PDI

Hey Hey Malay

This document contains essential information that you need to prepare for, as well as information you will need during your holiday with us.

We ask that you read it carefully and that you take the document with you on your holiday. It contains information on visas, vaccinations, spending money, etc, as well as a detailed, day by day itinerary of your trip.


your-trip

Nuts and Bolts

  • Expert English-speaking local tour guide throughout the tour
  • Sightseeing (including entrance fees where relevant): Heritage Trail walking tour of Georgetown in Penang; Cameron Highlands; Kuala Lumpur including Merdeka Square, Lake Gardens, National Monument and the old railway station; 15th century port town of Malacca - Cheng Hoon Teng Temple, Kampung Kling Mosque, Sri Poyatha Venayagar Moorthi Temple and Baba Nonya Museum.
  • Stay in rafthouses on the Chiaw Lan Lake for two nights.
  • Two days relaxing in secluded Ao Nang, with accommodation in comfortable, fan-cooled guesthouses.
  • Free time to explore Bangkok, Penang, hill town of Tanah Rata, Malacca and Singapore.
  • Overnight sleeper train from Surat Thani to Bangkok.

Summary of accommodation, transport & meals

Transport

  • Aircon bus
  • Ferry
  • Local bus
  • Long-tail boat
  • Mini-van
  • Songthaew
  • Taxi

Accommodation

  • 1 night Sleeper train
  • 11 nights Hotel

Meals

  • 1 breakfast
  • 1 lunche
  • 1 dinner

not-included

International flights, arrival and departure transfers, departure and airport taxes, visas, all other meals, all optional tours or activities during free time, transfers outside of the tour program, travel insurance, tips and items of a personal nature.

optional-extras

  • Bangkok - Thai massage
  • Bangkok - Urban Adventures - Bangkok by Bike
    USD$45.00
  • Bangkok - Urban Adventures - Bangkok Chinatown Food Discovery
    USD$60.00
  • Bangkok - Urban Adventures - Tuk Tuk Experience
    USD$40.00
  • Bangkok - Urban Adventures- Temple & River of Kings
    USD$65.00
  • Cameron Highlands - Gunung Brinchang Tour
    RM 50 (approx. US$15)
  • Cameron Highlands - ½ day Cameron Highlands Tour
    RM50 (approx. US$15)
  • Cameron Highlands - ½ day Guided Jungle Trekking
    RM45 (approx. US$14)
  • Georgetown - Penang - Taxi to Batu Ferringhi Beach
    RM30 (approx. US$10)
  • Kuala Lumpur - Islamic Arts Museum
    RM12 (approx. US$4)
  • Kuala Lumpur - Petronas Towers - Skybridge & Observation Deck
    RM80 (approx. US$25)
  • Malacca - Stadthuys Museum
    RM2 (approx. US$1)

preparing-to-travel

Visas and Permits

Malaysia

The below nationalities do not need a visa to travel to Malaysia, if you are travelling as a tourist for up to three moths. Other nationalities will need to check with their closest Malaysian embassy or consulate. Australia, Belgium, Canada, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, New Zealand, South Africa, Switzerland, UK and USA. The above information has been put together as a guide. We do endeavor to update this information as much as possible but it’s also important that you check for yourself as visas are the responsibility of the traveller.

Singapore

Tourists not requiring a visa will be granted a 30 day stay on arrival. Other nationalities should check with their Singapore embassy or consulate. The below nationalities do not require a visa: Australia, Belgium, Canada, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, New Zealand, South Africa, Switzerland, UK and US The above information has been put together as a guide. We do endeavor to update this information as much as possible but it’s also important that you check for yourself as visas are the responsibility of the traveller.

Thailand

If you are flying into Thailand you will be issued with a 30 day stay on arrival.

If you are crossing into Thailand via a land border you will be granted a 15 day stay only. However, you can obtain an extension at an immigration office for approx 2000THB, alternatively you can apply for a Thauland visa in advance from your embassy or consulate – this will allow a 30 day stay. Exception– as of 28 Oct 2013 citizens of the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, France, Italy, Germany and Japan are eligible for 30 day visa at land borders.

