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An exotic mix of Chinese, Malay, Indian and British cultures makes Malaysia a richly diverse and fascinating country. From the bright lights of Kuala Lumpur and the colonial buildings of George Town, to the ancient rainforest of Banding Island and the beaches of Langkawi, get ready for an all-encompassing adventure filled with marvellously Malaysian experiences.
Head away from the tourist hotspots of Hanoi on a glorious guided tour, incorporating creative workshops that preserve the traditional crafts of Vietnam
Visit a local metal craftsman in Kuala Kangsar, who will teach you about the spiritual importance of the Malay Keris dagger
Explore the 130-million-year-old Belum-Temengar Rainforest, home to a mind-boggling array of flora and fauna - including the largest flower species in the world!
While in lush Langkawi, optional excursions include exploring the wildlife-filled mangroves by kayak, or cruising the archipelago by private yacht
Head out of central Kuala Lumpur for an authentic Malaysian cooking class, creating delicious cuisine using recipes and techniques that have been around for generations. After collecting your ingredients at a local wet market, whip up several delicious dishes with a chef instructor and enjoy them for lunch.
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Spend the day exploring the UNESCO World Heritage city of Malacca, where your tailor-made tour of Malaysia begins. Start your heritage adventure at St. Peter’s Church, the oldest Christian church still in use in Malaysia, before discovering several other fascinating sites. Slow down the pace with a boat ride along the Malacca River, passing fishing villages and traditional watermills. After a local Peranakan lunch, browse the antiques and artwork on sale along Jonker Street.
Take a private car transfer to Mandarin Oriental, Kuala Lumpur. The drive will take you through the scenic countryside, passing typical Malay houses.
An increasingly modern capital city, Kuala Lumpur still offers plenty of glimpses into the country’s captivating culture. A guided walking tour takes you behind the skyscrapers to traditional villages, Malay food stalls and the sights and sounds of both Little India and Chinatown, the latter home to the spectacular Sri Maha Mariamman Temple. The next day, mingle with locals at a market, before enjoying a hands-on cookery experience, preparing and feasting on home-cooked Malay food.
Take a private car transfer to Belum Rainforest Resort, Banding Island. On the way, visit the Sam Poh Tong Cave Temple Ipoh, as well as a local metal craftsman in Kuala Kangsar, who will teach you about the making of the Malay Keris dagger and its spiritual importance.
Arriving in the afternoon, your discovery of Banding Island – a paradise for nature lovers - begins that very evening with a night-time tour into the 130-million-year-old rainforest. This enchanting ecosystem is home to over 3,000 flowering plant species, 13 species of hornbill and a lake with five turtle species, as well as tiger, elephant, rhino and more. The next day, cruise along the Lake of Royal Belum, anchoring at a lush green uninhabited island for a picnic lunch. The day-long adventure continues to the indigenous Orang Asli settlement, the Sungai Ruok Waterfall, and a salt lick often frequented by elephants. You will also spot the famous giant Rafflesia flower – the largest in the world!
Take a private car transfer to the Eastern & Oriental Hotel, Penang. On the way, take a tour of the Kek Lok Si temple, the largest Buddhist temple in Malaysia, known for its 10,000 Buddha statues.
Enjoy a full-day guided tour of the historic city of George Town and the exotic island-state of Penang. Visit the Reclining Buddha statue, the Dhammikarama Temple and various other religious buildings, followed by the large Chinese clan house Khoo Kongsi and fascinating Fort Cornwallis. Continue with an interactive walking tour of George Town’s street art highlights, viewing famous masterpieces and learning about an art project in place to help the city’s animals.
Take a private car transfer to Penang Airport for your flight to Langkawi. From here, take a private car transfer to The Datai, Langkawi.
Jewel green jungles, lush paddy fields, sandy shores and striking waterfalls characterise the enchanting and relatively undeveloped isle of Langkawi, where your tailor-made Malaysia tour will end. The choice is yours here with optional excursions including a kayaking tour of the wildlife rich mangroves, or a yacht cruise through the archipelago’s stunning islands - stopping to swim, snorkel or soak up the sunshine. Additional charges may apply.
Take a private car transfer to Langkawi Airport for your flight to Kuala Lumpur. From here, take a private car transfer to Mandarin Oriental, Kuala Lumpur.
Spend a final night in Kuala Lumpur, perhaps sampling the exceptional street food or checking out its famed shopping.
Take a private car transfer to Kuala Lumpur International Airport for your flight to the UK.
