An immense, glittering ship standing on top of three towering skyscrapers. New and exciting architectural wonders at every turn. Immaculate streets and quaint Chinese and Indian quarters – this is Singapore. And it’s followed by Malacca with its colourful history and hectic shopping; then the sky-scraping towers, unforgettable temples and street-long markets of Kuala Lumpur. Stand on the observation platform of the KL Tower and you’ll see it all in one sweeping view.
A complete contrast is offered by the cool heights of the Cameron Highlands – famous for fine tea – whilst islands like Penang and Langkawi offer you oases of fine white sand, warm seas and ultimately luxurious hotels.
London – Singapore
Leave London Heathrow in the evening on an overnight flight to Singapore.
You’ll land in Singapore mid-afternoon to be met and driven to your luxurious hotel in the centre of the fashionable entertainment and dining district of Marina Bay. You’ll be ideally situated for seeing Singapore’s greatest landmarks and its most phenomenal architecture, including its gigantic ‘ship’ towering over the harbour on the top of three monumental sky-scrapers. Singapore also has sights on a more human scale – take a ride over to the traditional Chinese and Indian quarters to sample different cultures living in perfect harmony. Stay: Two nights in an ocean view room at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel.
After Singapore comes Malacca – a historical city that you can tour on foot, enjoying fine sights like St Paul’s Hill, Porta De Santiago, Cheng Hoon Teng Temple and Jonkers Street – known locally as Antique Street, for obvious reasons. You’ll be staying in a grand hotel that is a living part of the colourful history of Malacca – the original building dating back to the 1920s. Today’s hotel combines the style of the past with all the opulence you’d expect of a first rate, modern hotel. Stay: Two nights in a deluxe room at the Majestic Malacca.
Today you journey to the capital of Malaysia. As you’d imagine, KL is an energetic, vigorous city with sightseeing attractions, shopping and a nightlife to match. Browse around town and you’ll discover Independence Square, the Sultan Abdul Samad Building (the old Federal Court) and the Parliament Buildings. Contrasting with the mighty Petronas Twin Towers is the Heritage Railway Station and the Tudor-styled Cricket Club. As well as admiring the wonderful architecture of Kuala Lumpur you can visit Central Market to haggle for handicrafts and batik or, as a complete contrast, immerse yourself in the spiritual atmosphere of the Thien Hou Chinese Temple, with its elements of Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism. But to see all of KL – and the surrounding countryside – from a single viewpoint you should climb to the visitor platform of the 421 metre high KL Tower. Stay: Two nights in a deluxe city view room at the Mandarin Hotel.
Now it’s time for a different experience. A 219 km drive will take you to the peaceful, green environment of the Cameron Highlands. But en route you’ll be able to delve into the Royal Selangor Pewter Factory and the Hindu temple at Batu Caves, as well as seeing a bamboo factory and the magical Lata Iskandar waterfall. Then you arrive at the Cameron Highlands – where you’ll find a renowned tea plantation and picturesque local produce markets. The air here – at 1542 metres above sea level – is cool and clear and the atmosphere is quiet and contemplative; ideal for relaxing, wandering through the tea plantation and strawberry fields, browsing around the Butterfly Farm, visiting the Time Tunnel Museum or even playing a round of golf. Stay: Two nights in a deluxe room at Cameron Highlands.
Today sees you travelling towards Ipoh, the City of Millionaires; its wealth founded in the tin mines of the Kinta Valley. You’ll break your journey to visit the castle built by a Scottish rubber baron, and the inspiring Cave Temples of Ipoh. Further north you’ll arrive at the golden-domed Ubudiah Mosque, and the Palace of the Sultan of Perak in the royal town of Kuala Kangsar. Then an engineering wonder presents itself.
To reach the island of Penang you’ll cross Asia’s longest bridge; the third longest bridge in the world. Once on the island you’ll be staying in a hotel that exudes old world charm and is affectionately known as the E and O. Staying here is an experience in itself, and it’s the perfect base for exploring an island that offers charming local villages, colonial Georgetown, Fort Cornwallis and Wat Chayamangkalaram featuring the world’s 4th longest statue of the Reclining Buddha and the intricately decorated Dhammikarama Temple. Stay: Two nights in a deluxe room at the Eastern & Oriental Hotel.
A short, 30 minute flight from Penang Airport takes you from one island to another. At Langkawi you’ll be met and chauffeured to your luxury, beachside hotel for a few days of complete relaxation, indulgence and pampering – a fitting climax to your holiday in Singapore and Malaysia. You’ll also have ample opportunity to appreciate the picture postcard perfection of one of the Malaysian Peninsula’s most beautiful islands. Rise early and your footprints will be the only ones tracking across the white sand of an immaculate private beach. You can watch the sunrise (or indeed sunset) with your toes in the warm waters of the Anderman Sea, or – for a change – you can head inland and trek through verdant rainforest. You can play golf on an 18 hole championship course, indulge in fine Malaysian, Indian, Thai and international cuisine, or simply relax and surrender to the sensation of being utterly pampered. Stay: Four nights in a canopy premium room at The Datai.
An evening flight from Langkawi takes about an hour to return you to Kuala Lumpur, where you’ll meet your connecting flight to London, arriving early the following morning.