Headhunter’s Heartland Biking Tour

Headhunters Heartland By Bike

Headhunter’s Heartland Biking Tour


From $1,775USD



Hotels, Longhouses

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Enjoy an epic bike ride through the Iban heartland

Cycle from the coast inland, passing rivers, waterfalls, mountains, and lush forest along the way.

Learn about the dynasty of the White Rajahs and the warring headhunters who used to clash here.

Stay in welcoming Dayak longhouses deep in the countryside, sampling fresh local food.

Visit old military forts, ancient churches, and other sites that played a part in the history of the island.

Want to immerse yourself in the history and culture of Borneo while exploring the island by bike? The Headhunter’s Heartland Biking Tour is a one of a kind look into the epic past and present beauty of Borneo.

The Headhunter’s Heartland Biking Tour leads you deep into the Iban heartland, an area that rose from White Rajah rule and clashes with warring headhunters in the 1800s. You’ll cycle through the buzzing main square of Kuching, ride on a quiet longboat along flowing rivers, and pedal high into mountains with incredible views.

The Headhunter’s Heartland Biking Tour will take you to old military forts, like Fort Alice and Fort Margherita. Learn about their storied pasts and the people who created them before riding off past pepper farms and rice paddies. You’ll spend nights in local longhouses renowned for their genuine hospitality, tasting fresh fruit of a million varieties and local seafood.

The Headhunter’s Heartland Biking Tour not only connects you with Borneo’s past, but also introduces you to locals who can share with you what present-day life is like in this paradise.

Headhunter’s Heartland Biking Tour Itinerary

Day 1 Arrival in Kuching, Heritage Trail ride

You made it to Borneo! You’ll have some time to settle in your hotel before meeting your group and guide for the first adventure of your Borneo cycling tour. You’ll pedal off through the lovely main square of the old part of the city, getting a chance to peruse the Main Bazaar. Cross the river on a sampan ferry steered with oars to reach Fort Margherita, built by Charles Brooke in 1879 and named after his wife. Don’t worry, those cannons aren’t loaded anymore! Then, it’s off for a sunset dinner on the bank of the Sarawak River.

Overnight Location
Hotel in Kuching
12 km

Day 2 Longboat ride to Banting

Day 2 begins with a trip into the interior part of Borneo. You’ll spot at the Serian market, a great place for a snack of fresh fruit. Then, you’ll ride to the bazaar in Lachau for lunch. Once you’re full, take an easy ride to Pantu, where a shallow-draft longboat is waiting to ferry you to the village of Banting, an old gathering place for the Iban people and a favoured farming spot. The church on the hill you’ll see has actually been there since 1859! The longhouse where you’ll stay is warm and welcoming- no matter what time people turn up, there are always refreshments. Spend the rest of the day exploring the village.

Overnight Location
Longhouse in Banting
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3 Ride to Fort Alice

After breakfast in a local coffee shop, you’ll take a quick boat transfer to Lingga, where you’ll start riding up the beautiful Batang Lupar River. Stop and admire paddy fields, farms, and longhouses along the way whenever you like. Then, you’ll reach Sri Aman just in time for lunch. Fort Alice is perched up on a riverside hill- it served as a lookout spot, prison, and administrative headquarters back in the days.

Overnight Location
Hotel in Sri Aman
51 km
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4 Ride to Fort Alice and Ulu Bayor

Start the next leg of your cycling tour of Borneo with a morning pedal and a river crossing to Betong, where lunch awaits. You can stop by Fort Lily, built in 1855. Back when Iban chief Rentap challenged the Rajah, this fort saw quite a bit of action. From here, you’ll ride along a winding road flanked by pepper farms and rive fields towards Debak. Hop off the bike and ride in a car to reach Ulu Bayor, which features a century-old longhouse where you’ll spend the night.

Overnight Location
Longhouse in Ulu Bayor
58 km
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5 Ride to Batang Ai Resort

Today starts with a van ride upcountry and then a ride towards the Kalimatan border. You’ll pass quite a few longhouses along the route, marking this as the Iban heartland. Follow the Lemanak River to a lake nestled into the hills, where it’s time to set off by boat to the Batang Ai Resort. Spend the rest of the day relaxing as you like and enjoying the weather.

Overnight Location
Resort in Batang Ai
51 km
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6 Ride along Kalimantan border and transfer to Kuching

Your last full day cycling through Borneo begins with a scenic ride through the countryside that flanks the border with Indonesia. Mountain views spoil you along the way! Enjoy lunch at Engkillili before a transfer to Kuching arrives. Enjoy the relaxing ride back and then settle in for dinner at Topspot Food Center in Kuching, a delicious mix of the best food in Sarawak. The ambiance isn’t quite on point and it’s not fancy, but the food is worth writing home about!

Overnight Location
Hotel in Kuching
30 km
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7 Goodbye, Borneo!

Enjoy a final breakfast before your cycling tour of Borneo concludes. If you’re not in a rush, feel free to book an extra excursion or a few extra nights.

