Coast to Coast | Malaysia Family Tour
An exciting and varied 2-week Malaysia tour designed with families in mind
Winner of the Malaysia Tourism, 'best-escorted tour travel award
Explore the stunning scenery, exotic tropical flora and fauna, delicious local cuisine and vibrant mix of cultures on our exciting, award-winning, Malaysia family tour – Coast to Coast.
You’ll discover the contrasting mix of old and new in the capital Kuala Lumpur; Penang’s well-preserved and now World Heritage George Town; head into the rarely visited parts of jungle interior of the Malay Peninsula, still covered by vast expanses of dense rain-forest and inhabited by indigenous tribes; and finish your tour on the unspoilt tropical Perhentian Islands of the east coast.
Exciting activities for all ages include; KL’s spectacular modern and colonial heritage landmarks; Penang’s vibrant street-life (and of course street food) in fabulous Chinatown and ‘Little India’; a visit to lush Penang Hill with its historic funicular railway; exploring some of Ipoh’s unusual sights including a spectacular cave temple and Kellie’s Castle and discovering the ancient rainforest of Belum. Whilst on the Perhentian Islands, options include jungle hikes and diving or snorkelling amid the turtles and baby reef-sharks on the well-preserved coral reefs.
Discover incredible landscapes, awesome flora and fauna and the superb cuisine of both well known and off-the-beaten-track destinations on a tour of this fascinating, yet surprisingly little-known country.
This is a private Malaysia family tour and therefore can be scheduled for any date which suits your family while all activities included can be tailored to suit your preferences or family’s age group. The price is based on a family of 4 sharing two twin/double rooms and the tour is fully accompanied except for your island stay on days 10 to 13.
Note the below is our March to September (inclusive) version and from October to March we change our island/beach section (days 10 to 12) to Langkawi on the west coast.
You can also find our full range of family tours here while many of our other, regular, tours are very easily adapted.
Here's an idea of what you can expect to do and see day-to-day.
Day 1 - Kuala Lumpur - arrival and night tour
Arrival in KL and check-in to our comfortable downtown hotel with the afternoon to relax, recover from your jet-lag or explore the area’s lively markets before a late afternoon introductory walking tour and a local-style welcome dinner.
Overnight: Kuala Lumpur Transport: Walk, Meals: D,
Day 2 - Kuala Lumpur - walking tour and Batu Caves
Morning walking tour of some of the highly varied sites of the fascinating Malaysian capital including Little India and the fabulous Victorian-era architecture of Merdeka Square followed by a visit to the famous Batu Caves. An evening walking tour of the Kampung Baru district introduces you to the fantastic array of local street food on offer.
Overnight: Kuala Lumpur Transport: Train, Walk, Meals: B, D,
Day 3 - Local train ride to Ipoh
Morning ride by local train to Ipoh. Originally founded on the back of its 19th-century tin mining industry today the town is renowned for its cuisine, rich architectural heritage and, unusually, its spectacular street art! The region is also famous for caves and after time for a wander, we’ll head out to Sam Poh Tong – one of the most spectacular and picturesque cave temple sites.
Overnight: Ipoh Transport: Minibus, Train, Walk, Meals: B,
Day 4 - Ipoh - walking tour and a haunted Scottish castle!
Walking tour to check out some of the fantastic street art as well as the town’s well-preserved Chinese architecture and impressive stock of colonial-period buildings. In the afternoon we’ll head out what is perhaps Ipoh’s most iconic site – Kellie’s Castle. Begun a century ago by a Scottish plantation owner, he died before work could be completed and is today thought by locals to haunt the corridors and towers of his unfinished gothic folly.
Overnight: Ipoh Transport: Minibus, Walk, Meals: B,
Day 5 - Northwest to Penang Island
Morning road transfer to Penang Island and check in to our heritage-style hotel in George Town’s historic, downtown jetty quarter with the afternoon free to explore the area or maybe check out one of the famous hawker, street-food markets?
Overnight: George Town (Penang) Transport: Minibus, Walk, Meals: B,
Day 6 - Walking tour of World Heritage George Town
Our morning heritage tour of George Town – capital of Penang Island – includes such diverse sites as Chinese clan mansions and colonial-period Fort Cornwallis. Local-style lunch with the afternoon free to explore further at your own pace, brush-up your travel photography in the local markets, visit the National Museum or try out some of Chinatown’s myriad cafes.
Overnight: George Town Transport: Walk, Meals: B,
Day 7 - Day on Penang Hill and evening food tour
Lush, forest-covered and colonial villa-topped Penang Hill towers over the island so today’s visit entails taking the old funicular railway up, and hiking down through the rainforest, to the Botanical Gardens. Great views and tropical flora and fauna. An evening street food tour completes the day.
Overnight: George Town Transport: Train, Walk, Meals: B, D,
Day 8 - Into the jungle interior and Lake Temenggor
Time to leave Penang and head off into the rarely visited interior of the Peninsula through the jungle-clad hills to tranquil Banding Island in Temenggor Lake. Accommodation at a beautifully situated lakeside eco-resort.
