- 10-day tour from Singapore to Malacca, Kuala Lumpur, Cameron Highlands, Penang, Pangkor Island and Putrajaya
- Discover Malacca’s culture, history and heritage on a walking tour of Malacca City
- Visit Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia’s capital, and check out the Petronas Twin Towers, the National Palace, the National Museum and the Batu Caves
- Learn about tea production in Malaysia’s hill stations and see an indigenous village in the Cameron Highlands
- Take a coach and walking tour of Penang’s highlights, including Fort Cornwallis and the Khoo Kongsi clan house
- Relax at a resort on Pangkor Island and enjoy the beach, spa and ocean activities
- Marvel at the planned city of Putrajaya’s innovative urban design
What You Can Expect
Head to the train station for a speedy ride (ticket included) over the causeway and into the state of Johor, passing through scenic countryside along the journey.
Disembark in the city of Kluang and board a comfortable coach that takes you to the state of Malacca. You’ll arrive for lunch and a walking tour of Malacca City that includes a visit to the city center, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Learn about Malacca’s history, heritage and Dutch influences as you visit landmarks such as Porta De Santiago, Cheng Hoon Teng Temple, St Paul’s Hill and Jonkers Street (also known as Antique Street). Your expert guide will share interesting facts about the sights you visit.
Overnight: 4-Star Hotel Equatorial or similar in Malacca
Day 2: Malacca -- Kuala Lumpur (B, L)
After breakfast, travel two hours north to Malaysia’s capital Kuala Lumpur. Behold stirring landmarks such as the National Monument (sculpted by the creator of the Iwo Jima monument in Washington, DC), the National Palace, the National Mosque, the National Museum, the Sultan Abdul Samad Building and the Royal Selangor Club. You won’t miss the formidable Petronas Towers; the glass and steel megastructures stretch 1,487 feet (452 meters) skyward, making them the tallest twin buildings in the world.
Relax over an authentic Malaysian lunch, and then have free time for the rest of the afternoon and evening.
Overnight: 4-Star Hotel Istana or similar in Kuala Lumpur
Day 3: Kuala Lumpur (B, L)
After breakfast you’ll set out on a morning tour to Batu Caves, a series of Hindu cave shrines built into a limestone hill in nearby Selangor. A majestic statue of the Hindu deity Murugan greets you at the foot of the hill. At 138 feet (42 meters) high, this statue is the tallest Hindu deity in Malaysia!
Climb the 272 steps that lead to the Temple Cave (also known as the Cathedral Cave) for a showcase of ornate Hindu shrines housed under lofty ceilings. You can also check out the work of local artisans such as pewter ware and batiks (dyed cloth).
Afterward, you’ll return to Kuala Lumpur for lunch. The afternoon is yours for relaxation or further exploration of Kuala Lumpur on your own.
Overnight: Same hotel in Kuala Lumpur
Day 4: Kuala Lumpur -- Cameron Highlands (B, L)
After breakfast at your hotel, travel through Perak to the neighboring state of Pahang to visit the Cameron Highlands, one of Malaysia’s largest hill stations and the center of its tea production.
Visit the BOH tea plantation, which produces close to 70 percent of Malaysia’s tea. Situated more than 4,900 feet (1500 meters) above sea level, the area’s tea bushes, vegetables and flowers thrive in the cool climate. As you tour the plantation, you’ll learn about the steps in tea production, from harvesting the leaves to completing the tea blends in the factory.
Next you’ll get to meet members of the indigenous Orang Asli. Learn about aspects of their everyday life such as their bamboo hut dwellings topped with palm leaves as well as their tools, medicine, food and musical instruments.
Depending on timing, your guide will take you to a local restaurant for lunch either before or after your time meeting the Orang Asli. The rest of the day is yours to spend at leisure.
Overnight: 4-Star Heritage Hotel Cameron Highlands or similar
Day 5: Cameron Highlands -- Penang (B, L)
After breakfast, your morning starts with a pleasant drive through the highlands and north to Ipoh, the capital of Perak, where a booming tin-mining industry flourished at the turn of the 19th century.
En route, you’ll visit Kellie’s Castle, an unfinished mansion built in 1915 by a Scottish rubber tycoon and later used in the filming of the 1999 movie Anna and the King.
Sample the region’s cuisine as you lunch at a local restaurant. Then you’ll head to the royal town of Kuala Kangsar to visit Ubudiah Mosque, a grand building dotted with magnificent golden domes.
Next go to Bukit Candan and see the Istana Iskandariah (Palace of the Sultan of Perak), an architectural beauty with pointed arches and onion-shaped domes in a style that is characteristic of West Asia.
Continue north and cross the Penang River to reach the island of Penang.
