We get off to a strong start on this extraordinary fortnight Malaysia & Brunei tour through two remarkable countries by exploring what is perhaps one of the most attractive cities in Southeast Asia; Malaysia's capital Kuala Lumpur.
There's also no shortage of attractions to be toured in Kuching, with the Cat Monument, the Taoist temple, the majestic Catholic cathedral and street markets that are reminiscent of the world as it was in the 19th century.
Our route takes us past pepper gardens, cocoa and rubber plantations, above jungle rainforest on treetop canopies, into caves and across waters to explore secluded islands and channels.
Along with massive arrays of rare and endemic flora and teeming fauna that we come across as we make our way through the glorious sceneries of Malaysia, we pay visits to an orangutan sanctuary, where we can get up-close and personal with these remarkable creatures and learn about the ecological issues the country faces.
Crossing into the heavily-forested country of Brunei, once a very powerful sultanate, we have the chance to tour beautiful mosques, the royal palace and museums that detail the country's fascinating history.
Prices below are per person, twin-sharing costs in US Dollars (USD). Pricing does not include airfare to/from the tour and any applicable taxes. For single supplement rates and taxes (if any), please refer to below Prices & Dates table. For general information on flights to/from the tour, click here.
Select a date below to reserve your spot:
The above prices are subject to an additional $105 for taxes/fees levied on flights that occur as part of the tour. The internal airfares ARE included (any exceptions are listed in red below), but we list the taxes separately on your invoice as they are beyond our control and can change at any time.
Optional Single Supplement: $860 USD (number of singles limited).
Breakfast and dinner (at local restaurants and some hotels) are included daily. All transport, accommodation, sightseeing and entrance fees for sites noted as 'visited' in the detailed itinerary. Gratuities for drivers, restaurant staff, porters, local guides. Airport transfers for land & air customers and for early arriving / late departing land & air customers who book their extra hotel nights through us.
International airfare to/from the tour. Tour Leader gratuities, most lunches, drinks, personal items (phone, laundry, etc), domestic and international (if applicable) air taxes, and any excursions referenced as 'optional'. Airport transfers for Land Only customers. Optional trip cancellation insurance. Our post-reservation trip notes offer further guidance on shopping, not included meals, and locally paid departure taxes.
Seasonality and Weather
Two main seasons are experienced in Borneo (Kalimantan), a rainy season and a dry. The rainy season generally lasts from Oct to Feb while the drier, cooler period spans from March/April to Sept with a transitional period in between. Anyone travelling in any part of Borneo should be aware, however, that rain still does fall frequently even during the 'dry season' and visitors should pack good quality wet-weather gear.
August/September is a good time for orangutans as they tend to be more active at this time.
The best time to visit Borneo is between February/March and Sept when less constant rain is likely, although this is far from guaranteed. Though the above mentions seasonal differences, the entire region covered by our tour will feature hot and humid conditions at any time.
Transport and Travel Conditions
Land transport throughout will be by private air-conditioned bus. Most of the driving days are not long, usually no more than four hours. Internal flights via scheduled regional carriers.
The tour is not strenuous though it is busy; you must be steady on your feet and be able to endure some heat and long days. We have numerous walking tours (especially at Miri) and visit several sites that are LARGE with steps and uneven surfaces.
Porters are available at hotels but you must be able to manage with your baggage at airports.
Am I suitable for this tour? Please refer to our self-assessment form.
Hotels used on tour are modern, comfortable, well-located, air-conditioned, 3-4 star properties with en suite bath / toilet. Single rooms are limited and possibly smaller than twins. Laundry facilities are available at most hotels for a reasonable price. Safe deposit boxes are available in most hotels either free or for a nominal fee. All are air-conditioned.
Staff and Support
Tour Leader throughout, local guides, local driver/s.
Maximum 18 (plus Tour Leader)
This tour is part of a series that can be upgraded to make for a longer trip. For more options, please refer to tour code/s:
Tour Overview Countries Visited: 3 Acivity Level: 2 Tour Style: Cultural
Diverse doesn't begin to describe the wonders in store during this 27 day Malaysia and Indonesia tour.
National parks teeming with wildlife, the UNESCO World Heritage town of Malacca, a teeming potpourri of Asian and aboriginal culture and the Old and New World collision that is Kuala Lumpur beckons in Malaysia.
Indonesia, for its part, offers far more than just the legendary beach in Bali. This equatorial country features awe inspiring sights at every turn, whether it's an intricate Hindu temple surrounded by lush, terraced rice paddies or a laconic orangutan reaching for a tender shoot in the jungles of Borneo.
Combined, the countries form the crux of a once in a lifetime vacation that should be on any adventurous traveller's to do list.
In Malaysia's capital, Kuala Lumpur, you'll be hard pressed to miss the iconic Petronas Towers, the tallest pair in the world at 88 stories each. Particularly impressive at night, Islamic influences can be seen in each of the tower's five tiers representing the five pillars of Islam. Unparalleled shopping experiences can be found in the glittery malls or street-side in bustling Chinatown. Included in the city tour is a visit to the National Museum.
Up next, Malacca, that features a dizzying array of cultural touchstones owing to its history as a trading port and successive colonial occupations, each one leaving its mark. See the Stadhuys, a collection of red hued buildings from the 1650s that once housed the Dutch town hall.
Also in the famous town square is the Portuguese fortress of Porta de Santiago and St. Paul's Church, resting place of St Francis Xavier. Nearby, the 17th-century Chinese Cheng Hoon Teng temple has ornate decorations and multiple prayer halls. And don't forget to try some of the ubiquitous spicy food that often combines influences from disparate culinary traditions.
