A Taste of Malaysia

Kuching, Bako & Kuala Lumpur
plus Penang Island optional extension

This itinerary is for a past tour program.
Check out our current tour & cruise packages in Asia.

Malaysian dancer
Malaysian dancer   © Tourism Malaysia
In this year of Malaysia's 50th anniversary of independence, there are even more wonderful reasons to visit this lush, magnificent Asian destination. Savvy travelers have known about Malaysia's many wonderous touring opportunities for years. Now, our new 10-day tour makes it an irresistable vacation spot for everyone, from adventure seekers who long to see the world's oldest rainforest and its pristine flora and fauna, to sophisticated urbanites who crave great food and night life, fantastic shopping, and futurestic architecture. It's all there in Malaysia, but don't wait too long to reserve your spot. At these prices, we're sure to sell out quickly.

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Depart USA. Your fascinating journey begins tonight as you check-in for your flight bound for Malaysia. Your Malaysia Airlines flight departs shortly after midnight on Day 2.

Day 2: En route. Cross the International Date Line and lose one day en route.

Day 3: Kuching. Arrive Kuching, the gateway to the legendary island of Borneo. After customs formalities, you'll be escorted to your 5-star hotel to check in and rest from your flight. Tonight, enjoy a welcome dinner with your travel companions at the hotel. Merdeka Palace Hotel. Dinner provided.

A Friendly Planet traveler meets an orangutan Day 4: Kuching. Today's full day of touring begins with a short scenic drive to the Semenggoh Orangutan Rehabilitation Center. Established in 1975, this 1800-acre virgin forest provides sanctuary to some of Malaysia's most protected wildlife, including hornbills, monkeys, and especially, orphaned or rescued orangutans. At the center, the orangutans are carefully nurtured and rehabilitated for eventual release into the jungle, their natural habitat. You will have the opportunity to learn about the rehabilitation process and to observe and photograph the orangutans from a distance. Continue to the Pitcher Plants and Orchid Centre where the awesome carnivorous pitcher plants and elusive wild orchids of Borneo are thriving.

Kuching Waterfront
Kuching Waterfront   © Tourism Malaysia
Later, return to Kuching to discover the romance and charm of the city built during the White Rajah era. Your panoramic city tour includes the bustling Kuching Waterfront; Chinatown, where you'll find the oldest street in the city and the heart of old Kuching; the Tua Pek Kong Chinese Temple; and the Civic Centre Viewing Platform, where you can take in the best panoramic views of Kuching. Continue to St. Joseph Cathedral, the Syariah (Muslim) Court, the Satok Suspension Bridge, and traditional Malay stilt-houses built along the riverbank. Complete your day of touring with a sunset river cruise. Enjoy the panoramic views of Kuching as you enjoy light refreshments aboard. Breakfast provided.

Local girls, Kuching
Local girls, Kuching   © Tourism Malaysia
Day 5: Kuching. Enjoy the morning at leisure to explore Kuching city further on your own, or take advantage of an optional excursion to the Annah Rais Longhouse, located about 60 km from Kuching City, where you'll visit an authentic village of the Bidayuh tribe. Annah Rais Longhouse is located at about 60km away from Kuching City. The longhouse houses more than 80 families, most of whom still live in the traditional longhouse manner.

Sarawak Cultural Village artists  © Sarawak Cultural Village
Sarawak Cultural Village artists   © Sarawak Cultural Village
This afternoon, enjoy an included visit to the Sarawak Cultural Village, where you'll experience the distinct cultures of Sarawak's many ethnic groups, view the many of the various artisans practicing local handicrafts and enjoy a cultural performance at the village theater. The area of Buntal, where the village is located, has many popular seafood restaurants where you can stay and enjoy dinner on your own. Breakfast provided.

The Rafflesia Day 6: Kuching. Enjoy the day at leisure to explore on your own. An optional tour today takes you to the Gunung Gading National Park in search of the Rafflesia, the largest and one of the most magnificent flowers in the world. Three species of this rare and endangered species, whose buds are believed to have medicinal value, are found in Sarawak. Whether you visit when the flowers are in bloom or you find only the buds, you'll be guaranteed to see the plants in their unique natural rainforest habitat.Breakfast provided.

The Proboscis monkey Day 7: Kuching & Bako. Today you'll travel to Bako National Park, one of the best places in Sarawak to see wildlife in its natural surroundings. After arrival at Bako, a Malay fishing village built on stilts over the river, enjoy a 30-minute cruise on the South China Sea to reach this coastal park where beautiful sandy beaches accent sheer cliffs and striking rock formations.

