Danum Valley Field Center

Danum Valley Field Center

Jalan Danum Valley Conservation Area, Lahad Datu Malaysia
family bungalow
Traveller (204)
view from the terrace
Room & Suite (53)
Filipino Fish Markets
Dining (11)

View prices for your travel dates

Contact accommodation for availability.
There are similar hotels available.
View all

About

4.0
#1 of 1 hostel in Lahad Datu
4.7 of 5 bubbles
Location
3.6 of 5 bubbles
Cleanliness
3.7 of 5 bubbles
Service
3.6 of 5 bubbles
Value
Suggest edits to improve what we show.Improve this listing
Good to know
HOTEL STYLE
Budget
Property amenities
Restaurant
Shuttle bus service

Location

Jalan Danum Valley Conservation Area, Lahad Datu Malaysia
Getting there
Lahad Datu Airport
58.4 km
See all flights
Tawau Airport
80.4 km
See all flights
132Reviews16Q+A28Room tips
Traveller rating
  • 70
  • 28
  • 24
  • 4
  • 6
Time of year
Traveller type
Language
Selected filters
  • Filter
  • English
Popular mentions
Sort by:
Detailed Reviews
Marcello M wrote a review Apr 2022
Nebbiuno, Italy
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Actually I have been here for 3 days and 2 nigjts in March 2013, this is the best (among few) cheap option for a trip to Danum Valley.
If you are looking for a place to sleep, take a shower and eat something that’s perfect. No fancy amenities: this is a research center!
I don’t get the point when other tourists complain about services and comfort… probably they didn’t check what DVFC is prior to make a reservation.
The self-guided trails are very pleasant to hike, and the tower where you can observe and listen the jungle awaking at dawn in breathtaking…
I would suggest to stay on more night, to have a chance to see more wildlife.
Hurry up: bornean rainforest is disappearing because of logging and palm oil plantations…
Read more
Date of stay: April 2022Trip type: Travelled solo
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Loki W wrote a review Nov 2022
4.0 of 5 bubbles
This place is dedicated to be in nature with wildlife spotting. I managed to see orang utans several times up close which were nice, civets, different species of monkeys, owl, insects, different species of frogs etc. The sunrise tour was breathtaking and surreal even though it was cloudy. The sound of the awakening of Danum Valley is just so real. My accommodation is gender-based hostel with fan and the electricity cuts-off at 11pm - 7am, but it is ok to sleep. The dining hall is about 10 minutes walk from the hostel which is fine as you may spot the orang utan, hornbill, owl while flâneur.
Read more
Date of stay: November 2022
3.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
Trip type: Travelled solo
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Eric D wrote a review Feb 2024
Seattle, Washington
5.0 of 5 bubbles
I went here with my adult daughter for few days. I wanted to experience the rainforest and spend some time with her. I didn't want to spend for a fancy place- just basic sleeping and lots of time in the forest with knowledgeable local guides. That's exactly what I got, so I'm happy.

We stayed in a deluxe double. Basic and comfortable, with AC which is important, but nothing fancy. These are also close to the dining hall, which is pretty good if it's dark and raining.

Our guide was wonderful. His grandparents lived in the forest and he was continuing the family tradition by working here. We would have seen far less without him.

But, if you want fancy food, and don't want to get muddy or wet and learning about leeches is outside your comfort zone (i.e you want to watch the rainforest on TV), then this is not for you. Maybe the Danum Valley lodge would be better.
Read more
Date of stay: February 2024
4.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
4.0 of 5 bubblesService
Trip type: Travelled with family
Room Tip: It's rainy in the rainy season - pay attention to this in your planning. Read of list of things...
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Freedom812681 wrote a review Jan 2023
Province of Verona, Italy
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Just back having spent 3 nights 4 days in DVFC. It actually is basically a two day stay with the first and the last day spent travelling..

Pros
Get to visit one of the oldest Rainforests
We saw Orangutans, Red leaf monkeys , Silver Leaf monkeys, Gibbons and a variety of birds
Good food
Good guides

Cons
Terribly expensive. Like I said it amounts to two days trekking and its hard to see why it is this expensive.

