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Ulu Muda: A Date With Nature

Ulu Muda: A Date With Nature

$986

per person

Tour Code: UM-01

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05 Days/ 04 Nights
  • Departure
    City Hotel
  • Departure Time
    Approximately 08:00 - 09:00 hrs
  • Return Time
    Depending on the program, drop off time is normally after 12 noon onwards
  • Dress Code
    Covered shoes with good grip, torch lights with spare batteries, insect repellent, sun block, refillable water bottle, leech socks, day pack, hat/cap, disposable poncho/raincoat, swimming gear, sandals/flip-flops, toiletries and bath towel. Camera and binoculars in water proof container/casing encouraged.
  • Include
    ✓Daily accommodation. ✓Tours & Transfers as per program (depending on the price if it is SIC or Private). ✓Service by English Speaking Driver cum Guide. ✓Meals as stated in the itinerary.
  • Not Included
    ⨯Tipping. ⨯Domestic Flight. ⨯Any Local Tax (Heritage or Tourism Tax) which has to be paid locally by guest to hotel.
1

Day 01: Overland Penang – Bujang Valley – Alor Star

Depart Penang in the morning heading towards the northern state of Kedah to the renowned Bujang Valley, the earliest known fame entreport of South East Asia of an ancient Hindu and Buddhist civilizations. This site goes back to the 3rd till to the 12th century AD which is older than the Borobudur (Built in the 8th. century AD) and Angkor Wat (built in the 12th. century AD), where traders and merchants from different parts of the world such as from China, India, Middle East, regions of South East Asia and the Malay Archipelago converged to trade and therefore it became a meeting point of cultural and religious diversity in the background of harmony and tolerance, that forms point of exemplar for today’s multi-cultural and religious tolerance of Malaysia.   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
2

Day 02: Overland Alor Star – Ulu Muda Rainforest

1030hrs: Take a trip to the interior by passing through traditional villages of the Malay and Siamese communities that have lived alongside each other harmoniously for generations. On arrival at the Muda Lake Jetty, a simple lunch will be served at a local “stall” in support of businesses owned by local communities. After lunch, take a traditional long-tailed boat across the Muda Lake and up the Muda River to Earth Lodge. The duration of the boat journey depends very much on the water level and conditions and would usually take approximately 1½ hours. Make sure your camera and binoculars are ready to spot interesting wildlife or unusual scenery.  You will be spending the next few days in the middle of a vast, wild rainforest. Take in the feeling of being in the rainforest far away from human civilization, with its fresh air and soothing natural forest orchestra of insects, birds and other wildlife.   Settling in after a briefing by a park ranger, visit one of the 30-something salt licks (or Sira in Malay) found in the area. A visit to Sira Bonggor or Sira Keladi, located close to the Lodge is a good introduction to trekking in the rainforest. Herbivorous wildlife or leaf eaters often frequent visit these salt licks to obtain the minerals lacking in their normal diet.  These include the Asian elephant, guar, tapir, deer and wild boar. Predators and carnivorous animals such as the Malayan tiger, panther, and clouded leopard are found here too. You will be very lucky to see any wild animals as the rainforest is good at hiding its wild but shy inhabitants. Your guide will however  show   you  the  abundant  traces  of  different  types  of wildlife  from  their  excrements  and  tracks.   Common animals sighted are usually the beautiful birds, insects, reptiles and if you are lucky, otters, monkeys and sometimes even elephants! In the evening, go for a river cruise in search of wildlife. Although sightings of elephants along the river bank have been reported, it is not guaranteed. Overnight at Earth Lodge. (Meals: Breakfast, simple local dishes for dinner).   Important Notes:
  • You are advised to travel light on the journey into Ulu Muda Rainforest. You can leave your heavier luggage at the hotel in Alor Star before entering the Ulu Muda area.
  • The seats of the boats from Muda Lake Jetty to Earth Lodge are made of wooden planks without back-rest.
  • Earth Lodge – chalet style accommodation equipped with two single mattresses, attached bathroom with sit toilet, balcony and ceiling fan. There is no water heater, bath towels and toiletries. You may purchase personal toiletries; towel; snacks, drinks and other necessities at the Alor Star town as there are no shops at the jetty or lodge.
  • Electricity to the Earth Lodge is powered by a generator which will be switched on between 1800hrs to 2300hrs daily.
  • Child policy: children below 13 years of age are not allowed at the Earth Lodge.
3

