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Melapi Proboscis Lodge at Sukau Kinabatangan River

Kinabatangan River Melapi Lodge

One of the pioneer Eco tourism resorts in Kinabatangan River is the Proboscis Lodge at Bukit Melapi and this is my review of the place.

Having come here for the first time ever, I found it to be one of the nicer places to stay at during my Kinabatangan River Wildlife Safari.

Arriving at the main jetty of the Bukit Melapi Lodge was something out of the ordinary from the usual resorts.

We were picked up from a village jetty after a two-hour drive from Sandakan town and ushered here in a ten-minute speed boat ride along the famous Kinabatangan River of Sabah.

Melapi Proboscis Lodge at Sukau Kinabatangan

Melapi Proboscis Bar Lodge
Bukit Melapi Lodge Proboscis Bar

The Proboscis Lodge at Bukit Melapi has its own private jetty and so do the other river lodges along the famous Kinabatangan River in Sukau.

As we approached the large wooden jetty, the staff from the lodge were waiting to welcome us and carry our luggage up to the main reception, which is also entirely made out of rich wood.

The first impression - Welcome to Nature, and here we were right in the middle of it. A local Malay lady who spoke excellent English welcomed us with a glass of juice and cold towel and after a quick briefing about the place, lunch was served ala local Sabahan style. 

Sabah Nature and Wildlife Books
Nature books for guest reading provided by the lodge

I found the lodge was pretty impressive as walking around after lunch, I noticed they had a small gift shop and a mini library dedicated to all things nature and wildlife around the Kinabatangan Sukau district and Sabah in general.

These books were for guests reading pleasure and were not sold. I have to say, this was something really great that the lodge provided especially when you are in the middle of the Kinabatangan Sukau River.

Bukit Melapi Resort Kinabatangan
Entertainment room at Bukit Melapi Lodge

A quick tour around the lodge was next by my senior nature guide, Ben. For entertainment, there was a room upstairs the main restaurant and bar area where guests could indulge in a serious session on Karaoke or simply have a game of pool or foosball.

The entertainment room is air-conditioned by the way so no humidity here. This is one of the popular places after dinner where guests would bring their drinks and socialize with other travelers and guests.

Resort Dinner Time at Kinabatangan
Meal times at Bukit Melapi Lodge

Staying here showed me what true nature and Eco-Tourism was all about. Meal times were pretty much set as the entire day, one would be out either on the boats doing the Kinabatangan River Cruise or trekking inland.

Apart from nature and adventure provided here, there is absolutely nothing else to do but relax. Did I mention that you are in the middle of the Kinabatangan in the center of Sabah Borneo? Yes, there is absolutely nothing but pure nature found here. 

Chalet at Kinabatangan River
Another chalet unit in the rainforest of Kinabatangan

I have to admit that the chalet units here at Bukit Melapi Lodge were really good. Not your 4-5 star hotel or resort style but it was basic with good amenities included.

We were given one of the units that were facing the Kinabatangan River with a balcony and air-conditioned with attached bathroom and it was beautiful.

Kinabatangan River Chalet Room Photo
River view chalet unit at Bukit Melapi Lodge

Our cozy chalet had two single beds, very spacious with good wood finishing and it was more than I expected.

The chalet units are pretty spaced between each other too where there was a distance of about 20 feet apart. 

 View from inside the river view chalet

The view from the chalet room would be classified as a Grade 1 view - why? Because it sees nothing but nature, river and green.

I swear to you, this is one balcony I really enjoyed while staying here. The Kinabatangan River is about 100 meters from the chalet if you should know. 

Sitting at the balcony of the chalet was such an experience as the natural sounds of the rainforest just surrounded you like a DOLBY Surround System.

I spent good quality time here minus technology for two full days. No phone, no laptop or computer, no facebook or twitter, nothing.

Bukit Melapi Lodge Rooms
The neat and nicely done bedroom
I must give the Melapi Lodge credit for taking the extra effort in preparing the chalet rooms as the bath towels were prepared in a rose or flower formation.

Beds were decently comfortable while the blankets were sufficient for the night. Again, this is not your four or five-star resort but a nature lodge. 

Toilet at Bukit Melapi Lodge
The Melapi Lodge Bathroom
The attached bathrooms were plain, simple and fully tiled. They were also clean and water pressure was decent. Another thumbs up for the bathroom and toilet as they met the typical traveler standard.

River View Chalet Kinabatangan Sukau
Kinabatangan River View chalet units

Seriously, the chalets here are astounding. Most of them have the Kinabatangan River view while a few of them are garden view. I suggest you take the river view ones when you book your package.

Chalet at Kinabatangan River
Melapi Lodge Garden Chalet Units

Kinabatangan Villas
Melapi Lodge family chalet units 

Family rooms are available here where there is a double bed and a single bed. Easily ready to house 4 to 5 people on request. These rooms have the field view of the place and are equally comfortable.
The balcony of the family chalet unit

One of the highlights of the family rooms is that you may even experience seeing the Borneo Pygmy Elephants from a distance.

