A combination of colour, spice and culture, Malaysia has shifted into the sophisticated luxury market, providing added comfort and style steeped with local interactions. Explore the city of Kuala Lumpur discovering the city’s heritage, food and culture. Venture further to discover the Batu Caves, Cameron Highlands, Ipoh, Penang and Langkawi.
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Day 1: Arrive Kuala Lumpur
Guests will be picked up by their private guide and driver and transferred to their hotel. On arrival, guests are free at leisure. 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 there 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 at leisure after a photo stop at the PETRONAS Towers – an architectural icon and best seen at night.
Day 2: Kuala Lumpur
Today’s walking tour can be adjusted to suit guests’ needs and interests. KL, as it is affectionately known, 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 its 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 the 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 subtlety of the dish’s flavors 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. Wander amongst the garland makers surrounded by brightly colored marigolds en route to seeking out another specialty – ‘teh tarik’, a sweet tea which is named after the elaborate action used in producing it, and commonly found in the area surrounding the Indian Mosque. Sample local Indian snacks with the tea. Continue to the architectural colonial heart of old KL to learn about the influences and past and present uses of these iconic buildings, which date back as far as 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 that 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.
Day 3: Kuala Lumpur – Raub
This morning depart overland to Raub. En route, visit the 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 paintings and the 42-meter-high golden statue honoring Lord Murugan. Two smaller caves can be visited at the base of the stairs. Continue across the Titiwangsa ranges into the state of Pahang, known for its thick ancient jungle, bountiful waterfalls and a host of flora and fauna. Make a stop at the highland enclave known as Fraser’s Hill, which was once a colonial summer retreat and is now home to a charming village. Guests will arrive to their luxury villa. This stunning location, where the ancient jungle and modern comfort unite, provides a luxurious base for the next two nights. There is a range of optional activities for guests to enjoy, from walking the surrounding trails to white water rafting, or simply relaxing in the Balinese-style opulence. Evening at leisure.
Day 4: Raub
After breakfast, partake in a range of optional local activities such as trekking (the world’s largest flower, the Rafflesia, can be found seasonally in this area), rafting, 4WD trips, or simply relax at the in-house spa.
Day 5: Raub – Banjaran Hot Springs
After breakfast, depart on one the most beautiful drives in Malaysia, across the verdant ranges of jungle and plantations. Stop at the Cameron Highlands for an organic lunch before continuing down the range to the State of Perak to an exclusive wellness retreat. Guests will be accommodated in a private garden villa complete with plunge pool and butler. A range of complimentary and optional services will be offered to guests during their two-night stay.
Day 6: Banjaran Hot Springs
On day six, guests can do as much or as little as they like. There are complimentary yoga classes each morning as well as a host of wellness treatments, and guests should not miss the steam cave, meditation cave and hot dipping pools.
Day 7: Ipoh
The capital city of Perak state, Ipoh is a town that rose on the back of the tin mining industry and consequently attracted people from across the globe in search of their fortunes. Surrounded by limestone caves and set on the banks of the Kinta River, Ipoh is a charming location in which to wander. During the early 20th Century, the wealth of this town forged a spate of building, from grand municipal commercial buildings to private dwellings, many of which remain today and form the basis of this two-hour walking tour that traces the development of the city. The diversity of inhabitants has also led to the development of a cuisine that is particular to Ipoh, which guests will also have the pleasure of sampling. This journey of discovery starts with a visit to a series of 3000-year-old paintings on the side of limestone cliffs – a unique and often-missed site. There is a steep climb to view the paintings but it’s well worth the effort, with around 30 forms of paintings depicting a variety of animals and scenes of daily life. After a short drive, visit one of the oldest coffee shops in Ipoh, started by two Hainanese brothers in 1937. The shop serves the bitter white coffee for which Ipoh is renowned, and guests can try this Ipoh icon accompanied by ‘kava’ (Coconut jam) spread toast to balance the bitterness. Today’s two-hour walking tour starts at the former railway station, which was built from 1914–1917 by the famous English architect AB Hubback (many colonial buildings in Kuala Lumpur were designed by Hubback). Taking in the most famous of the city’s remaining buildings, the guide will recall some of the more interesting stories of Ipoh, from the heyday of its prosperous tin mining days. The old and the new mingle as guests wander through the streets, courtesy of Malaysian-based Lithuanian artist Ernest Zacharevic. Visit the Concubine’s Alley, where shop houses were fronts for illegal gambling, opium dens and prostitution. A revival of this area is taking place with the addition of stylish cafes and handicraft shops, and it is also a favorite for photographers. Craftsman still ply their trades on the street and form part of the living heritage of Ipoh. Basket weavers, sign engravers and tin makers can still be found as guests stroll through the city streets. Guests then return to the train station to meet their driver and continue to sample one of the area’s traditional favorites – bean sprouts chicken. It is said that the limestone in the area ensures the crunchiest and most succulent bean sprouts, which are accompanied by free range chickens to produce this age-old recipe. Guests will be able to sample it for lunch at a local haunt with shared tables. After lunch, travel to the Perak Tong Cave Temple. Created in 1926 by a local Chinese couple, this beautiful temple features brightly colored murals as well as a large standing Buddha – a serene experience. Travel a further two hours before arriving to Georgetown, Penang. Check into the boutique hotel and spend an evening at leisure.
