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Overview

Taste the unique and varied cuisine of west Malaysia and get to understand how the different ethnicities influenced the city’s food, architecture and culture. Get to know all about the history of the Peranakans through tasting the dishes, walking past streets and visiting iconic landmarks and museums.   

Trip Highlights

Food Trails Of West Malaysia

History and heritage of Kuala Lumpur


Go on a walking trail in the capital’s city centre and learn how the Malay, Indian and Chinese ethnicities form a harmonious blend of cultures. 

Learn about the Peranakan culture


A mix of early 15th century Chinese immigrants and Malays, learn all about this unique culture through its food.

Taste Ipoh’s rich and delicious foods


Take a leisurely stroll around Ipoh’s old town and taste the city’s traditional foods such as its coffee, pastries and savoury dishes.

Itinerary

1

Kuala Lumpur to Malacca

Malacca Walking Tour (3 km) 3-4 hours (including lunch)

The journey to Malacca passes through Johor Bharu and along major highways flanked by palm trees. On arrival in Malacca, transfer to the hotel for check-in.

Malacca is steeped in trading history, not surprising given its unique location along the vital Malacca Strait. The melting pot of cultures is the result of a unique history from the rest of Malaysia. Most notably, there is a substantial Portuguese and Dutch influence in the area. Just like other cities in Malaysia, Malacca ‘s history is best explored on foot (a trishaw can be used for this tour at an additional cost).

Meander through areas steeped in history, starting at the oldest remaining example of European architecture in Southeast Asia, A Famosa, before climbing St Paul’s Hill to visit St Paul’s Church and descending to one of the best examples of Dutch colonial architecture, the Stadthuys - the former Dutch City Hall which is flanked by flamboyantly decorated trishaws.

Sample food at a ‘Teochew’ style restaurant in Malacca. This style of food is influenced by the Cantonese and often favoured for its light, healthy ingredients and modest spice. Follow this with a delicious warm Portuguese tart from one of the many nearby vendors.

Next, head to Temple Street, named because for the multicultural range of temples and mosques that have stood since the early 18th century. This is the perfect place to get a taste of the area’s uniquely diverse local culture.

Continue to see restored Peranakan buildings (a cultural mix of Han-Chinese and Malay that forged its own style, known as the Baba-Nyonya, from the 15th century).

Visit one of the excellent Baba-Nyonya museums along the way to learn more about the culture before exploring some interesting antique stores and cafes along the famous Jonkers Street.

Finish the day with a 45-minute leisurely River Cruise.

This evening try Restoran Peranakan for dinner. Housed within an original building and furnished with authentic décor, this is a great place to enjoy traditional dishes in a vibrant atmosphere.

Overnight in Malacca.

2

Malacca to Kuala Lumpur

Malacca to Kuala Lumpur (145 km) 2 Hours Photostop City Touring 1 hour

After breakfast in the morning, depart for the capital of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur. This comfortable journey takes around two hours along major highways and is not accompanied by a guide. On arrival in Kuala Lumpur, or KL as it is often referred to, meet the local guide and visit the Federal Territory – the 44th mosque of KL which has a unique design influenced by the Ottoman Empire. This mosque also functions as a community hall and contains a school. Like any place of worship, a dress standard needs to be adhered to, with robes and headscarves provided. Follow the guide’s lead through various elements of the mosque to gain a further insight into Malaysia’s primary religion.

Please note: The entry to the mosque is closed to tourists on Fridays and during religious ceremonies so a photo stop will only be possible.

Make a photo stop at the National Monument and the British-built Cenotaph, which honour’s those that fell in the Second World War.  Stop by the gate of the King’s Palace before arriving to the hotel for check-in.

In the afternoon from 15:00 partake in the time-honoured ritual of an Afternoon Tea in the lobby lounge at the Ritz Carlton. Indulge in three elegant tiers of freshly baked scones, petite gourmet sandwiches, quiches, pies and desserts accompanied with a perfectly-steeped pot of The Ritz-Carlton, Kuala Lumpur Blend. The ambience is enhanced by the quartet that plays soothing melodies.  

This evening transfer to the incredible Petronas Towers. Best viewed at night, these twin towers are among the most iconic modern structures in the world. Catch the sunset at the skybridge and observation deck before descending in time for the KLCC Lake Symphony water fountain show. A synchronised water fountain and light display sending colourful beams dancing through the water.

At 20:00, transfer to Atmosphere 360 restaurant with a great nighttime view of Kuala Lumpur. Dine at 282 meters above the ground in the revolving restaurant and enjoy breathtaking panoramic views of Kuala Lumpur. A high-speed elevator ride will whisk up to the ‘restaurant in the sky’ in just 60 seconds! Enjoy a sumptuous buffet dinner at the revolving tower restaurant while savoring a 360-degree night view of glittering Kuala Lumpur and the Klang valley beyond.

Overnight in Kuala Lumpur.

3

Kuala Lumpur Walking Tour – Heritage & Food

Walking Tour (4km) 6 hours

Today’s walking tour can be adjusted to suit special needs and interests.

