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Malaysia & Singapore

A trip full of contrasts

Book from € 1,399.-
GROUP SIZE: 4-24 | 21 DAYS


Like no other country Malaysia displays the differences between the traditional and the ultra modern. This varied tour takes you to colonial towns, the trendy metropolis Kuala Lumpur, the beautiful hill country of the Cameron Highlands and the deep jungles of Taman Negara. There is ample time for snorkelling or diving along the beautiful coastline and islands with white sand beaches and vibrant coral reefs. You finish the tour in Singapore where great shopping, glorious food and a buzzing nightlife are omnipresent.

Travel documents


It is your own responsibility to make sure you have a valid passport with at least 6 further months validity after your return date. 


It is your own responsibility to make sure you have any visas, should they be required. For many nationalities, a visa is not required for Malaysia nor Singapore. This information is subject to change and we suggest you check well in advance of travel.
You can check visa requirements for different countries through a site such as this one

If you do require a visa then you should contact your closest Malaysian/Singaporean embassy. Another option is to use a visa agency such as who can arrange visas for a variety of different nationalities.



Accommodation and transport

During this tour we have access to a good (private) air-conditioned minibus, allowing us to stop at beautiful places along the way. It is therefore possible to stop for picture and refreshment stops easily.

The boat trips from Kuala Kembeling to Taman Negara, and to/from Pulau Perhentian and Pulau Langkawi, are included. Any additional transportation costs of optional excursions are not included. The transfers to and from the airport are not included either.
Orangutan Island is situated in a lake and is accessible by boat. Occasionally the island is not reachable due to the water level.

We stay in hotels on a bed and breakfast basis. They are clean and rooms are well-kept, with private shower and toilet.

Some of the planned hotels have a swimming pool; perfect to rinse off from the tropical warmth of the day! This applies to the accommodations in Kuala Selangor, Kuantan-Beserah, Singapore and Langkawi. In exceptional cases it is possible that other hotels will be used and that they may be without a pool. If this occurs we will try to find a suitable alternative.

Travellers who book alone will share a twin room with another person of the same sex. If you prefer to have a room for yourself then this is possible. Please indicate this on your booking form, where a single supplement will be added.

Tour leading arrangements


Small groups (up to 6)
Groups with fewer than 7 persons will travel in the company of an English-speaking driver who also operates as the tour leader. When there are fewer than 7 persons, the tour leader will not necessarily be staying overnight in all of the same accommodations as the group. The tour leader will not accompany the group to the Perhentian Islands (Apr-Sep) or Langkawi (Oct-Mar) but will return to accompany the group on the mainland afterwards. On the island of Langkawi (Oct-Mar), assistance is provided by a local English-speaking 'station guide’.

Groups of 7 and above
Groups of 7 and above will be accompanied by a local English-speaking tour leader and a separate driver throughout, even on the islands of Perhentian (Apr-Sep) and Langkawi (Oct-Mar). For groups of 7 and above, the tour leader will sleep in the same accommodations as the group, with the exception of Kuala Lumpur. 


Regardless of group size, in the Singapore sector a Singaporean English-speaking station guide will take care of the group arrival only.

Please note: Between 1st October and 31st March we will visit the beautiful island of Langkawi instead of Pulau Perhentian (due to the monsoon).

Itinerary 1st October - 31st March:
1. Kuala Lumpur 2. Kuala Lumpur 3. Kuala Selangor 4. Taman Negara 5. Taman Negara 6. Taman Negara 7.Cameron Highlands 8. Cameron Highlands 9. Penang 10. Penang 11. Penang 12. Langkawi 13. Langkawi 14. Langkawi 15. Kuala Lumpur (flight) 16. Melaka 17. Melaka 18. Singapore 19.Singapore 20.Singapore 21. Singapore ( End of tour)


Thaipusam Festival

Owed to its diverse population Malaysia is rich in colourful festivals and holidays taking place throughout the year. If you get the chance to witness one then we recommend it. It will certainly provide you with a unique experience. The dates of these feasts vary from year to year and are depending upon the various religions.

The Hindu festival Thaipusam (a sort of Thanksgiving) is celebrated in the Thai Hindu month of January or February and commemorates the birthday of the god Subramanian, also known as Murugan. Celebrations take place at the Batu Caves and in Penang (at the Balathandaythabani Temple). Hindus wanting to thank the gods do so today through self-flagellation. The piercing of the body is one of the striking elements of the Thaipusam Festival. The faithful carry kavadi's (wooden structures decorated with peacock feathers and flowers) that they have attached to their bodies with iron hooks and nails buried into their flesh. You also see pilgrims with metal pins and hooks in their cheek or tongue. The medical world still cannot explain why they do not bleed and that after having them removed; there are no visible signs a few days later. This self-harm is an act of repentance in exchange for favours from the gods.