Day 8: Penang
This morning, guests will be picked up from their hotel and transferred to a local wet market, where a local chef will explain the range of fruit, vegetables and snacks that are housed within the market and form part of Penang cuisine. Guests will sample seasonal fruit and morning snacks as they wander through the market. Continue to a private garden, learning about the variety of herbs and plants that form the basis of many of the local dishes that guests will be cooking today. (This is a joint tour, maximum eight people – private tours are available at additional cost). In their cooking class guests will create three traditional meals much loved by the ‘Penangites’, which are a must-try for any visit to Penang. After lunch, guests return to their hotel to freshen before embarking on a three-hour tour of the local Georgetown area – perfect for walking off that lunch! This insightful tour takes in the must-see sights of the city, fusing the modern and the colonial, the religious and the cultural. Wander the eclectic streets of Chinese, Indian and Malay heritage, learning about the harmonious development of these enclaves throughout Penang’s colorful history. Return to the hotel late in the afternoon for an evening at leisure.
Day 9: Penang
This morning is at leisure for guests to further explore under their own steam, or take an optional tour to the world’s smallest national park, around 45 minutes’ drive from Georgetown. The hiking in this park is easy-to-moderate and there are private beaches and a canopy walk to explore. Late this afternoon, guests will meet their driver and guide and travel to Penang Hill. Sunset is a fabulous time to visit this former hill station area, which affords views across the island. Take the funicular railway to the top to enjoy the coolness of the mountains, before visiting the subtropical gardens and exotic bird aviaries near the Penang Hill Hotel. At leisure, guests will return to the base of the 833-meter-high hill and visit the nearby Kek Lok Sii Temple. Best viewed at night, this temple dates back to 1883 and the unique ‘Pagoda of the 10,000 Buddhas’ traces the connection of Buddhism through China, Myanmar and Thailand. Travel around 30 minutes from Kek Lok Sii to visit a Penang staple – a night market. Here, the guide will take guests on a journey through Penang’s culinary heritage, allowing guests to dine under the stars with shared tables, shoulder to shoulder, and sample an immense array of food. Return to the hotel.
Day 10: Penang – Langkawi
This morning, guests check out of their accommodation and transfer around one hour to Penang International Airport for the flight to Langkawi – a stunning island of luxury hotels, white sandy beaches and thick jungle. The time in Langkawi can be spent doing as much or as little as guests wish. Take a day trip to the freshwater bathing location of Pregnant Maiden Lake or an island tour that crises-crosses Langkawi from wetlands to local markets and sunset beaches.
Day 11: Langkawi
Take advantage of the hotel facilities or laze on the deck chairs on the white sandy beach.
Day 12: Depart Langkawi
This morning guests are at leisure until they transfer to the airport for your onward flight.
|2020 Dates & Prices||Twin Share||Solo Traveller|
|Departs daily from Kuala Lumpur:||Price on Application||Price on Application|
|Meals:||11 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 1 dinner|
|Transport:||Airport transfers, Luxury air-conditioned vehicle|
|Guide:||Local English Speaking Guide|
|Entrance Fees & Touring:||Entrance fees & activities as per itinerary|
* Tour departure dates are subject to availability at time of booking.
* Prices and itinerary are correct at time of publication and are subject to change without notice.