KL is a harmonious blend of cultures and history, brimming with a modern sophistication. Malay, Indian and Chinese ethnicities constitute the majority of Kuala Lumpur’s population. The tour today focuses on understanding how these ethnicities influence the city’s food, architecture and culture.

An early start is recommended to get the best of the cultural activities that occur. Start with a visit to a local morning market, which is a riot of colour, sounds and smells as locals’ bargain for their day’s food. Learn about the various spices, fruits, vegetables and snacks that can be found in the market while following the local guide around. Stop by a local coffee house to sample a Chow Kit favourite -curry laksa! This dish’s 65 years of history belies the subtlety of its flavour and texture. Continue by local transport to the old centre of KL, which is rich in architecture and culture, and provides a sublime range of cuisines to try.

Afterwards, continue to the architectural colonial heart of old KL to learn about the history of these iconic buildings, which date back to the late 1800s.

The tour then winds its way to the eclectic Chinatown area and the birthplace of a range of dishes that have put KL on the global culinary map. Enjoy authentic Hokkien mee (noodles) at a local restaurant which has used the same recipe for more than 100 years, and learn about the benefits of Chinese tea from engaging merchants who have operated there since the early 1940s.

Before today ends sample bak hu (dried meat floss) or bak kwa (salty sweet jerky). The square bak kwa will look unfamiliar to jerky aficionados, but will find fans in anyone who likes their meat honey glazed.

Return to the hotel for an evening at leisure.

Overnight in Kuala Lumpur.

4

Kuala Lumpur – Ipoh

Meet the guide at KL Sentral Station for a day’s historical and food trails tour of Ipoh. The tin Rush of the 1880’s caused the town to boom. Also the birthplace of Malaysia’s white coffee Ipoh has some of the best flavoured and textured food in Malaysia. Take a stroll through the numerous cobblestone alleyways, stop at Ipoh white coffee, enjoy a tangy Asam Laksa for lunch and enjoy Ipoh’s street art.

Trains depart from KL Sentral at 08:30 and arrives Ipoh 11:15. Sit back and take a comfortable ride through the countryside and watch as the scenery changes from the bustling city of KL to Ipoh set amongst the backdrop of magnificent limestone mountains.

Arrive into Ipoh Railway Station, a superb example of colonial architecture. Start the walking tour on

Ipoh’s Heritage trail. A leisurely stroll around the compact and historic old town area of Ipoh. The walk is about 4 miles long but there is a choice and option to extend or shorten the trip depending on physical ability. Take in several notable historical landmarks around the city while tasting the way through Ipoh’s Heritage. Continue past the mosque at Ipoh and onto the Birch Memorial clock Tower, built in 1909 in memory of James WW Birch, Perak’s first British Resident. On the way, try Ipoh’s biscuits and pastries that date back to early 1900s where they were traditionally given during Chinese festivals. The dough is still made by hand today. Stop for a coffee at Old Town coffee shop to try Ipoh’s famed white coffee, differentiated from black coffee as the beans are not roasted with sugar. From here get lost in the numerous hidden cobblestone alleyways of the old town experiencing the rich culture of the old-world colonial era. The Walls of the old town have been restored and turned into pieces of art and old shops are now quaint cafes.

Enjoy the taste of laksa for lunch or one of Ipoh’s many famous dishes such as bean sprout chicken, seng kee curry mee or pork satay. Finish the walking trail at the vibrant concubine lane which is home to the best antiques in Ipoh and fantastic architecture. Walk around at leisure before finishing the day with a cold and refreshing snow beer before heading to the Ipoh hotel.

Evening at leisure.

Overnight Ipoh

5

Ipoh – Penang

Ipoh to Georgetown Hotel (160km): 2hours

Depart Ipoh early for the coastal fishing town of Kuala Sepetang. Famous for its charcoal kilns take a visit to one of the largest Charcoal factories in Malaysia established in 1930. Learn about the process of charcoal manufacturing. Take a 1-hour tour and learn the process of charcoal and enjoy chargrilled sweet potatoes after.

Continue on a boat ride after to Kuala Sepetang’s fishing village before taking a local seafood lunch. Following lunch continue the 1.5hours to Georgetown. If time permits stop in Taiping and explore the lake gardens, the first public garden established during the British rule in Malaysia. Arriving in Penang for 15:00 check in and time to freshen up before an evening discovery of Penang.

Meet the guide at 17:30 in the hotel lobby and explore Penang by night. Be picked up at the hotel (For hotels located within the Georgetown area) by Trishaw. Locally known as beca, the main transportation today being motorcycles and cars the trishaw rider has become a dying breed with less than 150 trishaw riders left in Penang. Discover Georgetown’s Heritage by night from this three-wheeled transportation before being dropped off at Red Garden Food Paradise Night Market. The Hawker venue offers all of Penang’s favourite dishes. Taste the popular satay sticks of barbecued meat and char koay teow noodles fried with seafood while watching how they are prepared. From 21:00 each evening sit back and enjoy a local band or take a short walk to Georgetown’s 360 degree revolving bar for a drink (at own expense) with a view.

