MA4 Malaysia & Brunei

NEW SEARCH
TOUR HIGHLIGHTS:

Bustling Kuala Lumpur - city tour; Historic Malacca tour; Kuching: City Tour & Sarawak Cultural Village; Kinabatangan River nature cruise; Sepilok Orang Utan Sanctuary; Brunei Darussalam area tour

Full Itinerary


Day 1 Arrival in Kuala Lumpur
Today we arrive in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Malaysia's capital is a curious blend of the old and new. It is also a blend of cultures; the Malay capital has a vibrant Chinatown and an Indian quarter. Kuala Lumpur means "muddy confluence" which is an apt description of this town which grew up as a trading post and tin mining shanty town, and later became a modern cosmopolitan business hub.

Overnight in Kuala Lumpur.
Meal plan: dinner

Day 2 Kuala Lumpur: City Tour
Despite rapid development, Kuala Lumpur has managed to retain her charm, with a skyline that blends the Old World with the New. We start the day with a visit to the Menara Kuala Lumpur that offers a birds-eye view of the entire city and its surrounds. We will see the contrast of the distinctive Indo-Moorish architecture and the ultra modern edifices, the Petronas Twin Towers. Later we drive past the elegant Jamek Mosque, which occupies the symbolic birthplace of Kuala Lumpur and the bustling Chinatown at Petaling Street before a photo stop at the majestic Royal Palace.

After lunch we visit the National Museum where historical Malaysian artifacts and replicas among others are on display. Time permitting we will take a stroll at the beautiful Lake Gardens located within the vicinity of National Monument and Merdeka Square.

Overnight in Kuala Lumpur.
Meal plan: breakfast,dinner

Day 3 Kuala Lumpur - Malacca - Kuala Lumpur
We depart after breakfast for a visit to the historic town of Malacca, founded by a fleeing prince from Sumatra in 14th century. Later it developed into a major trading port for ships from India and China. From its early days as a traders meeting point to the successive colonial occupation by the Portuguese, Dutch, English and Japanese, each culture left behind its mark or monument creating a historical showcase. Today you will find many remnants of the mixed history of this city dating back more than 500 years.

The oldest established town in Malaysia, Malacca is particularly famous for its Town Square and surrounding monuments. Our tour visits the red coloured Stadhuys, Cheng Hoon Teng, the oldest Chinese temple on the Malay peninsula, the Portuguese fortress Porta de Santiago built in 1511 and St Paul's Church where St Francis Xavier was buried.

Malacca is well-known for its eclectic food. Most notable of all is the Nyonya-Baba cuisine which is a mixture of Chinese (mostly southern Hokkien or Fujian influence), Portuguese, Dutch, Indian, British and Malay cooking with most dishes being spicy in nature.

Overnight in Kuala Lumpur.
Meal plan: breakfast,dinner

Day 4 Kuala Lumpur - Kuching (Sarawak)
Today we fly to Kuching. Upon arrival we will transfer to our hotel.

This afternoon we travel to the award winning "Sarawak Cultural Village". This living museum depicts the heritage of the major racial groups in Sarawak and conveniently portrays the respective lifestyle amidst 14 acres of equatorial vegetation. Here it is possible to see Sarawak's ethnic diversity at a glance.

We end the day at the Kuching waterfront. The river is important as a transport link in the past, is still a central feature of the city with a beautifully landscaped waterfront promenade providing a superb and relaxing venue for strolls any time of the day.

Overnight in Kuching.
Meal plan: breakfast,dinner

Day 5 Kuching - Longhouse Visit - Kuching
Early this morning we depart Kuching by road, passing pepper gardens, cocoa and rubber plantations. As we continue upcountry we make a few stops to see where a variety of jungle produce, such as edible ferns, bamboo shoots and unusual tropical fruit are on display. Our destination is a longhouse, which is, as its name suggests, an extended family environment where many families live out their existence under a single roof. The longhouse has an open verandah that offers a marvelous view of rural life in the form of paddy fields, rubber plantations and the like. Today in the more rural areas of Sarawak, there are longhouse dwellings where life is more simple, idyllic and nature-oriented.

