Best of Malaysia
from $2261
Duration: 13 Days
Experience the very best of Malaysia on a 13-day cultural adventure. Since its emergence from colonial rule, Malaysia has developed a reputation as a land of diverse cultures, sensational cuisine and natural beauty. On this trip, we take you where the action is – past outstanding architecture, to a rural village homestay, close to exotic marine life and into ancient rainforests. Amble along forest trails, haggle in some of Asia's best markets, discover perfect beachside paradise and make friends along the way. This trip introduces the best of Malaysia and gives an inside glimpse to this fascinating country.
  • Begin your adventure in the lively capital of Kuala Lumpur. With so many cultural influences and many things to do and see, consider the option of extending your trip beforehand to see what this city has to offer.
  • Adventure through the lush Taman Negara National Park, where your local guide will explain traditional medicines sourced straight from the rainforest.
  • Snorkel the turquoise seas of the Perhentian Islands – a paradise of unspoiled forests and white sands.
  • Spend time with a local family at a homestay in Kota Aur – pedal out to the surrounding rice fields and have an authentic local experience that gives a real insight into village culture.
  • Walk through the historic shophouse lined streets of Georgetown, mixed in contemporary art galleries and boutiques, traditional temples and churches, and modern street art that all influence the cultural hub of Penang.
  • Melaka - Trishaw sightseeing tour
  • Taman Negara - National Park
  • Taman Negara NP - Teresek Hill Trek
  • Taman Negara NP - Longtail boat trip
  • Taman Negara NP - Guided rainforest trek
  • Perhentian Islands - Half-day snorkelling trip
  • Malay Homestay - Home Cooked Dinner
  • Malay Homestay - Village bike tour
  • Malay Homestay - Cooking demonstration
  • Malay Homestay - Traditional Game
  • Penang - Cheong Fatt Tze - The Blue Mansion
  • Penang - Georgetown leader led walking tour
  • Penang - Walking tour, including Clan Jetty & Kek Lok Si Temple
  • Penang - Fort Cornwallis (photo stop only)
  • Day 1 Location: Kuala Lumpur
    Selamat datang! Welcome to Malaysia. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm. If you do happen to arrive early, go out and get a taste for Kuala Lumpur, the cosmopolitan capital of Malaysia. Grab a map and talk to the hotel staff about things to do. The markets of Chinatown, exceptional Indian food and traditional Malay arts make up a large part of the city's essence. Your evening is best spent at the night market sampling the many different cuisines on offer and bargain hunting at the many stalls.
    Day 2 Location: Melaka
    This morning, walk to your train station (approximately 10 mins), and transfer to the local bus station (approximately 30 mins). Board a local bus to the old port town of Melaka (approximately 2.5 hours). On arrival into Melaka take a minibus to your hotel in downtown Melaka (20 mins). A former colonial outpost, this town retains a distinctive old-world charm. Travelling by trishaw in the local style, you will take a tour of the town, cruising through the narrow, winding streets to get a taste of old Melaka and learn about the ancient spice trade the town is known for. Along the way you will pay a visit to Harmony Street – an aptly named strip of mosques and temples that has a tranquil vibe. You’ll also check out a mosque, a variety of Chinese Buddhist temples and a traditional Muslim house-museum.
    Day 3 Location: Taman Negara National Park
    Early this morning, embark on a full day's travel by private minibus to the ancient rainforest of Taman Negara National Park (approximately 6 hours). This vast natural beauty is believed to be the oldest rainforest in the world, dating back some 130 million years. It's home to an incredible variety of wildlife, from elephants and monkeys to exotic birds such as the elusive Malaysian rail-babbler and the easily recognisable hornbill. The park also boasts one of the highest diversities of trees on the planet. You’ll arrive later in the afternoon, so once checked in to your accommodation, take some time to relax with your group.
    Day 4 Location: Taman Negara National Park
    Start the day with a rigorous but rewarding trek to Bukit Teresek. This is a hill that offers some amazing panoramic views from the top and world-class birdwatching. Afterwards you will head upstream (approximately 1 hour) on a longtail boat on the low-level rapids. There will be plenty of time to relax by the river amid the lush jungle surrounds before returning to the accommodation for the evening.
    Day 5 Location: Taman Negara National Park
    Meet your local guide and head off into the jungle for a morning trek (approximately 4-5 hours). This is the ultimate way to experience this pristine rainforest – as well as spotting wildlife, you'll be able to learn more about the plants and flowers and some of their traditional medicinal uses. While your journey only lasts a few hours, you'll be walking through primary and secondary jungle, so be prepared to sweat! The walk can be challenging, with some time spent on boardwalks and some time spent on trails that can get quite slippery and muddy. At the end of your trek you will arrive at the Tahan River where there's plenty of time to relax by the river. After lunch, the adventurous can continue walking 30 minutes to the cascades further upstream before it's time to head back down the Tahan River in a small dugout canoe.
    Day 6 Location: Perhentian Islands