Take a full day tour of UNESCO-listed Malacca and journey through more than 600 years of fascinating history, the city having been ruled by the Portuguese, Dutch and the British. Highlights include St Peter’s Church, the oldest Christian church in Malaysia, as well as the largest 17th-century Chinese cemetery outside of China. Continue past the Porta de Santiago gateway, St Paul’s Church and the intriguing Red Square, now home to the Malacca Museum. Then, enjoy a gentle boat ride along the Malacca River, passing by heritage buildings, fishing villages and watermills. Disembark and admire the Cheng Hoon Teng temple, before lunch at a local restaurant. Stroll down Jonker Street – known for its wealth of antiques – before visiting the 100-year-old Sin Hiap Hin bar, learning more about its rich history as you sip local Malaysian liqueur.
Join a knowledgeable guide for a walking tour of Kuala Lumpur, heading away from the tourist streets and modern high-rises and discovering the city’s more hidden gems. Start at a typical Malay village named Kampung Baru, passing traditional houses and sizzling street food stalls, stopping to sample local delicacies. Marvel at the jewellery shops and mosques of Little India, before exploring the delights of Chinatown – from bustling open-air markets to the striking Sri Maha Mariamman Temple.
In the early morning, your culinary day begins with a tour of the local wet market, where you can mingle with locals and watch as vendors set up their colourful stalls, before collecting your fresh ingredients to cook with later. Transfer to LaZat House cookery school in the suburbs of Kuala Lumpur, where you will join a chef to learn how to prepare home-cooked Malaysian dishes in the way that they’ve been made for generations, using traditional stone and wooden utensils. Of course, after all your hard work, you can enjoy the creations for lunch. Please note that this is a group activity.
On your way from Kuala Lumpur to Banding Island, you can stop to meet one of the few metal masters in Perak, Abdul Mazin. He is a highly respected craftsman with a great knowledge of the history, origin and occult of the keris – a traditional Malaysian dagger. He will teach you about the making of keris and its spiritual meaning to the people, explaining the local belief that the dagger possesses magical powers.
A perfect way to explore the ancient Belum rainforest is by boat. Cruise along the Lake of Royal Belum, passing through the outlying lush green islands and anchoring near a waterfall for a picnic lunch. Take a dip in the cool waters, explore further, or just relax and enjoy the jungle. This day-long adventure then takes you to the scenic spots of Sungai Hulu Kejar and the Orang Asli settlement. There is also time to explore the fascinating indigenous settlement at Kampung Aman Damai, stop at the salt-lick hide at Jenut Papan – often visited by elephants - and searching for Rafflesia, the largest flower species in the world!
In Penang, take a guided tour of the Kek Lok Si Buddhist Taoist temple, a cornerstone of the Malaysian Chinese community. This majestic hilltop structure is the largest Buddhist temple in Malaysia, divided into three zones and home to 10,000 Buddha pagodas! Highlights include the Turtle Pond of Longevity and the gigantic statue of Kuan Yin, the Goddess of Mercy.
This incredible tour invites you to experience all the sights and sounds of exotic Penang Island. Visit the world’s fourth longest statue of The Reclining Buddha at Wat Chayamangkalaram, before exploring the elaborately decorated Burmese Dhammikarama Temple. Other highlights include St George’s Anglican Church, Kuan Yin Temple, the oldest Toaist temple in Penang, and the Sri Mariamman Temple, the oldest Hindu temple here. Visit Khoo Kongsi – a magnificent hall embellished with intricate carvings – before a brief stop at Fort Cornwallis, a bastion fort in George Town, built by the British East India Company in the late 18th century.
In just a few hours, get a feeling for the history and life of George Town by exploring more than 30 fantastic paintings, both on foot and by trishaw. Start the walk at one of the most famous pieces of art in George Town, Ernest Zacharevic’s ‘Kids on Bicycle’, painted as part of the George Town Festival in 2012. Then, learn about the ‘101 Lost Kitten’ project, which uses street art pieces to educate about stray animals in the city, aiming to create more awareness about and to change peoples’ views of these animals positively. Hear Skippy’s story, a cat with a deformed leg and the project’s mascot, who now lives happily over in Langkawi. Throughout the art trail, your guide will explain and bring to life the historical events and developments that shaped George Town into the fascinating place it is today.
The west coast of Malaysia is generally sunny and dry between November and February, making these months the best time to visit.
14 NIGHTS FROM £5,300 per person
Price based upon economy flights from London, transfers, UK airport lounge passes and meals and excursions as specified.
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