You should arrive at the airport to take your overnight Singapore Airlines flight to Penang, via Singapore.
After our afternoon arrival we transfer to the four-star superior Parkroyal Hotel on Batu Ferringhi beach for three nights with breakfast. The rest of the afternoon is at leisure to relax after your flight.
This morning we enjoy a walking tour the beautifully preserved colonial centre of George Town. A UNESCO World Heritage site, George Town is perhaps unique in South East Asia in having over 30,000 pre-war buildings. After a fascinating ride by cycle rickshaw you’ll enjoy an included lunch. The afternoon is at leisure to enjoy the many facilities of your hotel. In the evening, the local night market is an easy stroll from the hotel and a great chance to try the local street cuisine or hone your bargaining skills!
Reached by the Penang Hill Funicular Railway, the 2,700ft Penang Hill was used a cooler retreat during the British colonial period and many prominent bungalows were built here, as well as the original official residence of the Governor. You can still see the Post Office and Police Station. After an included lunch, you are free to enjoy the afternoon at leisure.
We cross the eight-mile Penang Bridge to Butterworth on the Malaysian mainland, where we take the train for the four-hour journey to the capital, Kuala Lumpur. The train has recently been upgraded and offers a modern, air-conditioned and comfortable service – a perfect way to see rural Malaysia. Our hotel in ‘KL’ for two nights is the four-star Element Kuala Lumpur by Westin, located 275 metres high at IIham Tower. Lunch is included today.
Today we drive to one of the most famous of the Straits Settlements, Malacca. Originally colonised by the Portuguese in the 16th century, it was later taken over by the Dutch, before finally succumbing to the might of the British East India Company. There’s plenty to see in the many old shophouses now converted into attractive boutiques and cafes, but many are still family homes as well. Like George Town, this vitally strategic port is a blend of Chinese, Hindu and Muslim cultures and fascinating insight into the historical legacies of all these civilizations. Lunch is included today. In the afternoon we return to our hotel in ‘KL’.
After a leisurely breakfast, today we fly to Sandakan for a one night stay at the three-star Sabah Hotel with breakfast. Founded in 1879 by the British North Borneo Company and with fascinating colonial history, Sandakan is a charming small port town on the eastern side of Borneo.
This morning we visit the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre a sanctuary within two and a half hectares of enclosed forest for the endangered Borneo Sun Bear. Next we visit the Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre, the largest of its kind in the world which is a highlight of our tour! The aim of the Centre is to re-introduce Orang Utans into the wild and as such it is open to the forest, so Orang Utans are free to come and go as they please. There is a smaller area where younger individuals are cared for. Then we go to the Sandakan Memorial which commemorates Australian and British soldiers who were held by Japanese as Prisoners of War between 1942 and 1945. The Memorial is adjacent to the original Sandakan Prisoner of War Camp location. After an included lunch we visit Agnes Keith House Museum with a port town orientation. Late in the afternoon we catch the short flight to Kota Kinabalu on the western side of Borneo and transfer to the outstanding five-star Shangri-La Rasa Ria Resort & Spa for three nights with breakfast.
A day at leisure to enjoy they huge sandy beach and extensive swimming pools at your hotel. There is also a 400-acre nature reserve adjacent to the resort as well as championship 18-hole golf course and superb Spa. Choose from five restaurants and two bars – this is the best spot to watch the spectacular sunset over the South China Sea.
A further day to relax or take a walk through the Nature reserve and see some of the flora and fauna that are native to the local area
On arrival, transfer to the four-star Swissotel Merchant Court, with breakfast, well located next to the many restaurants of Clarke Quay.
Today you have the opportunity to explore Singapore’s unique blend of Indian, Chinese and Malay influences. We’ll enjoy a tour of the riverfront area and spend time in the beautiful botanic gardens, of which the Orchid enclosure is an outstanding feature.
After a morning at leisure, you have a late afternoon transfer to the airport for your overnight Singapore Airlines flight home.
You arrive back in the UK this morning.