If you are not from one of the following countries please contact your consulate or embassy for more information on visa conditions for Thailand Australia, Belgium, Canada, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, New Zealand, South Africa, Switzerland, United Kingdom and USA.

The above information has been put together as a guide. We do endeavor to update this information as much as possible but it’s also important that you check for yourself as visas are the responsibility of the traveller.

 

government-travel-advice

Many governments publish up-to-date travel advice for countries around the world. Information is gleaned from both local and international sources as well as ‘friendly’ governments, and the notices are often on the cautious side. Sometimes there will be conflicting information. For example, the Australian, UK and Canadian governments may agree on the nature of the advice; however, frequently they do not. And sometimes the views expressed by a particular government can be coloured by political considerations. We will monitor these travel advisories closely and may alter itineraries or cancel trips as a result. However, it is also your responsibility to stay informed and form a balanced view. We recommend that you visit the websites or contact the departments listed below. Unless otherwise stated, it is not normally the intention of the relevant government travel advice to dissuade you from travelling. Rather, it is to inform you of where and when you should exercise caution to avoid problems. Please also note that, as a responsible tour operator, we maintain constant links with our ground operators and your safety - at all times - is our paramount concern. You can check your government's latest travel advice at one of the links below:

Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade 
UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office
Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade
U.S. Department of State New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Medical---prep

We strongly recommend you visit your doctor to discuss health requirements for your trip. They will advise you regarding the appropriate inoculations. In some places anti-malaria medication may also be required. Some vaccines need to be administered a few weeks before departure so allow yourself plenty of time. Obtain a certificate of vaccination and carry this with you on this trip. A dental check up is also highly recommended

Vaccinations

Vaccinations may be required for this trip. Please consult your doctor or a travel health specialist. The choice of vaccinations can depend on a range of issues including the specific destination, the duration of the trip, your personal health and of course what vaccines you have had before.
Routine Background Vaccines: We strongly endorse current public health recommendations that all travellers should be up-to-date with their routine vaccines such as tetanus, diphtheria, measles/mumps/rubella, polio and influenza, and paediatric vaccinations for children.

Vaccinations may be required for this trip. Please consult your doctor or a travel health specialist. The choice of vaccinations can depend on a range of issues including the specific destination, the duration of the trip, your personal health and of course what vaccines you have had before.
Routine Background Vaccines: We strongly endorse current public health recommendations that all travellers should be up-to-date with their routine vaccines such as tetanus, diphtheria, measles/mumps/rubella, polio and influenza, and paediatric vaccinations for children.
Travel Vaccinations: While the food and water-borne diseases such as hepatitis A and typhoid will apply to most of our travellers, other travel vaccines such as hepatitis B, rabies, meningitis, Japanese encephalitis and cholera may apply to select travellers, especially long-term travel. Travel health experts can advise on what is required and also what is not required!
It is your responsibility to ensure that you obtain any vaccinations or preventative medicines for the countries you are visiting – or any which may be required by your home country upon your return. To find out which, if any, vaccinations are mandatory or recommended for your destination contact your local doctor, immunisation centre or medical centre for up-to-date information. If you need to arrange vaccinations or a supply of preventative medicine (e.g. malaria tablets), you should contact your doctor at least two months before you depart. Some inoculations require more than one visit and can take several weeks to administer the full course.

For travellers from Australia and New Zealand, we recommend the Travel Doctor-TMVC clinics (see www.traveldoctor.com.au or phone 1300 658 844 for an appointment in Australia). Travellers from countries other than Australia and New Zealand should contact similar organisations or their travel doctor for advice. General health and vaccination information is available to all travellers at
www.traveldoctor.com.au/travelreport. Some vaccines require more than one dose, so arrange for your visit at least 4-6 weeks before you travel.

