West Malaysia and Borneo small group tour
Description of West Malaysia and Borneo small group tour
You would struggle to find a better introduction to Malaysia and Borneo than this two-week tour that traces a journey from the street food stalls of Kuala Lumpur to the rainforest of Kota Kinabalu, via the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Melaka and Penang.
Travelling at a pleasantly relaxed pace, this West Malaysia small group tour is packed with immersive and memorable experiences.
You’ll take an afternoon rickshaw ride in Melaka, a fantastic way to absorb everyday street scenes. On Penang you’ll take the funicular railway up to the fragrant botanical gardens of George Town, and enjoy a hands-on cookery lesson at the famous Tropical Spice Garden. There is guided snorkelling to be had around a conservation project on Pulau Dinawan.
And in Malaysian Borneo, you’ll never forget a deeply moving visit to the orangutan sanctuary at Sepilok in Malaysian Borneo, as well as to the nearby sun bear sanctuary. These wonderful creatures are severely threatened by poaching and habitat loss, and your visit directly helps with their conservation as well as giving you an understanding of the myriad threats they sadly face.
The lush tropical rainforest of Borneo’s Sabah state is the setting for the final few nights, as you explore by boat and on foot in search of colourful flora and fauna. Proboscis monkeys, crocodiles, pygmy elephants and a host of rare birds call this dense and atmospheric forest home, expert naturalist guides can show you where to look and explain their behaviours.
Easily combined with hiking Mount Kinabalu, a stay in a remote rainforest lodge, or a few days of taking it easy on Manukan Island, this tour will leave you feeling that you’ve seen the very best of Malaysia. And throughout, there are manifold opportunities to meet local people and learn about their lives, as well as diving into one of the most flavoursome cuisines in Southeast Asia.
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PlanetOur West Malaysia and Borneo tour is a small-group, low-impact tour combining the famous sites with lesser-known, rarely visited ones and fully accompanied by local guides trained in sustainable tourism practices.
We believe that limiting our group sizes to a maximum of 12 persons reduces both the environmental and cultural impact on places and people visited. Furthermore, a smaller group means a higher staff/customer ratio and facilitates the imparting of information and instructions in both environmental and cultural matters to our travellers.
We consider that extending our destinations to some of the lesser-visited sites might go some way to relieving the pressure on popular hotspots and spreading the ‘tourist dollar’ a bit.
We also include visits to several national parks and protected areas thus contributing financially with our entrance fees and employment of local guides, boat men, drivers etc. For instance; Penang Hill, Penang National Park, Kinabalu National Park and the Kinabatangan Wildlife Corridor. In Sabah our group joins a marine flora and fauna protection project for a day on Dinawan Island and stays overnight at the Sabah Organic Tea Plantation. Other visits are to the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre, Free the Bears Project and the Rainforest Discovery Centre.
Last but not least we do our best to ensure that all accommodation used on the tour is small, low-key and employs genuine sustainable and eco-tourism tourism practices.
PeopleThe emphasis with our inclusive meals is on authentic, local cuisine including street food, local cafes, night hawkers and markets rather than standard tourist fare. Our city tours also endeavour to include the street-life and local markets as well as the famous sites, with the intention of facilitating more genuine interaction with the local population. Our guests are encouraged to make purchases in markets, villages and local cottage industries rather than the usual air-con tourist stores.
Examples are a street food tour in Kuala Lumpur’s Kampung Baru, a visit to Moreton Village near Malacca, a city walking tour in collaboration with the Penang Heritage Trust and an evening hawker food tour in George Town Penang.
The tour is led by a fully licensed Malaysian guide with local guides added where appropriate. All drivers, guides and ground staff are locally employed and trained and fully licensed while accommodation used is locally owned and staffed.
Optional extensions are on offer to the Danum Rainforest eco-lodge in Borneo and a Sabah island resort employing sustainable tourism practices as well as schemes to assist the local population.