    Take a private bus to Kuala Besut (approximately 6–7 hours). Here you will take a fun boat ride over crystal-clear waters of the South China Sea to the sun-kissed beaches of the Perhentian Islands (approximately 45 minutes). Located off the east coast of Malaysia, the Perhentians are some of the most beautiful islands in the world, with vibrant reefs and pure white sand. This will be well worth the long drive today!
    Day 7 Location: Perhentian Islands
    Enjoy a leisurely half-day snorkelling trip in the surrounding turquoise waters. You'll be among beautiful coral and an impressive array of tropical fish. See how many different varieties you can spot. It's worth keeping an eye open for the rarer beauties too – green turtles and, if you are lucky, maybe even a reef shark or two.
    Day 8 Location: Perhentian Islands
    Indulge in this divine coastal spot in your free time today. You can do some more snorkelling, laze and swim in the water near the shore, trek into the inland jungle, explore the nearby islands or simply lie in a hammock with a good book. And don't miss one of the delicious feasts of barbequed seafood on offer. You’re on island time now, so chill out today, and be as busy (or relaxed) as you want to be.
    Day 9 Location: Malay Homestay
    This morning, take a speed boat back Kuala Besut and then hop in a minibus for a 6-hour drive to Kota Aur. In this small traditional Malay village set amongst the rice paddies, you'll have the opportunity to experience a homestay with a local family. You will meet your hosts and be taken out to one of the various home lodgings found throughout the village. Relax and make yourself at home; the local families will be thrilled to have you. Tonight enjoy a home cooked dinner at your homestay.
    Day 10 Location: Malay Homestay - Penang
    Awake to the sounds of village life. This morning you will take a tour of the village and rice fields by bike. This is a great opportunity to see how the locals live, and you’ll make a few stops along the way to learn about the rice production. Cycling past the rice fields and breathing in the fresh country air, with beautiful mountains in the distance, makes this morning a picture-postcard experience. Enjoy a cooking demonstration, as well as a home-cooked lunch together with the group and one of our hosts. You will have the opportunity to learn about the Malay game of congkak – a traditional board game. Continue to Penang this afternoon (approximately 1 hour) – Malaysia's prized island. Discover an exotic blend of cultures, and of course, its signature foods, which you can sample at one of the many street-side stalls. Try a sweet ice kacang (crushed ice, syrup and a mixture of jellies, nuts and sweet beans), or a hearty nasi kandar (steamed rice with curry, fried chicken, seafood or vegetables).
    Day 11 Location: Penang
    This morning, take an orientation walk with your leader around your hotel and the Georgetown area of Penang, best explored on foot. Take in the historic shophouses, narrow streets, and street art that give Georgetown its unique atmosphere. Pass the Goddess of Mercy Chinese temple, Sri Mahamariamman Hindu temple, Kapitan Kling Mosque and Cheong Fatt Tze Museum. The rest of the day is free to explore the many different sides of Penang at your leisure, and Georgetown is a particularly great area to delve deeper into. You will have discovered by now some of its impressive architecture, but this eclectic cultural arena seems to offer a new surprise at every turn. In the evening, perhaps head to a street food hot spot. Here you can indulge in an Assam Laksa, char kway teow or maybe some spicy fish curry for dinner – your group leader will know of some great places to eat.
    Day 12 Location: Penang
    Today, venture out to explore some city sites by private vehicle. Visit the largest Buddhist temple in South East Asia – Kek Lok Si. Enjoy a photo stop at Fort Cornwallis – the largest fort in Malaysia, visit the Clan Jetty and spot some more of Penang's famous street artworks. In the afternoon, enjoy some more time at leisure to explore the island. Perhaps venture on to Penang Hill and take the funicular to the top, taking in the views around the island. Those looking to relax and cool off might like to venture further afield to one of the superb local beaches. Perhaps even go for a short trek in Penang National Park on the North West tip of the island or explore a tropical spice garden.
    Day 13 Location: Penang
    With no activities planned for today, you are free to leave at any time after breakfast.
    Dates
    Prices
    Availability
    Departure Date:
    07MAR2020
    Return Date:
    19MAR2020
    2660NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    04APR2020
    Return Date:
    16APR2020
    2660NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    11APR2020
    Return Date:
    23APR2020
    2660NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    06JUN2020
    Return Date:
    18JUN2020
    2595NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    04JUL2020
    Return Date:
    16JUL2020
    2595NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    18JUL2020
    Return Date:
    30JUL2020
    2595NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    01AUG2020
    Return Date:
    13AUG2020
    2595NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    15AUG2020
    Return Date:
    27AUG2020
    2595NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    12SEP2020
    Return Date:
    24SEP2020
    2595NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    06MAR2021
    Return Date:
    18MAR2021
    2595NZD
    available
    Last modified (date)

