RAINFORESTS, REEFS, CULTURES & CUISINES!
|GROUP SIZE||Maximum 18 people|
|GROUP MINIMUM||1 person (all our trips are guaranteed departures)|
|STARTS IN||Kuala Lumpur|
|ENDS IN||Kuala Lumpur|
|START DAY||Saturday @ 8 AM|
|END DAY||Saturday, upon arrival at Kuala Lumpur Airport at around 2:30 PM|
Home to endless miles of quiet pristine beaches, primeval rainforests, coral reef laden tropical seas, mangrove swamps, peaceful countryside villages, opulent mosques, intricate temples, colonial era churches and forts and cosmopolitan cities – Malaysia is truly a colorful, energetic and lively blend of Asia and its myriad of cultures!
Influenced over the centuries by the Malays, Chinese, Indians, Arabs, Indonesians (before there was an Indonesia – from the Javanese to the Bugis), Thais and the colonial empires of Britain, the Netherlands and Portugal, Malaysia has a rich and diverse heritage. Some have said that if you visit Malaysia you have visited Asia, and in a sense – this is true. What you’ll see and experience in Malaysia would take traveling to many other Asian countries, but here, the various cultures and religions mix together within the common thread of being “Malaysian”.
Malaysia is also home to some of the tastiest vegan food in the world! Rich and spicy dishes influenced by Malay, Chinese, Thai and Indian cuisines make Malaysia a veritable culinary “melting pot”.
Join us on our Rainforests, Reefs, Cultures & Cuisines adventure – a journey into the heart of Peninsular Malaysia – where the crossroads of some of Asia’s finest cultures, the peace, serenity and beauty of Southeast Asia’s tropical islands, and the rough and often rogue colonial history of the Far East comes to life!
Our adventures in Malaysia include delicious local vegan delicacies, cooking classes, local culture and language lessons, village visits, snorkeling trips, island hopping, boat journeys, jungle treks, mangrove exploration, historical heritage walks, Tai Chi lesson, local folk music and dance and much, much more!
Selamat Melancong (Happy Traveling)
14 nights accommodations (1 night in a hotel, 4 nights in beachside cabanas on the South China Sea, 2 nights in a historical villa, 2 night in local families’ homes, 2 night at a local inn, 3 nights in a charming historical hotel)
41 meals (15 breakfasts, 13 lunches, 13 dinners)
VegVoyages Adventure Leaders & Local Guides
* Airport pick up is provided only if you arrive a day or two earlier than the tour date. If you would be arriving three days or more early, please arrange for your own airport pick up.
International airfare, airport departure transfer, personal travel insurance, gratuities and items of a personal nature.
|START DATE||July 8|
|END DATE||July 27|
Selamat Datang ke Malaysia (welcome to Malaysia)! Beginning as a mining outpost in the 1800’s, Kuala Lumpur has grown into one of the most culturally diverse and cosmopolitan cities in Southeast Asia. “KL”, as the locals call it, is a city where skyscrapers sit next to 100-year-old buildings, and where wide highways give way to bustling by-ways and bazaars. On arrival, we’ll pick you up at the airport. In the morning, we’ll have our orientation meeting at a popular local vegetarian eatery where you’ll have the chance to get to know your fellow travelers while enjoying local vegan goodies – the tastiness of the dishes here is unbeatable anywhere in KL! After orientation, we’ll explore the city’s streets and back alleys learning about its rich history from a wild frontier-mining town to the present nation’s capital. As the sun sets, we’ll visit one of KL’s liveliest local night markets where stalls line an alley as far as the eye can see selling everything from savories to herbal remedies. After taking in the sights and sounds of the market, we’ll settle down for a tasty vegan fusion dinner. (Lunch, Dinner)
Hopping aboard the morning express bus across the scenic Southern Malaysian peninsula, we’ll arrive in the afternoon at a sleepy coastal town on the South China Sea where we’ll catch our boat to the tropical isle of Pulau Tioman. Located 2 hours off the coast, Tioman is a lush tropical island boasting sun drenched beaches, marine-life-rich clear waters and a dense interior rainforest that’s home to over 141 species of birds and wildlife including the elusive mouse deer, porcupines, giant squirrels, monkeys and a variety of reptiles. We’ll be staying near the beach in cabanas nestled at the edge of the island’s thick jungle. After settling in, we’ll meet for refreshing sundowners and a delightful vegan dinner of island delicacies. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
I’ll go on and on about how fantastic traveling in Malaysia with VegVoyages was, though I’ll never be able to do it justice. The food was, hands-down, some of the best I’ve ever had in my life! We didn’t feel like tourists; we felt like guests. Being a spectator in a new country may open your eyes, but being a participant will open your heart. Thank you for a life-changing journey.
