2016 IPS Biennial: SARAWAK, MALAYSIA and SINGAPORE

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Date/Time
Date(s) - 06/01/2016 - 06/09/2016
All Day

Location
Singapore Marina Bay Sands

Categories


BIENNIAL 2016 – STARTING IN KUCHING, SARAWAK, MALAYSIA JUNE 12 – DEPARTING SINGAPORE SUNDAY JUNE 19

The 2016 Biennial to Sarawak-Singapore will include two optional tours – a 12-day pre-tour and a six-day post-tour. The pre-tour is provided by a Kuching-based tour operator Borneo Adventure. The post tour is provided by an ATT Kings, a Darwin-based tour operator. These tours are only available through the IPS and can be booked online though this website.

BIENNIAL 

Cost: By October 31 By January 15, 2016 By February 29, 2016
Double room per person $1,950 $2,050 $2,150
Single room $2,765 $2,865 $2,965

IPS BIENNIAL SARAWAK – SINGAPORE
The 2016 IPS Biennial Meeting will take you to two vastly different destinations in South East Asia. The biennial starts in the river city of Kuching, capital of the east Malaysian state of Sarawak on the island of Borneo, where the emphasis will be on “Palms in Habitat”.

We will be staying adjacent to the Sarawak River overlooking the Rajah Brooke’s era Istana and forts and close to the old town with its busy shop houses, craft shops and markets. Over four nights three days we will visit natural forest areas including Kubah National Park (the name apparently means home of palms and frogs!!), Bako National Park (accessed only by boat), Semenggoh Nature Reserve sanctuary to see the Orangutans and of course palms, and also the Semenggoh Forestry Palmetum not normally open to the public, with its outstanding and extensive collection of mature understorey Sarawak palm species.

We will also enjoy the unique culture, cuisine and history of this beautiful city. Don’t let habitat walks put you off because at each venue options of walks and activities will be offered to suit various levels of interest and fitness. So that everyone gets to see and hear everything we will break down into smaller groups each accompanied by local guides with a wealth of local knowledge.

Members attending the biennial will see about 40 palm species in habitat and those who attend both the pre tour and biennial are likely to see up more than 80 Sarawak palm species in habitat and even more in cultivation. Unlike many palm habitats, most Sarawak palms are understory and many are diminutive, so unless you know exactly where to find them you can be within a few metres and will miss them. To make sure you get the best palm experience IPS member volunteer guides, who have good knowledge of the palms and trails visited, will accompany each group.

From Kuching we take a short flight to the garden city of Singapore for three days and nights where the focus will be on “Palms in Cultivation”. We will be staying at the iconic Marina Bay Sands where the Singapore River, Chinatown, Waterfront and Marina Bay areas will be accessible for you to enjoy the sights, sounds, colour and cuisine of this multicultural city. The very young but well established Gardens by the Bay will be our hosts and we will tour the Mediterranean, dry, and cloud forest climatic zones of the spectacular climate controlled domes, the vertical gardens of the Supertrees, and the extensive palm dominated gardens.

There will be a short, easy walking, habitat excursion to McRitchie Reservoir reserve to see some of Singapore’s palms in habitat. At the Gardens by the Bay and Reservoir forest we will be guided by volunteers from the gardens.We will also visit the historic, and recently World Heritage listed, Singapore Botanic Gardens and its famous Palm Valley, Orchid House, and ginger collection, Cyrtostachys avenue and mature plantings of Johanesteijmania species. As Singapore has an excellent public transport system optional visits to places of interest such as Jurong Bird Park, Singapore Zoo, Night Safari, and to the Nypa swamps on Pilau Ubin can be undertaken on your own, or can be arranged through local agents.

The flight from Kuching to SIngapore in the middle of the biennial is NOT included in the registration and must be book separately. We suggest that attendees schedule their long international flights via Singapore, with an additional round trip flight from Singapore to Kuchang. Book as early as possible to ensure you have your choice of flight times between Kuching and Singapore.

Day 0 – Saturday June 11, 2016 (D)
This is a travel/arrival day. IPS Directors arrive, and the Sarawak pre tour finishes today to allow board members to attend the all day Board meeting tomorrow on Day 01. If you plan to arrive in Kuching on this day, then you will need to book a hotel room at your own cost. Bookings can be made at the biennial hotel, the Kuching Hilton, through our tour operator, Borneo Adventure. (Email: info@borneoadventure.com). Ask for the IPS Biennial rate.
Note: West coast US Directors leaving US very early morning flight on Friday US time arrive in Sarawak lateafternoon Saturday Sarawak time as you lose a day due to crossing International Date Line.

