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Orangutan in the wild

Borneo & the Malaysian Peninsula

Small Group Adventure - Example 14 Day Tour
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Explore Borneo and the Malaysian Peninsula on this 14-day small-group adventure. Exploring highlights such as the Sepilok Orangutan Sanctuary, the largest orangutan sanctuary. The Rainforest Discovery Centre offers an impressive canopy walkway offering great views over the Sepilok Reserve. The Gomantong Caves are a major source of swiftlet bird nests, a Chinese delicacy. Visit Malacca, a well-preserved colonial town with a mix of Portuguese, British, and Dutch architecture. Then, explore the vibrant city of Kuala Lumpur. Take in some of the city sights like the National Palace (Istana Negara), the National Monument, the modernist National Mosque, and the nearby Batu Caves. Lastly, visit Langkawi, the Jewel of Kedah.
Pygmy elephants in the wildSepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation CenterKuala Lumpur city skyline at nightMasjid SiletOrangutans in Borneo, IndonesiaOrangutan in the wild
Highlights
  • Explore the colonial Penang and Malacca
  • Spot for orangutans and pygmy elephants
  • Tour around the Colonial town of Georgetown
  • Discover Langkawi, the Jewel of Kedah
Places Visited
  • Asia
  • Borneo
  • Malaysia
  • Borneo Natural Sukau Bilit Resort
  • Borneo Sepilok Rainforest Resort
  • Kuala Lumpur
  • Langkawi
  • Malacca
  • Sabah
  • Sabah Hotel
Activity Level: Easy Active
Moderately active but not overly strenuous. This level includes activities like casual cycling, yoga, or excursions/activities that typically last 3-5 hours total each day.
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Arrive in Sepilok | Optional Night Walk

There will be an initial group briefing with your leader later this afternoon. There should be the opportunity for an optional night walk this evening before dinner (please ask your leader upon arrival). If there is no time this evening, we may be able to do the night walk tomorrow.

Day 2: Visit the Sepilok Orangutan Sanctuary | Optional Visit to the Sun Bear Conservation Centre

Created in 1964, the Sepilok Orangutan Sanctuary is the largest orangutan sanctuary in the world and aims to rehabilitate and release orphaned and captured orangutans into the wild. This morning, visit the informative headquarters and see the animals at feeding time.

In the afternoon, visit the Rainforest Discovery Centre, which has an impressive canopy walkway offering great views over the Sepilok Reserve. This is a great place to see birds, including hornbills and Borneo bristleheads, and during fruiting season you may spot the odd orangutan.

There is an option to return to the orangutan sanctuary for the second feeding session in the afternoon (return transfer costs not included) as well as the nearby Sun Bear Conservation Centre. Speak to your leader for more information on this option, additional costs may apply.

Day 3: Travel to Kinabatangan | Afternoon River Cruise

After breakfast, depart Sepilok and transfer (approximately two to three hours) to the third-longest river in Borneo, Kinabatangan. The wildlife reserve here is home to an astonishing array of wildlife including pygmy elephants, wild orangutans, gibbons, proboscis monkeys, and rare birdlife. As dusk approaches, you take to the river in search of some of the local animals.

Day 4: Explore Kinabatangan River

Up early, head out on a dawn wildlife cruise on the river in search of more wildlife. After breakfast, head out for a walk on one of the surrounding nature trails.

This afternoon, learn a bit more about local conservation efforts and contribute yourselves by planting trees. Later, return to the river to look for crocodiles and other forest residents. There should be the opportunity this evening for an optional night walk where you may see owls or even Western tarsiers.

Day 5: Drive to Sandakan via the War Memorial | Free Time

Leaving after breakfast, head to Sandakan (approximately 2hr 30min drive) stopping at the Sandakan War Memorial en route.

After checking in at the hotel, the rest of the day is free for you to relax, swim in the hotel pool, enjoy local cuisine, or explore the vibrant, compact streets of Sandakan.

Day 6: Fly to Kuala Lumpur and on to Malacca

After breakfast, transfer to Sandakan Airport and bid farewell to Borneo to check in for the flight to Kuala Lumpur on the Malaysian Peninsula (there is a 33lb/15kg restriction but it is possible to pay for excess luggage at the airport or your leader can arrange this at the start of the tour).

Upon arrival in Kuala Lumpur, meet the leader for this section of the trip. Then take a two-hour transfer to Malacca. Upon arrival at the hotel in the afternoon, there is time to relax and explore this historic and culturally rich city.

Day 7: Walking and Trishaw Tour of Malacca

Malacca is a well-preserved colonial town with a mix of Portuguese, British, and Dutch architecture. The quaint Chinatown neighborhood is home to numerous antique shops plus a Hindu temple, Taoist temple, and a mosque, while the oldest functioning church in Malaysia is nearby across the canal. Explore the city by foot and by using its colorful and distinctive trishaws.

This evening, go out to try Malacca cuisine. Known as Baba Nyonya, it is a blend of Chinese, Malay, and other influences and is a specialty of the town.

Day 8: Transfer to Kuala Lumpur via the Batu Caves

Leaving the sleepy charm of Malacca, you first transfer (approximately three hours) to the Batu Caves. These limestone caves are a holy Hindu site and are guarded by a giant statue of the Hindu god Lord Murugan. Behind the statue are the 272 steps that lead to the caves and large numbers of monkeys.

