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  • Monday 8.30am - 5pm BST
  • Tuesday 8.30am - 5pm BST
  • Wednesday 8.30am - 5pm BST
  • Thursday 8.30pm - 5pm BST
  • Friday 8.30am - 5pm BST
  • Saturday Closed
  • Sunday Closed
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Explore Malaysia

Malaysia - Trip code EM Discovery
Days 12
Deposit From €148
Price from €1480
Flights not included
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Why book this trip?

This journey through the tropical peninsular takes us from the gleaming metropolis of Kuala Lumpur to the idyllic beaches of Langkawi. We discover colonial buildings in Malacca, stay overnight in a forest homestay and learn how tea is picked in the Cameron Highlands.

  • Malacca - Stroll through this charming Dutch colonial trading port. Take an evening river cruise
  • Cameron Highlands - Walk through the mossy forest and try tea picked from plantations
  • Penang - Sample fresh and tasty street food and take in the views from atop Penang Hill
  • Included meals

    Breakfast: 11

    Dinner: 2

  • Trip staff

    Explore Tour Leader

    Boat Crew

    Driver(s)

    Local Guide(s)

  • Transport

    Bus

    Boat

    Ferry

    Public Bus

    Train

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    Accommodation

    1 nights simple homestay

    10 nights comfortable hotel

  • i

    Trip pace:

    Moderate

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    Group Size:

    12 - 18

Itinerary

Itineraries on some departure dates may differ, please select the itinerary that you wish to explore.

Day 1 - Join trip in Kuala Lumpur

Arrive in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia's capital. East and West rub shoulders in this eclectic and energetic city. KL (as it is known locally) has a hugely varied population, comprising mainly of Malays, Sikhs, Chinese, Indians, Tamils (many in local dress), and the odd splash of saffron from a robed Buddhist monk, adding colour to the vibrant street scenes.

For those arriving on time our Leader plans to meet you in the hotel reception at 4:30pm for the welcome meeting. There are no other activities planned today, so you are free to arrive in Kuala Lumpur at any time. If you would like to receive a complimentary airport transfer today, you'll need to arrive into Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KUL), which is one hour and 15 minutes from the hotel. Should you miss the welcome meeting, your Leader will inform you of any essential information over breakfast on day 2.

If your flight arrives earlier in the day, perhaps you might choose to visit the Sultan Abdul Samad Building and clock tower, which are located along Jalan Raja. These late-nineteenth century buildings show Kuala Lumpur's colonial occupation, and are a stunning contrast to the modern skyscrapers.

Accommodation:

Grade: Comfortable Hotel

Single room available

Meals Provided: None

Day 2 - Discover Kuala Lumpur's varied sights on a walking tour of the city

This morning we embark on a walking tour to uncover some of the cultural diversity of this lively and modern city. The tour starts at the colourfully decorated Guan Yin Temple, an ornate Buddhist temple dedicated to Guan Yin, the Goddess of Compassion. We then venture into Chinatown and onto Petaling Street, a pedestrianised lane lined with traditional Chinese lanterns and where anything from sunglasses to Bonsai trees can be bought. We move next onto the Hindu temple of Sri Maha Mariamman, a towering temple that is South Indian in style, and is said to be the oldest Hindu temple in all of Malaysia. On our way out of Chinatown we stop via the Central Market before crossing the Gombak River and onto the city's birthplace. This area offers a stark contrast from Chinatown and is full of historic buildings such as the Cathedral of Saint Mary and the Tudor-styled Royal Selangor club, from Malaysia's colonial days.

The rest of the day is free at leisure. If you would prefer to explore, you may wish to visit 'KLCC' , the area in which the magnificent Petronas Towers lie. For wonderful views of the Towers along with a choice of Asian-inspired cocktails, head for the 'Sky Bar', residing on the 33rd floor of the Traders Hotel, directly opposite the towers.

