Spend time with a local family at a homestay, an authentic local experience that gives a real insight into village culture. Pedal out to the rice fields around Kota Aur and learn all about how local coconuts are harvested. Walk through the historic shophouse lined streets of Georgetown, mixed in contemporary art galleries and boutiques, traditional temples and churches, and modern street art that all influence the vibrant cultural hub of Penang. Experience next-level vistas from the top of Mt Kinabalu climb on a two-day climb that will really get the heart pumping
Take the ultimate adventure through Malaysia, from the sun-kissed Perhentian Islands to Mt Kinabalu’s unmistakable peak. Whether it’s soaking up Penang’s sun or soaking in Poring’s hot springs, this trip will tickle all your fancies, especially when it comes to food and fauna. Discover the gastronomical delights of Penang’s street-food stalls then meet Sabah’s orangutans and turtles, all while learning the fascinating history of this country during this 26-day adventure.
Breakfast Included: 22 Lunches Included: 7 Dinner Included: 6
Selamat datang! Welcome to Malaysia. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm on Day 1. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask reception where it will take place. If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader. If you arrive early, get out and get a taste for Kuala Lumpur, the cosmopolitan capital of Malaysia (affectionately known as 'KL'). Grab a map and talk to the hotel staff about things to do. The markets of Chinatown, exceptional Indian food and traditional Malay arts make up a large part of the city's essence. Your evening is best spent at the night market sampling the many different cuisines on offer and bargain hunting at the many stalls.
This morning walk to your shuttle bus (approximately 10 mins), and transfer to the local bus station (approximately 30 mins). Board a local bus to the old port town of Melaka (approximately 2.5 hours). On arrival into Melaka take a minibus to your hotel in downtown Malaka (20 mins).
A former colonial outpost, this town retains a distinctive old-world charm that makes it a delight to visit. Travelling by trishaw in the local style, you will take a tour of the town, cruising through the narrow, winding streets to get a taste of old Melaka and learn about the ancient spice trade the town is known for. Along the way you will pay a visit to Harmony Street, an aptly named strip of mosques and temples that exudes a tranquil air. You will also check out a mosque, a variety of Chinese Buddhist temples and a traditional Muslim house-museum.
Taman Negara National Park
Early this morning you will embark on a full day's travel by private minibus to the ancient rainforest of Taman Negara National Park (approximately 6 hours). This vast natural beauty is believed to be the oldest rainforest in the world, dating back some 130 million years. It's home to an incredible variety of wildlife, from elephants and monkeys to exotic birds such as the elusive Malaysian rail-babbler and the easily recognisable hornbill. The park also boasts one of the highest diversities of trees on the planet.
Taman Negara National Park
Experience the jungle from a monkey's point of view on a canopy walk that will take you high up in the trees. Following the walk, those seeking additional challenges can take the time to explore Bukit Teresek. This trail is rigorous but rewarding, offering some world-class birdwatching and some amazing panoramic views from the top. Afterwards you will head upstream (approximately 1 hour) on a longtail boat on the low-level rapids. There will be plenty of time to relax by the river amid the lush jungle surrounds before returning to the accommodation for the evening.
Taman Negara National Park
Meet your local guide and head off into the jungle for a challenging but rewarding trek (approximately 2 hours). This is the ultimate way to experience this pristine rainforest. As well as spotting wildlife, you'll be able to learn more about the plants and flowers and some of their traditional medicinal uses. While your journey only lasts a few hours, you'll be walking through primary and secondary jungle, so be prepared to sweat! The walk can be challenging, with some time spent on boardwalks and some time spent on trails that can get quite slippery and muddy. You will need to navigate over many tree roots that cross the trail and we recommend bringing leech socks as leeches are very common on this trail. The humidity can also affect even the fittest trekker so take plenty of water with you on this day. At the end of your trek you will arrive at the Tahan River where there's plenty of time to relax by the river. After lunch, the adventurous can continue walking 30 minutes to the cascades further upstream before it's time to head back down the Tahan River in a small dugout canoe.
Take a private bus to Kuala Besut (approximately 6–7 hours). Here you will take a fun boat ride over crystal-clear waters to the sun-kissed beaches of the Perhentian Islands (approximately 45 minutes). Located off the east coast of Malaysia, the Perhentians are some of the most beautiful islands in the world, with unspoiled reefs and pure white sand. This will be well worth the long drive today!
Enjoy a leisurely half-day snorkelling trip in these turquoise waters. You'll be among beautiful coral and an impressive array of tropical fish. See how many different varieties you can spot. It's worth keeping an eye open for the rarer beauties too – green turtles and, if you are lucky, maybe even a reef shark or two.
Indulge in this divine coastal spot in your free time today. You can do some more snorkelling, laze and swim in the water near the shore, trek into the inland jungle, explore the nearby islands or simply lie in a hammock with a good book. And don't miss one of the delicious feasts of barbequed seafood on offer.
Take a speed boat to Kuala Besut and then a minibus to Kota Bharu (approximately 1hour). Epitomising traditional Malay culture at its best, Kota Bharu is home to several cultural and historical museums. Your leader will take you on an orientation walk stopping by the Siamese Buddha Temple and perhaps visiting a Batik workshop. The night market of Kota Bharu is a popular local hawker style market. Don't miss this chance to sample some delicious northern Malay delicacies you won't find anywhere else.
A long bus journey (approximately 8 hours) and a short minibus ride takes you to the west coast. Arrive at your home away from home – Kota Aur. In this small traditional Malay village set amongst the rice paddies, you'll stay with a local family. Enjoy a cooking demonstration then home-cooked dinner on arrival. Afterwards you will meet your hosts and be billeted out to one of the various home lodgings found throughout the village. Tonight there is the opportunity to learn about the Malay game of congkak and enjoy a taste of family life in Malaysia. Relax and make yourself at home.
Awake to the sounds of village life. This morning you will take a tour of the village and rice fields by bike and learn about how the local coconuts are harvested. Experience a home cooked lunch together with the group and one of our hosts. Continue to Penang this afternoon (approximately 1 hour), Malaysia's prized island. Discover an exotic blend of cultures, and of course its signature foods which you can sample at one of the many street-side stalls. Try a sweet ice kacang (crushed ice, syrup and a mixture of jellies, nuts and sweet beans), or a hearty nasi kandar (steamed rice with curry, fried chicken, seafood or vegetables).
This morning take an orientation walk with your leader around your hotel and the Georgetown area of Penang that is best explored on foot. Take in the historic shophouses, narrow streets, and street art that give Georgetown it's unique atmosphere. Pass the Goddess of Mercy Chinese temple, Sri Mahamariamman Hindu temple and Kapitan Kling Mosque. The rest of the day is free to explore the many different sides of Penang at your leisure. Georgetown is a particularly great area to delve deeper into. You will have discovered by now some of its impressive architecture, but this eclectic cultural arena seems to offer a new surprise at every turn. In the evening, perhaps head to the street food hot spot that is Lg Baru. Here you can indulge in a Assam Laksa, char koay teow, or maybe some spicy fish curry for dinner.