Day 01: Overland Kuala Lumpur – Kuala Selangor (100km)
At 0900hrs, depart toward Kuala Selangor in the morning. Enroute, stop at Batu Caves (except three days of pre and post during Thaipusam festival). A flight of 272 steps will lead up to the sacred Hindu temple cave where the shrine of Hindu deity, Lord Murugah lies. Another cave, called the museum cave, is filled with images of deities and murals depicting scenes from the Hindu scriptures.
Upon arrival at Kuala Selangor, visit “Kota Melawati” formerly known as “Fort Altingsburg”. The second King of Selangor had a fortress constructed on Malawati hill to protect the state from intruders. From the top of the ruined fort, you will have a great view of the famous Strait of Malacca. If you are lucky, you may spot the Silver-leaf monkeys roaming around in the area. The fort has also an old lighthouse that was built by the British for the passing ships as a navigation point on the Strait of Malacca.
Proceed to a Malay village. Local lunch in one of the villager’s house. Eat with your hands, the villagers will show you how. After lunch embark on a village discovery where you will be able to witness the villagers going on with their daily activities which becomes part and parcel of their daily livelihood. Mingle with the friendly locals, learn and experience their customs. Depart to hotel and check in.
At dusk – 1830hrs , transfer to a local restaurant for a sumptuous dinner. After dinner, embark on a boat trip along the Selangor River. Here, thousands of fireflies present itself with a dazzling display of lights, flickering in synchrony resembling twinkling Christmas trees in the darkness of the night. Enjoy the wonder of nature with its night serenity before returning to your hotel. (Meal: Lunch, Dinner)
Accommodation at Inn (Simple 2*).
Upon arriving at Bujang Valley, be amazed by the wonders of Malaysia’s earliest civilization at the Lembah Bujang Archeological Museum that serves evidence of a vibrant trading centre of a prosperous kingdom that once existed here. The museum is a treasure trove of recovered artifacts from historical sites scattered all over the Bujang Valley. There are some 1,000 artifacts in the museum and another 2,500 still being studied.
From Bujang Valley, we depart to Alor Star – the capital city of Malaysia’s oldest Malay Sultanate and considered the ‘rice bowl’ of Malaysia. Upon arrival, we visit the bustling Pekan Rabu or Wednesday Market (which interestingly, is open daily). Proceed to the Alor Star Tower, the second tallest communication tower in Malaysia and at 165.5m is one of the tallest in the world. The tower’s platform allows visitors to enjoy a panoramic view of the Straits of Malacca and over vast expanses of paddy fields. We will take a drive past the Masjid Zahir for a view of the magnificent mosque. Considered as one of the grandest and most beautiful Mosques in Malaysia, it incorporates elegant Moorish design in its five black domes and slender minarets. Opposite the mosque, is the Balai Besar or Balai Penghadapan (audience hall) with an impressive wooden construction that incorporates some aspects of Thai architecture. On the other far end is Balai Nobat, a unique building that houses the sacred instruments of the royal orchestra. We will also visit the Kedah Royal Museum. Proceed to the Rice Museum (Muzium Padi) to learn how Kedah produces the largest rice harvest in the country. There are several galleries in the museum, one of which has a panoramic mural with an interesting 3D-effect that explains the importance of rice to the people of Malaysia.
Overnight at Holiday Villa Alor Star (three-star hotel).
Enroute, stop at the holy Hindu temple of Batu Caves (except three days of pre and post during Thaipusam festival), an enchanting site that blissfully remains an attraction not only to the locals but also to foreign visitors enticed by its sacredness and its strategic location. The main shrine is embraced in a huge natural limestone outcrop. Climb the exciting 272 steps to explore the inner chamber of the great cave with its many godly figures.
Next, drive further northward where we will stop to visit a basket weaving cottage industry. These woven bamboo baskets are used to transport farm produce to the market place. Enroute to the highlands, visit the Iskandar Waterfall, nestled at the foot of a hill and a native settlement. Observe the native lifestyle and see how blowpipe is used by them for hunting. On arrival, enjoy the cool crisp air of Cameron Highlands and the wonderful scenery. Rest of the day is at leisure. Overnight. Overnight in Hotel, 4 star, Meals: Breakfast
Day 02: Overland Kuala Selangor – Ipoh (180km)
Breakfast. At 0830hrs, proceed overland northward toward Ipoh. Stop in the town of Telok Intan. Malaysia boasts its own equivalent to the world-famous Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy, right here at the heart of the Teluk Intan town centre. Like its Italian counterpart, the Leaning Tower of Teluk Intan has a leftward slant, and all the ingredients to make it an architectural sight to behold.