Kate & Robert Goldhouse (WA, USA)
In the morning, we’ll explore the stunning underwater life around the uninhabited islands located off Tioman’s coral reef laden coast. Without a doubt, snorkeling is a must as Tioman is a protected marine wildlife refuge that is home to sea turtles, stingrays, moray eels, Napoleon fish, angelfish, butterfly fish, parrotfish, clownfish, damsels and beautiful black tip reef sharks. Returning to our chalets for a late lunch, you’ll have time to relax and freshen up. In the evening, we’ll meet on the beach for a tasty vegan dinner. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Another day in paradise! After a hearty vegan breakfast, we’ll spend the day helping out at a local turtle sanctuary. One of only a few turtle sanctuaries in Malaysia, the refuge provides a safe nesting area for sea turtles where recently laid eggs and hatchlings are protected from predators before being released into the sea. The refuge also encourages the local population to protect these beautiful creatures as well as educates those from the mainland on the importance of protecting their natural heritage. After, we’ll hike into Tioman’s thick interior rainforest where we’ll take a dip at a serene cascade falls. Returning to our cabanas, we’ll meet up on the beach for sundowners and dinner under the stars, with sea breezes and the sound of the calm waves gently lapping the beach. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
On our last full day on the island we’ll set back out to explore its underwater world and its thick tropical jungle interior. Hopping aboard our boat, we’ll enjoy great snorkeling around one of Tioman’s best reefs – known for its diverse variety of marine life. After snorkeling, we’ll cruise down to the southern most tip of the island where we’ll have a picnic lunch on shore before hiking into the jungle to a refreshing spring fed falls. Back at our beach bungalows, we’ll meet up for sunset on the South China Sea and a feast of local vegan delicacies for dinner. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Saying goodbye to the island, we head to the mainland to the captivating 600-year-old historical town of Melaka. With it’s fascinating past, Melaka is said to be the birthplace of Malaysian history and is known for its mixture of cultures, religions and architecture that come to life in its colorful streets. Establishing itself centuries ago as a trading center, it attracted merchants from as far as China, Arabia and India and at one time over 88 different languages were spoken here. After settling in at our historical villa, we’ll meet for tonight’s cultural culinary experience where we’ll sample a variety of tasty vegan Nyonya dishes – Melaka style. A centuries old fusion of Malay and Chinese cooking styles, Nyonya cuisine is distinctly Malaysian and is not to be missed! (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
I enjoyed the whole trip immensely! Thank you for doing all the hard stuffs for us. I am truly grateful for all the paths you chose for us and I can confidently say that I have seen the TRUE Malaysia.