Accommodation:

Grade: Comfortable Hotel

Single room available

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Day 3 - Morning visit to Batu Caves, afternoon drive to Malacca. Evening river cruise

This morning we head out of the city and on to the iconic Batu Caves. Some 272 steps lead up to the sacred Hindu temple that lies inside the cave, and wonderful views of the city and beyond can be had from the entrance. The temple is a shrine to a Hindu deity, Lord Murugah and the complex consists of three caves full of colourful Hindu murals and artwork. After some time spent exploring, and perhaps witnessing a puja if we are lucky (a Hindu ceremony of worship where often an offering to the gods or deity will be made), we will continue south and drive onto the colonial city of Malacca.

This afternoon we will then visit Villa Sentosa, a traditional house offering an interesting insight into the daily lives of a typical middle-class Malaysian family at the turn of the 20th century. This house-come-museum has been kept almost entirely as it was 100 years ago, and is located within the sleepy settlement of Kampong Morten, a village community hidden within the confines of the city.

This evening we include a river cruise, offering an interesting vantage point to watch the sun set over the colonial cityscape.

Accommodation:

Grade: Comfortable Hotel

Single room available

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Day 4 - Walking tour of the old town and visit to Villa Sentosa

Malacca is one of the oldest towns in Malaysia, and certainly the most cosmopolitan. In its time it has been ruled by the Portuguese, the Dutch, the British and the Japanese, finally becoming Malay in 1957. Old Malacca is a fascinating area to wander around by yourself, and we include a walking tour of some of the major sights such as the tomb of Hang Kasturi, one of Malacca's five great 15th century warriors, and Cheng Hoon Teng Temple the oldest Chinese temple in Malaysia.

The rest of the afternoon is free to explore this charming city. Malacca is the place to pick up antiques along 'antique row', and there are plenty of open-air restaurants along the water front in which to try the local speciality 'steamboat' - satay sticks of all types cooked in a pot in the middle of your table and eaten communally

Accommodation:

Grade: Comfortable Hotel

Single room available

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Day 5 - Drive north to Chenderoh Lake and take an afternoon walk through rural countryside

This morning we set off for our drive north to Perak. Although a journey of 400 kilometres, the drive is comfortable and on a well-laid highway. We expect to make it to our homestay in Chenderoh Lake by the early afternoon.

The Suka Suka Lake Retreat is set on the banks of Chenderoh Lake and offers a great insight into daily life in rural Malaysia. It is set amongst tropical forests and working rubber plantations, and its accommodation comprises of a selection of traditional 'Kampung' style guesthouses with en-suite bathrooms and hot showers. Fans and mosquito nets are provided in all of the rooms.

After settling into our homestay we set off for an orientation walk around the local area. This area is home to many different plantations, and we will walk through active rubber and palm oil plantations to learn about how these crops are harvested, and why locals have chosen to make a living this way. We hope it offers a unique insight at a grassroots level into the realities of the oil palm trade, a multi-billion dollar industry for which Malaysia is the second-largest exporter in the world.

We will help to prepare dinner tonight alongside our hosts, which is likely to be a selection local fried fish, nasi goreng (tasty fried rice often served with egg and spices) and steamed vegetables. Sambal is another staple at dinner time - a kind of garnish paste made with chillies, herbs and spices. After dinner there is a chance to try your hand at Congkak - a popular Malaysian board game played with stones or beans.

Accommodation:

Grade: Simple Homestay

Meals Provided: Breakfast & Dinner

Day 6 - Optional Kayaking before driving into the Cameron Highlands

This morning has been left free to relax in our natural surroundings. There is the option to take a kayak and have a gentle paddle around the calm waters of Chendorah Lake, or perhaps take another short walk.

Waving goodbye to our hosts we set off for the Cameron Highlands, Malaysia's hill-country. The highlands were discovered in the hey-days of the colonial era, with Victorian explorers sending home news of verdant slopes and mild climes which offered respite to Malaysia's punishing summer swelter. The British soon moved in, and up popped country estate houses, vast swathes of lush tea plantations and curious traditions of tea, scones and strawberries.

Present-day Cameron Highlands still retains some of this nostalgic charm, and tea plantations still make up large parts of the landscape.

