Unforgettable Travel Company

Luxury Malaysia Vacations & Tours

Malaysia, a captivating blend of cultural diversity and natural splendor, beckons travelers with its enchanting allure. From the bustling streets of Kuala Lumpur to the serene beaches of Langkawi, this Southeast Asian gem offers a rich tapestry of experiences, including vibrant festivals, mouthwatering cuisine, and lush rainforests teeming with wildlife.

Malaysia is colorful, multi-cultural, and in many ways a mini-Asia in itself. For a memorable travel experience, consider our private tours of Malaysia and start planning your getaway today!

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The population is made up of three core groups – ethnic Malay, Chinese, and Indian – with dozens more minor groups thrown in for good measure: Persian, Arab, Filipino, Javanese, Nepalese, and Burmese…to name just a few. Count in the historic influences of various colonial settlers – Portuguese, then Dutch, then British – and you have quite the melting pot.

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Phil

Asia Specialist
Phil Specialist

Curated Malaysia Tours, Exquisitely Crafted for Your Exploration

We’ve been lucky enough to travel extensively in Malaysia and are full of enticing trip ideas. Our specialists have put together a range of sample tours – found below – illustrating the key destinations and best routes.

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Why we love private tours of Malaysia

Phil 184x184

Phil

Asia Specialist

Malaysia’s multi-culturalism is exhibited in a colorful array of languages, architectural styles, festivals, and – above all else – in possibly the world’s best cuisine. If you’ve ever wanted to taste ‘the world on a plate’ (or the eastern half of it at least!) – this is the place. A trip to Malaysia is an absolute must for foodies, with historic ports Malacca and Penang in particular offering possibly the finest street food scenes anywhere on the planet.

You’ll also find great variety in the travel experiences on offer. A typical tour of Malaysia takes in vibrant urban spaces (Kuala Lumpur), historic ports (Malacca; Penang), cool tea-carpeted hills (the Cameron Highlands), jungles (Taman Negara; Belum), and all around the coast, tropical islands offering postcard-perfect white sand and azure blue beaches.

Your time in Malaysia will include elements of history, culture, food, landscapes, and adventure, all packed into a relatively compact area with minimal time lost to transfers as you move around.

Best places to go in Malaysia

Peninsular Malaysia is a compact destination with excellent internal travel links, so lends itself easily to multi-stop cultural tours. With an alluring tropical coastline on either side, lush rainforests and cool hills through the center, and vibrant, multi-cultural cities littered throughout you’ll find variety and intrigue wherever you travel.

  • Kuala Lumpur City, Malaysia

    Kuala Lumpur

    Malaysia’s vibrant capital is the heart and soul of the country, a true showcase of its immense diversity, compelling clash between old and new, and world-class accommodation and attractions.

  • Penang, Malaysia

    Penang

    Arguably the single greatest culinary destination on the planet, the historic Straits Port of Penang is an atmospheric clash of Malay, Chinese, Indian, Portuguese, Arab, and Malay influences.

  • Malacca, Malaysia

    Malacca

    Further south, this smaller but no less fascinating historic port has an even greater concentration of refined colonial architecture and fabulous Baba Nyonya cuisine.

  • Langkawi, Malaysia

    Langkawi

    A tropical paradise, the resort island of Langkawi is large enough to have both busy and secluded quarters, blending pristine beaches with truly stunning accommodations and attractions.

  • Cameron Highlands, Malaysia

    Cameron Highlands

    A former British colonial retreat, this lush ‘hill station’ is known for tea plantations, cool climate, forest treks, strawberry farms, and an all-round tranquil retreat from urban life.

  • Taman Negara, Malaysia

    Taman Negara

    Taman Negara is the world’s oldest tropical rainforest, boasting tropical wildlife, canopy walks, and boat tours, offering an immersive jungle experience for nature enthusiasts and adventurers.

George Town from Penang Hill, Malaysia

Best time to visit Malaysia

Malaysia’s setting just north of the equator provides a year-round tropical climate. No matter when you plan your visit you’ll find the average temperature fairly static, hovering between 80-90F most days. An equatorial climate also means frequent rainfall: dramatic thunderstorms are common, but usually last for under an hour, with the sun breaking through and drying up and puddles within minutes.

The best time for a classic west coast itinerary through Malacca, Kuala Lumpur, Cameron Highlands, Penang, and Langkawi would be in their drier months from November through to March. In our summer months, the seasonality flips, opening up the beautifully and sparsely visited east coast, which includes Tioman, Redang, and the Perhentian Islands.

Check out The Best Time to Travel to Malaysia for more details.

What to do in Malaysia

One of the world’s most enchanting vacation destinations, Malaysia offers everything from postcard-perfect beaches framed by pristine waters for diving to wildlife-filled jungles, well-preserved historic treasures and mouth-watering cuisine, and some of the friendliest locals you’ll ever meet.

  • Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

    KL City Safari

    An expert local guide will lead you around the city, hopping on and off public transport to travel like a local (and beat the traffic), passing through the city’s Chinese, Arab, Indian, and Malay quarters…with plenty of food tastings along the way!

  • Street Food, Malaysia

    Georgetown food tour

    Sample the best of Penang’s legendary street food on an expert-led tour through the historic lanes of the city, seeking out the finest local dishes. Enjoy meeting food heroes while learning how Penang has been shaped by its multiculturalism.

  • Sunset, Langkawi, Malaysia

    Sunset catamaran cruise in Langkawi

    Taste of the high life as you set sail for around the Langkawi archipelago, enjoying the sunset, and a BBQ dinner, with a cocktail in hand. Look out for passing dolphins and tiny palm-lined coves, or kick back in the boat’s inbuilt saltwater jacuzzi.

Malaysia advice from the experts

  • Untitled design 2023 09 26T124931.226

    Best Time to Visit Malaysia

    Malaysia offers lots to see and do, from its exciting cities with cultural attractions and endless opportunities for shopping and dining to wildlife-filled jungles. Paradise islands and lush, cooler highlands, but it’s important to understand the weather and other factors to determine the best time to visit Malaysia.
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  • Untitled design 2023 09 26T125138.834

    Highlights of Malaysia

    An ideal destination for first-time travellers to Malaysia, the country is home to genuinely warm and friendly locals, good infrastructure for ease of travel along with an outstanding mix of cutting-edge sophistication and Old-World charm. You’ll find exciting cities like the cosmopolitan capital of Kuala Lumpur, with its elegant colonial buildings and soaring skyscrapers, as well as spectacular nature, with ancient rain forests, pristine beaches and tea plantations. With so much to cover, you’ll want to begin with its highlights, including these.
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  • Tranquil sea Tioman Island Malaysia Listing

    The Most Beautiful Places to Visit in Malaysia

    Malaysia is one of the planet’s most ecologically and culturally diverse countries: rich in adventure, and packed with breathtaking natural beauty. 

    Your tailor-made tour of Malaysia will include an enticing variety of experiences and locations. Whether you’re looking for a straightforward city and beach break, or a more complex multi-stop tour, our specialists will delight in using Malaysia’s many attractions to put together the perfect itinerary. 

    Read on for our guide to the most beautiful places across both Peninsular Malaysia and Malaysian Borneo.

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  • Proboscis monkeys in Kinabatangan River Sabah Listing

    Complete Guide to Sabah’s Forest Reserves

      Sabah, the eastern half of Malaysian Borneo, contains the region’s premier wildlife and jungle experiences.  The coast of Sabah is ringed by coral reefs and white sand beaches, with off-shore ‘turtle islands’ making a diver’s dream.  The interior could not be more contrasting: dense, primordial jungle, teeming with tropical flora and fauna, a series of protected reserves making up the most biodiverse corner of the entire planet. Read on for our guide to the very best national parks in Sabah. 
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  • Tea fields in Cameron Highlands Malaysia Listing

    Top 10 Things to Do in the Cameron Highlands

    Around four hours’ drive up from Kuala Lumpur, heading up on twisting roads through misty forests and evergreen hills, you’ll find the Cameron Highlands: Peninsular Malaysia’s most unique and intriguing tourist area. 

    With a cool highland climate and topography reminiscent of rural England, the Highlands were established as a ‘hill station’ retreat during British colonial times. A colonial, northern European atmosphere persists, with both domestic and international travelers enjoying a trip up here to sample a climate and landscape totally apart from tropical Malaysia. 

    The region boasts a fine array of day trips and tourist attractions. We’d usually recommend a stay of at least two nights up the Highlands to explore the area properly. Our sample guide to the best things to see and do and the region is below.

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  • Wild orang baby Borneo Listing

    5 Best Places to See Orangutans

     

    Orang-utans are Southeast Asia’s big-ticket wildlife sighting. Found only in the jungles of Malaysia and Indonesia, this critically endangered species is considered the most intelligent of all primates, and our closest evolutionary cousins. 

    Sadly orangutans have suffered severe population decline - owing to deforestation, poaching, and illegal trading - so there are just a few protected pockets of jungle in which they can be found.

    All of the below are terrific destinations for seeing not only these magnificent primates but a whole host of tropical wildlife and birdlife too.

    Read More

Your Malaysia questions answered

When is the best time to travel to Malaysia?

Being located so close to the equator Malaysia experiences hot, tropical weather year-round. Wherever you travel and whatever time of year you should expect warm, humid days with short, sharp downpours (which usually dry up very quickly) arriving every other day or so. That said, if you intend to cover a ‘classic’ Malaysia itinerary – focusing on west coast destinations KL, Malacca, Penang, and Langkawi – you’ll generally see clearer weather from November through to April. Temperatures hover around 29-32C / 80-90F in these destinations year-round.

Is it possible to travel in the off-season?