    28 Jan 2020

    Trip title

    Best of Malaysia

    Trip code

    TMSA

    Validity

    Validity: 01 Jan 2020 to 31 Dec 2020

    Introduction

    Experience the very best of Malaysia on a 13-day cultural adventure. Since its emergence from colonial rule, Malaysia has developed a reputation as a land of diverse cultures, sensational cuisine and natural beauty. On this trip, we take you where the action is – past outstanding architecture, to a rural village homestay, close to exotic marine life and into ancient rainforests. Amble along forest trails, haggle in some of Asia's best markets, discover perfect beachside paradise and make friends along the way. This trip introduces the best of Malaysia and gives an inside glimpse to this fascinating country.

    Style

    Original

    Themes

    Explorer

    Transport

    Boat,Public Bus,Private Minivan,Speed boat

    Physical Rating

    3

    Joining point

    Travelodge Bukit Bintang

    16 Jalan Alor, Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

    Kuala Lumpur

    50200

    MALAYSIA

    Phone: +60 321431818

    Joining point description

    Travelodge Bukit Bintang offers free Wi-Fi in all rooms, 24-hour front desk, Wi-Fi in public areas and 24-hour check-in. All contemporary design rooms have private ensuite, coffee/tea making facilities and Satellite TV. Located in the Bukit Bintang area and close to the famous street food of Jalan Alor which is only a 10 minute walk away.

    Joining point instructions

    Intrepid can assist with pre-booking an arrival transfer from the airport - enquire with your agent. Please advise your flight arrival details at least 14 days prior to your departure. If you have pre-booked an airport transfer, please make your way to the main Terminal arrival hall and your driver will be holding a sign bearing your name. Please do not believe touts in suits who tell you there is an 'issue' with your arrival transfer. If you cannot find your pre-booked transfer, or you have any concerns about your transfer, please call transfer hotline at +6012 6388382. Alternatively both airport terminals offer public transport and taxis to the city. A taxi to the joining point hotel will cost approximately MYR80-MYR110. Taxi counters in the arrivals hall will offer set fares. The KLIA Express train stops at both terminals, travelling directly to KL Sentral, approximately MYR55. From KL Sentral change to the LRT train to Pasar Seni (MYR1.60). It is a 10 minute walk or short taxi to the hotel. Public buses are also available to the city. Normal check in time at the hotel is after 14:00.

    Finish point

    Merchant Hotel Penang

    55, Jalan Penang

    George Town

    Penang

    1000

    MALAYSIA

    Finish point description

    Located in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of George Town, Merchant Hotel features a sun terrace with views of the sea. Free WiFi is available throughout the hotel. Air-conditioned rooms are fitted with a flat-screen satellite TV. The en suite bathroom includes a hairdryer and free toiletries. Guests can enjoy meals at the in-house restaurant. The 24-hour front desk and luggage storage service are available for guests. Merchant Hotel is situated 280 m from both the Penang Heritage Gallery and Cheong Fatt Tze - The Blue Mansion. It is also 450 m from the culturally-rich Chinatown and 1.5 km from the Wonderfood Museum, Little India and Fort Cornwallis. The nearest airport is Penang International Airport, 18.2 km from the hotel.

