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Exploring Malaysia

Highlights of Borneo and Malaysia

With incredible wildlife, a world class city, stunning beaches, fascinating cultures, and delicious food, Malaysia truly offers something for everyone. This three week highlights tour will take you into the jungles of Malaysian Borneo, along the cultural streets of Melaka and George Town with their colourful buildings and unique cuisine, give you a taste of bustling Kuala Lumpur, and to one of Malaysia’s quiet islands with clear water and pristine beaches.

This itinerary is here to inspire you as all of our holidays are tailor-made to suit you. We’re happy to add or subtract days, change hotels, and adjust as you see fit. To learn more about this trip, or how we can create your ideal holiday in Malaysia, give us a call at UK 020 7112 0019 or email

Your Itinerary

Day 1 - Touchdown in Borneo

Welcome to Kuching, the capital of Sarawak, Borneo’s western state. Your driver will meet you at the international airport and transfer you to your riverside hotel for the evening.


Day 2 - Bako National Park

This morning you’ll travel to nearby Bako National Park where you can walk the trails in search of proboscis monkeys, flying lemurs, and other wildlife. Enjoy a night walk with your guide to look for civets and other nocturnal animals.


Day 3 - Semenggoh Nature Reserve

After morning walks in the park, you’ll cross the water back toward Kuching. Before returning to your hotel, visit Semenggoh Nature Reserve for the afternoon feeding of semi-wild orangutans.

Day 4 - Mulu National Park

This morning you’ll fly to Mulu and check in to your jungle resort. In the afternoon, visit Deer and Lang caves, two of the most impressive show caves within this incredible park.


Day 5 - Wind and Clearwater Caves

Explore Mulu’s other show caves this morning: Wind and Clearwater. After marveling at the stalagmites and stalactites and ascending and descending all the steps, take a dip in the refreshingly cold water outside the caves. The afternoon is yours to relax.

Day 6 - Kota Kinabalu

Fly to Kota Kinabalu today and check in to your city hotel. In the evening, your guide will collect you for a sunset tour up Signal Hill for views of the city and Gaya Island. From there you’ll visit the bustling night market and tuck into a local dinner by the sea.

Day 7 - Gaya Island Rainforest

Spend the day on Gaya Island, only 30 minutes away from Kota Kinabalu by ferry. Your guide will take you through the rainforest and describe the many traditional uses of its unique flora. Have a picnic on the beach and spend the afternoon snorkeling, swimming, or relaxing.


Day 8 - Sepilok and Sukau

It’s a short flight to Sandakan where you’ll head directly to the Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre for the morning feeding. After a visit to the Sun Bear Conservation Centre, you’ll head down the Kinabatangan River to Sukau. Look for proboscis monkeys, crocodiles, and more along the way.

Day 9 - River safari

Rise early for a morning river cruise to look for wildlife and birds with your guide. If you wish, join an easy walk behind the lodge, attend a talk about orangutans, or relax by the pool until your afternoon wildlife-spotting river cruise. The region is rich with life so keep your binoculars handy.

Day 10 - Sandakan to Kuala Lumpur

After a morning river safari you’ll return to Sandakan today to catch your flight to Kuala Lumpur. Upon arrival, you’ll be met at the airport and transferred to your city hotel.

Day 11 - Discover Kuala Lumpur

Spend the morning with your guide on a tour of the city’s highlights. Visit the Petronas Towers, King’s Palace, National Monument, National Mosque, and more as you learn about the city, and the country’s history. The afternoon is yours to explore as you wish.

Day 12 - Melaka

Spend today seeing the historical port city of Melaka. Your guide will take you to a variety of sights including the oldest Chinese temple in mainland Malaysia, the pink Stadhuys, Fort Santiago, and Jonker Street. This cultural highlight of Malaysia was once an important crossroads for traders on the spice route and changed rule multiple times. Return to Kuala Lumpur in the evening.