Dinner tonight serves up a contrast to all of this British influence, as we will be cooking our own Malaysian hot pot. A hearty meal often eaten during winter months, this traditional way of cooking allows for meat and fish to be fried, and vegetables and other ingredients to be boiled all together in one pot under an open flame.

Accommodation:

Grade: Comfortable Hotel

Single room available

Swimming pool available

Meals Provided: Breakfast & Dinner

Day 7 - Visit a tea plantation for a tea tasting session. Afternoon drive to Ipoh to catch train to Penang

Travelling by 4WD this morning, we will drive out to the nearby 'Mossy Forest' for a short walk through this eerie landscape. The forest lies at the highest elevation of this range, and as such is enveloped in near-permanent cloud cover, covering the forest in mist and constant moisture. This provides the perfect environment for moss, ferns and other evergreen plants to flourish.

After the Mossy Forest we will continue onto BOH tea factory. Nestled within many hectares of lush tea plantations, BOH have been growing tea for nearly 100 years. We will take a walk through the rows of plantations to see how tea is grown, picked and harvested, before visiting the factory to learn how it is refined to create the different varieties we find in our brews. We end with tea tasting in BOH's tea rooms, located high up with panoramic views of the plantations below.

After lunch, we leave the Cameron Highlands and drive to the provincial city of Ipoh. From here we board our high-speed train, a comfortable two hour journey to Butterworth.

Accommodation:

Grade: Comfortable Hotel

Single room available

Swimming pool available

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Day 8 - Orientation tour of eclectic Penang,with the afternoon free for further exploration

Often called the 'Pearl of the Orient' by the local people, Penang lies some 4km off the Malay mainland. Its deep-water harbour is ideal for trade and so the island has become a haven of commerce. This morning we take an excursion around the island by private bus; visiting the majestic Kek Lok Si Temple, located on top of a hill, giving us a good insight into local life as it takes us through rural villages. You can also ride on the funicular railway to the top of Penang Hill (optional) for far reaching views across the island. In the afternoon you are free to explore. The Botanical Gardens are beautiful and can be reached quite easily by local bus, and there are many other interesting mosques and Buddhist temples to see. Appreciators of art should search out the local batik work at the Penang Art Gallery. In the evening we will organise to eat at one of the many local food stalls that Penang is so famous for, whether Indian, Chinese or Malay, the choice is yours!

Accommodation:

Grade: Comfortable Hotel

Single room available

Swimming pool available

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Day 9 - Morning ferry to Langkawi island, free afternoon

We rise early this morning for our ferry to the idyllic island paradise of Langkawi, a journey of approximately three hours. Langkawi is an archipelago made up of 99 islands lying just off the west coast of the Malaysian Peninsular. Surrounded by turquoise waters, the interior of the main island is a mixture of jungle-clad hills and picturesque paddy fields. This lush interior is encapsulated by white-sand beaches lapped by the warm waters of the Andaman Sea; an ideal place to relax or explore for our last few days in Malaysia. We will be met on arrival on the island and transferred to our base for the next 3 nights, where the rest of the day has been left free at leisure.

Accommodation:

Grade: Comfortable Hotel

Single room available

Swimming pool available

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Day 10 - Free time in Langkawi - relax or optional island hopping

Today is a free day where you can choose to relax on the beautiful coconut palm-fringed beaches or perhaps snorkel amongst the tropical fish of the Andaman Sea. If you would prefer to remain more active, there are a number of optional excursions which can be arranged. Optional excursions include a cycling tour where you can explore some of the island's towns and villages on two wheels, an island-hopping cruise where you can discover some of the lesser-visited islands of the archipelago, or a visit to the Northern Mangroves taking in the unique geology, flora and fauna of this area.

Accommodation:

Grade: Comfortable Hotel

Single room available

Swimming pool available

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Day 11 - Free to relax or optional cycling & exploration of mangrove forests

We have another free day to relax, unwind, or explore.

Accommodation:

Grade: Comfortable Hotel

Single room available

Swimming pool available

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Day 12 - Trip ends in Langkawi

The trip ends after breakfast at our hotel in Langkawi.