    Finish point instructions

    Intrepid can assist with pre-booking a departure transfer to the airport - enquire with your agent. Please advise your flight arrival details at least 14 days prior to the start of your trip. If you have a pre booked a transfer to Penang airport, your transfer driver will collect you from your Hotel 3 hours before your flight time. If your transfer has not arrived within 15minutes of the scheduled pickup time please ask the hotel reception to call our transfer operator Dream Destination on their 24 hour number on +60 017 3275159. Your group leader will reconfirm this with you before departing. Alternatively a taxi can be organised locally from your hotel, just inquire with your hotel reception.

    Alternate Finish point

    For trips departing on the following dates, use this finish point.

    07 Mar 2020 (TMSA200307), 04 Apr 2020 (TMSA200404), 11 Apr 2020 (TMSA200411), 06 Jun 2020 (TMSA200606), 04 Jul 2020 (TMSA200704), 18 Jul 2020 (TMSA200718), 01 Aug 2020 (TMSA200801), 15 Aug 2020 (TMSA200815), 12 Sep 2020 (TMSA200912)

    Merchant Hotel Penang

    55, Jalan Penang

    George Town

    Penang

    1000

    MALAYSIA

    Important information

    1. A Single Supplement to have your own room is available on this trip and excludes night 9 (homestay) where you will be in shared accommodation.

    Group leader

    All Intrepid group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Intrepid endeavours to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders. Your leader will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense, you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. At Intrepid we aim to support local guides who have specialised knowledge of the regions we visit. If you were interested in delving deeper into the local culture at a specific site or location then your leader can recommend a local guide service in most of the main destinations of your trip.

    Safety

    Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trips. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, flight tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests or relax and take it easy. While your leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your Intrepid itinerary, and Intrepid makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your Leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns. For more details on the type of conditions and safety standards you can expect on your trip, please refer to Intrepid's operational safety policy on our website. We recommend that you take a moment to read through this information before travelling, and would appreciate any feedback on how well it's being implemented in the field:

    https://www.intrepidtravel.com/safety-field

    FIRE PRECAUTIONS: Please be aware that local laws governing tourism facilities in this region differ from those in your home country and not all the accommodation which we use has a fire exit, fire extinguishers or smoke alarms. SEAT BELTS: Please be aware that local laws governing transportation safety may differ from those in your home country and not all the transport which we use is able to provide seat belts. PETTY THEFT AND PERSONAL SAFETY: While travelling there is always the risk of pick-pocketing and petty theft, particularly in the more touristy cities. We recommend that you exercise caution when walking alone at night and encourage you to walk together and only on main, well-lit thoroughfares. Be particularly vigilant on public transport. Simple measures like carrying your day pack on your front, not hanging your bag over the back of your chair or on the floor and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing. MOTORBIKE BAG SNATCHING: Be particularly aware of motorbike bag snatching, especially in the bigger cities.

    Visas

    As a general rule most countries expect that your passport has a minimum of 6 months validity remaining. Please ensure the name on your passport matches the name on your booking and airline tickets. Your passport details are required to complete your booking. Your consultant will contact you when this is required. Take a copy of the main passport pages and other important documents with you, and leave another copy at home with family or friends. Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. Entry requirements can change at any time, so it's important that you check for the latest information. Please visit the relevant consular website of the country or countries you’re visiting for detailed and up-to-date visa information specific to your nationality. Your consultant will also be happy to point you in the right direction with acquiring visas. Visas can take several weeks to process, so familiarise yourself with any requirements as soon as you have booked your trip to allow for processing time. Your passport details are required to complete your booking. Please ensure the name on your passport matches the name on your booking MALAYSIA: Most nationalities do not need visas to visit Malaysia as a tourist for up to three months. Please check with your relevant Malaysian embassy or consulate.

    Why we love it

    Begin your adventure in the lively capital of Kuala Lumpur. With so many cultural influences and many things to do and see, consider the option of extending your trip beforehand to see what this city has to offer.