Our Malaysia and Indonesia tours continues on to Kuching and a visit to the nearby, living museum of Sarawak Cultural Village that depicts the heritage of the myriad ethnic groups known to the region amid a spectacular equatorial backdrop. A second day trip from Kuching saves time along the way to better understand some of the jungle produce so crucial to the local economies and culminates with a visit to a longhouse dwelling typical of the area. Finally there's a tour of Kuching proper, a city noted for the bustle of its many artisans and tradespeople practicing their craft in ways virtually unchanged since the 19th century. Other highlights here include a Taoist temple and the breathtaking Catholic Cathedral.
Onwards to Miri, the gateway to Borneo, for an overnight before driving to Niah National Park. Featuring remains of people dating back 40,00 years, and the spectacular Grand Cave with its Iron Age cave paintings, the site is among the world's most important archeological sites.
Day 8 brings you to the heavily forested Brunei and a sightseeing tour of the imposing golden-domed Jame Asr Hassani Bolkiah Mosque, ahead of an afternoon cruise to the enormous water village of Kampung Ayer. Also on the itinerary in Brunei is Istana Nurul Iman, largest, residential palace on Earth and a visit to the Royal Regalia Building.
A drive through the Crocker Range soon immerses tour participants in the abundant biodiversity of Kundasang's Mountain Garden, followed by an exhilarating rainforest canopy walk in Poring.
Your immersion in the jungle continues in Sandakan, home to the world's largest orangutan sanctuary with plenty of time allotted to familiarize yourself with these iconic, orange, forest dwellers and their care. That's followed by stay at a rainforest lodge and a cruise up the Kinabatangan River to view even more of the fauna and flora of this astonishing region including the aptly named proboscis monkey.
Following a return to the teeming waterfront markets of Sandakan, our Malaysia and Indonesia tour continues in Sumatra's largest city, Medan, with its remnants of Dutch colonialism and plethora of shops. A short city tour is followed by a boat cruise and full day at Samosir Island; an island within an island in Lake Toba formed by a super volcano some 75,000 years ago. Of note here is the distinctive animist culture of the local Batak people.
Next, it's on to Beraslagi, after crossing from the island on a narrow land bridge and with time for a stop at the impressive and picturesque (nearly 400 foot tall) Si Piso-Piso Waterfalls. On the same day visit a Karo Batak village in this highly volcanic area.
Yogyakarta, in the heart of Java at the base of a volcano, is the next destination. It's the base for visitation of Indonesia's most famous and extensive Hindu temple site Prambanan. Built in the 10th century, this UNESCO Heritage site is the largest temple compound dedicated to Shiva in Indonesia.
Three tall and pointed temples are decorated with reliefs illustrating the epic of the Ramayana, in honour of the three great Hindu divinities and three temples are dedicated to the animals who serve them. Back in Yogyakarta sightseeing continues with The Sultan's Palace -that includes the Golden Pavilion - and the nearby Taman Sari (Water Castle) with its ruins, pools and underground passages among the highlights.
Prepare to be impressed by the next attraction, Borobudur, largest stupa-style Buddhist monument in the world. Laid out in the form of a lotus, the temple compounds with its stepped, unroofed pyramid consisting of ten terraces, crowned by a large, bell-shaped dome is a harmonious marriage of stupas, temple and mountain and a masterpiece of Buddhist architecture.
Iconic Bali (home to the majority of Indonesia's Hindu population) follows, beginning in the east coast town of Candidasa. After a visit to the native, walled village of Tenganan, its on to the ancient law courts of Klung Klung and finally Bali's most significant temple Besakih.
En route to Lovina, located on the northeastern side of the island, stops are made at the village of Penglipuran; Kintamani, with its scenic views of Mt. Batur and Lake Batur and Beji Temple, notable for its Barong architecture and stunning relief carvings.
A day is then set aside back in Lovina for exploration of nearby markets and exploration of the Buddhist monastery Brahma Arama Vihara.
After travel through the amazing rice terraces at Pupuan, it's on to the mysterious and alluring artists' village of Ubud. Ubud is known for its spiritualists and seekers. The size of the town's expat community attests to this, as do the many novels and films set here.
It's a place where traditional Balinese culture imbues every waking moment. An artist's haven, it's the best place to buy Balinese handicrafts and a fitting place to end what will surely be remembered as the holiday of a lifetime.
*The red tour trail on the map does not represent the actual travel path.
The following is a list of sample hotels at some locations included on this tour. The hotels shown here are meant to provide a general sense of the standard of hotel we usually aim for; they are not necessarily confirmed for your chosen departure.
With 523 well-appointed guestrooms, Concorde Hotel KL offers a collection of Superior, Deluxe, Premier and Premier Classic Suites. Each of our elegant guestrooms comes with unlimited free Wi-Fi as standard.
The Klagan Hotel is complemented by its 296 guest rooms, restaurant and lounge. A banquet hall on the top floor with a seating capacity of 280 persons for sit-down dinner functions and four other function rooms.
The ... is safe from flood all year round that can be reach by vehicle or boat. All the walkway is flat in and out made by “Belian” hard wood plank. We use Kimberly-Clark Biodegradable and Environmentally friendly shampoo, soap and papers, all rooms are with attached bathroom, hot shower, ceiling fan, Smoke Detector, Emergency Action Plan and netted windows.