Unesco Heritage Tour of Peninsular Malaysia (Tour Code 41)
10 days 9 nights
Day 1 Home – Kuala Lumpur
Arrive at Kuala Lumpur airport, meet and transfer to hotel at city centre. Free at leisure.
Overnight 4-star city hotel in Kuala Lumpur.
Day 2 Kuala Lumpur: - City Tour / Petronas Twin Tower
In 1857, a group of Chinese tin prospectors settled where the Klang and Gombak rivers meet in what was then deep mosquito-ridden jungle. The mines developed into a trading post which evolved into a frontier town. Its development into modern day 'KL' began under British colonial rule, when the scruffy little settlement ridden by inter-gang rivalry was placed under the control of a Chinese headman, Yap Ah Loy, and he was responsible for the layout of the city.
The jungle was cleared, and the construction of more substantial brick and stone buildings commenced. The use of skilled Chinese carpenters meant that many of the buildings that sprang up resembled the distinctive shop houses of southern China. The construction of a railway line, the establishment of laws, courts, a prison and a school all contributed to the city’s early modernization. This led to KL being proclaimed capital of the newly formed Federated Malay States at the end of the 19th century. KL’s growth continued apace until capture by the Japanese in 1942. But British administration returned post-war, and preparations for Malayan independence began in earnest, coming to fruition in 1957. Since independence, KL has steadily grown, particularly during the boom years of the 1980s and 1990s, into the ultra-modern city it is today.
On this half-day tour of Kuala Lumpur, see the highlights of this city, passing by the fascinating Chinatown district and Parliament House. You also stop at the War Memorial (dedicated to those who died during the 12-year Emergency against communist forces), New King’s Palace, and Federal Court. Then, we drive past the stunning Masjid Negara, a modernistic, nationalist mosque, one of the largest in southeast Asia, set in seven hectares of landscaped gardens.
This is complimented by many historical buildings built in 1800 – Sultan Abdul Samad Building with a 41 metre tower chimed with Queen Victoria’s jubilee parade in 1897 and had chimed since.
Railway Station building was built in 1892 with mixing Moorish, Mughal, English and indo Sarrazin styles and decorated by characteristic domes.
Central Market building was built in 1888 is now a heritage site for culture and heritage.
We end our tour with a visit the iconic Petronas Twin Towers reaching for the sky at 452 metres tall, the world’s tallest twin structures. Both towers are ‘intelligent’ structures, built with a system that seamlessly and simultaneously coordinates telecommunications, environment control, power supply, lighting, fire and smoke control and building security.
Enjoy the spectacular bird’s eye view of the cityscape from above 370 meters at the observation deck. You will also get to discover the history of the twin towers in detail through digital displays and exhibition.
After lunch, return to hotel, afternoon at leisure. You may like to visit the many shopping malls in KL selling from very inexpensive items to the most luxurious branded goods.
Overnight 4-star city hotel in Kuala Lumpur. (Breakfast / Lunch included)
Day 3 Kuala Lumpur: - Malacca Day Tour
0900 hours depart for 2.5 hours (151 km) drive south of Kuala Lumpur to historical Malacca, the third smallest state in Malaysia and one of the oldest, and most strategic trading ports in Malaysia which has undergone Portuguese, Dutch and English rule.
In 1414, the Malay Sultanate of Malacca was established and the city became prominent trading ground for traders from India, Arabia and China. Many Chinese migrants settled here establishing the Peranakan culture for the future. Malacca was also established contact with the Chinese empire through the explorer Zheng He.
The Portuguese conquered Malacca in 1511. Malacca continued to prosper under Portuguese rule until the Dutch captured and ruled over it until 1795 when Malacca was ceded to the British.
The British East India Company developed Malacca and spread their influence all over Malaysia until it was replaced by direct administration from the Crown Colony. Malacca along with the rest of Malaysia’s received her independence in 1957, paving the way for the future which is today
Drive past the largest 17th century Chinese cemetery outside of China, located at Bukit Cina.
