Malaysia family holiday

“The perfect 2 week holiday for families wanting to explore Malaysia from coast to coast, independently but with an itinerary crafted by experts. In Malaysia, and in families.”


Kuala Lumpur | Evening Skytrain trip and Petronas Towers | Cameron Highlands | Penang | George Town | Banding Island and Temenggor Lake | Belum Forest | Visit to Orang Asli tribal village | Perhentian Islands

Description of Malaysia family holiday

This two week Malaysia family holiday itinerary has been carefully crafted for independently minded families who want the benefits of a local tour guide. It comprises a family friendly mix of things to do and places to stay. This includes: nights in the jungle to tropical island hideaways; indigenous tribal life and urban street food culture; travelling from the capital Kuala Lumpur to colonial Melacca; travelling up the west coast to Penan and, finally, visiting the Perhentian Islands, very beautiful and unspoilt by mainstream tourism. All of which, with a journey through the jungles of the peninsula’s centre, makes for a very complete Malaysia family holiday.

Starting off in the capital, enjoy a fully guided tour of Kuala Lumpur where, as well as the bustling city life, food markets and elegant architecture, new and old, one of the family highlights is an evening trip on the word famous Skytrain, finishing with a night time view of the iconic Petronas Towers.

This Malaysia family holiday encapsulates the both the heights of architecture and more natural heights in the Cameron Highlands, the largest colonial hill station and also the highest point in Malaysia that is accessible by vehicle. A land of tea plantations, jungle, moss covered ancient forest, amazing flowers and birdlife, you very quickly get a picture of the elevated interior of the country. More coastal fun awaits further north in Penang state, which includes the eponymous island where the state’s historic capital and UNESCO World Heritage Site George Town, founded by British colonists in 1786, is a fascinating and fantastically beautiful stop on this holiday, with both British and Chinese heritage visible throughout.

Next on the exciting agenda is an expedition to Belum Rainforest which gives a great insight into life in the tropical jungle, with a trek to explore its ancient trees, pounding waterfalls, mountain rivers and of course wildlife, with elephants, Malaysian sunbears, tapir and monkeys all inhabiting these forests, thought to be the oldest rainforest in the world. An overnight camp and stay at the forest’s Banding Island Ecolodge on Lake Temenggor Lake is a highlight for many of our visiting families.

And for some families, saving the best to last, we visit the peninsula’s east coast, where we transfer to Kuala Besut Port and take a ferry to the luscious, jungle filled and also coral wrapped Perhentian Islands. With snorkelling and swimming through some of the world’s finest coral reefs, this is a fine three day finale to your odyssey around Malaysia, finishing with an internal flight back to Kuala Lumpur.
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Departure information

This trip can be arranged between March and September for families of four or more
Holiday type

Independent family adventure holiday

These family trips are designed for those of you who prefer to travel just with your family, and not in a group with other families. The itineraries are set but you can typically depart at a time to suit you.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Malaysia family holiday

We work closely with The Penang Heritage Trust to organize our tour of some of the sites of Chinatown. The Heritage Trust provides a sensitive look at the culture and the history of the region. By our continued patronage of the service we contribute to the upkeep of the organisation, which helps preserve the country's culture and educates its visitors to understand the genuine Penang.

For our two-day expedition into the little known Kenong Rimba Forest Reserve, we are guided through the jungle by indigenous tribes-people known as the Orang-Asli. Their intimate knowledge of the jungle makes for perfect guidance, while allowing our passengers to have a fuller understanding of the ethnic make-up of the region.

Information: Providing suitable, relevant information for our customers; to help them to gain a wider understanding of our style of tourism that focuses on learning, genuine interaction with the local communities, reciprocity and cultural exchange processes. To be aware of the potential impact of tourism on the local society, culture and environment, and to behave and dress appropriately with a respect and appreciation for local customs, mores and traditions and a respect for the ecology of areas visited. Our guides and leaders thus facilitate communication of our values to both travellers and local communities, educating them in sustainable tourism practices

Group sizes: By limiting groups to small sizes we aim to reduce the impact on both local communities and the environment whilst allowing for greater genuine interaction with said communities. It also results in a higher guide/customer ratio thus greater facility for supervision and individual assistance and allows us to use smaller hotels and restaurants and employ the services of more genuinely ‘local’ operators perhaps not otherwise well equipped for larger groups.

Destinations: We combine the well known tourist sites with many off-the-beaten-track, rarely visited destinations thus diverting tourist revenue and contact with responsible tourism into areas not usually benefiting as well as providing a more authentic view of the region visited.

Local products: As much as possible we aim to employ local personnel, (guides, drivers, agents etc), use local restaurants and smaller privately owned accommodation. Customers are also encouraged to buy and use local products and services as much as possible in order to support and stimulate the local economy.

Instruction: By explaining our methods and the reasons behind them local agents, guides and hotels are encouraged by us to adopt further responsible tourism practices themselves and guides and drivers are provided with additional training in this respect.