Overnight: 4-Star Bayview Beach Resort or similar in Penang
Day 6: Penang (B, L)
After your morning breakfast, you’ll board a coach for a tour of Penang, the oldest British settlement in Malaysia. Your guide will show you around Fort Cornwallis, Malaysia’s largest standing fort. Check out cannons, prison cells, a chapel and other original attractions as you explore the grounds. Ironically, no battles ever occurred at the site.
Next you’ll stop for a walking tour of the Old City Hall and diverse religious sites including St George’s Church – the oldest Anglican institution in Malaysia – as well as a Hindu temple, Kuan Yin Temple, and Kapitan Keling Mosque.
You’ll also stroll through Little India and ogle the Khoo Kongsi, a distinctive Chinese clan house with elaborate decorative architecture. Learn about the history of the Leong San Tong (Dragon Mountain Hall) clan who built the original structures in 1854.
Lastly, browse through aisles of local foods and spices at the Chowrasta market. You’ll enjoy a relaxing lunch at midday, and then have the rest of the afternoon and evening to explore on your own.
Overnight: Same hotel in Penang
Day 7: Penang -- Pangkor Island (B, L)
After breakfast, return to the mainland and head south to Taiping, the former capital of Perak. The thriving mining grounds of yesteryear have been transformed into the popular Taiping Lake Garden, a stunning 160-acre (64-hectare) park dotted with lakes, trees and flowers. Stroll along paths lined by tall leafy Angsana trees and take in the tranquil beauty of the gardens.
Next you head to the nearby Taiping War Cemetery, the final resting place for soldiers from the Malaysian, Japanese and Allied forces killed during World War II military campaigns in Malaysia. Your guide explains what happened during the war on the Malaysian front and how the cemetery, run by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, accommodates the different religious faiths of those buried here.
Contemplate what you learned about wartime as you examine a collection of Malay weapons at the nearby Taiping Museum. Constructed in 1883, it’s the oldest museum in Malaysia. Three galleries brim with weavings, animal skeletons, nature dioramas, indigenous pottery and tribal artifacts. From there, visit the charming Old Town Center with its picturesque mix of modern and traditional buildings set against a backdrop of the misty mountains of the Bintang Range.
Afterward, set out for the coastal town of Lumut where you have lunch before taking the ferry to Pangkor Island. On Pangkor Island you’ll settle into your beachfront hotel and have the rest of the day and evening to relax.
Overnight: Pangkor Island Beach Resort or similar in Pangkor
Day 8: Pangkor Island (B, L)
Today you decide how to spend your time in the tropical paradise of Pangkor Island. Choose from the many amenities that your resort offers such as sailing, tennis and golf, or soothing treatments at the beachside spa (own expense). Sunbathe and swim at the gorgeous private beach or the large swimming pool. Want an unique water adventure? Ask the resort to book you on a deep-sea fishing or snorkeling excursion (own expense).
If you would like to explore the island, you can check out the main town with its souvenir shops, local cafes, fishing villages and Foo Lin Kong Temple – a Taoist building with a miniature replica of the Great Wall of China. Bird-watchers may spot hornbills, white-bellied sea eagles, kingfishers, orioles, mynahs and herons among others species on the island.
Overnight: Same hotel in Pangkor
Day 9: Pangkor Island -- Putrajaya (B, L)
After breakfast, you’ll take the ferry to the mainland and resume your journey south, crossing through important rice-growing regions on your way to the city of Putrajaya. Built in the 1990s, Putrajaya is a planned city located 15 miles (25 km) outside of Kuala Lumpur and it serves as the federal administrative center for Malaysia. Putrajaya was built on former palm oil and rubber plantations and was designed to integrate man-made wetlands with city infrastructure. Lakes, botanical gardens and lush greenery spread across 40 percent of Putrajaya.
You’ll have lunch at a local restaurant when you arrive at Putrajaya before crossing the wide expressway into the administrative center. Your guide explains the bold urban design of the city as you pass the architectural giants housing the nation’s branches of government, including the grandiose Perdana Putra, which holds the Prime Minister’s office. The Masjid Putra Mosque stands nearby, a stunning structure with Asian and North African influences and a minaret that stands over 330 feet (100 meters) tall. At the center of this area lies the Dataran Putra – a meticulously decorated plaza built in concentric circles that represent Malaysia’s progress since independence in 1957.
Continue to marvel at Putrajaya’s architecture and wetlands as you take a boat cruise along Putrajaya Lake. The 1,600 acres (650 hectares) of lake serves as a cooling device for the city as cool breezes roll off the water.
Spend your last evening of the tour at your leisure.
Overnight: Pullman Putrajaya Lakeside or similar in Putrajaya
Day 10: Putrajaya -- Kuala Lumpur or Singapore (B, L)
Say farewell to your guide after enjoying breakfast at your hotel. If you are going to Kuala Lumpur, you will be taken to your hotel by private transport and arrive in the early afternoon. If you are returning to Singapore, you’ll be driven south and arrive in the late afternoon at your Singapore hotel.