About Malaysia & Singapore Travel
Cameron Highlands: Cameron Highlands is north of Kuala Lumpur, in Pahang, Malaysia. At 1,524 meters/5,000 feet, it offers a cool retreat. The highland district is ideal for growing strawberries, roses, vegetables and tea. It also has a butterfly farm, Brinchang Hindu Temples, Sam Poh Chinese Mahayana Buddhist Temple and Market Square.
Kota Kinabalu: The region is host to wildlife, unique cave formations, diverse ethnic groups and exotic flora that includes orchids and pitcher plants. The dramatic cave chambers are filled with impressive formations and specially adapted wildlife. It is the capital of Sabah state in East Malaysia. It is also the capital of the West Coast Division of Sabah. The city is located on the northwest coast of Borneo facing the South China Sea. Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park lies on one side and Mt. Kinabalu, which gave the city its name, is nearby. Kota Kinabalu is a gateway to Sabah and Borneo. Kinabalu National Park, 90 kilometers/56 miles from the city, was Malaysia’s first national park. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the park is a vital biological site with more than 4,500 species of flora and fauna, including 326 bird and about 100 mammal species. Kota Kinabalu is a major industrial and commercial center. Excellent whitewater rafting is possible on the Padas River.
Kuala Lumpur: The capital city is the largest in Malaysia, encompassing some 43 square kilometers/94 square miles. It is the economic engine of the country. As a designated global city, it plays an important role in the global economic system. KL is the cultural hub of Malaysia and home to Petronas Philharmonic Hall and several museums including the National Art Museum. The Islamic Arts Museum houses more than 7,000 Islamic artifacts, including rare exhibits from China. It is adjacent to the national mosque. The center of KL’s original Chinatown, famous Petaling Street comes alive at night and maintains its traditional atmosphere when vendor’s wares flow out on the street – everything from luggage to toys and cooking utensils to gems. The market is a place to wander and take in the sights.
Kuching: The once-colonial city is the capital of Sarawak, Malaysia’s largest state. All manner of traders landed in this port in the 19th century in search of exotic spices. The palace once belonged to the White Rajah (Englishman James Brooke). The White Rajahs ruled Sarawak from 1841 to 1946. The palace serves as the residence of the governor. Semonggok Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre, south of Kuching, is a sanctuary for injured and rescued orangutans. Semi-wild orangutans roam freely in the rainforest, often returning to the center at feeding time.
Miri: Miri is the center of Malaysia’s active oil and gas industry, but tourism is also an important focus. Miri has a diverse ecology: four national parks and a marine national park are located nearby.
Mulu National Park: Near Miri, Sarawak in Borneo, this park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and famous for its cave system and karst formations. The park encompasses 51,800 hectares/128,000 acres of primary forest. Three mountains and towering limestone pinnacles dominate the scene. Here, too, are recordbreaking caves such as Sarawak Chamber, the world’s largest enclosed space; Clearwater, longest cave in Southeast Asia; and Deer, world’s largest cave entrance. In the early evening, witness the enormous population of free-tailed bats, some two million strong, swarm from Lang Cave. This is one of the last places to encounter the nomadic Penan people. Now only about 200 out of some 16,000 Penans cling to the traditional way of life. They are noted for their practice of ‘molong,’ never taking more than necessary.
Penang: Penang is the second smallest state in Malaysia, and sits on the northwest coast of Peninsular Malaysia by the Strait of Malacca. It is estimated that the area was inhabited as far back as 5,000 years. Penang was part of the Malay Sultanate of Kedah, but in 1786, the sultan handed control over to the British East India Company in exchange for promised military protection from invading armies from Siam and Burma. In 1826, Penang, Malacca and Singapore became part of the Straits Settlements, under direct British colonial rule in 1867. In 1948, Penang became part of the Federation of Malaya, which nine years later gained independence. The capital of George Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, recognized for its unique architecture and culture that includes rows of century-old “shophouses” and colonial villas. Local artisans still practice the traditional Chinese art called Khoo Kongsi, delicately carved wooden panels.
Singapore: Red coiled incense smolders just outside ancient temples, brilliantly colored birds sing from birdcages along the street, monks in morning prayer blend together to form the mosaic that is Singapore. On the major sea routes at the tip of the Malay Peninsula, the island-city-state has been visited by Chinese junks, Indian vessels, Arab dhows, and Portuguese and English battleships. Singapore reflects that dynamic mix in its sleek skyscrapers, tropical gardens and pockets of traditional neighborhoods. Little India is packed with pungent spices in stalls along Arab Street and colorful Sri Mariammam Temple is boldly adorned with gods, demons, mortals and animals. Chinatown has a plethora of shops of crafts, clothes, teas and potions. Fine hotels and restaurants, a busy nightlife and nearby Sentosa Island’s relaxed resorts make this a great way to begin or end an Asian odyssey.
Suggested Malaysia & Singapore Tour Itinerary
Day 1: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia / Miri
Kuala Lumpur is the gateway to Malaysia. Miri is situated on the northwest coast of Malaysian Borneo.
Day 2: Miri / Gunung Mulu National Park
This region is famous for its incredible caves such as Sarawak Chamber, the largest enclosed space in the world. The semi-nomadic Penan tribe inhabits the area.
Day 3: Gunung Mulu National Park / Kota Kinabalu
Kota Kinabalu, the state capital of Sabah, sits on the northwest coast of Borneo facing the South China Sea.
Day 4: Kota Kinabalu / Mt. Kinabalu
Kinabalu Park is home to Mt. Kinabalu, the highest mountain in Malaysia at 4,095 meters/13,431 feet; it is home to over 1,000 varieties of wild orchids.
Day 5: Kota Kinabalu - Padas River
Padas River offers superb whitewater rafting.
Day 6: Kota Kinablu / Sepilok Orangutan Center / Sukau Wildlife
The Orangutan Rehabilitation Center at Sepilok gives visitors the opportunity to see orphaned and rescued orangutans.
Day 7: Sukau Wildlife / Danum Valley
Gomantong Caves are home to a million or more swiftlets. Danum Valley is inhabited by elephant, Sumatran rhinoceros, clouded leopard and a host of rare birds.
Day 8: Danum Valley
Bird watching, forest treks by waterfalls, ancient burial coffins, and a canopy walkway are part of the experience.
Day 9: Danum Valley / Lahad Datu / Kota Kinabalu / Singapore
This tropical island nation is an ideal place to end any journey to Asia.
Day 10: Singapore
Singapore’s dynamic personality is seen in its sleek skyscrapers, gardens and pockets of traditional neighborhoods, including Chinatown and Little India.
Day 11: Singapore / Depart
Custom Travel Options
Cameron Highlands (3 days)
Cool highland retreat is ideal for growing strawberries, roses, vegetables and teas. Here, too, is the Brinchang Hindu Temple.
Kuching, Borneo (3 days)
Malaysia’s once-colonial city is the capital of Sarawak, and nearby is Semonggok Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre.
Land price, per person, double occupancy: From US$400 per person per day.