Then take a short transfer to Kuala Lumpur, the bustling capital of Malaysia. Known as KL, this vibrant city shows a completely different side of the country.

The remainder of the afternoon is free to explore the city further, visit the Petronas Towers or enjoy a spot of shopping. Please note, that the Petronas Towers are closed on Mondays (Day 9 of the itinerary) and advanced booking online is recommended at least a week before arrival for an additional cost to avoid disappointment. Please see the optional excursions section of the Trip Notes for further details. 

If you want a drink with amazing views later this evening, head to one of the many rooftop bars in KL and enjoy the cityscape at night.

Day 9: Orientation walk and explore Malaysian cuisine on a city tour | Free Afternoon

After breakfast, you first head out on an orientation walk of Kuala Lumpur followed by a city food tour.  KL mixes Malay, Indian, and Chinese traditions and people and the best way to discover this diversity is on a city food tour. Discover different neighborhoods with their distinct sights, sounds, smells, and, of course, delicacies.

You start at Masjid Jamek and learn how KL started. Also, visit the oldest Chinese and Indian temples in the city to learn more about those communities.

The visit to Chinatown is rewarded by tasty noodles. After this, take a short ride on the modern transport system towards Brickfields. This is Little India, and your senses can be assaulted by loud and colorful architecture, music, and food as you walk through the Indian neighborhood. You sample delicious Indian dishes served on banana leaves and seek street vendors for snacks to end the food journey.

The rest of the day is free to explore more of the city at your own pace. You can shop in the malls, visit one of the museums, or take in the views from the KL Tower (some sites and museums are closed on Mondays, such as the Petronas Towers and Bridge, please see details under optional excursions in the Trip Notes).

Day 10: Catch the Train to Penang | Afternoon Walk around the Colonial Town of Georgetown

Today, you head north by train as you make your way to Butterworth (about four hours). From here, it’s a short transfer across the bridge to the island of Penang and the town of Georgetown, a Unesco World Heritage site due to its architectural and cultural landscape. Upon arrival, you have a late afternoon orientation tour before an optional dinner at one of the many street food markets.

Day 11: Georgetown Walking Tour to Explore the Street Art, Culture and Heritage of Penang

This morning, explore more Malaysian diversity on a walking city tour. Georgetown is known for its cultural sights and natural scenery. Explore on foot to see well-preserved colonial structures, ornate temples, and colorful street art. You end your walk with a visit to the Khoo Clan House and Museum.

This afternoon, there is free time to explore further on your own. Perhaps scale Penang Hill or visit the Botanical Gardens. Alternatively, stroll to the Eastern & Oriental Hotel, which has been restored to its past grandeur: the perfect place to enjoy a cup of tea or gin and tonic.

Day 12: Fly to Langkawi Island

This morning is free for a final exploration before you take an afternoon transfer to the airport for a short flight from Penang to Langkawi Island (there is a 33lb/15kg restriction on checked luggage but it is possible to pay for excess luggage at the airport or your leader can help arrange this at the start of your trip).

Officially known as Langkawi, the Jewel of Kedah, it is an archipelago of almost 100 tropical islands surrounded by the turquoise Andaman Sea with pristine beaches and jungles. After checking into the hotel, there can be time to relax and enjoy the area at leisure.

Day 13: Free Day to Explore the Island or just relax on the beach | Final Group Dinner

Today is a free day to relax on the beach or partake in one of the various optional activities on offer for an additional cost. These options include going on a mangrove tour, kayaking, or taking the cable car. This evening, enjoy a group farewell dinner (included) on the final evening in this tropical paradise.

Day 14: Return Home

  • 1 Breakfast
The trip ends after breakfast today. If you’d like to explore a little more, speak to your sales representative about extending your stay.

Accommodations

Borneo Sepilok Rainforest Resort

Pool area
Dining area
Pool area in the morning

Sabah Hotel

Lift Lobby
Pool
Swimming Pool

Borneo Natural Sukau Bilit Resort

Buffet tables
Dining area
Main entrance

Ibis Melaka

Hotel facade
Pool
Dining area

Santa Grand Signature Kuala Lumpur

Hotel facade
Dining
Gym

Royale Chulan Kuala Lumpur

Hotel facade
Pool view at night
Dining

Tropical Resort Langkawi

Lounge
Pool
Restaurant

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
$3,300 2-3 travelers

Notes

Select a Date
Included
  • 13 Breakfasts
  • 13 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Access to a 24-7 Emergency line while traveling
  • Tour leader throughout
  • Free group arrival and departure transfers available
Excluded
  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
  • RM10 per room per night mandatory Tourism Tax in Malaysia collected by cash upon check-in.
  • Optional Excursions - Please contact us for more information on optional excursions.
  • Visas or vaccinations
  • Single accommodation

Map

When to Go

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
Good to ideal period to travel, and many people choose to visit at this time.
Chance for unpredictable weather but with fewer visitors.

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Kate was great to work with in the planning stage. She was prompt, helpful, and efficient. Our tour guide, Edwin, was knowledgeable and passionate. We were very happy to have traveled with Adventure Life, it made the trip easy and a true pleasure. We could concentrate on enjoying the experience rather than the details of travel.
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