Day 03: In Ulu Muda Rainforest

Wake up in the morning to the haunting call of the gibbons and the disorganized chorus of various species of Ulu Muda’s avifauna. After breakfast, a two-hour relatively easy trek through the pristine jungle brings you to Bukit Labu (Labu Hill), a newly discovered limestone hill with several caves. As you visit the hill and its mysterious caves, your guide will explain the importance of this mostly forgotten habitat. These pristine and beautiful caves were only discovered in 2006.   Enjoy a simple lunch by a cool, wide stream. Feel free to frolic in the stream before starting back to Earth Lodge. In the afternoon, go for a casual walk in search of Ulu Muda’s abundant avifauna and other wildlife. Ulu Muda is listed by Birdlife International as an important bird watching area. This is mostly due to it being home to many rare and globally threatened bird species. These include the very rare Plain –pouched Hornbill, Masked Finfoot, and the Argus Pheasant. This will be an unforgettable experience as Ulu Muda has recorded sightings of over 300 species of birds and still counting! After the casual walk, you will have some free time to yourself before the next activity. Take a dip in natural crystal clear river or laze around Earth Lodge at your own pace.   In the evening, go for a river cruise in search of wildlife. Overnight at Earth Lodge. (Meals: Simple local dishes for breakfast, lunch and dinner).   On arrival in Belum Rainforest Resort, check in and spend the rest of the day at leisure. Overnight Belum Rainforest Resort/Room: Azlanii. Meal: Breakfast.
4

Day 04: In Ulu Muda Rainforest

Waking up to the cool jungle morning, breakfast is served. A combination of trekking in the forest, walking in the river and a short boat ride will take you to the Kuala Batu salt lick. On the way, a visit to the wild honey collection area is a must. This is a seasonal activity that takes place between February and March. Here the Tualang tree, one of the tallest trees in Malaysia that can reach up to 85 meters is the preferred  home of the giant honey  bee. They build large nests that are harvested by groups of daredevil honey collectors by climbing up the tall trees. The  harvesting  process  is  steeped  in  tradition  with  rituals  that’s  goes  back  generations. The honey is harvested in a way so that the nest will not be destroyed, allowing the bees to continue using the nest and producing more honey. It is a traditional method that is sustainable for both the honey collectors and the bees.   Upon  arrival  at  Kuala  Batu, you will be treated with a  sumptuous  lunch by the  Muda River. Do not forget to bring your swimming gear. Take a dip, frolic in the water, or just relax and take a nap if you wish. When you are ready, we will start our journey back to the Lodge floating along the river on inflated rubber tubes. A quietand relaxing way to travel that gives you a better chance of spotting wildlife. So keep your eyes and ears opened! The rest of the afternoon is spent free and easy at Earth Lodge.   In the evening, go for another river cruise in search of wildlife. Overnight at Earth Lodge. (Meals: Simple local dishes for breakfast, lunch and dinner).
5

Day 05: Ulu Muda Rainforest – Kuala Kedah Jetty

Last day in Ulu Muda. After breakfast, you will visit the Ayer Hangat Hot Spring Saltlick. This is the most used saltlick by the wildlife. This is a unique saltlick as it is a combination of a hot spring and salt lick, the only one of its kind in the area.   After the tour, we bid farewell to Earth Lodge. Return to Muda Lake Jetty. Upon arrival, proceed to Kuala Kedah Jetty to board your ferry to Langkawi. (Meals: Simple local dishes for breakfast).  

*** Tour ends. ***

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TOUR CODE : HABV -- HIGHLAND AND BELUM VALLEY - 5 DAYS / 4 NIGHTS
Departure : Every Saturday
USD
Per Pax on Twin Share 959.50
Per Pax on Triple Share 887.50
Single Supplement 248.75
Meals : ABF on day 1, 2, 3 & 4. Lunch on day 2 & 4.
PEAK SURCHARGE PER ROOM PER NIGHT (ALL DATES INCLUSIVE) USD - NETT
~ Strawberry Park Resort CMH (16/12 to 31/12)25.00
Compulsory Dinner (Per Pax Per Meal)
~ Strawberry Park Resort CMH (Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve)26.50
~ Belum Rainforest Resort
** Christmas Eve (24.12)40.00
** Christmas Day (25.12)33.00
** New Year's Eve (31.12)51.00
Notes: 
  • Optional drop off in Alor Star Airport.
  • Ferry journey to Langkawi is without guide on board.
  • Own arrangement in Langkawi.
  • Activities are subject to weather condition, and may be re-organized to best meet operational situation.
  • Sighting of wildlife is not guaranteed.