Unforgettable Travel Company

Essence of Malaysia

  • Duration8 Nights
  • StylePrivate Tour
  • When to GoNov - Apr
  • Price GuideFrom $3,120 Per Person
Capture the best of Malaysia in this compact, exciting 9-day itinerary. Travel up the western seaboard of the Malay peninsula, capturing all that this tropical, multicultural, historical part of the world has to offer. Begin in shimmering modern capital Kuala Lumpur, with its soaring skyscrapers and gleaming malls sitting alongside ancient markets and heritage architecture. A short hop south takes you to the eclectic port of Malacca, then later fly up to Penang, a port city of even greater historical significance, now famed as arguably the best foodie destination in Asia. Round out your tour with three nights to relax in magical Langkawi, which boasts some of the best beaches in Malaysia.

At a Glance

  • Days 1 - 2
    • Kuala Lumpur

      • Arrive Kuala Lumpur and private transfer to your downtown hotel
      • Full day walking tour of KL focusing on culture, history, and food
  • Day 3
    • Malacca

      • Road transfer to Malacca with private driver-guide
      • Afternoon walking tour of Malacca
      • Private Kristang cooking class
  • Days 4 - 5
    • Penang

      • Fly to Penang with private airport transfers
      • Evening street food walk with private guide
      • Private city tour including the Clan houses, fishing village, Georgetown walking tour, and Khoo Kongsi
  • Days 6 - 9
    • Langkawi

      • Short domestic flight to Langkawi with private airport transfers
      • Two days at leisure in Langkawi to relax on the beach or explore the island independently
      • Private departure transfer to Langkawi International Airport
  • Meet Our Expert

    Phil Specialist


    Asia Specialist

    My travels have taken me far and wide across the diverse landscapes of Asia. From trekking in Nepal to island-hopping in the Maldives, navigating the slow waters of the Mekong, to exploring the cultural gems of India and experiencing the high-speed bullet trains of China and Japan.

    CALL US ON: +1 844 879 7838
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    What's Included

    • 8 nights in 4-star boutique hotel accommodation with daily breakfast
    • 4x further lunches and 1x further dinner during mentioned tours and activities
    • All mentioned transfers and road transport on a private basis in air-conditioned minivans
    • All mentioned tours and sightseeing on a private basis with private English-speaking local guides
    • Entrance fees for any mentioned sightseeing, permits, local taxes, etc
    • All mentioned regional flights in economy class, inclusive minimum 20kg per person checked baggage
    • Comprehensive final itinerary and travel app
    • 24/7 support from our dedicated staff
    • Flexible, personalized itinerary based on your interests

    What's not Included

    • International flights from your country of origin
    • Tips or gratuities to guides, drivers, hotel staff
    • Any meals, tours, or activities other than those specifically mentioned in itinerary
    • Incidental local expenses - souvenirs, laundry, taxis, etc
    • Travel insurance - we strongly recommend you purchase travel insurance as soon as you have booked your trip

    Day by Day Itinerary

    • Day 1

      Kuala Lumpur: Arrival into Malaysia

      Untitled design 2020 10 12T141604.448500 x 333 Jalan Alor Kuala Lumpur

      You’ll be met in the arrivals hall of Kuala Lumpur International Airport by a private driver, who will then lead you to a private vehicle and transfer you to your downtown hotel.

      KL is defined by its colorful culture and friendly locals. It’s home to colonial architecture, towering skyscrapers, minarets, Mughal domes, and a wealth of cultural attractions. While there is a reverence for ancient culture, it’s balanced with a plugged-in modern world and a contemporary art scene.

      Accommodation Options:

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        Hotel Stripes, Kuala Lumpur

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        The Majestic Hotel, Kuala Lumpur

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        Mandarin Oriental, Kuala Lumpur

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    • Day 2

      Kuala Lumpur: Private city tour of KL

      Untitled design 2020 10 12T141618.472500 x 333 Exploring Chinatown Kuala Lumpur

      Embark on a fabulous half-day walking tour of Kuala Lumpur to experience the city’s history and ethnic heritage. Led by your private guide, you’ll begin with a visit to Masjid Jamek, also known as Friday Mosque, one of the oldest buildings in the city, set gracefully on the banks of two rivers. Wander around the mosque grounds, learning about Islam in Malaysia and the Arabesque influences in its design. Around the mosque, you’ll find a network of vibrant streets, home to garland makers, chai cafes, and textile stalls. Stop for a cup of traditional tea and Indian snacks, savoring the sweet flavors while discovering more about the Indian-Malay community and their beliefs.