    Adventure through the lush Taman Negara National Park, where your local guide will explain traditional medicines sourced straight from the rainforest.

    Snorkel the turquoise seas of the Perhentian Islands – a paradise of unspoiled forests and white sands.

    Spend time with a local family at a homestay in Kota Aur – pedal out to the surrounding rice fields and have an authentic local experience that gives a real insight into village culture.

    Walk through the historic shophouse lined streets of Georgetown, mixed in contemporary art galleries and boutiques, traditional temples and churches, and modern street art that all influence the cultural hub of Penang.

    Is this trip right for you

    You will need to be able to carry your own luggage throughout the trip, including some short walks between our transport and accommodation as well as on and off public transport including public buses, trains and ferries. Packing light will improve your experience, especially on hot, humid days. There are some long days of travel by public transport, but don't worry, public buses in Malaysia are spacious and comfortable. Stock up on snacks and drinks for the journeys and sit back and watch the scenery stream by. The accommodation at our homestay is simple, but our overnight stay with village families is a highlight of the trip for most travellers. Bathroom facilities are shared with other travellers and host family, and some may only have cold water showers. Most houses have fan cooling systems rather than air conditioning. The climate in Malaysia is generally hot and humid, so be prepared for some steamy days no matter what time of year you visit. It tends to be wetter and more humid from May to October, but the temperature remains fairly constant throughout the year.

    Health

    All travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, Intrepid Travel reserves the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund. You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements as they may not easily be obtained at the locations on this trip. Please ensure that you are adequately prepared. DENGUE FEVER: Rare instances of dengue fever have been reported in this region. This virus is transmitted by mosquitoes. There is no vaccination against it, but there are preventative measures that you can take such as wearing long clothing, using repellent and being indoors particularly around dusk and dawn. AIR POLLUTION From June to October, Malaysia can experience air pollution from forest fires in Indonesia. The persistent hot and dry weather conditions also causes dust to remain suspended in the air and accumulate, causing haze. Please be aware of this if you suffer from any medical conditions exasperated by air pollution. ZIKA VIRUS: There have been reports of transmission of the mosquito-borne Zika virus in this region and we advise all travellers to protect themselves from mosquito bites. Given possible transmission of the disease to unborn babies, and taking a very cautious approach, we recommend all women who are pregnant or trying to get pregnant to consult with their doctors before booking their trip. TAMAN NEGARA NATIONAL PARK Malaysia Ministry of Health has issued a health warning advising travellers to not swim in the rivers inside Taman Negara National Park due to potential bacteria, viruses and parasites in the water. Untill the water is deemed safe again to swim we will not be including any swimming activities on this itinerary while at the Taman Negara National Park.

    Food and dietary requirements

    While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There's no obligation to do this though.

    Money matters

    SPENDING MONEY: When it comes to spending money on the trip, every traveller is a little different. You know your spending habits better than we do, so please budget a sensible amount for things like meals not included, drinks, shopping, optional activities and laundry. It's always better to bring a little more than you think you'll need. Also make sure you've read your trip details thoroughly so you know what's included in the trip price and what isn't. This should make budgeting a little easier. You'll find this info in the Inclusions section of your Essential Trip Information (that's this document). Budget for meals not included: USD300 MALAYSIA The official currency of Malaysia is the Ringgit (MYR).The most convenient and cheapest way to obtain local currency is by ATM. Foreign currency notes that are old, torn or faded can be very difficult to exchange, clean bills in small denominations are most useful. CONTINGENCY FUNDS We try to plan for every eventuality, but there are still some things beyond our control. Please make sure you have access to an extra US$500 for emergencies (e.g. severe weather, natural disasters, civil unrest) or other events that result in unavoidable changes to the itinerary (e.g. transport strikes or cancellations, airport closures). Sometimes these things necessitate last minute changes to enable our trips to continue to run, and as a result there may be some extra costs involved. The recommended amount is listed in USD for the relatability of universal travellers, however the local currency is needed in the countries you are visiting. TIPPING If you're happy with the services provided a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it's of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many Intrepid destinations. Optional Tipping Kitty: On Day 1 your tour leader will discuss with you the idea of running a group tipping kitty, whereby everybody contributes an equal amount and then your tour leader pays the tips for drivers, local guides, and hotel staff (excludes restaurant tips). The leader will keep a running record of all monies spent which can be checked at any time, and any money remaining at the end of the tour returned to group members. This is often the easiest way to avoid the hassles of needing small change and knowing when and what is an appropriate amount to tip. Participation in this kitty at your own discretion, and you are welcome to manage your own tipping separately if you prefer. Please note the tipping kitty excludes tips for your tour leader. Optional tipping kitty for this trip: MYR95 per person Your Tour Leader: You may also consider tipping your tour leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline US$2-US$4 per person, per day can be used. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service. Please don't tip with coins, very small denomination notes, or dirty and ripped notes. This is regarded culturally as an insult MALAYSIA DEPARTURE TAX: From 1st September 2019, all travellers departing Malaysia by air will be required to pay a departure levy. The amount depends on the destination as well as the flight class and ranges from RM8 - RM150.