We will be greeted with a glass of tuak (rice wine) and a welcome dance. Following that we will be shown around and treated to various cultural performances, including dancing and drumming.

Return to Kuching in the late afternoon.

Overnight in Kuching.
Meal plan: breakfast,lunch,dinner

Day 6 Kuching: City Tour - Miri
This morning we embark on a tour of Kuching. Arguably one of the most attractive cities in Southeast Asia, Kuching has adapted modern amenities without losing its old trading centre charm. Once the home of the Rajahs Brooke, their legacy is evident in the old buildings still in use today. Included on our tour: the Cat Monument, Sarawak's oldest Tua Pek Kong Taoist Temple, the Civic Center, the award winning Catholic Cathedral, and the the multi-purpose market where tin smiths, rattan workers, coffin makers, Chinese herbalists and gold smiths ply their specialised trades in a setting little changed from the 19th century. A highlight of the day is a visit to the renowned Sarawak Museum, one of the finest in Asia, with its wonderful collection of Borneo artifacts.

This afternoon, we fly to Miri located in Northern Sarawak of Borneo island. Miri City is the gateway to Borneo and is also adjacent to the neighboring country of Brunei. Upon arrival we will drive up to Canada Hill overlooking the town to visit the 'Grand Old Lady', the first oil well dug in Malaysia. Built in the year 1910 by Anglo-Saxon Petroleum (now the Royal Dutch Shell Group of Companies), this oil well worked faithfully for SHELL for 62 years and outlived many of the other 624 wells in the Miri area known as the Miri Land Field. Altogether the Grand Old Lady produced some 660,000 barrels of oil. It has now been protected as a National Historical Monument.

Overnight in Miri.
Meal plan: breakfast,dinner

Day 7 Miri - Niah National Park and the Grand Cave - Miri
This morning we drive 110 km to the world famous Niah National Park. Although one of Sarawak's smallest national parks, it is one of the most important and unusual with its main claim to fame being known as the birthplace of human civilization in the region. The oldest modern human remains in Southeast Asia along with many other relics of prehistoric man dating from 40,000 years ago were discovered here in 1958 making the park one of the most important archaeological sites in the world.

After registration at the park headquarters, and a brief look at the information centre we take a short boat to cross the river to visit Niah Museum. After our museum visit we walk 3 km along a level boardwalk to the main cave entrance. The walk to the Grand Cave takes about 45 minutes and is fascinating in its own right as you pass close to giant Tapang trees (Koompassia excelsa) with their enormous buttressed roots, pandanus plants twice the size of a person and colourful orchids and tree fungi.

In the Painted Cave you see the prehistoric wall drawing as well as the preserved remains of stone age people dating back 40,000 years. The Great Cave as the name suggests, is an enormous cavern surrounded by dense primary rainforest. The Great cave is not only important archaeological site, where it was inhabited by man for 40,000 years, but the cave is also full bats and birds, especially the Black-nest Swiftlets.

Return to Miri.

Overnight in Miri.
Meal plan: breakfast,dinner

Day 8 Miri, Malaysia - Brunei Darussalam
A 2 hour drive this morning takes us to Brunei is a small oil rich country just 443 km (277 miles) north of the equator in the northwest corner of Borneo, bounded on all landward sides by Sarawak (Malaysia) which splits Brunei into two parts. The landscape is mainly equatorial jungle cut by rivers. It is a heavily forested state and most human activity is restricted either to coastal areas or estuaries.

Today our sightseeing tour will include the magnificent golden-domed Jame Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque. The mosque with its domes, mosaic patterns, surrounding gardens and imposing minarets plated with 24 carat gold, was built to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the King's reign.

