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“Barefoot River Cruise...We got all the luck!”

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Barefoot Sukau Lodge
Ranked #6 of 8 Sukau B&B and Inns
Reviewed 21 July 2012

We opted for the 2 day 1 night package and although a bit expensive, we got value for money! We got picked up from our lodge Paganakan Dii in an aircon people carrier, with our guide and two other girls who were also on a package. We made a stop at the Gormantong Caves, we had the option to join them but decided to save the cash and by all accounts we didn't miss much.

When we arrived at Sukau, it really is an isolated little village on the river down a long winding track, if you didnt know it was there you wouldn't stumble upon it! We received a warm welcome from the staff and immediately fell in love with the surroundings, when they say on the river, they're not exaggerating! Lunch was simple yet tasty and we had a few hours to kill before our first afternoon cruise. The room was basic but little things like the towels arranged in the shape of a lotus flower was a nice touch.

We ended up doing an afternoon and a night cruise, both of which were jam packed full of animal sightings. Although we didnt see any wild orang-utans we did see the following: Herd of 40 Elephants (many which crossed the river and swam right past our little boat), Macaques, Probiscus Monkeys, Crocodile (named Frankie!), Civet, Rhinoceros Horn-bill, Storm stork, Crested Serpent Eagle to name a few of the daytime sights. At night the guides really come into their own and managed to point out things that would've been invisible to most! Blue eared kingfisher, stork billed kingsfisher and a very rare sighting of an endangered flat headed cat. We felt really lucky to see all of these animals and the guides knowledge played a huge part in our experience.

We wanted to do an early morning cruise as well, but due to a recent downpour some of the mountain side had slid into the road and emergency road repairs had to be conducted. This meant that unavoidably the one road in and out of Sukau would be closed for 24hrs so we had to leave the following morning at half 7, not giving us enough time for the morning cruise. The management was apologetic and I think this was reflected in the price we paid as it was far cheaper than we had anticipated. Really great experience and would recommend this place to anyone.

Room Tip: If you can try and do all three cruise (afternoon, night & morning)
See more room tips
  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Victoria Q
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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25 - 29 of 59 reviews

Reviewed 24 June 2012

We did several cruises and enjoyed all of them. Great guide was provided who could provide lots of facts.
However, the room was the most basic we saw during our travel through borneo. It was still ok but on the edge.
What is inacceptable are the prices for the shuttle service. Since there are no alternatives, they can charge what they want. For the trip from the hotel to the junction, from where the bus to semporna leaves, they charged us far too much - but you have no choice.

  • Stayed: June 2012
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Thank filantrOpO_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 April 2012

We did enjoy our stay here, mostly thanks to the fantastic guide Juan who - along with the boatmen - turned out to be a fantastic wildlife spotter and very knowledgeable about it. This was, after all, what we came here for. The food was good, served as a buffet at specified times. Beer is available on site, there's no wifi though. Rooms are very basic but most of all, they could use some renovation. Using the bathroom was rather a dread.
Package services offered by the lodge are overpriced compared to their walk-in rates and their pickup from Sandakan is a sheer rip off - we managed to get to and from Barefoot for a quarter of their quoted price.
We took all the cruises (morning, afternoon, evening) and can recommend all of them. Weather is a factor, if it rains heavily there's not much to see, you may have to wait until the next day. It's about 40min walking to the village and 15 min to the next lodge.

  • Stayed: April 2012
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1  Thank Kasia_mip
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 April 2012

Having had this lodge recommended by a family member living in KL my wife and I headed to this retreat on the river for a river wildlife experience. The staff were very friendly and knowledgeable about the different bird and primate species with good English river tours. We saw 6 out of 8 primates, including a wild Orang Utan resting in his nest in the evening!! 6 out of the 8 hornbill species, king-fishers, snakes, crocodiles, and various other bird-life.

We stayed for one night after a 2hr transfer organised by them from our hotel (The Pavilion Hotel) near Sandakan airport. We did 3 river cruises; one late afternoon, a night and an early morning tour which was more than enough. In our opinion you do not need to stay more than one night as there's not much to do on-land if you're not on the river tour. Only disappointment we had was during the night cruise when the search torches' battery did not last and we missed the perfect full moon opportunity to spot some leopards or other nocturnal predators. It seems that a power failure during the previous day was possibly the cause for the car-batteries not to be charged enough. Our tour guide, "Pop-eye", who was new on his 2nd day there was very sweet and apologetic for the inconvenience that was not really his fault.

The lodges' rooms were basic enough with hot water shower, fan and mosquito protection in the rooms. The food was good enough although when brought out the flies knew it was feeding time but this is expected in this location.

We had a great experience all round and would recommend this wildlife experience to anyone wanting to see Borneo's real wildlife along Malaysia's second longest river.

David

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank DavidD011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 April 2012

The room walls are certainly a little on the thin side but the rooms were very clean and everything worked. Didn't hear any noise at night or nay morning prayer calls. We quite like the calls to prayer in any case. No mosquitos or any other unwelcome guets apart from the usual lizards we found in all places we stayed at apart from the posh hotels.
food and the staff were great. Above all we saw lots of wild-life including 3 sets of orangutans ,one even making its nest for the night. all in all you know what to expect-if you want luxury go somewhere else.

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled with family
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Thank kevthekamper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Barefoot Sukau Lodge

Address: Kinabatangan River, Sukau 88450, Malaysia
Region: Malaysia > Sabah > Kinabatangan District > Sukau
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 8 B&Bs / Inns in Sukau
Number of rooms: 10
Also Known As:
Barefoot Sukau Hotel Sukau
Barefoot Sukau Lodge Kinabatangan District

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