Our tours are led by trained, local English speaking tour leaders. We know that our travellers appreciate being accompanied by these local tour leaders who, compared to their counterparts (living outside of the destination) have more detailed knowledge of their country. He/she knows the area well, can provide background information and ensure that the trip goes smoothly. He/she knows what to do if something were to go wrong, but is not a "walking encyclopedia". Therefore we would like to refer you to study a good travel guide (book) in advance of travel.

Your tour leader understandably expects a tip at the end, if she/he has completed the job well. Shoestring pay the tour guides a wage which is higher than that of most adventurous travel companies. Our guideline for tipping is between € 1, - and € 2, - per passenger per day (the equivalent thereof).


This trip is in category B

The difficulty of our trips varies greatly. Added to this is the fact that travel difficulty is a very personal perception. To give an impression of the difficulty of a particular holiday we have developed a classification system.

Category A: Light travel for everyone to do. Short distances, good hotels, travel at a slow pace.
Category B: For everyone to do as well. Sometimes long distances. Good hotels and camping facilities, sometimes an adventurous overnight experience, travel at a normal pace.
Category C: Good to do for anyone who prepares themself well and is flexible. There are tougher parts of the journey, such as longer distances or walking tours. Several nights can be spent in basic accommodation.
Category D: A relatively difficult journey, travelling long distances, often primitive accommodation or tents, and challenging walking tours.

This tour of Malaysia falls into category B. We stay generally in good middle class hotels and travel frequently with our own transportation, but keep in mind that you will be travelling in a developing country with lower living standards than you will be used to at home. It is also possible that the weather or poor road maintenance renders roads temporarily impassable, and we must deviate from the route. A flexible and positive attitude is just as important as physical fitness.

Nature of the trip: This trip gives you a great insight into these exciting lands, full of contrasts. From its' beautiful tropical beaches to its' mountain jungles and modern cities, there won’t be much you dont cover during your stay in Malaysia. Kuala Lumpur is a cosmopolitan mix of cultures with Malay, Indian, Chinese and Western peoples all represented. This vibrant city will keep you busy with its variety of cuisines, cleverly designed parks and ultra-modern buildings. Melaka has a history of ever-changing ruler ship and this has left behind Portuguese fortresses, Dutch town halls, Chinese temples and Catholic churches, all of which are a joy to visit. A combination of bus and boat deliver you into the Taman Negara National Park. This ancient rainforest is a feast for the eyes! The canopy walk comes highly recommended- walk through the treetops and enjoy the bird’s eye perspective of the surrounding wildlife. The cooler climes of the Cameron Highlands are where you will discover British style cottages and bungalows in handsome abundance. Pulau Perhentian is a simply stunning destination with white coral beaches and turquoise ocean making it perfect for snorkelling, diving and other water based activities. Kuantan-Beserah is a quiet spot where you can take a boat trip to the mangroves near Cherating and Singapore, the final stop of this tour, is a modern city teeming with life, markets, high rise buildings and shops! 


We know that travelling to remote corners of this planet has its effects. At Shoestring we really try to make an effort to keep our impact to a minimum. We try to avoid the use of plastic water bottles on our treks through Nepal and we do not dump our litter during our trips through Africa. All of our staff have been trained to take special care to ensure we make as little impact on the environment as possible. 

Furthermore we support a lot of local projects which are mostly related to clean drinking water or making sure that children get vaccinated against illnesses such as tuberculosis. On most tours you will be able to visit some of the projects we support through our local agents. Find out more about the different projects Shoestring are involved with, how you can make a difference and our environmental policies here


Travel insurance, including medical repatriation insurance, is mandatory. It is not included with our packages and it is your responsibility to purchase suitable travel insurance. Make sure that it covers all the activities that you are likely to undertake, such as rafting and trekking. Many ‘free’ insurances that come with banking packages, credit cards etc, are quite often inadequate to cover you on our tours, so make sure you check the policy before you travel. You should enter your travel insurance details via your my.shoestring account and you are required to give a copy of your insurance policy to your tour leader upon arrival. Without proper insurance like this, you will not be allowed to join the tour as we will not be able to respond adequately in case of an emergency if you do not have the right insurance.


Shoestring International
Entrada 223
1114 AA Amsterdam-Duivendrecht, The Netherlands.                    

You can call us on number +31 20 6850203 or +44 (0)1306 744797 and email us at           

Opening hours Monday to Saturday 10 AM to 5 PM (Local times in Netherlands).

Country information

More country information about Malaysia

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions about Malaysia

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