we saw as much wildlife on the Kinabatangan river.
So, if you have lots of money go visit but otherwise I regret having spent the guts of €2,000 on this short visit.
Read more
Date of stay: January 2023
1.0 of 5 bubblesValue
4.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
3.0 of 5 bubblesService
Room Tip: All the rooms are very adequate.
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Riekje K wrote a review Jun 2022
2.0 of 5 bubbles
The location for spotting wildlife is wonderfull, but the rooms are no good. The bathroom looks horrible. The tap and toilet keep running. What a waste of water. The whole bathroom should be renewed. The rooms are not done everyday, so with only 2 towels you have to assk for new ones. After 11 pm the Electric goes off so also the fan which means it is awfully hot in the room dring the night.The food is very limited, everyday Rice with a bit of Meat, some not chewable vegetable. If you are 5 minutes late there is hardly anything left. This is more a place for backpackers than for other tourists.
Outside ok, inside horrible
Read more
Date of stay: May 2022
1.0 of 5 bubblesValue
1.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
IlovebelizeCA wrote a review Mar 2024
Alberta
3.0 of 5 bubbles
My thoughts about Danam Valley Field Station is that two nights is plenty. We stayed three and two would have been sufficient. The food, is basic, buffet style and very disappointing. The rooms were basic and musty. (and that was the deluxe with AC and a fan)
I would recommend going to Danam Valley Field Station as the trails are nice however bring snacks to augment your meals, bring a good book for the down time and go with an open mind knowing that you may not see as much as you’d hope to. Make sure you bring leech socks. And one additional comment, though they say they have wifi at the office, it is pretty well non existent so make sure that you let your family know that you will be off the grid.
Read more
Date of stay: March 2024
2.0 of 5 bubblesValue
4.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
2.0 of 5 bubblesService
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
spaniel12 wrote a review Jul 2023
Svalbard, Norway
+1
5.0 of 5 bubbles
the room at the center is basic but clean and comfortable. all meals are well prepared and delicious. no electricity a few hours daily is wonderful as one can indulge in music of nature... sounds of cicada, owls, gibbon calls.

early morning trek to look for the gibbons is fantastic. night trek and ride is enjoyable.
trekking in the rain is fun.

orangutans and red leaf monkeys are spotted just by the lodge.

taking a special trail with the ranger to see shorea meranti, the tallest tree in Asia, is worth it.

overall service is excellent.

special thanks to daisy, outback venture, who perfectly arranged this trip for me.
Read more
Date of stay: June 2023
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
Trip type: Travelled solo
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Sebastiaan V wrote a review Oct 2023
Meise, Belgium
+1
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Our recent visit to Danum Valley Field Center in Sabah, Borneo, provided a unique adventure. While the accommodations were basic, the friendly staff and park rangers made us feel welcome. We had the chance to observe wildlife such as civets, red leaf monkeys, macaques, monitor lizards, snakes, and a variety of birds. The food was good, and our guide, Siti, was was very knowledgeable, ethousiastic and had great eyes for spotting animals. She was a huge added value to our experience.. Kudos to Adventure Alternative Borneo (AAB) for coordinating the experience. If you're a nature enthusiast, this reserve offers a simple yet authentic jungle adventure.
Read more
Date of stay: September 2023
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
4.0 of 5 bubblesService
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Neeehaaa wrote a review Jul 2022
Ljubljana, Slovenia
5.0 of 5 bubbles
If you want to visit the real, pristine jungle, Danum Valley is the place. DVFC is currently the cheapest (but not cheap!) option to experience it. Besides lots of animals and adventure, don't expect much- the accommodation is very basic. But the rooms and food are not why you come here. The outdoors is just breathtaking. What you really need in a place like this, is a good guide. Thanks to our amazingly knowledgable guide, Azmil Pillantong, we not only saw all sorts of animals but also learned a lot about the ecosystem. He knows how to handle kids in the jungle. Night drive and night walk are just amazing.
Read more
Date of stay: July 2022
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
3.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
3.0 of 5 bubblesService
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
ParticularTourist wrote a review Sept 2015
Milan, Italy
5.0 of 5 bubbles
The overall score should be 5 for the experience and 3 for accommodation and services.
My husband and I have just spent a few days at the Danum Valley Field Center (DVFC), and I would like to share the basic and practical infos necessary to book and budget your stay there. I am thinking of those visitors who are allergic to agents and the related markups that one has to pay for using their services. The many local agents (mostly based in Kota Kinabalu but a couple based in Lahad Datu) are attractive because they pick you up at airport or bus station, whisk you off into the jungle and tell you how to enjoy every minute of your stay there. However, this service is highly priced. See below for comparison.
We found that you can easily travel to Danum valley on your own and arrange for everything on your own. Keep in mind that even this option ain't cheap!