Stop at the foothill to view the Sultan's well. It was constructed during the reign of Sultan Mansur Shah (1457 – 1477) for his wife, believed to have been a princess from China. The well is said to never dry out even in the severest of droughts. During a siege in 1551, Johore forces poisoned the well, causing the deaths of over 200 Portuguese soldiers. During the Dutch occupation they turned this area into a restricted zone and constructed the present walls around the well completed in 1677. The square holes are for guns while the round ones are for transferring water outside the walls through chutes.
Visit to Baba Nyonya Heritage Museum. Baba Nyonya are descendants of the early Chinese immigrants to the Malay Archipelago who inter-married with local folks. Visit the 'Abode Merciful Clouds' or the Cheng Hoon Teng Temple (1600s) the oldest Chinese temple in Malaysia.
"Red Square", the salmon pink Stadthuys Buildings constructed in 1641 is said to be the oldest existing Dutch building in Asia. The majestic Christ Church is Malaysia's oldest functioning Protestant church started as early as 1741.
Continue to view the well-known Portuguese "Porta De Santiago" (A Famosa) which translates to 'The Famous' in Portuguese. It is one of the few oldest surviving remnants of European architecture in the whole of Asia. It was built in 1511 under the command of Alfonso de Albuquerque. The fortress was built to consolidate their gains in Malacca after they defeated the armies of the Malacca Sultanate.
Visit the ruins of St. Paul's Church lined by 17th Century Dutch Tombstones. Built in 1521 by Portuguese nobleman Duarte Coelho, the original church at the site was dedicated to the blessed Virgin Mary. Almost 30 years later, in 1548, it was deeded to the Society of Jesus and the deeds title was received by St. Francis Xavier, widely regarded as the Catholic missionary pioneer in Southeast Asia. Since then, it underwent several expansions including the addition of a second level and a bell tower. In 1592, a burial vault was opened where prominent individuals were laid to rest.
When St. Francis Xavier passed away at sea in 1553, his body was kept at this church for a period of eight months until it was shipped to Goa. When the Dutch took over Malacca, it was reconsecrated as St. Paul’s Church, which became the primary church of the Dutch population until the construction of Christ Church Melaka in 1753.
Two and a half centuries later in 1924, the burial vault in the church’s chancel was unearthed. It triggered a series of excavations led by the Malacca Historical Society in 1930. They uncovered several tombstones at the site that are displayed on the walls of the ruins of the church.
Return to and overnight 4-star city hotel in Kuala Lumpur. (Breakfast / Lunch included)
Day 4 Kuala Lumpur – Ipoh: A day in the rainforest
Depart for Forest Research Institute Malaysia to enjoy a day in the tropical rainforest. Founded in 1926 as a reserve for research purposes. This rainforest, is the world’s oldest tropical rain forest, an outstanding centre of tropical biodiversity, and a superb example of scientific effort. It has contributed greatly to global knowledge of the growth and development of tropical rain forest.
Follow a nature trail to see the dipterocarp forests which are known as the tallest and most diverse rainforest in the world. They form a very large proportion of the rainforest canopy and takes about 100 years to grow to this height.
Beneath the canopy are covered by many forest shrubs, bamboo, rattan and medicinal plants. The ground is covered by foliage like ginger, ferns, orchids, aroids, mosses, algae and fungi, a vital component of the forest ecosystem.
Rainforest provides the best opportunity for birdwatching and sighting wildlife like squirrels, reptiles, insects and monkey. It also provides human to find peace, tranquility and solace, a form of therapic joy, happiness and to ponder and reflect on many things. Rainforest plays an important role to regulate the weather and climate change.
This forest has a rich diversity of birds (with a quarter of total birds in Malaysia), mammals, reptiles, frogs, fresh water fish and butterflies, many of which are endangered and are protected.
