Travel to Malaysia
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After landing at Langkawi Airport in Malaysia’s capital of Kuala Lumpur, check into your hotel and make your way to the iconic Petronas Twin Towers, a pair of massive glass-and-steel skyscrapers known as the tallest twin towers in the world. Take a high-speed elevator to the towers’ public skybridge and observation deck for breathtaking views of the city. Enjoy dinner in one of the many cafes surrounding the Towers, then return to your hotel to rest up for tomorrow’s adventures.
After breakfast, discover the old and new beauty of Kuala Lumpur with a tour of the city. Explore famous landmarks like the Kings Place, National Monument, Independence Square and Royal Selangor Club. Stop into Beryl’s Chocolate Kingdom, a one of a kind paradise for chocolate lovers, with some of the finest selections of chocolate in the region. Spend an evening strolling the busy street markets of Kuala Lumpur, shopping for everything from souvenirs and apparel to fresh produce and homemade jewelry.
Board a morning flight or an over night bus to Kota Bharu airport, where you’ll transfer to cab and ferry on your way to the fascinating Perhentian Islands. Disembark on the smaller island of Perhentian Kecil and head straight for one of the tiny island’s most beautiful beaches, Long Beach. Rent a bungalow and sit back and relax in a perfectly rustic and secluded Malaysian paradise. At sunset, grab a fresh seafood dinner in one of Long Beach’s quaint beach shacks.
Catch a morning speedboat to Perhentian Besar to spend another day in road-free paradise. Head to Terengganu Marine Park for scuba diving or rent snorkeling gear to explore Malaysia’s crystal clear turquoise waters, teeming with colorful fish and diverse marine life. Trek through the island’s network of lush jungle trails to discover the
incredible array of flora and fauna that make the Perhentians their home. End your day relaxing on the island’s shimmering white sand beaches, enjoying unspoiled views of the South China Sea.
Board a shuttle bus for a scenic drive from Kuala Besut jetty to George Town, the capital of the Malaysian state of Penang. Upon arrival, head out for a walking tour to get acquainted with the colorful multicultural town. Bring your camera and take your time discovering the abundance of street art that adorns the walls on virtually every street of George Town. As the sun sets, make your way to Chulia Street to sample some of Malaysia’s best street food from a variety of local vendors. Be sure to try some Nyonya cuisine, a unique blend of Chinese, Malay and other Southeast Asian flavors.
Start your day exploring two of the most beautiful and prominent Buddhist temples in Malaysia. Begin with a tour of Wat Chaiyamangalaram, the largest Thai Buddhist temple in Malaysia and home to an impressive 180-foot long, gold-plated reclining Buddha statue. Cross the street to explore the peaceful Dhammikarama Burmese Buddhist temple, the only Burmese temple in Malaysia. After lunch, visit the Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion, a 38-room mansion filled with stunning examples of Chinese architecture and design. At night, wander the lively and colorful street market at Gurney Drive to sample from dozens of local food vendors.
Spend another day exploring the fascinating sites of Penang. Start with a visit to Khoo Kongsi, an intricately designed Chinese ‘clan house’ filled with gorgeous ceramic sculptures and incredible murals. After lunch, take your time exploring the largest Buddhist temple in Malaysia, Kek Lok Si. Marvel at the temple’s colorful seven-storeyed Pagoda as well as several ornate prayer halls, thousands of Buddha statues and stunning gardens and ponds. In the afternoon, head to The Peranakan Mansion for a tour of the sprawling home filled with winding staircases and glamourous corridors. Don’t end your day without a visit to the 160-year-old local Ghee Hiang bakery to taste their legendary Tau Sar Pneah – a tasty baked pastry ball filled with a delicious mung bean paste..
Start your day with a stroll through the Penang Botanic Gardens. Also known as the Waterfalls Gardens, they are home to an impressive variety of indigenous and exotic plant species and hundreds of mischievous and adorable macaque monkeys. Afterwards, take a ride on a funicular train to the top of nearby Penang Hill for unrivaled 360-degree
views of the Strait of Malacca that separates Penang from mainland Malaysia. Finish your last full day in Penang with a visit to the Penang State Museum to learn more about Penang’s colorful history, culture and festivals.
Board an early morning ferry to the jungle-cloaked tropical island of Langkawi. Rent a scooter and spend your day visiting the pristine beaches that line Langwaki’s west coast. Mingle with monkeys and spend hours perfecting your tan on white sand beaches with sublime views. Before returning to Penang for the night, be sure to take a ride on the Langkawi Cable Car, the steepest cable car ride on earth!
After departing Penang on a morning shuttle, start your journey to the Earth Lodge at the Muda Jetty of Muda lake, almost 100 miles from George Town. Leave civilization behind as you travel by local sampans (wooden boats) across Muda Lake and up the Muda River before arriving at Kuala Labua, where you’ll check in to your rustic, yet comfortable, accommodations. Spend the rest of you day off the grid, wandering the Lodge’s lush grounds and enjoying peace and solitude on your private balcony.
After breakfast, set out on a 2 hour hike to Bukit Labu, where you’ll visit spectacular limestone caves only discovered in 2006. Enjoy a simple lunch, then trek back to the Lodge for a short rest before venturing out to Ula Muda’s hot springs saltlick. If you’re lucky you’ll catch a glimpse of the elephants, gaurs, deer, wild boar and tapirs that walk the muddy waters frequently. Return to your bungalow accommodations and enjoy dinner with your fellow Earth Lodgers in the common dining area before resting for the night.
Start your day with a nature walk, strolling amongst towering Tualang trees, immersed in complete serenity. Enjoy a leisurely breakfast and take some final photos before boarding your sampan to return to Muda Jetty. Shuttle from Ula Muda to Kuala Lumpur and check in at the airport for your flight home.
Selamat Datang ke Syurga!
From the modern metropolis of Kuala Lumpur to the wilds of Ula Muda, spend 12 days reveling in the diverse experiences Malaysia has to offer. Feel the rush of dynamic Kuala Lumpur, with its bustling energy and vibrant culture. Escape to the mostly undeveloped Perhentian Islands, where time seems to move a little slower and no one’s in a rush. Explore ancient temples and get a taste of Malaysia’s potpourri of Asian culture and history in Penang, the state known as the “Pearl of the Orient.” End your adventure completely removed from the world at the off-the-grid Earth Lodge, Malaysia’s hidden gem and a heaven-on-earth for nature lovers.
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