Bako National Park The park is a unique botanical treasure housing 25 distinct types of vegetation that form seven complete ecosystems. Your local guide will help you to explore these ecosystems on the well-marked jungle trails, where you're sure to encounter some of the park's most famous residents such as the rare, long-nosed Proboscis monkeys, macaque monkeys, silver leaf monkeys, sambar deer, Borneo bearded pigs, mousedeer, otter, and monitor lizards. After lunch, trek through the lush forest for more bird watching and wildlife viewing. Bako National Park. (B, L, D)

Petronas Towers  © Tourism Malaysia
Petronas Towers   © Tourism Malaysia
Day 8: Bako, Kuching & Kuala Lumpur. Say goodbye to exotic, lush Bako and drive to Kuching's airport to board your flight to Malaysia's modern capital, Kuala Lumpur. Your guide will greet you at the airport and escort you to your coach to begin your panoramic city tour. A city of contrasts, Kuala Lumpur's modern skyscrapers blend with impressive historic buildings to create a unique cityscape. Despite its rapid modernization, Kuala Lumpur still retains its wonderful mix of people, culture and traditions. Thanks in large part to its multicultural population, the city is a culinary mecca, with excellent restaurants at every turn. Enjoy an optional cultural evening plus dinner. Grand Seasons Hotel Breakfast provided.

Central Marker, Kuala Lumpur  © Tourism Malaysia 2007
Local Market   © Tourism Malaysia
Day 9: Kuala Lumpur. Your last full day is at leisure for independent exploration, last-minute photos or souvenir shopping. You'll definitely want to bring back some of Malaysia's gorgeous, lavishly colored batiks, jewelry and handicrafts as souvenirs, and the Central Market in Kuala Lumpur is a wonderful place to find them. Or, save your last-minute shopping for today's fascinating optional tour to the countryside. The tour begins with a drive along the outskirts of the city passing by Ambassador Row and traditional Malay wooden houses. You'll visit a Batik artist, who will demonstrate how a simple plain cotton cloth is transformed into exotic patterns by freestyle drawing by hand.

Batu Caves
Batu Caves   © Tourism Malaysia
Continue to the world's largest pewter factory, the Royal Selangor, where the skilled craftsmen create handcrafted pewter ware. The last stop on the tour is the famous Batu Caves, where over half a million Hind worshippers gather yearly during Thaipusam. Climb the 272 steps up the limestone hill to witness the fascinating cave structures of the Hindu shrine.

Later this afternoon, join an optional tour to Kuala Selangor, one of the largest firefly colonies in the world. After dinner in this quiet hamlet, proceed to Kampung Kuantan, where skilled local oarsmen will row you upstream in a small boat (Tongkang) in the darkness to witness this spectacular natural light show as thousands of fireflies produce synchronized, rhythmic flashing that creates the image of a flashing Christmas tree. Breakfast provided.

Day 10: Kuala Lumpur, USA. Kuala Lumpur/USA. Transfer to the airport for your return flight to the USA, arriving later today. Or, take advantage of your already included international airfare and join our Penang Island Extension.

Penang Island 3 Day Optional Extension

Why not take advantage of your already-included international airfare on the gorgeous island of Penang?

A beach in Penang Extend your Taste of Malaysia adventure by adding Penang Island, a tropical paradise off the western coast of Malaysia, famous for its sandy beaches and luxuriant vegetation. Extension includes airfare, 3 nights at the deluxe beach-front Grand Plaza Parkroyal Resort, buffet breakfast daily, a half day guided sightseeing tour and all transfers. Extension begins on the evening of Day 10 and returns to the USA on Day 13.

Day 10: Kuala Lumpur/Penang Island. Depart Kuala Lumpur for beautiful Penang Island. Transfer to your deluxe beachfront hotel and enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure. Grand Plaza Parkroyal Penang or Holiday Inn Penang Breakfast provided.

Day 11: Penang Island. This morning, set out on a half day tour of Georgetown, the largest city on Penang Island. With its narrow streets and prewar shop houses, the town still maintains its colonial charm, while its diverse Chinese, Indian, and Malay population gives the island unique local flavor. Your tour will bring you to some of the city's most important sites: Fort Cornwallis, the Penang Museum, Little India, and Chinatown. Breakfast provided.

Penang  © Tourism Malaysia
Day 12: Penang Island. Enjoy a full day at leisure to rest and unwind from your busy vacation. Your resort hotel is nestled amidst tropical gardens with swaying palms. Enjoy beautiful pool or ocean swimming, a first-class spa, and other facilities. Breakfast provided.

Day 13: Penang Island, USA. After breakfast this morning, bid farewell to Penang Island as you transfer to airport for flight to Kuala Lumpur to catch your return flight to the USA arriving later today. Breakfast provided.

Destination FAQs

For quick answers to Frequently Asked Questions about Malaysia, click here.

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