Combining the best of Malaysia’s historic towns, modern cities, rainforests and beaches, this itinerary is the perfect starting point to build your perfect trip.
Do you love contemporary art and café culture? We’ll tailor it to include all the best galleries and the hippest coffee shops. Are you more of an outdoors type? We’ll adjust the balance so you get to spend more time in the countryside. Whatever your interests, if you start with the highlights, you can’t go wrong.
Transport in detail
Most journeys will be by private car, with the exception of one boat journey and a short domestic flight (from Penang to Langkawi).
This is a fantastic itinerary for first-timers to Malaysia, covering a diverse selection of the country’s highlights
With plenty of guided experiences, you’re sure to get beneath the surface of the country’s history and culture
This is an ideal trip for those who want to see all aspects of Malaysian scenery, from cities and towns to highlands, rainforest and beach
Things to consider
As the name suggests, this itinerary focusses on Malaysia’s classic highlights, so you don’t get far from the beaten track
Langkawi is best visited from November to May — but we can suggest alternatives outside those dates
The rainforest is a magical experience no matter what, but wildlife sightings are never guaranteed
The Taman Negara canopy walk and the Petronas Towers aren’t open every day, so let us know if these are must-do experiences
Classic Malaysia is the perfect building block for almost any kind of trip. Add or subtract, lengthen or shorten, adjust the balance: bring us your ideas, and we’ll build on it together.
Understanding modern Malaysia is all about getting to grips with its multicultural history, and Malacca is the perfect place to begin. This World Heritage port town has been around for centuries, and you can still trace the course of its history in its architecture, food and culture today. To help you untangle this complicated web of influences, join your local guide for a historical walking tour of the city. Munching on freshly baked Portuguese tarts and Peranakan delicacies as you go, discover how this jigsaw puzzle of red Dutch clock towers, Hindu temples, and sumptuous Chinese-Malay merchant houses fits together to form the DNA of modern Malaysia.
Learn about Malacca’s 16th century Dutch and Portuguese history through its architecture and cuisine
Witness the kitschness of the city’s inimitable eye-popping, neon-bright, pop-culture trishaws
Sample a smorgasbord of traditional Malaccan cuisine at Jonker Street Night Market
At first glance, KL could be any Asian city — but dig a little deeper and you’ll discover just how wrong that is. How many modern metropolises have a 120-year-old traditional village nestled among the skyscrapers, complete with tin-roofed stilt houses, free-range chickens and banana palms? Or Hindu cave temples where psychedelic dioramas tell the epic story of the Ramayana? We’ll tell you: none. Plus, on the way here, you’ll stop in at the planned city of Putrajaya, whose turquoise domes and pink minarets represent a gleaming example of Islamic architecture for the modern world. To cap it all off, visit one of the world’s iconic landmarks: the Petronas Towers.
Gaze over the twinkling lights of the Malaysian capital as you visit the iconic Petronas Towers
Sample classic Malaysian dishes such as nasi lemak, curry laksa and sweet “pulled tea” on a food tour of Kamung Baru: a Malay village in the heart of the city
Visit the Batu Caves, home to one of the most important Hindu temples in the world
The finer detail
- Breakfast every day
- Three lunches: one in a Peranakan restaurant in Malacca; one in Kuala Lumpur on your tour of Kampung Baru; one at your lodge in Taman Negara
- Three dinners: two at your lodge in Taman Negara; one at the night market in George Town
- Two full-day experiences: one tea plantation visit and forest walk in the Cameron Highlands; one day of trekking, cruising and waterfall swimming in Taman Negara
- Four half-day experiences: one historic tour of Malacca; one tour of Putrajaya’s magnificent Islamic architecture; one morning food and culture tour of Kampung Baru; one trip to the Batu Caves and Royal Selangor Pewter Factory
- Three evening experiences: one visit to the Petronas Towers; one after-dark walk through the rainforest in Taman Negara; one trishaw street-food tour of George Town
- All accommodation
- All entrance fees to sites included in guided experiences
- All domestic transfers and transport
Logistics and journey times
Car transfer from Kuala Lumpur Airport to Malacca (2.5 hours)
Car transfer from Malacca to Kuala Lumpur via Putrajaya (2 hours)
Car transfer from Kuala Lumpur to Labu Sentral Jetty (4 hours)
Longboat transfer from Labu Sentral Jetty to Taman Negara (2 hours)
Car transfer from Taman Negara to the Cameron Highlands (4.5 hours)
Car transfer from the Cameron Highlands to Penang (4 hours)
Car transfer from George Town to Penang Airport (45 mins)
Domestic flight from Penang to Langkawi (30 mins)
Car transfer from Langkawi Airport to Langkawi hotel (30-50 mins)
Car transfer from Langkawi hotel to Langkawi Airport (30-50 mins)
What's not included
- International flights
- Any necessary visas
- Any lunches or dinners unless stated
- Entrance fees to any sites not included in guided experiences
- Tipping and personal expenses
- Tourist taxes and any National Park fees