Malaysia: Suggested Itinerary
Asia's Rising Star
Days 1-2: Most flights to Kuala Lumpur arrive early in the morning. On arrival at the airport, transfer to your hotel in Kuala Lumpur by car or minibus. After check-in, get out and start exploring. Start with the lively 'Petaling Street'. This street is excellent for endless strolls through small side streets and alleyways. A few top attractions you don't want to miss during your stay are the world's highest towers, the Petronas Towers, the neo-colonial Anglo-Moor style train station and the hyper modern Masjid Negara-mosque. Kuala Lumpur also offers quite a lot to often travellers who are more 'West' oriented; from fast food restaurants to large air conditioned shopping malls suitable for seemingly endless shopping sprees.
Day 3: Take an excursion first to the small village of Kuala Tembeling. Travelling to Taman Negara National Park by car, you can stop off oat the Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary to join in the daily bath-time with the elephants at 2pm. From there, continue on to Kuala Tahan, the headquarters of the Taman Negara National Park. After booking a place at a resort (or pre-book), step onto the wooden jungle boat for a relaxed boat trip along the Sungai Tembeling river. As you pass the densely overgrown river banks you’ll get a good impression of the Malaysian jungle. After about 3 hours the boat will moor at the jetty of your luxury resort where you’ll be staying during your visit to Taman Negara. In the evening there’s a video presentation about the National Park if you’re interested. The resort has an excellent (buffet) restaurant, but you can also head across the river to one of the floating restaurants in Kuala Tahan.
Days 4-5: This morning you can enjoy a bit of a lie-in and a leisurely breakfast in the hotel restaurant. There's plenty to do in and around the resort. Make sure you do the Canopy walk, unless you're afraid of heights that is. The entire walk takes around 3 hours. In the afternoon you can relax back at the resort and recover from the tropical heat and exercise. Later on you can go rafting or visit a local village of the Orang Asli tribe, Malaysia’s indigenous inhabitants, go on a sunset cruise or discover the secrets of the jungle at night on the daily night walk. If you're interested make sure you book ahead though, for example at reception when you check in at the hotel. For dinner head to the excellent hotel restaurant, or hop across the river to one of the riverside restaurants in Tahan.
Day 6: After breakfast, it's time to bid farewell to the jungle and cross the river to Kuala Tahan where you can start your journey to the Cameron Highlands. Towards the end of the afternoon you'll arrive in Tanah Rata where you'll find a characteristic hotel in British colonial style. In the evening you can either enjoy dinner at your hotel, or go into town to check out the many tasty dining options there. The town has a large Indian population so you'll also find lots of excellent curry houses here.
Day 7: Today you might want to go for a nice hike through the rolling hills in the area. You can do this independently; however it may be more fun if a guide can accompany you and tell you all about the area you're walking through. You can also visit a tea plantation, there will be options for this.
Day 8: After breakfast you can spend the rest of the morning chilling on your private veranda or wander into Tanah Rata. Next it’s across the Penang Bridge to the colourful Georgtetown of Penang - a cultural melting pot and a culinary hotspot, even for the local Malaysians. You'll find quite a few dinner options at the 'Datuk Keramat Hawker Centre', which is also known as 'Padang Brown'. You'll often find a typical night market here as well. Don't forget a visit to the heart of Georgetown, Gurney Drive.
Day 9: If you want to see everything Penang has to offer, be sure to be getting up a bit early. Within Georgetown, take a trishaw to get about. The most fascinating spots in Georgetown are the Khoo Khongsi Clan house, Fort Cornwallis and the Goddess of Mercy Temple. In the evening, take dinner in Chinatown. It can turn into quite a little party later on with live music and the local Chinese having a little dance.
Day 10: Head out early in the morning to Penang's harbour to catch the 08:15 boat to Langkawi (approximately a two hour boat ride). There are plenty of places in Langkawi to stay such as in Pantai Cenang. If you stay at a resort you’ll find activities like jungle tours, morning and evening cruises, snorkelling, kayaking and fishing trips and boat rides to nearby tropical islands.
Days 11-13: You could spend your days chilling out on the beach, but if you want to do something a little more active there’s plenty to do on in the water like catamaran sailing or kayaking. Further inland you can take a cable car to the top of the Gunung Mat Chingchang, the second highest mountain on Langkawi, rising up from the dense green rainforest. If you want to discover Malaysia sea life without getting wet, visit the aptly named Underwater World in Pantai Cenang, one of the largest aquariums in Asia. You can also take a snorkelling trip to one of the nearby islands, visit one of the museums or go hiking to the hot springs of Telaga Air Hangat.
Day 14: Today fly back from Langkawi to Kuala Lumpur where you can spend some more time if you didn’t get enough or fly home.