According to the resort manager, many guests staying at the family chalets have witnessed the Pygmy Elephants roaming the surroundings of the lodge. A priceless experience if you ask me.

Local dishes served for lunch

The food served is really something to shout about. I am not kidding. We were served a selection of the best local 'Orang Sungai' (River People) delicacies here.

Mouth-watering Sabah food which was cooked by a local chef using local herbs and such. Not to worry as they also provide some Western food for the guests here.

Kinabatangan Pied Hornbill
A Pied Hornbill sits on a branch at the Melapi Lodge

Roaming the Melapi Lodge area will pull a few surprises. One of them was the sighting of the Pied Hornbills which make the resort grounds their sleeping haunt.

At one occasion, I must have seen at least ten of them making loud Hornbill sounds before retiring to bed. They start to appear around 6.00 pm at the Melapi Lodge.

Leaf insect photo Sabah
Leaf Insect from Sabah Borneo on my hand

The conclusion to staying at the Proboscis Lodge at Bukit Melapi

This place is a MUST if you want decent occupancy while exploring the Kinabatangan-Sukau Conservation.

It may be a little higher priced than the other lodges, but you can be sure of quality service with proper accommodations. I absolutely enjoyed my stay here with no regrets at all.

Bukit Melapi Lodge or Proboscis Lodge is located along the Kinabatangan River in the Sukau District of Sandakan. Getting here is easily arranged by most tour operators and tour agencies.

You MUST have an allocated tour guide on your visit here as they do not entertain walk-in guests. All arrangements are done in Sandakan town in Sabah.

Night River Cruises or Safaris are organized by the lodged themselves so this is an optional package offered when you check in at the lodge.

Types of lodges available at Bukit Melapi Lodge:
  • 10 units of twin sharing lodge
  • 6 units of double bed lodge
  • 2 units of triple bed lodge
  • 3 units of a family lodge (equipped with 1 double and 1 single bed respectively)
Each lodge unit is en-suite with:
  • Bed - Complete set
  • Bathroom with hot shower and basic toiletries
  • Air conditioning
  • Ceiling Fan
  • Ceiling light and side table light
  • 220-240 volt points (three points pin/Southeast Asia)
  • Wardrobe
  • Dressing table with mirror
  • Wooden Chair
  • Balcony with full-length glass door
 Amenities available at Bukit Melapi Lodge;
  • Restaurant and bar
  • Recreational room with pool table, foosball table and karaoke (air conditioned)
  • Multi-purpose meeting room (air-conditioned)
  • Mini stage area
  • Mini Library
  • Gift and Souvenir Shop
Address and Contact for Bukit Melapi Lodge;
Sukau Proboscis Lodge Sdn. Bhd.
Lot A1103, 11th Floor,
Wisma Merdeka (Mail Box No. A236)
Jalan Tun Razak, 88000 Kota Kinabalu,
Sabah, Malaysia

Telephone: +60 88 240584
Fax: +60 88 240415
Email: proboscislodge@sipadandivers.com
Website: https://www.sdclodges.com/proboscis-lodge/

If you are pondering on where to stay when you visit the Kinabatangan area, I would recommend trying out the Melapi Proboscis Lodge at the Kinabatangan River as they are truly one of the pioneer properties here. 


xplorer said...

the room looks simple , clean and nice . must try it one day

Malaysia Asia said...

Hello Explorer, yes it is simple and basic here at Melapi Lodge but from what I learned, 99% of the guests here are foreigners. So, you'll make the 1% when you visit this lovely place.


fufu said...

wow i also wanna stay couple of nights in the forest... ops the local delicacies =p and the insect... cute!!

Virginia bed and breakfast | Victorian inn bed and breakfast | Romantic bed and breakfasts said...

We just come back home to Singapore from a North Borneo tour. We really can say that we had a superb Sepilok trip experience. After the amazing experience of Sepilok we arrived at Melapi Lodge by boat very safely. It is really beautiful lodging and we truly loved it.

Best Regards,

CathJ said...

hey interesting place... if got something like this... can stay la...hihihi...

oh my... interesting insect there... looks like a real leaf!!

Anonymous said...

The rooms looked all right and decent. It's good that the bathrooms are clean with good water pressure.

superwilson said...

Wow! A nature place to stay after all

Aniketh said...

Hey this seems to be an intersting place. This will be on my must-do-list before I die for sure!

Malaysia Asia said...

Fufu, 2 nights at Kinabatangan will open your eyes to nature in a different way. Really nice place.

VB&B wow, thats really nice to know you visited all these places! I hope you enjoyed it to the maximum.

Cath, this place would be great for children, esp your kids. Plan a trip here one day. Not many Malaysians have visited this place btw.

Mei, Decent is the word here. Nothing lavish except for the local style food served which was excellent!

Wilson, 100% nature too. Not just plain nature.

Aniketh, Yes it absolutely is. I recommend anyone headed to Sabah to try out the Kinabatangan-Sukau Experience. No regrets.


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