In the afternoon we will take a cruise to visit the Kampung Ayer water village, said to be the largest water village in the world. This village has been in continuous habitation since 1521. Here we will witness a traditional way of life, with stilt houses built over the Brunei River (though today most of the inhabitants enjoy modern facilities).

Our tour of the city today will also include a view of the spectacular Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque and a visit to one of the local markets.

Overnight in Brunei.
Meal plan: breakfast,dinner

Day 9 Brunei Darussalam - Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
We have most of the day in Brunei to continue with our sightseeing tour. Today we visit to the Royal Regalia Building, with its amazing array of chariots, weapons, crowns, thrones and other paraphernalia. We will also see the unique and priceless collections contained within the Brunei Museum.

There will be a chance for a photo opportunity of the magnificent Istana Nurul Iman, the Sultan's Royal Palace for his first wife, and also the largest residential palace in the world.

We fly to Kota Kinabalu, the main city in the Malaysian state of Sabah later this afternoon. Time permitting, upon arrival we will have a brief city sightseeing drive tour including a visit to the excellent State Museum.

Overnight in Kota Kinabalu.
Meal plan: breakfast,dinner

Day 10 Kota Kinabalu - Mt Kinabalu - Poring - Kota Kinabalu
Today we drive through paddy-fields and Dusun villages, over the ridges of the Crocker Range to the foothills of the 1500 m / 5,000 foot high Mt. Kinabalu. We arrive at the park headquarters at the Kundasang Visitor Centre and Mountain Garden, home to some of the 24 species of flowering rhododendrons, 10 species of carnivorous pitcher plants, an estimated 1,400 species of orchids, over 600 species of ferns, and more than 40 species of oak trees and over 300 species of birds.

We continue 40 km / 25 mi journey to Poring where we explore tropical rainforest on a treetop canopy walkway suspended 41 m / 135 ft above the forest floor. After our visit we return to Kota Kinabalu.

Overnight in Kota Kinabalu.
Meal plan: breakfast,dinner

Day 11 Kota Kinabalu - Sandakan - Sepilok Orangutan Sanctuary - Sukau
A short flight takes us to Sandakan from where we transfer to Sepilok, the largest orangutan sanctuary in the world. Here you can see adolescents, adults, and babies in their natural habitat: the tropical rainforest. We visit in the afternoon after most tourists have left and orangutans are less shy.

Later we continue by road to our rainforest lodge.

Overnight in Sukau region.
Meal plan: breakfast,dinner

Day 12 Oxbow Lakes & Sukau
Today we wake up to the calls of gibbons and hornbills. Early this morning we have a river cruise up the Kinabatangan River to view more birds and wildlife. We proceed to the Kelenanap ox-bow lake for a short jungle walk along the lake while searching for more wildlife. In the afternoon, we take a river cruise in search of wild proboscis monkeys as they settle down on treetops along the Kinabatangan River.

After dinner there is an optional night cruise for spotting nocturnal animals, crocodiles and birds.

Overnight in Sukau region.
Meal plan: breakfast,lunch,dinner

Day 13 Sukau - Sandakan - Kota Kinabalu
Today we return to Sandakan and, time-permitting, have some sightseeing in Sandakan before catching our flight to Kota Kinabalu.

Sandakan's main attraction is its hot, steamy waterfront -- a teeming, chaotic multi-purpose place where the fish and central market, hawker stalls and transport all seem to combine a profusion of colour and activity. In the market's dark aisles can be found conches and fish bigger than shovels.

Later today we transfer to the aiprort for our flight to Kota Kinabalu.

Overnight in Kota Kinabalu.
Meal plan: breakfast,lunch

Day 14 Departure
Today we transfer to Kota Kinabalu Airport for our flight home.

SELAMAT JALAN!
Meal plan: breakfast


MA4 TRIP DETAILS

DURATION14 days

TOUR STARTKuala Lumpur

TOUR ENDKota Kinabalu