      Continue to the colonial heart of old Kuala Lumpur, where your guide will point out a variety of architectural treasures, each of which tells a story of the city from the late 1800s to the mid-1930s. Nearby there is a great viewpoint looking back at the Masjid Jamek, where you’ll get a great photo shot capturing the blend of the old and new architecture of Kuala Lumpur. Wander into the Central Market, a vital hub of commerce for the city’s artisan community. Browse the stalls of local designers and craftsmen while enjoying the buzz of the marketplace. Learn about the history of this market and how it has transitioned over the years from a wet market into its modern-day commerce center.

      Your final destination will be KL’s Chinatown, where you’ll explore the vibrant market, ancestral shrines, and heritage shophouses of the city’s Chinese-Malay residents. This area is also the birthplace of many of Malaysia’s signature culinary dishes, thus making it the perfect place to refuel. Pull up a chair at a popular restaurant and savor a plate of Hokkien mee noodles alongside the locals. After this snack, return to the hotel for a chance to freshen up or continue exploring the capital independently.

    • Day 3

      Malacca: Private transfer to Malacca; Evening food discovery tour

      Christ Church Malacca500 x 333 River Malacca

      After breakfast, you will check out of your KL hotel, meet your private guide, and set off south by road to Malacca. In steady traffic this will be a journey of under two hours, using mostly major highways which are flanked by palm plantations on both sides.

      Situated roughly equidistant between KL and Singapore, Malacca is a historic port has a broad mix of British, Chinese, Portuguese, and Dutch influences, featuring an intriguing mix of architecture, religion, and food.

      After checking in to your hotel your guide will take you on a walking tour of this eclectic, multicultural port city. Pass by the iconic maroon structures of Christ Church, the Clock Tower, and Sadthuys, learning about the history of this town which has passed through Malay, Portuguese, Dutch, and British rule. Continue up to St Pauls, which commands fabulous views across the city, before descending and crossing the Melaka River to the lively heritage quarter of the city.

      You’ll get a sense of Malacca’s diversity passing by the Taoist San Duo Temple, Sri Poyatha Vinayagara Moorthy Hindu Temple, Kampung Kling Mosque, and Buddhist Cheng Hoon Teng Temple all in a row along Jalan Tokong. Finish with a walk along Jonker Street, which should be now gearing up for the night market, with an optional call into the Baba Nyonya Heritage Museum.

      Accommodation Options:

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        The Majestic Hotel, Malacca

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    • Day 4

      Penang: Short domestic flight to Penang; Evening street food tour

      Beach and skyline of Penang Malaysia500 x 333 Chinese shophouses Penang Malaysia

      This morning you will learn about the legacy of the Portuguese ‘Kristang’ style of cooking. The Kristang community of Malacca has a Eurasian, Catholic heritage, dating back centuries from the many Portuguese sailors, traders, and laborers who married into local communities. The resulting cuisine combines the best flavors of Portugal with a quintessentially Malaysian mix of Chinese, Malay, and Indian dishes.

      Set off from the hotel around 9am and head to the local wet market, a hub of commerce busy with traders, shoppers, and food producers. Your chef companion will introduce you to a few key traders and together you’ll gather an exotic array of ingredients to be used in your creations. Return to the hotel where you’ll enjoy a short tea or coffee break, accompanied by Malay sweets. You’ll then head into the kitchen and with the help of your engaging chef hosts create a series of delicious Kristang dishes. Once done, head upstairs to an atmospheric dining room to enjoy your creations, with additional side dishes, drinks, and sweet treats provided by staff. You’ll also be given a recipe booklet and apron so you can recreate the dishes once back at home.

      After the class your driver will transfer you from your hotel to Malacca Airport, from where you’ll take a short domestic flight up the western seaboard to Penang. On arrival in Penang you’ll be met again and transferred privately to your hotel in the island’s capital, Georgetown.

