The Kinabatangan River in Malaysian Borneo is wonderful and special. I spent four days here in between visits to Malaysia dive resorts in Mabul and Kota Kinabalu. I saw orangutans, macaques, proboscis monkeys, and pygmy elephants.
The Myne Resort is about a 90 minute drive south of Sandakan. I had my own personal driver and guide (pictured below in the orange life jacket) for the duration of the trip. We toured the river by riverboat each day at dawn and in the late afternoon. In between, we hiked the wooded areas around the resort searching for orangutans.
People live on the river (and speak an indigenous language), but swimming isn’t advised due to crocodiles and yes, I saw several.
Not cheap but not outrageous
The cost of the this leg of the trip was under $1000CDN for four days and three nights, all inclusive in a cabin (higher end accommodation) and including my tips. My guide picked me up in Sandakan and delivered me back there at the end of my trip for my short flight to Kota Kinabalu. Stops at the Sepilok Oranguatan Rehab Centre and a bat cave (!) were also included.
I love this place and look forward to going back someday with a better camera and zoom lens.