The following was an advice given by us to one of our site's visitors recently:
Depending on the places you want to go, getting an Adventure Tour package may be more feasible than doing it yourself. Some places like Mt. Kinabalu, Danum Valley or Mulu, you need to get permits and you need to have a jungle/mountain guide. It is less troublesome to use a tour company to arrange all these and include accommodation, transport, entrance fee, everything.
And for the cost, two of my friends from UK did their own independent tour to hike Mt. Kinabalu and Mulu pinnacles last year and the cost came up to be more than what a standard tour company offer. But it can be a lot of work and time to get all the right things done or booked especially if you are not familiar with the relevant offices. They had enough time and was happy with doing everything themselves as they were staying with us and they can get advise from us too.
But bear in mind that Mt. Kinabalu and Mulu need several months the least to be booked in advance. If you are only spending a short time here with no contacts or minimal knowledge of the places, you could be disappointed. You can end up simply visiting Kinabalu and Mulu Park instead of doing the summit climb or hike the Headhunters Trail.
My 2 cent piece of advise - for adventure tour, get some travel company to arrange for you, even if it means paying a bit more, but it will save you lots of time for leisure. If standard tours, it could be much cheaper if doing it independently as you will definitely be paying walk-in rates.
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