As long as you plan your travel effectively, Malaysia doesn’t have an ‘off-season’ as such. The summer months of July to October see heavier rains over on the western side of the peninsula (which includes Langkawi and Penang), but in contrast, the eastern beaches (Perhentians, Redang, Tioman, Terengganu) are ideal at this time. This also mirrors the best time to visit Malaysian Borneo, so complete itineraries which include some of the peninsula, the jungles and wildlife of Borneo, and a beach either in Borneo or on the east coast of Malaysia are perfect for summer family holidays or honeymoons.

Can I combine other destinations with Malaysia?

Malaysia’s setting in the dead center of Southeast Asia, plus KL’s status as a major regional flight hub, makes combinations with nearby countries enticingly easy to put together. The obvious combinations are with the world-beating wildlife attractions of Malaysian Borneo, just an hour’s flight across the South China Sea, or with Singapore, located at the bottom tip of the Malay peninsula and accessed by road, rail, and also by air from many regional Malaysian airports. Indonesia has commonalities of culture, language, cuisine, and climate and makes an intriguing combination; Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia are all just a short flight away.

How do we get around?

As with our other destinations in Southeast Asia, you’ll mostly be joined by a private English-speaking guide for all transfers and sightseeing. A key difference in Malaysia is that it is often a driver-guide (one person fulfilling both roles): partly due to cost as Malaysia has a stronger economy than its neighbours, and also as the roads are noticeably – but not entirely! – less hectic. Malaysia’s good roads also make self-drive an option: a particularly fun route connects KL, the Cameron Highlands, and Penang. Train travel connects all major points on the West Coast (plus Singapore) and comfortable, modern carriages make a relaxing and scenic way to get around.

Is Malaysia accessible for western visitors?

Malaysia is an extremely friendly and accessible destination. A legacy of British rule, plus the many sub-cultures within the population, sees English used as a ‘Lingua Franca and widely spoken throughout the country. Most Malaysians you encounter will be near-fluent English speakers – albeit with an accent and some intriguing loan words and slang thrown in! Road signs and public transport are usually triple-printed in Bahasa (the official Malaysian language), English, and Chinese. Helpfully you’ll also find that Bahasa uses Roman script with many recognisable signs and menu items: kopi (coffee), teksi (taxi), restoran (restaurant), etc. As a rule, you’ll also find that Malaysian people are extremely friendly, largely informal, and great fun.

How long do I need for a tour of Malaysia?

A west coast itinerary as outlined above could be covered in a compact 11-12 days. If you had time to spare however 13-15 days would give you that extra day or half-day here and there, or some precious extra time on the beach. Pushing up to three weeks would allow you to combine all the highland, island, and city destinations in one itinerary, or possibly look at combination tours with Malaysian Borneo, Indonesia, or Thailand. Ask us about ‘Grand Tours’ of Southeast Asia – we’d happily put together a bucket list itinerary of the whole region if you had a month or more!

What are Malaysia’s must-visit destinations?

A highlights tour of Malaysia will typically hug the western side of the peninsula, covering KL, Malacca, the Cameron Highlands, Penang, and Langkawi. You could also start this itinerary down in Singapore, hitting Malacca first, then into KL, and on northwards up the coast. These destinations can all be connected in easy-going road transfers – the Cameron Highlands down to Penang is the longest at around 5-6 hours; all others would be less than half a day – or by rail, with the western branch of the  ‘jungle railway’ hugging the coast and calling at all destinations of interest along the way.

How about getting off-the-beaten-path?

Stepping away from the core destinations, you’ll generally find fewer tourists exploring Malaysia’s verdant (and largely still wild) interior. Taman Negara and Belum are your base for enticing jungle activities, while Fraser’s Hill and the Cameron Highlands offer cool highland temperatures and the throwback feel of a British-era ‘hill station’. For laidback beach time, you’ll find the east coast resort areas much less developed than those on the western side of the peninsula, with Tioman, Redang, and Terengganu all offering quiet escapes amongst pristine nature.

Which Malaysian beach is for me?

With so many excellent beaches on offer, it is hard to know where to start! Langkawi alone is made up of 99 sub-islands and scores of individual beaches, each suiting a different kind of traveler. Generally speaking, if you’re keen on having good amenities at hand then we’d suggest sticking to the busier beaches of Pantai Cenang on Langkawi, Batu Ferringhi on Penang, or Long Beach on Perhentian Kecil. All other beaches are generally very quiet, with most of the top-end resorts situated on totally exclusive stretches of coast.

Does Malaysia offer jungle experiences?

Peninsular Malaysia’s best-protected reserve areas are Taman Negara and the Belum Reserve. Both offer excellent nature, with both easy-going and challenging hikes, canopy walkways, and lots of enticing fauna, birdlife, and small mammals. The accommodation level is moderate in both so should only be offered to those with a keen sense of adventure. If truly dramatic jungle scenery and big-hitting wildlife is what you’re looking for we advise looking across the South China Sea to Malaysian Borneo.

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