Overnight Location

Headhunter’s Heartland Biking Tour Price and Dates

This guided cycling tour of Borneo is run as a fixed-departure tour where you’d be joining a group, however, custom private tours can be organized for those willing to travel with their group only (please contact us with your preferred date and the number of people in your group and we will create the itinerary just for you).

Prices below are per person sharing a double or a triple room:

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Accommodation on the Headhunter’s Heartland Biking Tour

This tour is based in 3 and 3.5-star hotels, traditional longhouses, and resorts. The lodges offer unique rooms with great locations. Rooms are double occupancy, and single travellers will pay a supplement.

In some cases, the accommodation listed below may need to be substituted for other, comparable accommodations.

Single Rooms and Solo Travelers
You can pay a supplement of $225USD have a private room in a hotel. Contact us and we can try and match single travellers up where possible.

Basaga Hotel in Kuching

The Basage Hotel offers air conditioning, free Wi-Fi, a pool, and free bottled water. The rooms are simple but comfortable.

Night 2

Banting Longhouse in Banting

This traditional longhouse offers basic accommodation with heartfelt hospitality.

Seri Simanggang Hotel in Sri Aman

This hotel offers a gym, air conditioning, on-demand films, and free Wi-Fi. The rooms are comfortable and spacious.

Night 4

Ulu Bayor Longhouse

This longhouse has a lovely location and very gracious hosts.

Batang Ai Resort in Batang Ai

The Batang Ai Resort offers laundry service, two pools, Wi-Fi, and a nice bar and lounge. The rooms are well-equipped with wonderful views.

Basaga Hotel in Kuching

The Basage Hotel offers air conditioning, free Wi-Fi, a pool, and free bottled water. The rooms are simple but comfortable.

Hotels on Standard Tour

What’s Included in the Headhunter’s Heartland Biking Tour?


6 breakfasts, 5 lunches, and 6 dinners are included, as well as drinks and snacks each day.


Accommodation for 6 nights is included.

Transportation during the Tour

This tour includes all the necessary transfers, as well as airport pick up and drop off.

Also Included

  • English-speaking guide
  • Entrance fees to national parks and historical sites

Not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Travel to and from Kuching
  • Lunches and dinners or drinks and snacks not previously mentioned
  • Tourist taxes if applicable
  • Personal equipment

Optional Extras

  • Bike rental including helmet – $125USD per bike
  • Any additional nights before or after tour

Frequenty Asked Questions about Headhunter’s Heartland Biking Tour

How hard is the Headhunter’s Heartland Biking Tour?

We rate this tour as a 3 / 5. You will cycle between about 30 and 60 kilometres per day along both paved roads and off-road trails. You should be reasonably fit and comfortable on a bike to get the most out of this tour.

Do I need a visa to travel to Malaysia?

Check with your local country about visa requirements. You can also try this website, though you should verify with your government. Note that this tour takes place in a state of Malaysia on Borneo, so you should research your visa requirements accordingly.

Are meals included on the Headhunter’s Heartland Biking Tour?

Yes. 6 breakfasts, 5 lunches, and 6 dinners are included. Drinks and snacks each day are also included.

Do I need insurance?

Yes. You will need to acquire travel insurance that covers cycling. Get your Travel Insurance.

How do I get to Kuching to start this tour?

You can fly directly into the Kuching International Airport, where you will be picked up and transferred to your hotel.

Is the Headhunter’s Heartland Biking Tour guided?

Yes, you will have an English-speaking guide for the duration of the tour.

Where does the Headhunter’s Heartland Biking Tour end?

The tour ends in Kuching, where you will be transferred to the airport.

Are equipment rentals included?

Bikes and helmets are not included but are available as an optional extra. You can rent Java mountain bikes with front suspension for this tour during the booking process. These bikes are available in two sizes (15’’ and 17’’).

Do I need special vaccines to travel to Malaysia?

Check with your family doctor.

Are there any travel restrictions for Malaysia?

Please check with your local government about travel restrictions before you book your tour. This map from the US Department of State provides an overview of the current status in countries around the globe. The UK‘s Foreign Office and Government of Canada also provide advice on foreign travel. Note that the travel advice may change depending on your nationality.

When is the best time to travel to Malaysia for this tour?

The best time to travel to Borneo for the Sarawak Rainforest Bike Tour is January, February, March, May, October, November, or December. Borneo’s dry season is from March through October, so note that tours during other parts of the year may be particularly rainy.


All tours on 10Adventures are operated by highly vetted local tour operators and guides.

Having local tour operators and guides means you get a more authentic experience, and your booking creates jobs in the local communities you visit.

Details of the local tour operator will be listed on your booking invoice. If you have questions about the local operator prior to booking, please click the “Ask a Question” button below.

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From $1,775USD



Hotels, Longhouses

Start Your Booking

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Tour Difficulty

We rate this tour as a 3 / 5. You will cycle between about 30 and 60 kilometres per day along both paved roads and off-road trails. You should be reasonably fit and comfortable on a bike to get the most out of this tour.

Read about our scale for Tour Difficulty Ratings.

Local guide


Kuching, Malaysia

Get in touch

+1 (587) 327-9828

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