Carry Your Certificate

You should be issued with an International Certificate of Vaccination booklet that records each vaccination. Always carry this with you on your travels; it could provide essential information for doctors in the event that you fall ill whilst travelling.

Malaria: There is no vaccination against malaria, which is transmitted by mosquito bites and is a risk in the tropical areas. Protection against mosquito bites is essential and where the risk is considered high, anti-malarial medications are recommended. Anti-malarial medications should be discussed with experts as there are different medications available and not all medications suit all people or all destinations. We prefer that trekkers to altitude try to avoid the use of mefloquine (Lariam) if possible.

copies-of-key-docs

We recommend that you photocopy the main pages of your passport, your airline ticket, itinerary, insurance policy, traveller’s cheques and credit card. Keep one set of photocopies with you, separate from the originals. Leave one set of copies at home with family or friends. It is also worth taking some extra passport photos with you in case of additional visas, permits or other unforeseen paperwork.

what-to-take

General Packing List

Remember - the lighter you travel the better! You may be buying things as you go, so you should not bring too much from home. Many people find a backpack the most suitable type of luggage for our holidays. Medium-sized suitcases can also be used; however, you should avoid the large, bulky cases that are difficult to carry. The lockable suitcases on wheels are the best types to use. Be aware that some hotels in Asia are not over-endowed with lifts (elevators) and there may be occasions when you need to carry your luggage up stairs or along railway platforms, etc.

When packing, consider cultural differences which may mean that some attire that we wear at home is not appropriate in Asia and may be offensive to the local people. Beachwear in towns is not appropriate, nor is 'short' shorts, particularly for women. Light cotton pants are a better option. When visiting sites of religious significance, modest clothing should be worn. Sandals, thongs, flip-flops or jandals are appropriate footwear in the tropics.

When you pack your clothing, consider the climate at the time of year you are travelling and any specific requirements for your trip as at certain times of the year some of the items suggested in the list that follow may not be necessary. Bear in mind that the weather will vary significantly from place to place. The majority of time the weather is warm in South East Asia; however, it may be distinctly cold up in the highlands. If there are specific requirements for a trip, these will be noted in  the Trip Notes relating to that trip. Please note that in the last few years, the world’s weather pattern has gone somewhat awry. The effects of ‘El Nino’ and ‘La Nina’ are very real and this has resulted in unseasonable droughts followed by unseasonable deluges. Be prepared for the unexpected! Laundry facilities are available in some destinations.
 
Below is a list of equipment and documentation that we suggest you take with you. Please use this checklist as a guide when packing for your holiday.

  • Travel documents: passport, visa (if required), travel insurance, air tickets or e-ticket receipts, Trip Notes
  • Photocopy of main passport pages, visa (if required), travel insurance and air tickets
  • Spare passport photos
  • Money: cash/credit card/EFTPOS card
  • Money belt
  • Small padlocks
  • Metal chain and padlock to secure luggage on overnight trains – additional precaution
  • Small first-aid kit
  • Daypack for use on day or overnight excursions
  • Watch/alarm clock and torch/flashlight (and spare batteries)
  • Electrical adapter plug
  • Toiletries/roll of toilet paper/travel wipes
  • Insect repellent
  • Sunscreen, lip balm, sunhat and sunglasses
  • Earplugs and eye mask (for light sleepers)
  • Extra pair of prescription glasses (if required)
  • 2 strong plastic garbage bags (for laundry and in case of rain)
  • Refillable water bottle
  • Phrase book
  • Warm clothes - when travelling in cooler climates
  • Wind and waterproof jacket
  • Comfortable and sturdy walking shoes with good walking socks
  • Camera and spare film (or recharge for digital cameras)
  • Binoculars
  • Swimwear

Medical Kit

It is a good idea to take a small medical kit with you, and you should consider packing the following items:

Antibiotics, Lip-balm, moisturiser, sunscreen, headache tablets, antiseptic (e.g. Betadine), anti-diarrhoea tablets (for changes in diet and water), laxatives, band-aids/moleskin/dressing strips for blisters, small scissors/tweezers. Note that moleskin is particularly good for blisters and can be obtained from any pharmacy.