    What to take

    MAIN LUGGAGE What you need to bring will vary according to when you are travelling. Generally speaking, we recommend you pack as lightly as possible and make sure that you are able to carry and lift your own luggage, and walk with it for short distances (maximum of 30 minutes) including up and down stairs and in busy train stations. Our travellers usually find the smaller their luggage is, the more they enjoy the trip not having to worry about carrying heavy bags! Aim to keep your main luggage under 15kg. Smaller bags are also better for fitting in storage areas of public transport. Small, wheeled suitcases that can also easily be picked up and carried are suitable, or if you prefer, a back pack is also a good option. It's important that your bags can be locked, as on local transport it may be necessary that your luggage gets stowed separately (and unattended). DAY PACK A day pack for carrying essentials when exploring destinations. On overnight trains packing this with the essentials you need to access during the trip will also be very useful. ESSENTIALS: - Lightweight clothing: A mixture of covering lightweight clothing and some warm layers (depending on the season) are recommended. It is best to check the weather and seasonal information before travelling. Dress standards are conservative in Malaysia and parts of Thailand, especially outside major cities. Loose, lightweight, long clothing is both respectful and cool in the predominantly hot climate. For visits to religious sites you will also need to wear clothing that covers shoulders and pants/skirts that go past the knee. Laundry facilities may not be available in all destinations, so make sure you have a few cycles of clothes. - Wind and waterproof jacket - Comfortable shoes for walking and hiking: Closed-in shoes that are comfortable to walk for an entire day are recommended to protect your feet on city and countryside walks as well as longer treks. For longer hikes comfortable and supportive shoes with good grip are best. - Sandals/flip flops: Sandals with straps or shoes which are not likely to fall off are preferable for any water based activities. Easy to remove shoes are also good in the heat and for visits to religious sites. - Sun protection: hat, sunscreen, sunglasses - Toiletries - leech socks for trekking in Taman Negara National Park RECOMMENDED: - Personal medical kit. A larger kit will be on hand with your leader, but we recommend you carry items such as mild pain killers, electrolytes and adhesive bandages. - Insect repellent - Water bottle. We recommend a 1.5litre capacity. While drinking tap water is not recommended some hotels will have filtered drinking water available. - Camera with spare batteries/power bank. You will have access to power to recharge your electrical items most days, however a spare battery or power bank are recommended. - Electrical adapter plug - reusable shopping bag for buying supplies - torch/flashlight - travel wipes, hand sanitiser - small towel - ear plugs & eye mask - collapsible walking stick for trekking in Taman Negara National Park - A good book, a journal and music player for overnight train rides and longer drives. MORE! If you need some further tips for packing, you can always check out our ultimate packing list.

    https://www.intrepidtravel.com/packing-list

    LOCAL DRESS: At the homestay we ask that you show respect to our hosts by wearing conservative clothing including long trousers or skirts, and covering your shoulders.

