is spread over an area of 19,000 square meters. Along the 'walkways' are angelfishes, butterflyfishes, sea perch, lizardfish, and nudibranchs. Jacks and yellow snappers are found almost everywhere. Batfishes are also common among the long swaying sea whips or hovering blithesomely over outcrops whilst being serviced by an entourage of cleaner wrasse and shrimps. Reef top is at about 15 meters, this is a paradise for photographers and nature lovers.
Siwa Reef (25 minutes from jetty)
- The largest of the reefs in Miri, this site has a length of about 800 meters and a depth range from 8 meters to 18 meters. The reef is a place to marvel at some of the rare fishes of the area. The most visited and amazing section of this reef is along the lower reef slope where leopard sharks and huge marble rays hang out during the day. This site is full of pleasant surprises for the traveler; orange clownfish and purple anemones to several species of nudibranch are visible to the divers.
Tukau Drop-Off (50 minutes from jetty)
- This is a different kind of a reef with an exciting drop-off (20-40 meters) with a vertical wall. Schooling jacks, barracudas, napoleon wrasses, yellowtail fusiliers and large groupers are always present, and sharks and trumpet fish are occasionally seen here.
- The day's visit includes 2 boat dives of your choice. We would recommend starting with the closer and shallow options as we will be spending more time on this site. We will now go back to the Marina Bay Jetty for lunch at the canteen. We then transfer back to the resort in Miri for a leisurely late afternoon.
- The night stay will be at the Miri Marriott Resort.
- Meals included: breakfast and lunch
- The day starts with an early breakfast and a pickup for transfer to the Marina Bay Jetty. We spend another day exploring the beauty of the coral reefs. Once again you can enjoy 2 boat dives before lunch. Today we would recommend you go out deeper into the sea and explore a larger array of marine life. We return to the Marina Bay Jetty canteen for lunch. Transfer back to the resort is arranged.
- The rest of the day is relaxed, and you can go explore a bit of Miri. Night stay at the resort.
- Meals included: breakfast and lunch
- We start with breakfast at the resort. The day is dedicated to the exploration of a vast cave system called the Niah Caves. The 3140 hectares of lowland forests and limestone hills form the famous Niah National Park. This park is home to the pre-historic Niah Caves, which are believed to be the birthplace of human civilization in Asia. The oldest human remains in Asia as well as remains of Borneo's prehistoric animals were found here, making the Niah Caves one of the most important archaeological sites in the world. The park is about 2 hour drive from Miri town.
- One has to register at the park’s headquarters before entry is allowed. We take a boat ride to cross the Niah river. This is where we will visit the Niah Museum to learn about the archaeological importance of the Niah Caves.
- We now embark on a 3 km plank-walk which will lead us to the Traders Cave. This cave used to be a thriving market some 60-70 years ago. The place was known for trade in edible birds' nests which were collected in the caves were barter-traded for food and other goods. The cave system is still a site for collecting of the highly sought-after swiftlet nests. It is now a government-controlled activity.
- Having passed through Traders Cave you will now reach the Niah Great Cave which is the famous excavation site. It is here that a 40,000-year-old human skull was found. Deeper inside this cave you will find evidence of the on-going collection of edible birds' nests as well as collecting of bats guano for fertilizer.
- The next site to explore is the Painted Cave. You can exit the Great Cave through the east entrance, climbing up several stairs and through a pitch-black tunnel to get to the Painted Cave with its prehistoric hematite cave paintings.
- We return to the park headquarters the same route we went into the caves. The tour will take about 3-4 hours. We now have lunch at a local restaurant near the Niah National Park, before we return to Miri. Night stay is at Miri Marriott Resort.
- Meals included: breakfast and Lunch
- Now that we have covered the underground, we go back to the underwater world. An early breakfast is followed by transfer to the Marina Bay Jetty. Today we will go out for 2 boat dives. The new-found adventure in Miri is wreck diving and a few examples available are:
Atagu Maru Wreck (10 minutes from jetty)
- This is a World War II-era Japanese warship wreck, just off Lutong. The ship is now home to corals and fish. The 100 meters ship sits upright with the top deck just 10 meters below the surface. Most of the hull is covered with cave corals. A large moray eel has made its home here and trevally, jacks, and barracudas are frequently seen.
Sri Gadong Wreck (60 minutes from jetty)
- A small 30 meters cargo ship sits on an 18-meter sand bottom. The whole wreck is teeming with life; jacks, yellow grunts, batfish and barracudas circle the wreck while giant groupers swim in or out of the cargo holds. This is a different experience even for a seasoned diver.
- We have lunch at the Marina Bay Jetty restaurant and transfer to the resort is waiting. Night stay is at the resort.
- Meals included: breakfast, lunch, and dinner
- This is our last day at the dive friendly coral park. We finish breakfast early and start for the Marina Bay Jetty by 7:30 AM. Once again, we have 2 boat dives to explore the marvels of the area. We recommend that you explore the most challenging of sites now. The experience of last 5 days would have prepared you for greater adventure. Again, we return to the jetty for lunch and then move back to the resort for an evening of relaxation. The night stay is at the resort.