It is also recommended to carry a letter from your doctor explaining any less common prescribed medications that you may be carrying.

Diarrhoea

Stomach upsets are not uncommon when travelling through new destinations (usually a 24 - 48 hour 'bug') and this may cause diarrhoea, leading to dehydration. Should you develop a stomach upset you should eat only in moderation and drink plenty of fluids. It is a good idea to carry a couple of sachets of rehydrants with you (such as Gastrolite). We also suggest that you carry one of the common anti-diarrhoea tablets such as Imodium.

Sunstroke

It can be quite easy to get sun burnt when you are not accustomed to the sun in new climates. You should take sensible precautions such as wearing a hat and using a good UV sunscreen. Finally, drink plenty of fluids - preferably water.

Water

In general, water is not safe to drink in the areas through which we travel. Bottled Water is widely available and most travellers prefer to drink this. Your guide can assist you in regards to the relative safety of tap water and the availability of bottled water on each tour. When walking, or in hot conditions, you must make a conscious effort to maintain your hydration, drinking as much water/tea as possible to offset fluid loss.


money

Currency

Malaysia

The unit of currency is the Malaysian ringgit (RM). There are 100 sen in a ringgit and coins come in 1, 5, 10, 20 and 50 sen denominations. Notes are available in 1, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 ringgit denominations.

Singapore

The unit of currency is the Singapore dollar (S$), made up of 100 cents. Coins come in 1c, 5c, 10c, 20c, 50c and S$1. Notes are available in 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1,000 Singapore dollars.

Thailand

The unit of currency is the Thai baht. There are 1, 5 and 10 baht coins, and just to confuse things, 1 baht and 5 baht coins come in three sizes. There is a large 5 baht coin and two smaller coins. There is a new copper and silver 10 baht coin. Notes are in the denominations of 10 (quite scarce), 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1,000 baht (with the last very hard to change!).

Exchange rates

Check out www.xe.com for current exchange rates.

Accessing Money

Malaysia

ATMs are readily available in large cities and tourist destinations in Malaysia. Credit cards like Visa and MasterCard are accepted for purchases in many places too. If you are bringing traveller's cheques, the banks in Malaysia are efficient in changing these for you, they do normally charge a fee however, usually around RM5 per transaction. You can also change traveller's cheques at moneychangers, there is no commission, but their rates vary more so make sure you know the current exchange rate before visiting one.

Singapore

Money is always safest carried in the form of traveller's cheques although the incidence of theft is quite low in Singapore. ATM machines are widely available throughout Singapore and credit cards are accepted in most major establishments.

Thailand

There are plenty of money changing facilities in Thailands cities. Authorised money changers generally offer the best exchange rates but it’s worth it to shop around. Thailand also has a plethora of ATMs, which can also be used to get cash advances on credit cards. Look for ATMs displaying Maestro, Cirrus, Mastercard or Visa symbols. Traveller's cheques can be changed at most hotels, banks and currency exchange booths. In large cities there is no problem cashing cheques. You should consider where you are heading to, taking into account any public holidays, and cash enough money to see you to your next major town. Your tour leader will brief you at your pre-departure meeting on the specifics relevant to your particular trip. Credit cards are accepted in many shops, restaurants and hotels, but should not be relied on as your only form of funds. There are currency exchange booths in the arrival hall of Bangkok Airport which offer the standard rate.

Personal Expenses

South East Asia

You will need to take money with you to cover sightseeing, entrance fees, meals and drinks. Other costs to consider are drinking water, tips, laundry, souvenirs, additional activities during free time and possible delays. It is much better to come with more than you would expect to spend and to end the trip with a surplus, rather than being caught short! It is always useful to carry an additional amount for emergencies that could happen en route. If there is a medical emergency you are sometimes required to pay at the source and be reimbursed later by your insurance company.