6 Reviews of Malaysia family holiday

4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on 26 Jul 2018 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Staying in the rainforest and snorkeling.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

This holiday had a guide that travels with you the whole time - for us it was too much and not necessary. We are more independent and less risk averse than this holiday. Sometimes felt like being on a school trip.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Do not feel strongly one way or the other.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Read the operator's response here:

We are so pleased that you and the family had a good holiday, although you are obviously a more independent family than many who travel with us …. or the guide was over assiduous.

In terms of the holiday benefitting local people, we regret the benefits were not obvious or discussed by your guide. Examples are that because we always have genuinely small groups, we ensure low impact travel and endeavour to spread the tourist dollar around by including off the beaten track destinations. The small group size also enables us to suggest eating and drinking in local cafes and staying in locally owned accommodation which is selected as much as possible for the hotels' eco-profiles. (e.g. Belum Rainforest Lodge)

It specifically includes jungle trekking and camping in non-officially protected forest areas (ie not National Parks) which hopefully - if enough other people do the same - may lead to a halt in logging and hunting.

We'd love to see you again at another of our destinations and would be happy to offer itineraries and bookings but with more opportunity to explore on your own.

Reviewed on 24 Apr 2017 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Meeting the families at the homestay in Kota Aur and exploring the pristine Belum Rainforest were high spots, but we have to say the entire trip was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Every day had something special to offer. Most of all, we would like to thank our wonderful guide Yan, who enabled the whole family to
experience so much of beautiful Peninsular Malaysia. He was a mine of information, patient, kind and wonderful with the children and we feel we have made a friend for life.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Take lots of mosquito repellent, jungle trousers (fantastic for snorkeling / kayaking, as well as the jungle itself) and long sleeved shirts, both to wear in the
evening and also to cover up to show respect.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes - our guide was passionate about the environment and is a trained forest guide. We ate locally, stayed in locally operated accommodation, learned about
local wildlife and economies and met local people actively working to support conservation . We hope that we 'took only photographs and left only footprints'.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

An exceptional experience for all the family on so many levels - exciting, interesting and life-changing.

Reviewed on 13 Aug 2008 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Camping in the jungle. The perhentian's snorkelling. Kuala Lumpur

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Don't take too much luggage you can launder your clothes very cheaply, it saves lugging holdalls about. You will need to take clothes as there did not seem to be much in the way of shopping there (apart from KL) and the sizes are smaller - some not available. Make sure you get a direct flight from Singapore to Penang outgoing, we had to change in KL and it was unnecessary as Singapore airlines do direct flights, it puts loads onto the journey and your patience!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

They do try to help locals especially in Penang where you visit threatened businesses, also the Orang Asli visit and the eco lodge in Lake Temegor employs local people.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Definitely memorable, a last family holiday my teenager's will remember forever. It really opened their eyes to different cultures and my daughter is more confident about the possibility of backpacking in her uni years. We loved it and will definitely return to Asia again. We'll probably use this operator as it was so well organised and the tour guide took all the stress out of travelling - great job Marc!

Reviewed on 07 Apr 2008 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Our visit to the Perhentian Islands, where the snorkelling was absolutely fantastic. We swam with sea turtles, sharks, rays and the most amazing range of tropical fish. At Banding Island we also saw a rare Asian elephant in the wild. But the whole holiday was great - a huge range of sights and experiences crammed into a very short time. The places and activities have been very carefully chosen to be off the beaten track and to give real insight into everyday life and different cultures in Malaysia.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Travel as light as you can and be prepared for some long days. Look out for the leeches!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Yes on the whole.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

This was one of the best holidays we have ever had. Our boys, aged 11 and 14 especially enjoyed it, and I would recommend it to any reasonably adventurous family.

Reviewed on 08 Aug 2005 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The whole experience of being in southeast Asia for the first time - but highlights include tracking gibbons and overnight camp in the rainforest, some great food, swimming with a giant turtle and snorkelling around the reef. ALL the wildlife was great. People were lovely.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

It's quite demanding physically in parts, and the rainforest can be chilly overnight - take warm gear for that! Be prepared for spicy food and veggies getting less choice - sometimes it's very limited. Be nice to your guide - they work extremely hard!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Most definitely - we ate and shopped in small local places, usually stayed in locally owned hotels, and were well briefed about environmental and cultural respect. We felt we had a very "real" experience as a result.

Reviewed on 31 Mar 2005 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

We had a fantastic time on our holiday. Some highlights especially for the children were camping overnight and trekking in the jungle; staying on a beautiful tropical island; seeing turtles, reef sharks and beautiful fish while snorkelling and eating all kinds of local food.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

My tips for families on this type of holiday would be know your children and be realistic about how much they can do in a day, especially when they are getting used to the heat and the food. Our guide was totally flexible and the itinerary was arranged to suit us. Mossie repellents are a must but the only ones that work are deet based. You all need to be flexible about standards of accommodation and loos!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

We stayed in fairly basic, locally owned places and ate at local hawker stalls and cafes, not western places. I feel that this benefited local people. We found everyone very friendly and welcoming especially towards the children.

4. Any other comments?

All in all it was the best holiday we have done for my 13 and 15 yr old boys. They would have loved it from about 8 or 9 upwards. My 7 yr old girl also loved it but got much more tired. I would recommend it completely to anyone with fairly active children who aren't too fussy about food and don't mind things like ants in the bathrooms!

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