"Thank you for organising our holiday (to China).

We had a great time.

All of the guides were on time, very well informed and easy people to be with.

We have seen so many things and eaten in local places where we would never have gone by ourselves.

We wouldn't hesitate to recommend you and if you would like more details of our adventures or a statement of recommendation let us know."

Nicola, Michael and Family


"Arrived home safe and well and had a wonderful holiday in Nepal and Bhutan"

Michael and Eileen


"Just wanted to thank you for booking our holiday to Koh Lanta.

Everything was perfect and I can thoroughly recommend the Layana Resort and the island of Koh Lanta to any one who wants a laid back, peaceful, non commercialised holiday."

Jane and Andy


"I just wanted to let you know what a great time I had in the Philippines and Borneo.

Everything went without a problem. Great time, great pics, etc.

Thanks for all of your help with this trip"

Peter


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Malaysia - Petronas Towers
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The Classic Malaysia - 9 Days


This south/north journey encompasses many of peninsular Malaysia's best-loved sights. Kicking off in Singapore, guests move north to architecturally rich Malacca before spending some time in Malaysia's buzzing capital Kuala Lumpur.

The scenic uplands of the Cameron Highlands are the next stage of the journey, which concludes on the gorgeous tropical paradise of Penang - the perfect place to indulge in good food and some downtime.


Day 1 - Arrival, Singapore


A tiger of the Orient, modern Singapore was formed in 1819 by Sir Thomas Raffles. Nowadays it is a microcosm of glittering skyscrapers and lush green spaces, which blend with its colonial- and Chinese-influenced past. Singapore is always rewarding; renowned for its food and shopping, it also offers a compact opportunity to explore the historical changes of one Asia’s smallest countries.

Upon arrival guests will be met by their guide and transferred to the hotel for check-in. Subject to the flight time, guests you can either rest at the hotel or embark on a walking tour of one of Singapore’s well preserved historical areas. This tour is best taken during the afternoon to escape the heat of the day and enjoy the colour of Singapore at night.

Wander through one of Singapore’s first port areas. Whilst the geography has changed markedly, buildings still date to the late 19th Century and the area is awash with temples and towering trees, which make for an easy introduction to the formation of modern day Singapore. Chinatown is always a hurried hub of activity, and here is no different. Take a cold Chinese tea and watch the world go by or enjoy a plate of Singapore noodles before walking to Clarke Pier, where guests will take a boat ride. This is a great way to see the variety of architectural styles that are at play in this city and at night is the best time to experience them.

Take this opportunity to stroll through the spacious public areas of The Fullerton Hotel, grab a Singapore Sling at The Raffles or check out the amazing art installation at the Ritz-Carlton hotel.

Return to the hotel by local transport.

Overnight in Singapore.

Distances and journey time:

Singapore Airport to Hotel (20km): 30 mins

Singapore Walking Tour (2.5km): 2.5 hours

Bumboat Tour: 1 hour


Day 2 - Singapore to Malacca (B,L)


Depart the hotel at around 0800 for the VIP coach ride across the causeway to Malaysia. (The transfer to the bus station is around a 1 minute walk subject to the location of your Hotel, alternatively a vehicle transfer will be provided. There is no guide on this journey and guests will need to exit Singapore immigration and enter Malaysian immigration by themselves. This is a hassle-free transition).

The journey to Malacca will pass through Johor Bharu and along major highways flanked by palm trees. On arrival in Malacca guests will be transferred to their hotel for check-in.

Malacca is steeped in trading history, not surprising given its unique location along the vital Malacca Strait. The melting pot of a variety of cultures culminates in a history different to other parts of Malaysia, the most noteworthy being the Portuguese and Dutch influences in this area. Just like other cities in Malaysia, Malacca‘s history is best explored on foot (a trishaw can be used for this tour at an additional cost).

Meander through the centuries of history starting at the oldest remaining example of European architecture in South East Asia, A Famosa, before climbing St Paul’s Hill to visit St Paul’s Church and descending to one of the best examples of Dutch colonial architecture, the Stadthuys - the former Dutch City Hall which is flanked by flamboyantly decorated trishaws.

Try one the renowned ‘Teochew’ style restaurants in Malacca, which are influenced by the Cantonese and often favored for their light, healthy ingredients and little spice. Follow this with a delicious warm Portuguese tart from one of the many nearby vendors.

Visit one of the best examples in the area of the harmony of the area’s ethnic groups, Temple Street, so named because of the multicultural range of temples and mosques that have stood since the early 18th Century.

