MALAYSIA

Highlights Of The Mainland

12 days

Spend 12 days experiencing the best of mainland Malaysia. It's a great all-rounder trip offering a range of experiences and locations. Kuala Lumpur for its historical walks, Chinatown, shopping and mosques; Melaka, a rich heritage and diverse culture; Taman Negara offers up treks with stunning rainforest views, a canopy walk and river swimming; the Cameron Highlands for tea plantations and pleasant town walks; and Penang for historic sites, gardens and beaches. A bit of the best of everything!

Day 1: KUALA LUMPUR MELAKA

After arrival at Kuala Lumpur International Airport hit the ground running with a two-hour drive to Melaka. Check-in on arrival and the rest of the day is yours to spend as you wish.

Day 2: MELAKA

Today is yours to spend exploring. Melaka is a historical city along the Straits of Melaka, rich with heritage buildings, ancient landmarks and colonial structures. The churches, squares and fortifications demonstrate the early stages of a history originating in the 15th century Malay sultanate and the Portuguese and Dutch periods beginning in the early 16th century. It's still said that the soul of the country can be glimpsed through the city's mixed Malay, Chinese, Indian and European Heritage and the serene 'Kampung' (villages) scattered among the tropical forests, farmlands and beaches. Visit the lively Chinatown night market if you are there on the weekend.

Day 3: MELAKA KUALA LUMPUR

After a leisurely breakfast, we'll drive to Kuala Lumpur, the metropolitan capital city of Malaysia. Check-in to your hotel and the rest of the day is free at your leisure.

Day 4: KUALA LUMPUR

The day is yours to explore KL; a vibrant metropolis, striking for its remarkable cultural diversity. Ethnic Malays, Chinese prospectors, Indian migrants and British colonials all helped carve the city out of the virgin jungle, and each group has left its indelible mark on the capital. Around the iconic Twin Towers you can spend hours in one of the numerous air-conditioned shopping malls of the Golden Triangle, or visit the colourful Chinatown, the hawker stalls at Jalan Alor, and discover the Indian culture near Brickfields or Masjid Jamek (Jamek Mosque).

Day 5: KUALA LUMPUR TAMAN NEGARA

After check-out depart to Kuala Tembeling Jetty to catch your boat to Taman Negara. From here board a motorised wooden longboat for a three-hour boat ride to Kuala Tahan, the main entrance point to Taman Negara National Park. Check-in and get ready for your night jungle walk in the 130 million year old tropical rainforest. Be on the lookout for nocturnal wildlife and insects amidst the chorus of the rainforest.

Day 6: TAMAN NEGARA

This morning trek to the base of Teresek Hill and then start to climb up to the peak for a panoramic view of the tropical rainforest. The guide will highlight the rich flora to be seen. On a clear day, you can see Mount Tahan, the highest mountain on the Malay Peninsula. Take a 450 metre canopy walk built 40 metres above the ground for a new perspective on the rainforest. We then make the return trek. Following lunch, the guide will take you for another short trek to the near river. There is a deep pool which is great for a swim or rest and read on the rocky area overlooking the river.

Day 7: TAMAN NEGARA CAMERON HIGHLANDS

Today, the boat will take you back to Kuala Tembeling (two to three hours). Pick up a car for the five-hour drive to the Cameron Highlands (1,542 metres). The highlands are famed for tea plantations, strawberry farms and cool temperatures. The drive is about five hours on well-paved country roads. As you head higher into the highlands, the road will become more winding and you will get wonderful views of the rainforests. After arrival the rest of the day is free at your leisure to enjoy the cool climate or stop by a local cafe and enjoy some tea and scones, which is another thing Cameron Highlands is famous for.

Day 8: CAMERON HIGHLANDS

In the colonial days, Cameron Highlands was a highland retreat for the British. Today you can choose to trek one of the many paths around town or opt for the classic Tea Tour. For the town walks, a local nature guide is recommended. On the Tea Tour, begin with a visit to Mount Brinchang, the area's highest peak at more than 2,000 metres. Walk through the mossy rainforest before cruising down the hill to the Sungai Palas Boh estate, regarded as the largest and best known tea station in the region. Walk through the tea plantation before having a tea break and a brief guided tour of the Boh tea factory and butterfly farm.

Day 9: CAMERON HIGHLANDS - PENANG

Today, drive 3.5 hours to the island of Penang, the 'Pearl of the Orient', perhaps stopping off at Orangutan Island. On this island it is the people who are 'caged', with orangutans roaming about freely - the only island of its kind on the Malay Peninsula. Penang's Malay name, Pulau Pinang, is derived from the abundance of betel nuts palms. Penang State, consist of the island and the mainland which is called Seberang Prai (Province Wellesley). The State may be the second smallest in Malaysia but it is one of the most happening places in the country. There are a lot of places to see and plenty of events to participate in. In recognition of this rich heritage, George Town, the capital of Penang, was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Day 10: PENANG

Today you can opt for a half-day guided tour of the town, which will show you the different facets of Penang, or stroll around following one of the many historic sites. Visit the 4th longest Reclining Buddha in the world and take in the Botanical Gardens which offer lush green surroundings with a wide variety of tropical plants and bird life. Visit the Kek Lok Si Temple built in 1904, the most beautiful and largest Buddha Temple Complex in South East Asia. Continue to the old part of George Town where the Khoo Kong Si Clan House is located.

Day 11: PENANG

Today you may choose to spend some time chilling out on the beach or around one of the walking trails at Penang Hill. The best beaches are on the island's north-west. Batu Ferringhi is a good place to hang out; along the beach there are many facilities, such as resorts and restaurants which can help you arrange transport back to town if required.

Day 12: PENANG

Transfer to Penang airport to catch the flight to Kuala Lumpur and then your onwards flight home.

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