The DVFC, as other travelers have already remarked on TA, is not a conventional resort. It is primarily a research center for international scientists who go there to collect information and data about the forest, its flora and fauna. However, DVFC also takes in paying guests and offers basic but perfectly adequate accomodation. There are two types of accommodation, rooms and dormitories. A standard room is 286 ringgit per night. A bed in the dormitory (hostel style) is 91 ringgits. The center also offers packages. We took a 3 nights/4 days package, which worked out at 836 ringgits per person, covering the following items: a standard room (twin bed, with private shower/bathroom, a ceiling fan, towels and linen included); breakfast, lunch and dinner; conservation area entry fee; a camera fee; and a "nature gallery" fee (whatever that is). This comes to 280 ringgit per person per night (which, at today's exchange rates is 62 euros). The cheapest offer from one of the local agents for an equivalent package came to 720 ringgits per person per night. Frankly, prices to visit Danum valley are high because you are in the middle of the jungle and so it's costly to get all the necessary supplies in, but also because tourism is seen as a great hope to generate income for the locals.

We were picked up in Lahad Datu at the DVFC office by a minivan which cost 65 ringgit return per person. This service is only offered on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. The minivan leaves at 8:30 am from DVFC to Lahad Datu, with the return run leaving at 3:00pm. The office can also arrange for a private car (four passengers) which cost 350 ringgits per journey.

To reserve, you do NOT need to go through any local travel agents. You can contact the institution which manages the field center, which is the Borneo Refugia SDN.BHD (Yayasan Sabah), based in Kota Kinabalu. Here are the names, emails and numbers of the nice ladies I got in touch with to book:
DInisiah LIASAN, inid69_at_yahoo_dot_com
Ann OTIGIL, ann_dot_neogia_at_gmail_dot_com
+60-(0)88-326-320 or +60-(0)88-326-318
You can also contact the DVFC office in Lahad Datu directly. I spoke to Rachel (but she might not always be there). The number is +60-(0)89-880-441 and you can ask for extension 15 and/or 17.

If you are a "flexible" traveler, the DVFC food, room and "rough" but still friendly style of the local staff make this a great way to experience the area: you don't have the nonsense of "creative" tourist activities in the jungle like tubing in the river or having a jacuzzi looking at the foliage ... At the field center you can really totally concentrate on the trails, the flora and the fauna!
Read more
Date of stay: September 2015
3.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
3.0 of 5 bubblesService
3.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Answer from EvMe
Lillehammer, Norway23 contributions12 helpful votes
When we there we had good weather with som showers in the afternoon, perfekt for walking in the forrest. Enjoy you trip
Answer from Franc C
Portumna, Ireland331 contributions302 helpful votes
Hi Sonya, I made my booking in May through a woman called Rosnita at this email address: roserlie2507_at_gmail•©om Have a great trip! Frank
Answer from Meg M
Sapporo, Japan70 contributions11 helpful votes
Yes, you don't need to book beforehand. I think they recommend at least half a days' notice, though. If you wanted to book a ranger (they don't call them guides) for the evening you arrive, you could possibly request one at the DVFC in Lahad Datu before your transfer. Otherwise, organise for all other walks/drives when you get there
Coralie wrote a tip Yesterday
73 contributions46 helpful votes
3.0 of 5 bubbles
"Bring leech socks, and a torchlight. And don't forget your first aid pack in case a leech finds it way through to your skin"
Read full review
Eric D wrote a tip Feb 2024
Seattle, Washington268 contributions119 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"It's rainy in the rainy season - pay attention to this in your planning. Read of list of things to bring and bring them."
Read full review
Freedom812681 wrote a tip Jan 2023
Province of Verona, Italy65 contributions8 helpful votes
3.0 of 5 bubbles
"All the rooms are very adequate."
Read full review
Lica R wrote a tip Dec 2019
Sao Paulo, SP47 contributions51 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"Dorm is far (10 min walk), but on the way to the cafeteria you get to see a lot of animals"
Read full review
Klaas S wrote a tip Dec 2019
Renkum, The Netherlands458 contributions200 helpful votes
4.0 of 5 bubbles
"Ask for the low numbers in the resthouse #1-5, to avoid the noise in the kitchen and canteen."
Read full review
Not the right property for you?
There are more places to choose from in the Lahad Datu area.
ALSO KNOWN AS
danum valley field hotel lahad datu
LOCATION
MalaysiaSabahLahad Datu
NUMBER OF ROOMS
26
Prices are the average nightly price provided by our partners and may not include all taxes and fees. Taxes and fees that are shown are estimates only. Please see our partners for more details.
Is This Your Tripadvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing

DANUM VALLEY FIELD CENTER: UPDATED 2024 Inn Reviews and 204 Photos (Lahad Datu) - Tripadvisor

Frequently Asked Questions about Danum Valley Field Center
Which popular attractions are close to Danum Valley Field Center?
Nearby attractions include Danum Valley Conservation Area (12.6 km).
What food & drink options are available at Danum Valley Field Center?
Guests can enjoy an on-site restaurant during their stay.
Things to DoRestaurantsFlightsHoliday RentalsTravel StoriesCruisesCar Hire