After lunch, drive north for 2.5 hours to Ipoh, the state of Perak known for tin mining in the past and today it has a thriving economy based on services, agriculture and manufacturing sectors, such as electrical and electronic products, non-metallic mineral products, shipbuilding, machinery and foundry, automotive and transport equipment as well as oil and gas fabrication industries.
Check in and overnight 4-star city hotel in Ipoh. (Breakfast / Lunch included)
Day 5 Ipoh: - Lenggong Archaeological Museum / Taiping / Ipoh
After breakfast, proceed for a 1.5 hours (88km) drive to Lenggong Valley where the oldest known human activity in South East Asia can be traced to this area.
Upon arrival, visit Lenggong Archaeological Museum to see the remains of the 11,000-year-old Perak Man, the region’s best-preserved Stone Age skeleton, whose ancestors had settled in the Lenggong Valley after migrating out of Africa and crossing the Middle East and South Asia on foot for thousands of years.
The only one found with a genetic disorder. The skeleton’s foetal position, surrounded by a cornucopia of objects, suggested to archaeologist that his deformity had elevated him to a well-respected shaman.
This discovery was made at a nearby burial cave in 1991 and was so significant that in 2012 the Lenggong Valley was named the fourth Unesco World Heritage site in Malaysia – yet amazingly few people know about this lost world – and even fewer get to see it.
Lenggong Valley has four archaeological sites in 2 clusters that span all periods of hominid history from the Paleolithic era to Neolithic and Bronze Age up to 1700 years ago. Hand axes were found at the site of a 1.83 million years ago Meteorite impact, are among the oldest outside of Africa, and suggest that the Lenggong Valley was an extremely early site of hominids presence in South East Asia. This could perhaps explain the existence of Orang Utan in South East Asia.
The remains of bronze tools, pots and 11 skeletons were found in the 1980s and 90, convincing archaeologists that Lenggong Valley was not only a burial ground some 5,000 years ago, but also the proof of an early Bronze tradition in West Malaysia which could have resulted in the biggest tin mining industry in Perak.
After lunch, proceed to Taiping. In 1874, Colonial rule under a British Resident was established in Penang, Perak, Selangor and Malacca from its base in Taiping and later moved to Ipoh in 1937. This was to enhance the production of tin and later rubber plantations. The number of historical buildings and heritage landmarks in Taiping, Ipoh, Penang and KL still functioning today is a testimonial to this occupation which laid the foundation for present day Malaysia.
In Taiping, 1897 was the name and also the year the British Administrative Headquarter was built. It is well maintained and today is the Land and Survey Department of Taiping.
Visit the British Commonwealth War Memorial. It was created by the British Army after the defeat of Japan in 1945.
Continue our tour to Taiping Lake Gardens which have been in use since 1884. This beautifully landscaped park, had been modelled on London’s Kensington Park and other royal parks in Britain, was created from abandoned tin mines.
Return to Ipoh and visit the historical monuments of Ipoh. Under British Colonial rule, palatial architecture sprouted in Ipoh, as it did across Malaysia.
Amongst the monument to colonial extravagance is the 20th century Railway Station with its gleaming white domes. Facing it is 1916 Town Hall. A few minutes’ walk down the road is a rather controversial monument, the Birch Memorial Clock Tower. Decorated with friezes featuring luminaries from Buddha to Charles Darwin, the tower was built in 1909 in memory of the deeply unpopular James W.W. Birch , the first British Resident of Perak, who was murdered by one of the locals.
Overnight 4-star city hotel in Ipoh. (Breakfast / Lunch included)
Day 6 Ipoh: - Cameron Highlands Day Tour
0900 hours depart Ipoh for a 2.5 hours’ drive (90 km) up the highlands in Pahang. In the 19th century the Cameron Highland was a popular spot for the British colonialists to retreat to from the heat and humidity of the lowlands. Much of the colonial character remains in the architecture of the highlands and resembles the English countryside more than tropical Malaysia.