Sam Abbott (British Columbia, Canada)
After our Tai Chi lesson, we’ll step back in time into the streets of Melaka getting a glimpse of this old historical town from a long time resident and one of the foremost experts of Melaka’s history. Exploring its back alleys, narrow-winding lanes and canals, we’ll visit centuries old homes, shop houses, forts, temples, mosques and churches before breaking our walk with a traditional banana-leaf vegan lunch. Tonight, you’ll have the evening free to relax, chill-out at a tea stall or kickback over some live music and a cold beverage at the lively weekend market. (Breakfast, Lunch)
While looking at a map, street sign or signboard in Malaysia you’ll often notice the word “kampung”. Kampung (or kampong) means “village”, and during our stay today – you’ll be introduced to “kampung” life in Malaysia as we head well off-the-beaten-track. After Tai Chi, we’ll journey out into the countryside to a small village settled in the 15th century by the Minangkabau people of West Sumatra. The Minangkabau, practice many of their own traditions and their culture is traditionally matrilineal – where property and family name passes from mother to daughter. Staying with local families, we’ll learn about the Minangkabau people’s way of life, their traditions, customs and culture. (Breakfast x2, Lunch x2, Dinner x2)
Saying goodbye to our wonderful hosts in the village, we travel north up by local train, enjoying the scenic Malaysian peninsula to Gopeng. During the journey, be on the lookout for some great scenery including jagged limestone cliffs. Arriving at our home on the edge of the rainforest in the early evening, you’ll have time to freshen up and relax before we meet up for dinner. Get plenty of rest tonight because in the morning, will be exploring one of Malaysia’s exciting river for a white water rafting along the edge of a majestic rainforest. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Hugging the shores of the Melaka Straits, the Matang Mangrove Forest Reserve is an important habitat for a wide variety of birds, including over 166 local and migratory species. On the way to the mangroves, we’ll visit the regal palaces and ornate mosque of Kuala Kangsar, the old royal town of Perak. Arriving in the small seaside town of Kuala Gula, we’ll explore by local boat the mangroves that are not only home to birds but also other wildlife including monkeys, water monitors, otters, and a plethora of different fish species. In the evening, we’ll join a local family at their home for a delicious vegan dinner. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
The Malaysia adventure has been outstanding in every way. I was continually impressed at the planning and execution if the trip – every part was better than I had imagines. The trip was outstanding!
Phil Wood (New Jersey, USA)
Heading north we’ll reach the port city of Butterworth where we’ll catch our ferry over to Penang. As we come aboard on Penang Island, we’ll journey back to a bygone era settling in at our charming home for the next two days in the heart of this UNESCO heritage town. After settling in, we’ll meet up with our friend who just happens to be one of the island’s best chefs for today’s cooking class where we’ll learn how to make a full course Nyonya vegan meal. Many say Nyonya cuisine is fusion cuisine at its best, and once you’ve tried it – you’ll have a hard time disputing this statement. So be prepared to roll up your sleeves – as we begin our cooking class where we’ll not only learn, but also cook tonight’s dinner. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Established in 1786 as the first British stronghold in Malaya, Penang soon became a bustling trading outpost attracting merchants from China, India, Thailand, the Middle East, Burma and Europe. The influence of these early settlers is evident in the town’s festive celebrations, architecture and culturally diverse neighborhoods. The vegetarian capital of Malaysia, Penang is also home to some excellent vegan eateries. Today we’ll step back in time as we meet up with a long time “islander” who’ll show us around their town as we explore historical Georgetown not only visiting its grand Chinese clan houses, temples and vibrant Little India, but also its narrow back alleys, winding lanes and local shop houses. (Breakfast x2, Lunch x2, Dinner)
You have time to relax and catch up with any last minute shopping before we meet in late morning to catch our flight back to KL. Our adventure ends on arrival at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport. Terima kasih banyak, banyak (thank you very much)! (Breakfast)
It’s hard to find words to describe how much we enjoyed the Rainforests, Reefs, Cultures and Cuisines of Malaysia tour 2015. Zac, you are such a wonderful person and guide. Your love of what you do came through in the knowledge that you imparted on us and the rapport that you have with all of the contacts we made along the way. I resonate with your beliefs and what VegVoyages stands for. Our immersion was more than a holiday. You gave us great insight into all aspects of Malay life. We have come away far richer than we ever would have thought. Thank you for your time and patience. We can’t wait to join you again for another great journey!
Adrienne Crossen (New Zealand)
I’ll go on and on about how fantastic traveling in Malaysia with VegVoyages was, though I’ll never be able to do it justice. It’s rare that I’m at a loss for words but my mind is so overwhelmed with positive things to say it’s difficult to even know where to start. The food was, hands-down, some of the best I’ve ever had in my life! We didn’t feel like tourists; instead, we felt like guests. Being a spectator in a new country may open your eyes, but being a participant will open your heart. And we certainly have come away with open hearts. Thank you for taking us on a life-changing journey.
The Malaysia Adventure has been outstanding in every way. I was continually impressed at the planning and execution of the trip – every part was better than I had imagined. The trip was outstanding.