Overall, I loved visiting Borneo, and we had a great guide, the group was enjoyable company and we saw some wonderful things. However I did feel that the itinerary was a bit 'thin' in places, we were left to have rest days more than necessary and could have taken advantage much more of what Borneo has to offer.
Day 2 and 3 Arrive Kota Kinabalu plus free day; optional visit to nearby adventure park with go-karting and a ropes course, or wildlife park - we really didn't the need almost two days rest time after sitting on a plane - I feel we could have visited islands off KK or gone to the Mari Mari cultural village as an introduction to the culture of Sabah at this point...
Day 4 Morning fly to Sandakan. Visit Rainforest Discovery Centre and Sepilok Orang-utan Sanctuary. Both. these were interesting places with great plants and wildlife to find out about
Day 5 and 6 To Kinabatangan River; afternoon river cruise. Dawn wildlife cruise, jungle walk to Oxbow lake with tree planting, optional night safari. I loved it here and would happily have spent more time, maybe going further south to Danum. This was the area that I felt an 'Orangutans and Jungles' holiday was about and it was over too quickly for me.
Day 7 and 8 Drive to tea plantation for 2 nights in a traditional longhouse; visit Gomantong Caves en route, home to over a million swiftlets. A fun day of jungle walks, swimming in the river and a tour of the tea factory. Flooding meant we couldn't do jungle walks or river swimming, and the tea factory tour was for less than an hour, so again we had a lot of time doing very little. There were other tours available with walks around the plantation and WW2 history which I wish Exodus had booked for us instead.... We had a go at batik painting for half an hour which was fun and interesting, but the blowpipe lessons were just a room at the tea factory with two blowpipes, four darts and a bit of paper on the wall. It did keep the kids entertained for a while but it wasn't the cultural activity I had hoped for!! Our group decided to take ourselves off to Poring Hot Springs, which was actually a great day out - a walk up to a waterfall where we could splash about, and a small waterpark which the kids loved. There's also a butterfly farm and a high level walkway there, and I feel the itinerary would have benefited from including visit here.
Day 9 Drive to Kota Kinabalu via Mari Mari cultural village and visit aquarium - the village was really interesting, a living museum effectively and the lunch provided excellent. The aquarium was dreadful - run down, tanks were so covered in algae we could hardly see the contents. Very dispiriting.
Day 10 An adventurous day of whitewater rafting and indoor rock climbing. Rafting brilliant, plenty of climbing walls back in the UK.... There are river cruises on the River Kiulu nearby with more opportunities to see proboscis monkeys, and I would have much preferred to do this than explore the aquarium or climbing wall.
Day 11-13 Morning transfer to Pulau Tiga. Free day to relax and explore the beautiful beaches. Free day to unwind on the beach and enjoy optional excursions such as snorkelling, kayaking or the mud volcano. Morning at the beach, afternoon return to Kota Kinabalu. Quiet and restful, and I think would have been more appreciated if we hadn't had so many quiet and restful days leading up to this part of the holiday!! This was the first time on the trip I was disappointed by the accommodation, and paid for a room upgrade. I am happy in basic facilities, but our first room here had bare electrical wires and the bathroom smelt of sewage.... Other bungalows (not in use!) had collapsed roofs but the upgraded room was much nicer. The beach was well maintained, we could hire snorkelling equipment and a kayak was great fun. Lots of hammocks to chill out in - and some very cool monitor lizards to watch!
All in all - a super place to visit, but I think Exodus could have been smarter with the itinerary to make the most of everything Borneo has to offer.