    Climate and seasonal

    RAMADAN & EID AL-FITR: In Malaysia, a country with a large Muslim population, the month of Ramadan is referred to as the ‘fasting month’, which culminates with the biggest Muslim holiday in Malaysia: Eid al Fitr or ‘Idul Fitri’. This ninth month on the Islamic Hijri calendar is considered the holiest month by Muslims, commemorating the first revelation of the Quranic verses to the Prophet Muhammad. Ramadan is a festival of sacrifice where the devout refrain from eating or drinking during daylight hours. In bigger cities like Kuala Lumpur and Georgetown where there are many residents of Chinese origin as well as in popular tourist destinations there will be little disruption to services or being able to find places to eat. In other areas with a bigger Muslim population, businesses and services may have limited operation hours, alcohol may not be permitted during daylight hours and restaurants closed. Please note that drivers and leaders of Muslim faith are likely to be fasting over Ramadan. While you should expect some delays and inconveniences during this period, the month is a fantastic opportunity to travel in a Muslim country and witness this unique period, particularly the nightly celebrations when the sun sets and the fast is broken. Dates for Ramadan are: 16 May-14 June 2018, 5 May - 4 June 2019, 23 April - 23 May 2020. Dates for Eid Al-Fitr are: 14-15 June 2018, 4-5 June 2019, 23-24 May 2020 LUNAR NEW YEAR: Also known as Spring Festival or Chinese New Year, is the biggest and most important annual festival for Chinese and the Chinese communities world wide. During the first days of Chinese New Year many businesses close, as Chinese business owners are visiting their relatives in their home towns or home countries.Traveling during this time can be hectic as many people are on the move. Public transport and flights can be packed in the days leading up to the festivities, with traffic jams and delays common. Plenty of patience is required if you are in Malaysia during this time, but the festive atmosphere and local traditions make it an interesting time to be in the country. Public holidays in Malaysia for Lunar New Year are: 5-6 Feb 2019 & 25-27 Jan 2020. OTHER HOLIDAYS: Other major national public holidays in Malaysia are: Malaysia Day: 16-17 Sep 2018, 16 Sep 2019 Agong's (Malaysian King) Birthday: 9-10 Sep 2018, 9 Sep 2019 Vesak (Buddha's birthday): 19-20 May 2019, 7 May 2020 Awal Muharram (Islamic New Year): 11 Sep 2018, 1-2 Sep 2019 Deepavali (Diwali): 6 Nov 2018, 27-28 Oct 2019 Hari Raya Haji: 22-23 Aug 2018, 11-12 Aug 2019 Malaysia Day: 16-17 Sep 2018, 16 Sep 2019 Prophet Muhammad's Birthday: 20 Nov 2018, 9 Nov 2019 CHINESE NEW YEAR: An important 15-day festival for the Malaysian Chinese, based on the lunar calendar in January or February. In 2019, the Year of the Pig is scheduled to be held from 5th February. This can be a busy time and some transport delays, shop closures and reduced opening hours at some sites may be expected, but there are also many fabulous festivals and rituals to observe during this time, so it's a great time to travel. Although we make all reasonable efforts to avoid disruption a flexible approach from the traveller is appreciated.

    A couple of rules

    Everyone has the right to feel safe when they travel. We don’t tolerate any form of violence (verbal or physical) or sexual harassment, either between customers or involving our leaders, partners or local people. Sexual relationships between a tour leader and a customer are strictly forbidden. Use or possession of illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. If you choose to consume alcohol while travelling, we encourage responsible drinking, and expect that you’ll abide by the local laws regarding alcohol consumption. The sex tourism industry is known to exploit vulnerable people and have negative consequences on communities, including undermining the development of sustainable tourism. For this reason, patronising sex workers will not be tolerated on our trips. By travelling with us you are agreeing to adhere to these rules. Your group leader has the right to remove any member of the group for breaking any of these rules, with no right of refund. If you feel that someone is behaving inappropriately while travelling with us, please inform your tour leader or local guide immediately. Alternatively, contact us on the emergency contact number detailed in the Problems and Emergency Contact section of this Essential Trip Information.

