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Two weeks in paradise...

Book from € 899.-
GROUP SIZE: 4-24 | 13 DAYS


No other country marries the modern and traditional like Malaysia. This very diverse round-trip takes you to colonial towns, modern cities, the beautiful mountainous Cameron Highlands and the glorious beaches of Langkawi. You’ll have ample time for snorkelling or diving in colourful coral reefs or just relaxing on the idyllic beaches.

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. 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 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 Taman Negara, and to 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 Penang 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. A triple room is not available on this trip.

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 leave the group in Penang. Once the group is on the island of Langkawi, assistance is provided by a local English-speaking 'station guide’.

Groups of 7 and above

Groups of 7 and above will be accompanied to Langkawi by a local English-speaking tour leader and a separate driver. For groups of 7 and above, the tour leader will sleep in the same accommodations as the group, with the exception of Kuala Lumpur. 



Malaysia is comprised of a variety of people and religions, rich in colourful festivals and holidays throughout the year. If you get the chance to visit a party that is recommended, it is certainly a unique experience. The dates of these festivals vary from year to year due to the different times in the different religions.

The Hindu festival Thaipusam (a kind of Thanksgiving) is celebrated in the Hindu months (Thai) of January or February and commemorates the birthday of the god Subramanian, also known as Murugan. It is celebrated at the Batu Caves (which are just outside Kuala Lumpur), but you can also enjoy the show in other places including Penang. Hindus thank the gods or try to push a favour and use this day for self-flagellation. The piercing of the body is one of the outstanding aspects of the Thaipusam festival. The faithful carry kavadi's (wooden structures decorated with peacock feathers and flowers) attached to their bodies with iron hooks and nails that have been put through their flesh. You also see pilgrims with metal pins and hooks in their cheek or tongue. The medical community still can not explain how it is that they do not bleed out and that after they have met them a few days later there are no ill-effects. The infliction of pain to oneself is an act of contrition in exchange for favours that are asked of the gods. At the Batu Caves they must also consider the 272 steps to the top.

More than 700,000 people come to Kuala Lumpur to watch the parade of revelers who seem to be in a trance. Dancing to the beat of the drums they escort the carriage bearing the statue of the god Murugan of the Maha Mariamman temple to the temple in the Batu Caves. In Penang Thaipusam is celebrated at the Balathandaythabani temple in Waterfall Road.


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 A

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 A. We stay generally in good middle class hotels and travel frequently with our own transportation. Please remember though that you are travelling in a developing country with much lower living standards than you are used to at home. Hotel rooms can be less comfortable, the electricity can sometimes fail and it could be that you suddenly have a shortage of hot water whilst taking a shower. Also, roads may be temporarily blocked because of the weather or owing to their state of repair, in which case a detour is unavoidable. A flexible and positive attitude is just as important as a good physical condition.

Nature of the Trip
Malaysia combines the extremes of hyper-modern and old-traditional like no other country in the world. This multi-faceted tour takes you through old colonial cities, modern metropolises, the stunning Cameron Highlands and the deep jungles of Taman Negara. You will have plenty of time to go diving or snorkelling off the beautiful coast and islands of white beaches and colourful coral reefs.


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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