Day 13 - North to Penang

In the morning your driver will take you to Kuala Lumpur International Airport where you’ll get a short flight to the island of Penang. Upon arrival, you’ll be met and driven to your heritage hotel in George Town. The city is easy to explore on foot or by trishaw so enjoy the afternoon on your own.

Day 14 - Food and History in George Town

Start the day with a walking tour through markets, past temples and mosques, to the Khoo Khongsi house and beyond. Stop along the way to try some of George Town’s typical morning snacks and learn about the island’s unique heritage through its food and architecture. Keep an eye open for unique pieces of street art and tuck into a banana leaf rice meal, ideally with your hands.

Day 15 - Perhentian Islands

Fly to Kota Bharu this morning and meet your driver for a transfer to the jetty and a boat ride to Perhentian Kecil, the smaller of the Perhentian islands. There are no vehicles here, just plenty of sand, clear water, and slow island life.

Days 16-18 - Sun, Sand, and Sea

These days are yours to relax, snorkel, swim, walk through the rainforest, and reflect on the last two weeks. Perhaps start thinking about where your next holiday will take you.


Day 19 - Fly to Kuala Lumpur and homeward

Journey back across the water today to catch a flight to Kuala Lumpur. Once there, you can check in for your international flight homeward. Safe travels!


This itinerary costs from £2,890 per person B&B and is based on two people sharing excluding peak seasons and holidays such as Christmas, New Year, and Chinese New Year. The price includes all transfers and domestic travel but not international flights.

This itinerary is best traveled between March and October but modifications can be made during other times of year.

International flights tend to cost between £700 and £900 per person return – do ask us for advice. Alternatively we can book the flights for you but a booking fee may apply.

What's included?

  • Prices start from £2,890 per person
  • Accommodation on B&B basis
  • Full board on days 8-9
  • Transfers in an air-conditioned vehicle or by boat as mentioned
  • Local taxes except those which can only be paid locally
  • Entrance fees
  • All excursions and activities mentioned in the itinerary
  • Internal flights
  • All trips are ATOL protected or ABTA bonded to ensure you are fully covered
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Kuala Lumpur
Bustling, vibrant Kuala Lumpur is home to an incredible array of old and new. Colonial architecture and modern skyscrapers, gourmet restaurants and simple street food stalls, luxurious hotels and shops, beautiful parks, mosques, and temples fill the city. The city is truly a feast for all five senses. More
The port town of Melaka (formerly spelled Malacca) has been influenced by Portuguese, Dutch, British, Chinese, Indian, and Malay settlers and rulers. The resulting mix of culture, food, and architecture makes Melaka an ideal spot to see, taste, and experience the diversity that makes Malaysia such a unique part of Asia. Although you can visit in a day from Kuala Lumpur, we think it's worth an overnight visit. More
George Town
On the island of Penang sits the UNESCO-designated cultural highlight of George Town. It's home to some of the best food in the country, street art fun for all ages to find and enjoy, Chinese and Indian temples, British colonial buildings, pleasant beaches, a hill with stunning views of the area, and delightful boutique hotels. George Town truly offers a wealth of options for every visitor. More
Formally known as Langkawi, the Jewel of Kedah, the island boasts beaches, rainforest, monkeys, mangroves, and views to Thailand from an incredible hanging bridge atop Mount Mat. More
Cameron Highlands
Once the favoured hill station of British expatriates in Malaysia, the Cameron Highlands is a cool respite from the tropical heat. Tea plantations, giant rafflesia blooms, and a mossy forest that feels straight out of a story book can all be found here. More
Tioman Island
Well known to divers, Tioman is home to incredibly rich waters teeming with life, making for great snorkelling and diving. With beautiful beaches and pleasant walking trails through the jungle, it's a beautiful place to relax. Best visited March through mid-October as we don't recommend trying to reach the island during monsoon season. More
Perhentian Islands
The clear aquamarine South China Sea meets white sand beaches on the Perhentian and Redang islands. There are no roads on these islands, only foot paths and water taxis. We only recommend visiting between April and mid-October to avoid rough crossings and restaurants and resorts closed for monsoon season. More

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