Your next visit is BOH Tea Plantation. Situated on numerous hills where the slopes are covered by nothing else but tea trees.
The highland was first founded in 1885 by Mr. William Cameron, a British Government surveyor while on a mapping expedition. The cool temperature and undulating hills provide perfect conditions for growing strawberries and tea. Many hill slopes are covered with iconic tea plantations with their distinctive pattern. The beautifully manicured tea plantations look like a carpet that stretches for miles into the distance.
See how tea is grown, harvested and take a walk in the plantation and get a feel of the natural environment filled with fresh air and green scenery around you. Visit the nearby factory where harvested tea is processed immediately. See the process to turn from green tea leaves to processed tea ready for your tea pot.
After lunch, transfer back to Ipoh. Overnight 4-star city hotel in Ipoh. (Breakfast / Lunch included)
Day 7 Ipoh - Penang: - Orang Utan Island
After breakfast, depart Ipoh for an hour’s drive to Bukit Merah (88km) and then by boat for 20 minutes to Orang Utan Island at Semanggol, Perak.
While most of Malaysia’s orang-utan rehabilitation efforts are focused in east Malaysia, such as the Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre in Sabah, other initiatives are also forming in Peninsular Malaysia toward this goal. One fundamental hub that contributes to these efforts is the Orang Utan Island situated within the Bukit Merah Laketown at Semanggol, Perak. The Orang Utan Island is a research institution dedicated to the preservation and research of the orang-utan. The Island is a rehabilitation and conservation facility where Orang Utan are able to roam freely. This unique island serves as a research and educational centre to better understand this endangered species. The island sits in the middle of a very large expanse of water so that the Orang Utan will stay within the jungle on the island of 4000 hectares.
On arrival visitors are greeted by guides who explain what the research facility is all about.Visitors are then introduced to the babies at the quarantine area behind glass so as to maintain no human contact possible. Visitors are than taken to a 200 meters walkthrough cage tunnel, where they are able to come up close with the Orang Utan while observing the primates roaming freely in their natural habitat.
After this wonderful experience, we continue on to Penang and check in to our hotel for the next 3 nights. Overnight 4-star Beach Resort in Penang. (Breakfast / Lunch included)
Day 8 Penang: - Georgetown tour / Batik Painting
After breakfast, proceed for a tour of Georgetown. The history of Penang was shaped by British colonialism, beginning with the acquisition of Penang Island from the Sultanate of Kedah by the British East India Company in 1786. Develop into a free port, the city state was subsequently governed as part of the Straits Settlements, together with Singapore and Malacca. After World War 2, the Straits Settlements was dissolved and merged into the Federation of Malaya which attained independence from the British Empire in 1957.
Today we explore the diverse cosmopolitan city of Penang, claimed in the 18th century by Captain Francis Light who founded the settlement of ‘George Town’ in honour of George, Prince of Wales.
Penang has a multi-cultural, multi-linqual and multi religious society whereby Penangites live, work and worship side by side of each other in this busy community. It’s streets and shops are crowded with people and traffic most of the time. Its buildings are a combination of new and old; some dated a few hundred years ago as below.
The High Court Building was built in 1808 and a hundred years later it was replaced by current neo-palladian / neo-classical structure with large, elegant and simple triangular pediments.
The Town Hall was built in 1883, and like Penang City, a symmetrical structure with beautiful quoins and semi-circle pediments on either side, and a triangular pediment atop a two-story porte-cochere.
The City Hall, completed in 1906 is a white symmetrical building was constructed in the strong, grand Edwardian Baroque style complete with a porte -cochere, and like the High Court, has the ionic columns on the first level Corinthian columns on the second.
Both the City Hall and Town Hall are across from the Padang and Esplanade, important pieces of British Colonial city planning with a field for activities (Padang) and a promenade along the oceanfront (Esplanade).
Fort Cornwallis, across the Esplanade was built by Captain Francis Light where he set foot in Penang in 1786 and took possession of the island and established a free port to lure trade from Europe.