Continue to view restored Peranakan buildings (a cultural mix of Han Chinese and Malay that forged its own style, known as the Baba-Nyonya, from the 15th Century).

Visit one of the excellent Baba-Nyonya museums along the way to learn more about the culture (additional charges apply) before enjoying the antiques and cafes of the famous Jonkers Street.

Evening at leisure.

Try Restoran Peranakan for dinner. Housed within an original building and furnished with authentic décor, here guests can sample traditional dishes in vibrant atmosphere.

Overnight in Malacca.

Distances and journey time:

Singapore to Malacca Sentral (255km) 4 hours (included exit and entry border)

Malacca Sentral (5km) 20 mins

Malacca Walking Tour (3km) 3-4 hours (including lunch)


Day 3 - Malacca, at leisure (B)


Guests can spend the day further exploring the many antique stores, craft shops or museums at their leisure. A cooking class can also be arranged to allow guests to learn the intricacies of the Baba-Nyonya cuisine, and a river cruise is also an interesting way to explore the surrounds of Malacca.

Overnight in Malacca.


Day 4 - Malacca to Kuala Lumpur (B)


Depart this morning for the capital of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur. This comfortable journey takes around two hours along major highways and is not accompanied by a Guide. On arrival in Kuala Lumpur, or KL as its friends refer to it, meet your local Guide and visit the Federal Territory – the 44th mosque of KL which has a unique design influenced by the Ottoman period. This mosque also functions as community hall and contains a school. Like any place of worship, a dress standard needs to be adhered to, with robes and headscarves provided. The guide will take guests through the various elements of the mosque to gain a further insight into one of the religions of Malaysia.

Make a photo stop at the National Monument and the British-built Cenotaph, which honors those that fell in the Second World War. Stop by the gate of the King’s Palace before arriving to the hotel for check-in.

This afternoon there is the option to visit the peaceful Orchid Conservatory of the Majestic Hotel, where guests can enjoy high tea amongst more than 300 species of orchid – the only venue of its kind in the country (additional charges apply).

This evening, venture over to one of the busiest areas of Kuala Lumpur and enjoy a range of freshly prepared dishes from the street vendors (meal on own account). The guide will be on hand to talk guests through the range and diversity of options available. This really is a great introduction to the city and the start of a cultural culinary experience.

Return to the hotel via a photo stop at the Petronas towers – best viewed at night.

Overnight in Kuala Lumpur.

Distances and journey time

Malacca to Kuala Lumpur (145km) 2 Hours

Photostop City Touring 1 hour



Day 5 - Kuala Lumpur Walking Tour - Heritage & Food (B,L)


Today’s walking tour can be adjusted to suit guests’ needs and interests.

KL is a harmonious blend of cultures and history, brimming with a modern sophistication. Influenced by the Malay, Indian and Chinese people, today’s tour will weave through these influences exhibited in the city’s food, architecture and people.

An early start is recommended to get the best of the cultural activities that occur. Start with a visit to a local morning market, which is a riot of color, sounds and smells as locals bargain for their day’s food. The guide will explain the various spices, fruit, vegetables and snacks that can be found in the market. Stop by a local coffee house to sample a Chow Kit favorite, curry laksa! There’s 65 years of experience in this recipe and its appearance belies the subtle of its flavor and texture. Continue by local transport to the old centre of KL, which is rich in architecture and cultural interactions and provides a sublime range of cuisines to try.

Continue to the architectural colonial heart of old KL to learn about the influences and the past and present uses of these iconic buildings, which date back to the late 1800s.

The tour then winds its way to the eclectic Chinatown area and the birthplace of a range of dishes that have put KL on the map. Enjoy authentic Hokkien ‘mee’ at a local restaurant which has used the same recipe for more than 100 years, and learn about the benefits of Chinese tea from engaging merchants who have operated since the early 1940s.

Please note: all dishes mentioned are offered on a shared basis. The routing of this program may be changed subject to the location of the hotel, but all experiences will be enjoyed.

Return to the hotel for an evening at leisure.

Overnight in Kuala Lumpur.

Distances and journey time

Walking Tour (4km) 5 hours


Day 6 - Kuala Lumpur - Batu Caves - Cameron Highlands (B,D)


Guests can spend the morning at leisure before departing the hotel around 10.00 to travel to Batu Caves, a limestone outcrop just outside of the city. Hindu worshippers from across the world come to pay their respects at this unique site which features three main caves. Ascend the 272 stairs to view the icons and paintings dedicated to Lord Rama. Two smaller caves can be visited at the base of the stairs.