Overnight Penang.

6

Penang

This morning, be picked up at 08:30 from the hotel for a transfer to Tropical Spice Garden. On arrival take a guided tour of the Spice Terraces, explore the lush landscaped award-winning gardens set out over 8 acres of secondary jungle. Then take a refreshment tea in the Bamboo Garden. Tucked away in a secluded corner of the gardens, the cooking school is surrounded by jungle trees and wildlife, a small herb garden and a glimpse of the Andaman Sea.

At 10:15, the cooking class commences. Cook tasty Malay, Nyonya and/or Indian cuisine with the help of professional chefs. Peranakan or Nyonya cuisine is a unique combination of Chinese, Malay and other influences. Peranakans are descendants of early Chinese migrants who settled in Penang, Malacca, Indonesia and Singapore, inter-marrying with local Malays. The old Malay word, nyonya is a term of respect and affection for women of prominent social standing (part madame and part auntie). The same word has come to refer to the cuisine of the Peranakans.

With a blend of Chinese ingredients with various distinct spices and cooking techniques from the Malay/Indonesian community, Nyonya cooking has a tangy, aromatic, spicy and herbal combination.

Mix this with the influence of Indian cuisine the experience is concluded with a delightful selection of dishes to enjoy for lunch on the patio.

(Please note: Dishes will vary depending on the day and menu set. Some examples are: Penang Nyonya flavours/Best of Malay/Spices of India or Tropical Thai. Vegetarian options are available on request.)

Following lunch depart deep in the hills of the winding road of Teluk Bahang towards Balik Pulau to Art and Garden where nature meets with art. Within 1.5 acres of hilly land, in three-tier reaches, a green sanctuary showcases an amazing variety of bromeliads, air plants, aloes, agaves, gingers, trumpet pictures and orchids amidst glass, clay and metal sculptures as well as paintings and colourful mosaics.

Take a pleasant walk along the terraced hill land with an explanation of each plant’s origin and use. Appreciate the seamlessly blended art glasswork with tropical planting and landscape along with many other mediums of work.

Transfer back to Penang for arrival at 17:00.

Overnight in Penang

7

Penang

Discover a more unusual side of Penang on this half day cultural tour.

Start the day the local way at 07:00, with a fabulous dim sum breakfast. Dining alongside crowds of Penangites, sample the city’s best dim sum. The guide will explain about the city’s culinary traditions and Malaysian dining etiquette while the din of conversation and clunking of chopsticks echo in the background.

Once full, continue along Penang’s culinary trail with a visit to Chow Rasta. This wet market has been in operation since the early 1800’s and is the perfect place to observe scenes of daily life. Watch as housewives and chefs haggle with vendors for the freshest food and learn about the daily market culture of Penang.

Switch gears, shifting from Penang’s culinary scene to its more artistic side. Head to Georgetown, Penang’s cultural centre and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Explore the streets, looking beyond the heritage buildings and religious sites to discover remarkable street art. Discover whimsical paintings and sculptures as well as interactive murals inspired by daily life before moving through Little India.

Visit the local Hindu temple and be blessed by a priest. Not to be missed here is an opportunity to break coconut for the deity.  In Hindu mythology, breaking of coconut symbolizes the breaking of the ego. The coconut represents the human body and before the Lord it is shattered – breaking the ‘aham’ or ego and symbolically total surrendering and merging with the supreme soul. Finally, visit Little India. Discover a profusion of authentically Indian items such as assortment of sweetmeats, aromatic spices, exotic fragrances and dazzling adornments.  Don’t miss to catch local florist tying garlands at the flower shop. Here experience the fortune telling by the local parrot astrologer. When a patron sits before the fortune teller, the latter opens the cage and lets the parrot out. He instructs the parrot to pick a card for the patron. The parrot walks over to the cards, picks one from the stack or the spread with its beak and gives it to the astrologer. It then walks back inside its cage. The astrologer opens the card and based on the image tells the fortune of the patron.

Having enjoyed the best Penang street art and its vibrant culinary scenes, take a final stop at China Café before returning to the hotel for 14:00.

The Rest of the day is at leisure to explore independently.

Overnight Penang

8

Penang

Distances and journey time:Transfer from Penang Hotel to Penang Airport (20km): 45 minutes

Transfer to Penang Airport for onward journey.

Important Information

Our services include:

  • Accommodation in a shared twin or shared double room
  • Meals as mentioned (B= Breakfast, L= Lunch, D= Dinner)
  • English Speaking Driver for Overland Transfer and Tour
  • Local English-Speaking guide for Walking Tours in Malacca, Kuala Lumpur, Ipoh and Penang
  • Transfers as mentioned by private air-conditioned Vehicle
  • Entrance Fees mentioned in the itinerary

Our services do not include:

  • Other meals than mentioned
  • Other services than mentioned
  • International and domestic flights
  • Laundry, telephone calls and expenditure of a personal nature
  • Tips, Travel insurance (must include helicopter evacuation for Malaysia)
  • Visa for Malaysia
  • Camera/video entrance fees
  • Tourism tax

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