More than just a window on Malaysian culture, this itinerary will have you jumping right in.
Don’t just try Peranakan cuisine — learn how to make it for yourself. Don’t just wander through Little India — spend a day there trying on saris and making marigold garlands. This trip is all about getting beyond sightseeing and experiencing Malaysia’s classic destinations first-hand.
Transport in detail
All transfers will be by private vehicle with an English-speaking driver.
This itinerary focusses on Malaysia’s urban side, covering the highlights of both town and city
It’s packed with active experiences to help you get beneath the surface of Malaysian culture
There are no internal flights or long car transfers, so you’ll have the maximum amount of time to enjoy each destination
It's a great trip for first-timers who want to get a rounded introduction to the country
Things to consider
Though there’s a good variety of destinations, this trip doesn’t cover the more rural and rainforested regions of Malaysia
Batu Ferringhi is best visited from November to May, but if you’re traveling outside those dates we can suggest alternative destinations
Some of the included activites require a moderate level of fitness
We built this trip around our favorite Malaysian experiences, but your ideal vacation might look completely different. Just tell us your ideas and we’ll plan a trip to suit you.
With its bright-red Dutch Stadthuys and Portuguese fort, the port town of Malacca is one of Malaysia’s most beautiful cities – but its European influences are more than just skin-deep. On your visit, you'll go beyond the city’s colonial architecture to immerse yourself in its rich hybrid culture, sampling Portuguese custard tarts, learning to cook Peranakan cuisine, visiting a centuries-old Kristang settlement, and witnessing Chinese-Malay fusion culture at the Baba Nyonya Museum. Then, at Jonker Street night market, you’ll taste how this complex web of influences has given birth to one of Asia’s most exciting street food scenes.
Learn about Malacca’s European roots on a walking tour of the historic city center
See the city from a different perspective on a cruise along the Malacca River
Sample some of Asia’s best street food at Jonker Street night market
In contrast to Malacca’s historic streets, KL is a gleaming beacon of modernity, where the turquoise-and-gold domes of contemporary Islamic architecture stand beneath the gaze of the futuristic Petronas Towers. Your visit is all about getting beyond this dazzling veneer as you explore the street-food hawker stalls of Chinatown, go on an after-dark tour of the capital’s British-colonial architecture, and get acquainted with Hindu culture in Little India. Everywhere you go, experience culture first-hand, whether it's receiving a blessing at a Hindu temple or learning to tie a marigold garland. KL may look like any other city on the surface of it, but you’ll soon find out that's not the case.
Discover Kuala Lumpur after dark with an evening walking tour
Learn about the different religions of Malaysia in this multicultural center
Eat banana leaf curry and try on a sari on an immersive tour of Little India
The finer detail
- Breakfast every day
- Seven lunches: one Peranakan lunch in Malacca; one in KL’s Little India; one in Ipoh; one traditional lunch in Gopeng; one seafood lunch on the drive to Penang; one in Penang’s Mural Garden; one during the Penang cycling tour
- Two dinners: one street food meal in KL’s Chinatown; one street food tour of Penang
- Five half-day experiences: city tour of KL; introduction to KL’s Hindu culture; walking tour of the history & food of Ipoh; visit Gua Temperung Caves; cycling tour of the Penang countryside
- Two full-day experiences: city tour of Malacca; city tour of Penang’s art, nature & heritage
- Two evening experiences: evening walking tour of KL; street food tour of Penang
- 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 to Kuala Lumpur (2 hours)
Car transfer to Ipoh (2 hours 15 mins)
Car transfer to George Town (2 hours)
Car transfer to Batu Ferringhi (30 minutes)
Car transfer to Penang Airport (1 hour)
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 & any National Park fees