Adjacent to Fort Cornwallis lies Queen Victoria Tower. Commissioned in 1897, the height from the base of the tower is 60 feet, each foot representing one year of the reign of Queen Victoria. The tower is adorned with balconies and clocks on each of the four sides, and a bell at the top under a dome, bringing the total height to 97 feet.
The next landmark along the seafront is the Chew jetty and Water Villagers of Chinese clan houses set up more than a century ago and house the descendants from Fukien province in China, who shared common historical, geographical and clan origins.
Take a stroll along Armenian Street for its street arts and café cultures. Then continue to ‘Street of Harmony’ which paves the way to the Goddess of Mercy temple, a magnificent structure with dragon-entwined pillars intricately carved from green stone. The temple was founded in 1728, dedicated to Mazu, a sea goddess worshipped by the Hokkiens as a patron for seafarers.
Proceed to the incredible 1795 gold plated Reclining Buddha Temple in Burma Lane, sitting blissfully within a beautiful Thai temple, surrounded by many smaller Buddha statues forming a majestic shrine.
Our last stop will be the Eastern and Oriental Hotel, the first hotel owned by the legendary Sarkie brothers, brought Penang into the spotlight with a world class hotel experience. It was considered the “finest hotel East of Suez” at the turn of the 19th century. With a signature facade and a doorman ready to greet you in traditional style, the Eastern and Oriental is still a pearl in Southeast Asia. Notable guests include: Douglas Fairbanks, Charlie Chaplin, Noel Coward, Rudyard Kipling, Karl May and Sun Yat Sen.
After lunch, witness the actual process of Batik making, using wax and dyes at Penang Batik Factory. Batik has been both an art and craft for centuries in several countries such as West Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Philippine, Thailand, Burma, Malaysia and Indonesia.
In Malaysia, leaves and flowers are the most popular motifs for batik but fish and animal designs are also created, especially for the tourist market.
Penang Batik Factory has a small team of talented batik artists who are all Malaysians. It is impressive to see the ease with which they create their beautiful works of art. This gallery is helping to protect Malaysia’s heritage by providing opportunities for these artisans to earn a living from this age-old handicraft.
Return to hotel, overnight 4-star Beach Resort in Penang. (Breakfast / Lunch included)
Day 9 Penang: - Free at leisure
Enjoy the tropical beaches of Malaysia, blue sea, white sand, clear sky, secluded and relaxing.
Overnight 4-star Beach Resort in Penang. (Breakfast included)
Day 10 Penang – Home
Transfer to Penang airport. (Breakfast included)
How to book this holiday?
Our tour prices are based on: -
- Adults sharing a twin or triple (with extra bed) room basis.
- Per adult basis inclusive of all taxes.
- Varying numbers of adults travelling together as a small group in a private vehicle as per product options - Select - Twin or Triple Share (no of pax).
- Minimum number is 2 adults in a group staying in a twin share room.
- If sharing a twin share room is not the choice you would prefer, then you will stay in 2 single rooms by purchasing 2 Single Room Supplement as per product options - Select - Single Room Supplement.
- If you prefer to be a single traveler, you will stay in a single room by purchasing 2 adults as per product options - Select - Twin or Triple Share (no of pax).
- If sharing a triple room is not ideal for you, you can stay in a twin and a single room by purchasing 1 Single Room Supplement as per product options - Select - Single Room Supplement.
- The hotels allow double room if you do not prefer a twin room.
- Children under 12 years old can travel with minimum 2 adults in a twin share room by purchasing number of children as per product options - Select - Children (max 2 child per room). The hotels allow a total of 2 children staying in a twin room.
- Children staying in a Twin Share room will be treated as an adult.
- After you have paid for the total purchases by debit or credit cards, a receipt will be issued to you as proof of payment, together with details of your purchases and an itinerary as per the selected package will be attached for your easy reference. Please note day 1 on the itinerary will be the date as selected to commence the tour.
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