Overnight: Banding Island Transport: Minibus, Meals: B, D,
Day 9 - Discover the rainforest's amazing flora and fauna
Day expedition into the surrounding Belum Forest – West Malaysia’s largest preserved forest area – including a boat trip on the scenic lake, a waterfall visit and a jungle hike to a salt lick as well as searching for the rare and spectacular Rafflesia flower. With luck, we’ll see monkeys, giant hornbills and maybe even elephants – spectacular scenery guaranteed!
Overnight: Banding Island Transport: Boat, Walk, Meals: B, L, D,
Day 10 - On to the east coast and a speedboat to the Perhentians
Transfer to Kuala Besut port on the Peninsula’s east coast, and on by speedboat to the jungle-clad and coral-fringed paradise of the Perhentian Islands. Tourism is still relatively undeveloped in these islands and we’ll be staying in a low-key but comfortable beach-side resort.
Overnight: Perhentian Besar Transport: Walk, Meals: B,
Day 11 - Perhentian Islands - at leisure on these idyllic islands
A day exploring the island? Hike into the well-preserved jungle interior to search for the prehistoric-looking giant monitor lizards that roam the islands – plus leaf monkeys, colourful bird-life and visits to some of the more remote bays and creeks.
Overnight: Perhentian Besar Transport: Walk, Meals: B,
Day 12 - Perhentian Islands - another day in paradise
At leisure on the islands or take a snorkelling tour of some of the vibrant coral reefs that surround the island. Fantastic turquoise waters, myriad colourful fish and encounters with baby reef sharks and giant turtles!
Overnight: Perhentian Besar Transport: Walk, Meals: B,
The nitty-gritty, the things you need to know, the answers to your burning questions.
Just a few of the many highlights
Explore the old and the new with KL and the historic, now UNESCO World Heritage, George Town, (Penang). Stay overnight in a 130 million yr old rainforest and snorkel on vibrant coral reefs on tropical islands
- Discover vibrant KL; the street-life of Chinatown, classic Victorian architecture & the iconic Petronas Towers
- Visit some of the unusual sights of off the beaten track Ipoh; street art, cave temples and Kellie's Castle
- 3-day stay on the fabulous Perhentian Islands; jungle clad and surrounded by white sands and turquoise waters
- Explore UNESCO World Heritage Penang with its British architecture, Little India and well-preserved Chinatown
- Head into the interior with an expedition into the vast, still largely pristine, yet little visited, jungle of Belum
- ...and of course meet the super friendly locals and sample one of Asia's most outsanding and varied cuisines
Air Departures (UK)
Guaranteed Places Left Special Price Solo Traveller Closed
*Air departures are from the UK. Land departures start from Kuala Lumpur
*Land departure dates correspond to the FIRST day of the itinerary.
We choose our hotels based on a combination of location, comfort and convenience. Here is a *selection of the types of hotel/rooms you can expect to stay at on this tour...
Royale Chulan, Penang view
- Great location in the heart of World Heritage George Town
- Well-appointed with in-house bar, restaurant, spa and pool
- Comfy 4* rooms with modern amenties and heritage-style decor
Belum Rainforest Resort Banding view
- The outstanding Belum Rainforest Resort, Banding Island
- Comfort in the heart of the jungle!
- Located on an island in Lake Temengor
Perhentian Island Resort view
- Individual chalets in a tropical garden
- Beachfront location on scenic Coral Bay
- Jungle hiking and reef snorkelling from the resort
*This list should be considered a guide only, hotels/rooms may change (without notice) depending on availability.
Visa Info & Notes
Visas: No visa in advance is required. A free 60-day visa is issued on arrival at any international airport. As usual, a minimum of 6 months validity from the date of arrival and at least 1 blank page in your passport is required.
Meals: Breakfasts are generally hotel buffets with lunch and dinners based on local food.
With its kaleidoscopic population, Malaysian cuisine is one of the most varied and richest anywhere on the planet and includes all the various, regional Indian and Chinese dishes, the unique Chinese/Malay Nonya cuisine as well as traditional Malay food alongside Thai and Indonesian influences. Dishes are generally mild with plenty of vegetarian and vegan options on offer.
Accommodation: all choices fall into the comfortable 3-4* range and are en-suite and air-conditioned. We have posted a selection of sample accommodation on the lefthand hotel tab but please note that as we try and avoid the larger hotels, availability, in high season particularly, means we use several options in each destination.
Activities: note that no activities are compulsory and that any, including trekking, can be tailored for any fitness level or alternatives suggested.
Further info: detailed descriptions and photos can be found on the corresponding page of our travel blog.
Here is what out guest have to say about their experience on this tour...
Susie and Edward Cook
" This was an exceptional, once-in-a-lifetime holiday and we can't recommend it highly enough. It was an ideal experience for a family and the children have learned and experienced so much, in addition to having a really brilliant, exciting, relaxed and happy time visiting jungles/beaches/rainforests/cities ..... Our guide was outstanding and we feel we have made a lifelong friend. A total genius at finding drinks/toilets/lunch stops for tired/hot children at the drop of a hat. "
" This holiday far exceeded our expectations. We travelled with our 12 and 14 years olds and they were never bored for a moment, loved the variety of places we visited. The Perhentian Islands were definitely a highlight and a such a wonderful surprise at the end of the holiday. Some of the best snorkelling we have experienced in Southeast Asia. The kids loved camping in the jungle and we loved relaxing at the resort in the Belum Forest. We can't thank you enough and will definitely book again with you. "