- Meals Included: breakfast and lunch
- Breakfast at the resort is followed by some free time to explore Miri and its markets. We have a vehicle waiting to take you to the airport for your departure flight to Bario. Bario is a community of 13 to 16 villages located at an altitude of 3500 feet. The area is called the Kelabit Highlands and is the main settlement for the indigenous Kelabit tribe. The area has its airport and we will meet here on your arrival. A transfer to a lodge/homestay is arranged.
- We will have a traditional lunch at the homestay and then will start our exploration of the Bario Valley. We will visit the traditional longhouse of Ulung Palang, the local Bario school and the oldest longhouse in Bario called Bario Asal. The distinctive part of this longhouse is that the ancient timber of the house is darkened due to the smoke from cooking fires that have helped cook food for generations. You will also get a chance to see a few ladies with elongated earlobes, due to wearing heavy brass earrings, an old tradition of the Kelabit people.
- We will return to the homestay for dinner and some rest. The facilities are basic but will cover all our needs. The night stay is arranged at the lodge/ homestay.
- Meals included: Lunch and Dinner
- This is going to be a day of exploration. We enjoy a traditional breakfast at the homestay and start our first activity. We take a 4-wheel-drive vehicle to reach Pa Umor, about 20 min drive from our homestay. This is where the road ends and we trek for the next half hour to reach salt springs, this is where the famous Bario salt is produced. Your guide will explain the entire process of how the spring water containing brine is boiled and all the water evaporated to produce Bario Salt. This salt is considered organic and contains a rich dose of natural minerals giving it a number of health benefits. You can procure some for use back home.
- We will have a local lunch here and then start our exploration of the remnants of the megalithic culture once practiced by the Kelabit people. The entire Northern Highlands of Sarawak is home to hundreds of ancient stone artifacts. These were created by the ancient people, they were either incised, carved, erected or arranged to form impressive rock monuments. The creation of these artifacts was done as part of certain ceremonies and in Sarawak are unique to the Kelabit tribe.
- We will visit two of the more elaborate ones today. The first artifact is the Batu Narit Arur Bilit. In the local language, this translates to “Engraved Stone”. This one sits in the middle of a paddy field and depicts a human with both hands stretched up words – as though in conversation with the heavens. The second site we visit is called Batu Ipak Upai Semaring, this is a stone formation created by and named after a legendary local hero. We continue our exploration of the highlands and towards the late evening return to the homestay/lodge for dinner. As before the night stay is arranged at the lodge/homestay and is simple in terms of amenities.
- Meals included: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
- We enjoy a warm breakfast at the homestay and it’s time to say goodbye to our hosts. The hospitality of the region is legendary, and you will experience it in every interaction in the highlands. We now drive to the Bario airport for our onward flight.
- Meals included: Breakfast
- Monsoon time can impact sea conditions in this part of the world. This is why this tour package is only available from 01. April until 31. October. The monsoons set in from November and continue till March.
- Due to fluctuations in demand hotels can be changed without prior notice. We do assure you that any substitution will be within the offered category
- The tour detailed itinerary may change due to unforeseen events - we will cover all that we have stated here only the program by day may change. For example, if our program states a city tour on Day 1, it may be postponed to Day 3 instead. This is mostly a last-minute adjustment and will be without any prior notice
- Some package can be booked on a private basis, but certain services may be on a shared basis only. This is to minimize impacts on the natural environment or if other circumstances require so. This includes transfers & activities in the homestay which may be on shared basis.
- The flight availability from Miri to Bario and Vice versa are operated by small airlines that fly ATR aircraft or Twin Otter Aircrafts. This sometimes limits the luggage allowance on these flights, we recommend you check these details on your flight ticket and plan accordingly.
- If you overnight in Miri before and after this 3 days tour of Bario, your suitcases can be stored at your hotel in Miri. In case you just transit in Miri on the way to Bario and on the way from Bario to your next destination, we can arrange a representative of Pro Vacation to meet you during your transit in Miri and store the luggage for you (This facility is not included in the package; charges depend on size and weight of luggage; this has to be booed in advance).
- While booking for the diving tours you have to be a certified Diver. We require your full name and Diver Certification Number at the time of the booking itself.
- Only 2 dives per day are allowed and the excursions are designed accordingly. The diving sites are chosen by the dive-master based on the sea conditions and the experience level of the drivers present on the day.
- Prescriptive mask and dive gear is not included, but can be rented at a surcharge: Full set, mask set, regulator, BCD, fins and rash guard top: MYR 54.00 per person per day
- While we will arrange for the equipment rental, we will require guest’s BCD and fin sizes upon booking.
It is very important to note that travelers who are on an anti-malaria drug called 'Lariam' (mefloquine) cannot be allowed to take part in any scuba diving. This is because this drug prophylaxis has side effects that can imitate and worsen symptoms of decompression illness.