There are no activities planned today, so you are free to depart from Langkawi at any time. If your flight is departing later in the day luggage storage facilities are available at our hotel. If you would like to receive a complimentary airport transfer today, you need to depart from Langkawi International Airport (LGK), which is 30 minutes from the hotel.

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Trip information

Country information

Malaysia

Climate

Temperatures are uniform throughout the year, with conditions on the coast more humid. Day-time temperatures reach around 31°C and then drop at night to about 23°C. There is no clearly defined wet and dry seasons, though the southwest monsoon (September to November) and the northeast monsoon (November to February) bring rather more rain. On the west coast rain tends to fall mainly in short lived thunderstorms, and the sky clears quite quickly.

Time difference to GMT

+8

Plugs

3 Pin Flat

Religion

Islam

Language

Malaysian

Budgeting and packing

Optional activities

The following excursions and/or activities are usually available and may be arranged locally. Estimated costs are provided below for guidance only, are on a per person basis unless shown otherwise, and may depend on the number of participants. Prices quoted are correct as of the date these tour notes were originally issued but may change at any time due to currency fluctuations. Please note: These activities are booked and paid for direct with the supplier and do not form part of your Explore holiday contract.


Penang - Take a trip on the funicular hill railway for views of Georgetown and beyond - £7.00 per person
Kuala Lumpur - Dinner dance show £12.00 per person
Langkawi - Cable Car and Oriental Village - £25 per person
Langkawi - Tour of northern mangroves and bat caves - £32 per person
Langkawi - Boat trip and snorkelling Pulau Payar Marine Park - £50 per person

Clothing

Pack for hot conditions. Bear in mind that the region is tropical (humid) and that days can be very hot. Lightweight rainwear is advisable all year. Casual clothes are the most practical (something with long sleeves, and long trousers for evenings). Malaysia is a Muslim country so dress with respect, tight or brief shorts and clothes should be avoided by both men and women.

Footwear

Comfortable shoes and sandals. Lightweight walking shoes are recommended.

Luggage

20kg

Luggage: On tour

One main piece of baggage and daysac. Remember you are expected to carry your own luggage so don't overload yourself.

Equipment

A small torch, some insect repellent and a water bottle for walks.

Tipping

Explore leader
Tipping isn't compulsory, and we work hard to ensure that our leaders all receive a fair wage. You may however, want to recognise a leader that's done a great job or really added to your trip by giving them a tip. We're often asked about the recommended amount. It's a tricky one, and down to personal preference, but we'd recommend between £15 to £20 per person per week as a guideline.
Local crew
Although entirely voluntary, tipping is a recognised part of life in this region of the world. Some local staff will look to members of the group for personal recognition of particular services provided. Accordingly you should allow £20.

In order to make things easier for you, the Tour Leaders may organise a group's tips kitty and if this is the case, they will account for it throughout the tour.
 

Malaysia

Food and drink

The costs for meals may vary depending upon location, type of restaurant and number of courses eaten and so the prices given are an average guide. Local restaurants located off the beaten track may be less expensive, whereas an upmarket restaurant located in the centre of a major city may charge more.


Lunch price
£4
Dinner price
£8
Beer price
£2
Water price
£0.8
Foreign Exchange
Local currency
Malaysian Ringgit.
Recommended Currency For Exchange
GBP or USD.
Where To Exchange
Most major towns - your Tour Leader will advise on arrival.
ATM Availability
Major towns and cities.
Credit Card Acceptance
In major restaurants.
Travellers Cheques
Major towns and cities.
Transport, Accommodation & Meals

Transport Information

Bus, Boat, Ferry, Public Bus, Train

Essential Information

Government Travel Safety Advice

We strongly recommend that you check your government's travel advisory for up-to-date information and advice about your destination: safety and security, entry requirements, health, local laws and customs. For UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office advice click here.

For more information from Explore about travel advice, click here
 

Under 18 immigration guidance

Please note that some countries require proof of parental consent when travelling overseas with under 18s. Please check requirements with the relevant embassy or consular office well in advance of travel if this applies to your party.