Day 1 – Sunday June 12, 2016 (BLD)
This is the arrival day for general attendees, there will be a shuttle meeting flights and taking you to the Kuching Hilton Hotel. For those who arrive early enough the hotel is adjacent the Sarawak River and is close enough to stroll the old town with its busy shop houses, craft shops and markets. For directors this is an all-day board meeting with lunch provided. In the evening attend the welcome reception and dinner with speakers at the hotel.
Note: West coast US General attendees leaving US very early morning flight on Saturday US time arrive in Sarawak lateafternoon Sunday Sarawak time as you lose a day due to crossing International Date Line.

Day 2 – Monday June 13, 2016 (BLD) (note: lunch NOT included for those on “free” day) 
After buffet breakfast at the hotel we will have an early departure. So that habitat venues will not be overcrowded and guides are able to give a more personalised experience, we will split into three groups for the next three days of activities, each group will have the opportunity for each of the three activities.

Activity 1 – A 45 minute drive by coach to the Semenggoh Nature Reserve in morning to see Orangutan feeding in a forest setting, then visit the nearby Forestry Palmetum which is not normally open to the public and includes an excellent collection of most known species of Sarawak palms, some as yet unnamed, collected from research expeditions and habitat surveys, then by coach to Kubah National Park for your box lunch at the headquarters. After lunch, split into groups for guided walks to suit participants’ interests and abilities through the mixed dipterocarp forest. There is also a small palmetum of some of the close to 100 species recorded here. Coaches will return to the hotel through the afternoon. At Kubah you will see up to 33+ species of palms in 12 genera: Areca minuta, Areca subacaulis, Arenga brevipes, Arenga undulatifolia, Caryota mitis, Iguanura palmuncula var. palmuncula, Johannesteijsmannia altifrons, Licuala bidentata, Licuala furcata, Licuala mattanensis var.mattanensis, Licuala orbicularis (entire and split leaf forms), Licuala petiolulata, Licuala sarawakensis, Licuala spicata, Licuala sp, Oncosperma horridum, Pholidocarpus maiadum, Pinanga brevipes, Pinanga auriculata, Pinanga crassipes, Pinanga ligulata, Pinanga ridleyana, Pinanga salicifolia, Pinanga tomentella, Pinanga variegata var. hallieriana, Pinanga veitchii, Pinanga sp (divaricate leaves), Salacca affinis var borneensis, Salacca sarawakensis, Salacca vermicularis as well as a number of species of Calamus, Daemonorops and Korthalsia

Activity 2 – A 45-minute drive by coach to Kampong Bako village jetty for the 20 minute boat trip to Bako National Park, on arrival at the jetty in the mangroves, or if the tide is low wading ashore at Teluk Assam Beach, split into groups for 1 to 3 hour walks to suit participants’ interests and abilities. Box lunch at park headquarters, or on the trail for longer walkers. Boats and coaches return to the hotel through the afternoon. Bako includes many vegetation types from beach, cliff, kerangas, mangrove, dipterocarp, grasslands to peat swamps. Depending which trails you chose you will see up to 21+ species of palms in 14 genera: Areca insignis var. moorei, Caryota mitis, Eleiodoxa conferta, Eugeissona insignis, Johannesteijsmannia altifrons, Licuala bidentata, Licuala furcata, Nypa fruticans, Oncosperma tigillarium, Pholidocarpus maiadum, Pinanga pachyphylla, Pinanga rupestris, Pinanga salicifolia, Salacca affinis var borneensis, as well as a number of species of Calamus, Daemonorops and Korthalsia.

Activity 3 – Free day for your own activities or optional tours such as shopping/sightseeing Kuching on own, or book tours through the biennial tour operator Borneo Adventure whose contacts appear on the biennial registration form. Some ideas for optional tours include cultural/city walking tour including cross river by sampan to orchid garden; Santubong Cultural Village; Longhouse visit, Gunung Gading to see the giant Rafflesia flowers; or Mattang Nature Park where trails are palm rich and you may see: Arenga borneensis, Licuala furcata, Licuala orbicularis (entire), Licuala orbicularis (split leaf), Licuala mattanensis var mattanensis, Licuala petiolulata, Pholidocarpus majadum, Pinanga ligulata, Pinanga brevipes, Pinanga sp (divaricate leaves), Salacca affinis var borneensis.

Return to the hotel for evening dinner with speakers.

Day 3 – Tuesday June 14, 2016 2016 (BLD) (note: lunch NOT included for those on “free” day) 
After breakfast at hotel again gather in three groups, coach to palms in habitat, each group will do all three activities as above over the three days in rotation. Return to Kuching for a free evening. Attendees will be on their own for dinner on this day, there is a wide range of restaurants within walking distance of the hotel, or join an optional group dinner at local rooftop seafood restaurant or optional group Sarawak River dinner cruise.

Day 4 – Wednesday June 15, 2016 (BLD) (note: lunch NOT included for those on “free” day)
After breakfast at hotel again gather in three groups, coach to palms in habitat, each group will do all three activities as above over the three days in rotation. Return to Kuching hotel for farewell Sarawak dinner with speakers.