    Feedback

    After your travels, we want to hear from you! We rely on your feedback. We read it carefully. Feedback helps us understand what we are doing well and what we could be doing better. It allows us to make improvements for future travellers. http://www.intrepidtravel.com/feedback/

    Emergency contact

    While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip. We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager. You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. But we do ask you to be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is complete. For general enquiries or questions about your booking, please contact your agent or adventure specialist, or visit us at www.intrepidtravel.com/contact-us In case of a genuine crisis or emergency, you can reach our local operator on the number below. Intrepid’s Local Operator: +60 13 881 5813

    Responsible travel

    Our Responsible Travel Policy outlines our commitment to preserving the environment, supporting local communities, protecting the vulnerable and giving back to the places we travel. All our trip leaders, suppliers and staff are trained on these principles, and are core to us delivering sustainable, experience-rich travel. Explore the different parts of our Responsible Travel Policy by visiting: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/responsible-travel http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/rt/responsibletraveller When packing be aware that dress standards are conservative throughout Asia, especially outside major cities. To respect this and for your own comfort, we strongly recommend modest clothing. This means clothing that covers your shoulders and knees. Loose, lightweight, long clothing is both respectful and cool in predominantly hot Asian climates. In many rural areas in Asia women will need to wear modest clothing even to swim. Singlets and tank tops for daily wear are not unusual attire. When visiting religious sites men often need to wear long trousers and women a long skirt or sarong.

    The Intrepid Foundation

    Help us change thousands of lives by creating meaningful work and supporting skills training in communities around the world. The Intrepid Foundation is the not-for-profit for Intrepid Group. We work with local organisations around the world to improve the livelihoods of vulnerable individuals and communities through sustainable travel experiences. With our travellers’ help, we’ve contributed more than AU $6 million to over 100 community organisations since 2002. Did you know that tourism is one of the biggest contributors to the global economy, making up 1 out of every 10 jobs? That’s why we support local projects that create meaningful jobs and give people the skills they need to work in the destinations we take you to. And it’s why we exist – to make it easy for travellers to give back to the communities and places they’ve been in an effective and meaningful way. All donations to The Intrepid Foundation are matched by Intrepid Group dollar for dollar (up to AU$10,000 per donor and AU$500,000 in total each financial year, excluding emergency appeals). And because Intrepid Group covers all administration costs, every cent goes directly to the projects. Donating is simple and secure. Please ask your leader for information about the projects we support through The Intrepid Foundation or visit our website: http://www.theintrepidfoundation.org/

    Accommodation notes

    OCCASIONAL ALTERNATIVE ACCOMMODATION The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our usual accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances. TWIN SHARE / MULTI SHARE BASIS Accommodation on this trip is on a twin/multishare basis. Please note there may be times where facilities will be shared rather than ensuite and rare occasions when you share a room with passengers travelling on a different Intrepid trip than your own. CHECK-IN TIME Throughout the trip we request that our hotels prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination. PRE/POST TRIP ACCOMMODATION If you've purchased pre-trip or post-trip accommodation (subject to availability), you may be required to change rooms from your trip accommodation for these extra nights. Please note that at our homestay we stay in shared A-frame huts which have cold water and no fans. Some of our guesthouses may not have windows which is typical in Malaysia.

    Travel insurance

    Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. When travelling on a trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24 hour emergency contact number has been seen by your leader. If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country. http://www.intrepidtravel.com/insurance.php

    Your fellow travellers

    As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part. Due to privacy reasons we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure. SINGLE TRAVELLERS: Our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and don't involve a compulsory single supplement. Single travellers share with people of the same gender in accommodation ranging from twin to multishare. Some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on a mixed gender share basis and where applicable this will be specified in our Essential Trip Information. On a selection of our trips, you have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure that you have your own accommodation (where available). Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour - pre-trip and post-trip accommodation will be booked on a single room basis.

    Itinerary disclaimer

    ITINERARY CHANGES: Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It is important that you print and review a final copy prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in country. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary seasonally to ensure our travellers have the best experience. Your tour leader will keep you up to date with any changes once on tour. OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES: A selection of optional activities that have been popular with past travellers are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only for some of what might be available. Prices are approximate, are for entrance only, and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability, and may be on a join-in basis. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination, so some pre-planning for what you are most interested in is advised. When it's recommended that travellers pre-book these activities, look for a note in the Special Information section of the day-to-day itinerary. For most, they can either be organised independently on the day, or let your leader know you are interested and they can assist. Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. Although it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Medium and high risk activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with organising these activities. Activities that contravene our Responsible Travel policies are also not listed. Please remember that the decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.

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