Our next stop will be Kinta Kellas Rubber Estate area. Amidst the lush greenery stands proud the ruins of the never completed dream castle of William Kellie Smith, a wealthy Scottish planter during the colonial era. An aura of mystery envelopes this romantic yet melancholic mansion. Believed to be haunted, it is said to have secret rooms and underground tunnels.
Our onward journey brings us to Sam Poh Tong temple, a picturesque structure nestled within the high limestone caves and cavities, a sight to behold. Enjoy seeing impressive works of art, with statues of Buddha in various forms among natural stalactites and rock formations.
The Railway Station or the ‘Taj Mahal’ of Ipoh is an impressive landmark which combines Moorish architecture with modern embellishments. The Station bears a close resemblance to its Kuala Lumpur counterpart haring the same architectural design and the distinction of being the most filmed buildings in their respective cities. Its charm and design has recently earned it to be one of the locations for the shooting of the Hollywood remake of Anna and the King starring Jodie Foster. You will find the Ipoh tree next to the station after which the city is named. Perak actually pioneered train travel within Malaysia to satisfy the early tin mining industry in Malaysia. (Meal: Breakfast)
Accommodation at hotel (Simple 3*).
Day 03: Overland Ipoh – Kuala Kangsar – Kuala Sepetang – Belum Rainforest Resort (240km)
Breakfast. Set off to Banding Island on Lake Temenggor. At the Royal town of Kuala Kangsar, linger to take photographs and to admire from the exterior buildings like Ubudiah Mosque, Iskandariah Palace and Istana Kenangan which have a very unique and attractive architecture. Stop at a village pottery cottage industry.
Proceed further to Kuala Sepetang mangrove forest, the best-managed mangrove forest in Malaysia from 1910 and one that serves a very important ecological role in protecting the coastline from erosion. Delight in the novelty of walking through natural mangrove forest on a boardwalk. Kuala Sepetang produces the bulk of the nation’s top quality mangrove charcoal. Visit a charcoal kiln where charcoal is produced. Drive north east toward Banding Island in Belum area through Gerik.
On arrival in Belum Rainforest Resort, check in and the rest of the day is free at leisure. (Meal: Breakfast)
Accommodation Belum Rainforest resort/Room: Azlanii
Day 04: Tour of Belum Valley (By Boat and Soft Trek)
Breakfast. At 09.00hrs, proceed for a tour of the Belum Valley, an area bristling with fauna and flora, a rich national heritage. This last frontier of Peninsular Malaysia beckons the adventurous ones with its everlasting charm.
From Banding Island on the Temenggor Lake, we will take a boat ride for a tour of the aboriginal villages. Observe and mingle with the ‘Orang Asli’ people, which literally mean ‘the original people’. These are the Jahai and Temiar people of the aboriginal’s ethnic tribes of Peninsular Malaysia.
We will have the opportunity to trek in the jungle and with some luck, to see the ‘Rafflesia’ - the world’s largest flower in the wilderness. Packed lunch will be served. Enjoy the encounter with scenic waterfall in the lush green jungle pouring through the heart of nature crafting out an unforgettable feeling of having been in the oldest tropical rainforest of the world - 130 million years old. Return to the resort.
Rest of the day is free at leisure. Relax and enjoy the ever-soothing nature’s influence on you. It is indeed a place that will bring an everlasting memory of nature’s greatness and its tropical blessings. Overnight. (Meal: Breakfast, Packed Lunch)
Accommodation: Belum Rainforest Resort/Room: Azlanii
Day 05: Overland Belum Rainforest Resort - Penang (200km)
Breakfast. 0830hrs – Depart Temenggor Lake towards Penang. On arrival in Penang proceed with a City, Culture and Heritage tour of Georgetown, which has been official declared as a UNESCO SITE in 2008. Visit Kek Lok Si Temple that was built in 1904. It is the most beautiful and largest Buddhist temple complex in South East Asia and is known as the Temple of the 1000 Buddhas. Thereafter proceed to Fort Cornwallis, the landing site of Captain Francis Light in 1786 when he arrived to start the first British colony in Penang. The tour carries on with a visit to the water village of the Clan Jetties at Weld Quay, so named as residents of each jetty share similar surname. We next take you along Pitt Street, also known as “The Street of Harmony”. Here churches, Chinese temples, mosques and Hindu temples are built along the same street in harmonious existence side by side for centuries. Visit the intricate Khoo Kong Si clan’s house. Enjoy a breezy trishaw ride, a still popular mode of transport in Georgetown
** Hotel in Penang is on your own arrangement.
Note: Optional with supplement for this tour to end by boat to Langkawi via Kuala Kedah. This can only be done without doing the tour of Penang on this day. Boat trip to Langkawi is without guide onboard.
*** Tour ends ***