      This evening you’ll be taken for a walking tour of Georgetown, sampling the best of Penang’s street food. This expert-led tour takes you through the historic alleys and lanes of the city, searching out the best hawkers and dishes. Learn about the stories of these street hawkers while also hearing stories about how Penang has been shaped by its rich cultural heritage, and how this feeds into its unique and delicious food. In between the food stops you will stroll by and listen to stories of Penang’s famous street murals, important clan houses, and boardwalks of the Clan Jetties. The tour ends with a specialty cocktail, designed exclusively to cleanse your palate using local ingredients and spices, tailored and shaken by one of Penang’s famous mixologists.

      Accommodation Options:

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        Seven Terraces, Penang

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        Eastern and Oriental, Penang

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    • Day 5

      Penang: Guided tour of Penang

      Kek Lok Si Temple Penang 1500 x 333 Dim sum Penang Malaysia

      Today you’ll join a local guide for a full-day walking tour to discover everything that diverse Penang has to offer: Chinese clan houses, Bollywood soundtracks, Malay fishing villages, and more. Start in Georgetown, an area rich in history, culture, and food. The guide will give a short introduction to the town’s past, learning how merchants from around the world used Penang as a refuge between two regional monsoon weather systems and thus absorbing a variety of international influences into the local culture. Stop for a cup of local coffee at a bakehouse and sample Bengali bread, while the guide explains the origins of this popular Penang breakfast.

      Continue the Penang walking tour through the old town, stopping to admire some of the architectural wonders that earned the town UNESCO World Heritage status. Admire the streets’ mix of old and new, hearing the fascinating tales behind some of the historic structures and seeing modern, whimsical street art. Keep an eye out for small workshops where craftsmen may be making items such as joss sticks or weaving rattan items.

      Next up is a visit to Khoo Kongsi to learn about the practice of ancestor worship that is so embedded in the local culture. Continue down the so-called ‘Street of Harmony’ where various spiritual shrines and houses of worship can be found then step into vibrant Little India. Mingle with the locals as they shop for colorful flower garland offerings and enjoy the smells emanating from the street hawker stalls. Finish with a visit to a 150-year-old wet market, still abuzz with local life today, before returning to your hotel to relax.

    • Day 6

      Langkawi: Short domestic flight from Penang to Langkawi

      Pantai Cenang beach Langkawi500 x 333 Sky walk Langkawi

      It’s time to say farewell to Penang with your private driver/guide meeting you at your hotel for transfer back to the airport this morning. A 40-minute flight will bring you to Langkawi, the Jewel of Kedah, one of the 99 islands in the Langkawi archipelago in the Andaman Sea, known for its lush rainforest and pristine beaches, Tanjung Rhu, Pantai Cenang and Datai Bay have even been named among the world’s most beautiful. It’s perfect place to relax and do nothing but gaze out at the scenery, enjoy the facilities at your hotel, explore attractions or take part in all sorts of activities.

      Accommodation Options:

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        Casa Del Mar, Langkawi

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        The Danna, Langkawi

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        The Datai, Langkawi

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    • Days 7 - 8

      Langkawi: Days at leisure

      500 x 333 Jetty LangkawiCable car across mountainside Langkawi

      Langkawi is an island paradise and an idyllic setting to relax and unwind at the end of your tour. The obvious thing to do is sit back and enjoy the beach or the facilities at your hotel. If you have itchy feet though the island boasts a huge list of activities: visitors can enjoy all sorts of thrilling watersports from all island resorts, including sea kayaking, parasailing, windsurfing, snorkeling, and diving; you’ll also find mangrove boat tours on Kilim River, hikes to waterfalls and look-out points in the interior, various museums, galleries, and an aquarium, and a dramatic cable car ride over Cinang Mountain which offers views as far as Sumatra.

    • Day 9

      Langkawi: Private departure transfer

      Untitled design 2023 09 20T013831.429Plane taking off in Langkawi

      Sadly your adventures in Malaysia must come to an end. At the appropriate time, you’ll be transferred privately from your beach resort to Langkawi International Airport, arriving in good time to check-in for your onward flight.

    Let’s make this itinerary yours.

    Speak to our experienced Destinations Experts about designing this itinerary around your budget and needs

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