Day 5 – Thursday June 16, 2016 (B)
After breakfast, check out of the hotel for included transfer to the airport for the short flight to Singapore. This flight is by your own arrangement and you may either choose to explore more of Kuching in the morning and take a later afternoon flight or you may prefer an early flight to give you maximum time in Singapore. Transfer from Singapore Airport to the iconic Marina Bay Sands in Singapore, is included. Today lunch is by own arrangement, there is a wide range of restaurants within easy access of both the Kuching and Singapore hotels. Afternoon and evening are free so that you can experience this vibrant multicultural city with activities such as shopping in Chinatown or Orchard Road, (its easy to get around on Singapore’s excellent public transport system) or optional tours available through hotel tour desk such as city tours; Singapore River cruise; Singapore Zoo; Jurong Bird Park; a zoo Night Safari; or for those interested in a palm activity a boat trip to Pilau Ubin to cycle the island to see Nypa fruiticans and other palms in habitat including Oncosperma tiggilarum, Licuala ferruginea, Licuala spinosa, Nenga pumila, Rhopaloblaste singaporensis, Caryota mitis (most single trunked) in habitat.

Day 6 – Friday June 17, 2016 (BLD)
After breakfast at hotel gather in groups for palms in habitat and cultivation in Singapore, each group will do both activities over the two days in rotation:
Again so that habitat venues will not be overcrowded and guides are able to give a more personalised experience, we will split into two groups for the next two days of activities, each group will have the opportunity for each of the activities. Today the group activities will be:

Activity 1 – A 25-minute drive by coach to the protected rainforests of McRitchie Reservoir in morning to see palms and perhaps some macaque monkeys in habitat from the boardwalks and a canopy suspension bridge. Coach to Singapore Botanic Gardens for a welcome reception and a box lunch at gardens venue, afternoon group gardens tour through palm valley, and your choice of orchid house, ginger gardens, formal gardens etc. Make your own way via Singapore’s famous shopping Street Orchard Road or return to hotel via coach and optional boat cruise from Singapore River to Marina Bay. Note: this group will split into 2, itinerary will be same but half will do it in reverse visiting Singapore Botanic Gardens in the morning, box lunch at gardens, McRitchie Reservoir in afternoon. Palms seen in habitat at McRitchie Reservoir:‐ Licuala ferruginea, Licuala spinosa, Pinanga sp, Rhobaloblaste singaporensis, Oncosperma horridum, Oncosperma tigillarium, , Nenga pumila, Caryota mitis as well asCalamus, Daemonorops and Plectocomia species.

Activity 2 – After breakfast, group walk from hotel to Gardens by the Bay (open bus transfers will be available for those in need). Divide into groups for tours of climate controlled Domes, Palms, and open bus tour of Gardens in rotation. Buffet lunch at the gardens conference centre with address by Gardens by the Bay and an introduction to gardens. Continue tour of gardens after lunch. Later attendees will have the choice of the Supertrees skywalk and lightshow at dusk, or retreat to the Marina Bay Sands rooftop bar for pre‐dinner drinks (voucher included) and views of Singapore skyline at dusk.

Evening choice of own or optional activities, such as Singapore River cruise; Orchard Road shopping; Chinatown at night; a Zoo Night Safari.

Day 7 – Saturday June 18, 2016 (BLD)
After breakfast at hotel gather in groups and travel by coach to palms in habitat and cultivation in Singapore, each group will do both activities as above over the two days in rotation. Evening farewell buffet dinner and speakers at the gardens conference centre, return to hotel via the gardens.

Day 8 – Sunday June 19, 2016 (B)
This is the departure day. After breakfast at the hotel attendees checkout, transferring to airport at times to suit departure. For those attending the Darwin Post Tour this is a travel day.
Note: Attendees leaving Singapore early afternoon flight Sunday Singapore time arrive on the west coast USA late evening Sunday US time as you will gain a day due to crossing International Date Line.

THE TOUR PRICE INCLUDES:

  • Airport transfers as mentioned in Kuching and Singapore
  • 4 nights stay at the Hilton Hotel Kuching with daily breakfast, welcome dinner and farewell dinner
  • Semenggoh, Kubah and Bako  Tours with transport guides and box lunch
  • Three nights stay at the Marina Bay Sands Hotel with daily breakfast and farewell dinner
  • McRitchie Reservoir reserve, Singapore Botanic Gardens, Gardens by the Bay tours with  transport guides and lunch
  • Meals as indicated

THE TOUR PRICE EXCLUDES:

  • Alcoholic beverages, juices and carbonated drinks
  • All flights (remember to book your round trip flight from Singapore to Kuching)
  • Tips and Gratuities
  • Optional activities / items not mentioned
  • Meals except as indicated (see remarks under each day’s summary)

CANCELLATIONS

15% penalty prior to March 1, 2016
50% penalty prior to May 1, 2016
No refunds after April 30, 2016.

Bookings

Bookings are closed for this event.