Price Guarantee

Once your booking has been confirmed we guarantee the price will not increase, whatever the circumstances. Before booking please ensure you have read our important tour pricing information.Booking Conditions

Visa and Passport Information

Malaysia: Visas are not required by UK, Australian, New Zealand, US and Canadian citizens. All passports must have at least 6 months validity after departure from Malaysia. Other nationalities should consult their local embassy or consular office.


If you do require assistance in obtaining a visa then you may be able to apply through Explore's recommended visa service in the UK, Travcour. See www.travcour.com to download the relevant visa application for your trip, if applicable (UK citizens only), along with details of how to apply for your visa through Travcour. The Team at Travcour will be happy to answer specific questions relating to visa applications, please call them directly on 0208 5431846.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you are in possession of a full passport, with the correct validity for your chosen destination.
 

Booking conditions

Before booking your Explore trip, please ensure that you read both our Essential Information and Booking Conditions.

Transfers

Find out more about Trip Transfer Terms and Conditions before you book.

Booking a land only package with Explore

Customers who have chosen to book on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements of our tour, please ensure that you have checked your tour specific ‘Joining Instructions’ prior to booking your own travel arrangements. Your joining instructions can be found below in the dates and prices information. 

You may also be eligible for the Free Explore Transfer.


Joining Tour Abroad

Customers booked on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements will now receive a Free Transfer, provided you arrive and depart on the tour only itinerary start and end dates. The complimentary transfers will be arranged from the Explore designated airport or train station to your trips joining point, and then back from the ending point to the designated airport or train station. Generally the airport or station that Explore have selected will be the one that is closest to the town or city where the trip starts, or the one nearest to the joining point. It will be either an airport or train station but not both.

The exception to this rule is customers who are booked on a tour where the joining and ending point is at the designated airport or train station.  

Free transfers are not available for Self-Guided, Polar, Tailormade or Tours for Churches customers.

If you are not eligible for the Free Transfer then you will need to make your own way through to the joining and ending point. On a majority of our tours Explore will be able to provide a private transfer at an additional cost. Please ask for a quote at the time of booking.  


For more information regarding the Explore Free Transfer click here

Insurance

It is a condition of booking with Explore that you have adequate valid travel insurance. It is your responsibility to arrange appropriate travel insurance and ensure you have read and understood the full terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to ensure that you are covered for all activities you intend to undertake whilst on the tour, including all optional activities. Your Insurance Policy must fully cover you for medical expenses and emergency repatriation to your home country. Please ensure your policy includes medical emergency helicopter evacuation in the event of illness or injury and covers the entire duration of your holiday. If you are trekking at altitude please ensure that there is no upper altitude limit which may limit or exclude cover for your trip. The cost of many of our Polar Voyages will exceed the capped amount covered by standard insurance premiums and you will be required to pay an additional premium to cover the full value of your trip. Please ensure that you are covered for the full amount of your holiday cost, as insufficient cover could invalidate a claim under the policy. Medical and repatriation insurance cover is not mandatory for UK residents who are travelling on trips within the United Kingdom.
Read more information about what travel insurance is required.

Flight information

Explore offers a wide range of flexible flying options to make joining and leaving our trips easy. Read more about them here.


Flight Information

You are able to book this tour on a 'land only' basis or as a ‘flight inclusive’ package. Your flight inclusive package will be fully protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) ATOL protection scheme.

  

Booking a flight inclusive package with Explore

We have a good selection of flights not only from London but from many regional airports around the UK allowing us to compare fares between scheduled carriers as well as low cost and charter airlines. Our dedicated flights team will match the best flight options to your arrival and departure airport.

On our website we display a UK flight inclusive package guide price which is generally based on a London departure. To avoid paying supplements or to secure your preferred flight option, we recommend booking as early as possible, especially for peak travel dates.

Ability to swim

An ability to swim is essential for your safe enjoyment of the water based activities on this trip. If you wish to participate in these activities then we insist that you are able to swim.

