Our Guest Reviews
Myself, my husband Chris and my 13 year daughter, Mya-Rose Craig, who write the Birdgirl blog http://birdgirluk.blogspot.co.uk/, are keen world birders. In July 2014, myself and Mya-Rose booked Andrew Sebastian for two days of birding at Kuala Salangor, in Malaysia. We were a little nervous as this was the first time we had birded without Chris. Andrew met us at KL airport, drove us to Kuala Salangor, then guided us at Bukit Melawati, after which we went out night birding. We spent the next morning birding at Kuala Salangor, seeing lots of our target birds.
Next, Andrew was going to be driving us to Bukit Fraser (Fraser’s Hill), where we were due to meet a guide and car. Andrew was amazing, realising that our Bukit Fraser guide (who he knew) did not drive and so would not have a car. He therefore suggested that he take us to Bukit Tinggi, which I had missed completely from our itinerary. He told us that it would be difficult to get a taxi from Bukit Fraser and that we should not miss the Mountain Peacock-pheasant, an extremely rare endemic, which were coming to seed there. We were extremely lucky, seeing four Mountain-pheasants within twenty minutes of arriving!
Andrew then phoned our Bukit Fraser guide to say that we would be late and spent time birding with us at The Gap, at the bottom of the road. Andrew could have just dropped us with our next guide as planned, but instead went out of his way to show us birds, knowing that it would be hard to get to these places without a car. I am hugely indebted to him for this, as we did then spend 5 days trying to bird around Bukit Fraser without a car, which was impossible.
At the end of our trip, we returned home and left Chris birding around Bukit Fraser with Andrew, having an excellent couple of days.As well as having a fantastic knowledge of the birds, Andrew was great at quickly pointing them out and was really good company. He also looked after as well, making my feel reassured on this my first trip on my own. Chris only had two days in Bukit Fraser and Andrew was great digging out the most crucial birds.
This is my daughter’s blog post about our first two days of birding in Malaysia with Andrew
Mr.Rüştü Kasım Bozacı
Sri, I want to thank you for your efforts; you make the Malaysia part of our trip easy and enjoyable. All of the hotels are unique, comfortable and have charming ambiance. We also want to thank Andrew for his hospitality, help and especially his patience while photographing the butterflies. We saw many beautiful birds and of course, butterflies.
Sun Pui Ming and Angela
Much much thanks for your guiding and giving us a marvelous trip in KL. We’ve learned and experienced a lot lot!
Just express our grateful to you & your team. Regards, Ming
I’m so glad that you were with us during our stay in Malaysia. You made our trip a wonderful trip !!
I hope I can go birdwatching in Malaysia again and you will be with us too !!. If you come to Hong Kong in the future, please do let us know. We could have a drink/lunch/dinner and of course birdwatching. But you might need to locate the birds yourself as we are not as good as you are in birdwatching !!. Cheers, Angela
I had a great and very well organized birdtrip with the two Andrew’s.
Andrew Sebastian on the peninsular, from the start till the end a dedicated guide ,lots of fun and humor and also very keen on bird/wildlife. Very helpfull with all my demanding eat habits (lots of sambal) and I am sure He enjoys every moment the same as I did. We saw great birds and I say again thanks to my friend Andrew.
Andrew Siani, on Borneo,maybe a short 4 day tour, but he worked very hard on showing me the “specialties”of this part of Sabah, off course we missed some but ending with a”‘fruithunter!! was a special price. Thanks Andrew. Off course I will come back to “‘Bird Malaysia”‘ if my birding path leads me to these regions.
I recently hired this guide service. They exceeded all expectations. This is a difficult region of the world to photograph. It is dense rainforest. Humidity and rain are prevalent. However if you are seeking to increase your endemics please look them up. They went above and beyond to produce the birds. This is definitely a binoculars “first” photography “second” region of the world. I saw far more species then I was able to photograph. The heavy forest canopies and dark forest conditions make photography challenging. I was only with them for three days as that was all the time my business trip would permit. People would typically spend 3-4 days in areas that by necessity had to be covered in a single day. – Andrew I had a blast – thank you so very much!
Jon Mercer – United Kingdom
I spent an enjoyable couple of days with Andrew Sebastian at Fraser’s Hill and Kuala Selangor – many birds, efficient logistics – the whole mini tour ran seamlessly with good accommodation and food etc and very knowledgeable guiding on the birds and their calls.
John and Carolyn Walton – United Kingdom
Our 12 day tour in February 2010 was excellently organized. We covered the main habitats on the peninsular in that short time and thanks to our congenial hosts Andrew and Irshad saw 230 species, consumed plate after plate of delicious meals, walked miles and laughed a lot. We can’t wait to return to your beautiful country.
Robert and Sally Kendall – USA
In February 2010, we joined Andrew Sebastian, Guna Segaran, and Irshad Mobarak for birding forays to Fraser’s Hill, Taman Negara, Maxwell’s Hill, Kuala Gula, and Langkawi Island on (or just off) peninsular Malaysia. Except for travel between these sites, we spent little time in vehicles and much time on our feet. The upland and lowland forests gave us splendid experiences, the kinks in our necks notwithstanding, and the edge, open, and coastal areas visited provided a well-rounded exposure to the peninsula’s rich avifauna–and to the mammals: gibbon wars in the hill forests were memorable, as was our eye-level look at the taxonomically enigmatic colugo on Langkowi Island. As North Americans, we’ve had some experience with Asian birds (Sri Lanka, northern India), but it was especially rewarding to see some spectacular new trogons, a group we share. And although we’ve spent time in Africa (and Sri Lanka), the hornbills we saw exceeded all previous standards of casque ornamentation; the canopy walk we took brought us intimately among them, and Langkawi expanded our appreciation of them further.
Our guides were excellent–in their expertise, in their ability and effort to put the slower members of the party (us) on the birds, and in their affability. Even the vehicle drivers participated, either with the enthusiasm of a new interest or with the budding ability of birding experience. We learned a great deal from them all about Malaysia in the course of our tour. Transportation arrangements were seamless. As others have mentioned, accommodations were fine and food was tasty (better, on average, outside hotels). The people of peninsular Malaysia were among the friendliest we’ve encountered anywhere. I recommend the Birding Malaysia group to anyone interested in this area, recognizing that some of their tours (to Sulawesi, for example) are necessarily taken under more primitive conditions than we experienced. The personnel will make the rougher accommodations and conditions a minor distraction, I am sure.
Rajan Harivallabhdas and Sheela – Ahmedabad – India.
Sheela and I are fortunate that we chose Bird Malaysia to arrange our trip. Sri Sari and Irshad Mobarak had made excellent arrangements for our hotel bookings and birding trips.
Andrew, it was a pleasure to have been accompanied by an expert birder like you. Angel was not only great company but an asset while birding. Your enthusiasm and tireless energy enabled us to see many species of birds including nine species of Hornbills. At Belum – Temmengore, the sight of over hundred plain-pouched Hornbills circling in the sky while we were in the boat has been etched permanently in our memory. It was a great experience to see Hornbills in flight and perched on trees. If we had seen the wreathed Hornbill at Lake Kenyir we would have been lucky to have completed the total count of ten species of Hornbills. The sighting of other interesting and unusual species of birds of peninsular Malaysia was equally Thrilling. We hope to see more birds in Malaysia in the near future.