Take a Tali (Indian-style) lunch at one of the local restaurants before continuing another three hours to the largest tea plantation area in Malaysia, in the Cameron Highlands. Guests will arrive in the mid-afternoon and check in to their hotel before spending the afternoon at leisure.

Visit one of the original organic farms in the area and meet the gregarious Mr Lee who will be happy to share his experiences.

This evening, sample produce from the Mr Lee’s farm with a “steamboat” - A must-have meal when in the highlands

Overnight in the Cameron Highlands.

Distances and journey time

Kuala Lumpur to Batu Caves (16km) 40 mins

Batu Caves to Cameron Highlands (210km) 3 hours


Day 7 - Cameron Highlands - Tea Plantation - Penang (B,L)


Start early to enjoy the crisp morning air and light streaming across the Mossy Forest. Guests will access this area via boardwalks which can be slippery in the rain. There are longer treks available, and guests can speak to their travel consultant if they wish to organize one. This is a stunning location for photography and is set at the highest point in Cameron Highlands, creating an ecosystem of pitcher plants, lizards, creeping vines and deep green mossy trees. After around an hour, depart the forest to visit the BOH tea plantation, which was established in 1929 by a British merchant. Here, guests will enjoy a tour of the plantation, learning about the processes of tea production before sampling the produce from an outdoor café with extensive views across the plantation.

Travel down the winding range and onwards to Penang, a journey of around 4-4.5 hours, stopping en route at the historical mining town of Ipoh. Take a local lunch before travelling to the Perak Tong Cave Temple. Created in 1926 by a local Chinese couple, this beautiful temple features brightly coloured murals as well as a large standing Buddha - a serene experience.

Travel a further two hours to Georgetown, Penang.

Arrive to Penang mid-afternoon and check in to the hotel.

Penang has long been recorded on traders’ maps as a place of refuge to rest and restock when traversing the long route from India to China. Blessed with a natural harbor and bountiful fresh water, it came under British control in the mid-1700s. Today, UNESCO-listed Penang is still calling visitors to its shores, promising a distinctive cuisine and colonial charm.

After freshening up at their hotel, guests head out to Little India to enjoy a sensory explosion of flavorsome curries, burning incense, Bollywood beats and a kaleidoscope of colour. The aptly named “Street of Harmony” meanders from Hindu and Muslim to Chinese and Christian influences in a short but vibrant walk, and provides a great introduction to Penang.

There is a range of local choices for dinner tonight and the guide will be able to offer many suggestions depending on guests’ requirements.

Overnight in Penang.

Distances and journey time

Cameron Highlands to Ipoh (85km) 2 hours

Ipoh to Penang (175km) 2.5 hours


Day 8 - Penang - Village Cycling Tour (B,L)


Cycle the countryside of Penang, visiting local artisans and villages and sampling local produce along the route. Guests will need to depart early for this tour, but the interactions, sights and sounds will give provide a view of Malaysia not yet encountered. Visit the local market, busting with fruit, herbs and spices from the local area, before learning the process of one of Malaysia’s most important ingredients – ‘belacan’ or shrimp paste, which is a favorite in a range of Malaysian dishes. Guests will also come across the production of a much used, home grown beauty item, made from rice and fragrant leaves that is said to cool the face in the heat of the day. Coconuts are an important staple in Malaysia and a visit to this farm will educate guests on their myriad of daily uses. Cycling along the quiet country roads, this is a side of Penang often forgotten, with quiet pathways flanked by sustainable farms, mangroves, herds of goats and wooden villages. The “King of Fruit”, the much-maligned durian, is also grown here, and guests will have a chance to sample it, if in season.

After the morning’s cycle, travel to Kek Lok Sii Temple. Construction first started in 1883 and the unique ‘Pagoda of the 10,000 Buddhas’ traces the connection of Buddhism through China, Myanmar and Thailand. There is also the option to visit Penang Hill which is located nearby (additional costs apply).

Return to the hotel around 1500 for an afternoon at leisure.

Overnight in Penang.

Cycling grade: Easy

Distances and journey time

Drive Georgetown to Kampung (22km) 45min

Cycling Route (approx. 8km) 2.5 hours

Kampung to Kek Lok Sii (18km) 35min

Kek Lok Sii to Georgetown (10km) 30mins



Day 9 - Penang, departure (B)


This morning guests are at leisure until their transfer to the airport for their onward journey.

There is a range of direct flights to number of gem-like islands; travel consultants can advise on further details.

Distances and journey time

Hotel to Airport (18 km) 30min


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Penang, Malaysia