Malaysia

Vaccinations

Nothing compulsory, but we recommend protection against malaria, tetanus, infectious hepatitis, typhoid, diphtheria and polio. Consult your travel clinic for latest advice on different prophylaxis available against Malaria. Please check the latest requirements with your travel clinic or doctor prior to departure. The above is not an exhaustive list. Further information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found by following the NHS and NaTHNaC links at Explore Travel Health and from your local healthcare provider. Visa and vaccination requirements are subject to change and should be confirmed by you before travelling.

Additional Information

Why book this trip

Malaysia is one of the least visited in the South East Asian region and this holiday is planned to showcase the diversity of the Malay Peninsula. You will journey form north to south and really experience everything from an ancient Chinatown in Penang to the jungles of Royal Belum to the tropical beaches of Langkawi. Along the way you will find the people as diverse as the landscape and architecture - ethnic Malay, Thai, Indonesian, Indian and Chinese people truly make Malaysia the melting pot of Asian cultures.

Dates, prices and booking

All holidays are subject to availability and prices are subject to change
Sun 8 Nov 2020 - Thu 19 Nov 2020 Guaranteed departure
EM_2020
€1480
was Save
SINGLE ROOM OPTION
i
+€475

Add a flight with Explore

  • Full Explore refunds in the event of FCO cancellations or major disruption at your UK departure airport
  • Carbon neutral flights – Gold Standard offsetting included
  • Rearranged flights and transfers in the event of delays, missed connections, or cancellations (including accommodation overseas)
  • ATOL protected
  • No surcharge guarantee
 
Sun 22 Nov 2020 - Thu 3 Dec 2020 Guaranteed departure
EM_2020
€1480
was Save
SINGLE ROOM OPTION
i
+€475

Add a flight with Explore

  • Full Explore refunds in the event of FCO cancellations or major disruption at your UK departure airport
  • Carbon neutral flights – Gold Standard offsetting included
  • Rearranged flights and transfers in the event of delays, missed connections, or cancellations (including accommodation overseas)
  • ATOL protected
  • No surcharge guarantee
 
Sun 20 Dec 2020 - Thu 31 Dec 2020
EM_2020
€1542
was Save
SINGLE ROOM OPTION
i
+€475

Add a flight with Explore

  • Full Explore refunds in the event of FCO cancellations or major disruption at your UK departure airport
  • Carbon neutral flights – Gold Standard offsetting included
  • Rearranged flights and transfers in the event of delays, missed connections, or cancellations (including accommodation overseas)
  • ATOL protected
  • No surcharge guarantee
 
Sun 21 Feb 2021 - Thu 4 Mar 2021
EM_2021
€1518
was Save
SINGLE ROOM OPTION
i
+€524

Add a flight with Explore

  • Full Explore refunds in the event of FCO cancellations or major disruption at your UK departure airport
  • Carbon neutral flights – Gold Standard offsetting included
  • Rearranged flights and transfers in the event of delays, missed connections, or cancellations (including accommodation overseas)
  • ATOL protected
  • No surcharge guarantee
 
Sun 7 Nov 2021 - Thu 18 Nov 2021
EM_2021
€1518
was Save
SINGLE ROOM OPTION
i
+€524

Add a flight with Explore

  • Full Explore refunds in the event of FCO cancellations or major disruption at your UK departure airport
  • Carbon neutral flights – Gold Standard offsetting included
  • Rearranged flights and transfers in the event of delays, missed connections, or cancellations (including accommodation overseas)
  • ATOL protected
  • No surcharge guarantee
 
Sun 19 Dec 2021 - Thu 30 Dec 2021
EM_2021
€1592
was Save
SINGLE ROOM OPTION
i
+€568

Add a flight with Explore

  • Full Explore refunds in the event of FCO cancellations or major disruption at your UK departure airport
  • Carbon neutral flights – Gold Standard offsetting included
  • Rearranged flights and transfers in the event of delays, missed connections, or cancellations (including accommodation overseas)
  • ATOL protected
  • No surcharge guarantee
 

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