Cross Borneo Trek

Hi there. Looking for travel companions for a cross borneo trek. I was originally looking to join an open departure, but there seems to be very few or none.

Which is why the alternative of finding a group like this came to me. I am flexible July and August this year (2016).


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9 replies
  1. Hi per magnus !

    I flight to borneo this summer . I arrive in Balikpapan the 15 of July and I would like to make this trek. It seems quite hard to find people who want to do this trail so I’m interested in your proposal . Don’t hesitate to contact me for more information

  2. I’ve found something with Lucas Gigantes starting August 7. Would be happy to change to several different days, even around July 15. One major problem seems to find a guide you can trust reasonably. Lucas has very varied reviews on the internet, and given you’re away for about 3 weeks, getting stuck with a guide who does not speak English and only brings sandwiches to eat or just disappears on you will be difficult. However: he already has 2 on that trip, so it will happen if a third joins (maybe me and you?). I imagine I need to go there, inspect the guides and the crew (and the food!), and then not pay until enough is in place for it to be good. I would really like to go, but for three weeks I need to be certain guides and support is actually good.

    • Hi Per-Magnus

      When you say Lucas Gigantes, I guess you mean Lucas Zwaall from De’Gigant tours who is recommended in the Lonely Planet? This travel agency seems to be a good option for this trek but the trip scheduled on august 7 is a little bit too late for me because I’ve got to fly back to France the 28 of august from Kuala Lumpur so I think it’s too short for a 3 week trek. A departure in the second half of July will be definitively better for me because my flights are already booked. I don’t know if it’s the same for you. Do you already have your ticket flight to Borneo? If you’re flexible, the departure the 7 of august is probably a good option for you and I‘ll understand you’ll go for this one. If not, maybe we could try to find an arrangement for a sooner departure and I share your point of view about the fact that it would be nice to check the organization before departure. From what you say, this guy need a least 3 people to start a trip. Did he give you any information about the cost for a departure with 3 people?

  3. Yes I do! Problem is there are a few not so good reviews on the internet – the only one good in Lonely Planet. I think it is only 18 days or so, so you will actually be able to be back in France :-). I have not bought my tickets, but am planning a trip w my kids too … and they cannot collide too much so in the middle of juggling with dates right now. Could possibly go really early too … end of June. Lucas is charging 2000 dollars, and says it is a go with three. So for two maybe around 5000 ? Then again, if you buy your guides on the ground, you may be able to get a better price (the draw back is it may take a few days to put it all together so it is likely not worth it from a cost point of view but could be an experience).

  4. Sorry first for this late answer but it didn’t be advised by email for your reply. For the departure on the 7 of august, it’s maybe possible but I think it’s risky for me. This trek is not an easy one so delays can occurs ^_^ . The other problem for me is the fact that I arrive in Balikpapan the 15 of july, so I should wait quite a lot of time before this departure and there’s not so much things to do around Balikpapan ^_^ ! Apart from that, 2000 US seems to be a fair price for 3. I think I could go up to 2500 for two if you’re OK (but paying before departure). If not, I’ll see what is possible to do when I’ll arrive there and go as far as possible ^_^

  5. Hi there!
    I know this feed is almost two years old, however I would love to do the Cross Borneo Trek upcoming September (2018) with De Gigant Tours and it would be great, if you could share your experiences with me.
    I’d really appreciate your help 🙂

    • Hello Anna !

      Whaow, two years after the original post, it seems there’s very few people who wants to to this trek ^_^. Concerning my experience, I didn’t manage to do it because I couldn’t find people to go with me and it was super expensive. Anyway, I arrive in Samarinda alone and I’ve been to de Gigant tours to see if there was some group for doing it but unfortunately, there wasn’t any plan soon so I should have paid all by myself and It was definitely too much. So I decide to go by myself with the hope I could meet some people on the road to join with. It’s easy to go up to the starting point of the cross borneo trek but it takes some time. It was a nice trip, I’ve met really friendly people there (they don’t see a lot of foreigner ^_^) but very few tourist during the all trip. I’ve met two couples but they didn’t want to do it and a group a japanese making a fast trip in all around Indonesia (a very funny story but that’s not the point there ^_^). At the end, I arrive to Tiong Ohan, the starting point of the borneo cross trek. The last ride was with the super expensive (1 000 000 roupies way up, 400 000 way down) but quite funny speed boat describe in the lonely planet. Here I’ve found a friendly guy speaking english (quite rare at that point in borneo ^_^). He was more or less the boss of the village and he could arrange me the trek with two guy. It was still expensive but the starting price was more than half the price of de Gigant tour and I think it was possible to bargain. The only problem is that the two guys, looking like junglemans ^_^, didn’t speak any english so It would have been complicated to go alone with them during 6 days … Moreover, I was starting to be sick of diarrhea so it was not very good conditions. I ask to the boss if he could go with us but it didn’t want because he done the trek one time before and hate it because of the leeches ^_^. So at the end, I decided not to do it and came back on the same way (but faster because on the way up, I made some stops in different villages). To conclude, I will say that’s not easy to organise if your are alone unless you have a lot of money. It’s much better If you can go with other people because you won’t find people easily there unless you’re super lucky. In this case, you have the option to go with gigant (the easy way) or to go directly to tiong ohan and organise from there (more adventurous but feasible). The second option is not recommended in the lonely planet but from what I saw, even if you go with de gigant , there’s just one guy who go with you from samarinda and this guy deal with the locals for the organisation of the trek when he arrived at tiong ohan and he comes with you. That’s what I can say about my experience. I hope it will helps you (and sorry for my poor english ^_^). Don’t hesitate if you want to have some more informations !

    • Hi!
      omg… seriously, thank you so much! It must have taken you a while to write all that. I really, really appreciate your help.
      By the looks of it De Gigant tours have changed something in their policy. They dropped their price to a “reasonable” fortune as soon as two people have joined it. They were by far the cheapest company to do it- if you don’t want to do organise it locally. Since I do not really have as much time as this would probably take, and since the cost of the tour is …reasonable enough … for me, I will probably to it with De Gigant. In case you are interested: right now there are two people who signed up for it (including me), starting on September 1st, 2018 from Pontianak.
      I am very excited about the whole experience. Lonely Planet hasn’t really been that forward with information and even online, one can only find so much. I’ve read about the leeches before and that they are quite a pain in the ass…. but I am a bit more worried about the mosquitos, since Malaria and Dengue are not unheard of in this part of Borneo. However, since I have heard of this trip, I’ve wanted to do it and I hope that those leeches and mosquitos won’t be too nasty…

      Again, thank you so much for everything!
      I will keep you updated, how De Gigant will put us through this trip 🙂

  6. For facebook, search for “Philippe Nouet”