How Much Money? In our trip notes we have suggested an appropriate allowance for additional meals. This does not include alcoholic drinks, e.g. beer. In addition to this you should carry sufficient funds for optional activities, additional sightseeing, shopping and tips. As a guideline we suggest that you allow $US15-20 per day (or maybe less!) in Asia would allow you to eat and drink reasonably well. Emergency Funds In the unlikely event of an emergency of a personal nature or unforseen changes to the Gecko's schedule, we recommend you have access to an additional US$300 to cover any costs that may arise as a result of these events.

Spending Money

In our brochure we have suggested an appropriate allowance for additional meals (US$200). This is for FOOD ONLY and does not include drinks and snacks. As a result of customer feedback we recommend you allow a figure of between US$180 and $230 for your DRINK and SNACK requirements, additional to the amount suggested in the brochure for meals. Use a higher figure particularly if you are travelling during the hot season when you will require more fluids.

In addition you should carry sufficient funds for extra sightseeing and optional activities.

Shopping is a personal thing that, again, varies enormously. On average, people spend anywhere between US$50 and US$300 on souvenirs, art, tailor-made clothes etc.

Airport Taxes

Malaysia

There are no departure taxes paid locally on departure from Malaysian airports, please check with your travel agent for the latest information.

Singapore

A passenger service charge of S$21 should be incorporated in your air ticket. If this has not been done, you are required to pay the S$21 during check-in. Passengers who are in transit for less than 24 hours may leave the airport without having to pay a service charge upon departure from Singapore.

Thailand

You will be required to pay airport and departure taxes in most countries. Most of these are added to the ticket price on purchase and you will not need to bother further about them. Others must be paid physically at the airport on departure. All airport taxes in Thailand should now be included in the price of your flight ticket and so there should be no need to pay additional tax at the airport. However we recommend that you check with your travel agent for the latest information.

Tipping

If you're happy with the services provided a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it's of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many of our destinations. Although can be difficult to source we advise you to carry small notes of local currency each day to make tipping easier.

The following amounts are per person suggestions based on local considerations and feedback from our past travellers: Restaurants: Local markets and basic restaurants - round your bill up to the nearest US$1. More up-market restaurants we suggest 10% to 15% of your bill.

Local guides: Throughout your trip you may at times have a local guide in addition to your tour leader. We suggest US$2-US$3 per day for local guides.

Drivers: You may have a range of drivers on your trip. Some may be with you for a short journey while others may be with you for several days. We would suggest a higher tip for those more involved with the group, however we suggest US$1-US$2 per day for drivers.

Your Tour Leader: You may also consider tipping your tour leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline US$2-US$4 per person, per day can be used. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.

In total, we recommend you budget approx US$5-US$10 per day of your trip to cover tipping. At your group meeting on Day 1 your tour leader will discuss with you the idea of running a group tipping kitty, whereby everybody contributes an equal amount and then your tour leader pays the tips while keeping a running record of all monies spent (except restaurant tips). The record can be checked at any time and any money remaining at the end of the tour returned to group members. This is often the easiest way to avoid the hassles of needing small change and knowing when and what is an appropriate amount to tip.

Please don't tip with coins, very small denomination notes, or dirty and ripped notes. This is regarded culturally as an insult.

 

 


while-you-are-travelling

On arrival

Please make your own way to joining hotel unless you have booked an arrival transfer (please refer to your itinerary for joining hotel name and address). < br/> If you have booked an arrival transfer, you will be met by a representative and transferred to your start hotel. Please see your final documents for full details of the hotel. Please make sure we are aware of your flight arrival details before you travel. Please meet our representative outside the arrivals area, as you exit from the customs hall. They will be holding a sign. < br/> IMPORTANT NOTE: There are many exits after collecting and clearing customs, so please use the exit door closest to the luggage collection belt that you have just come from. If you cannot locate our representative, please call this our emergency contact no: +65 9783 3739 (between 7 am and 10:30 pm - Singapore time).

Hotel Check In / Check Out

Generally, your room will be available from around midday as Check In and Out times are midday according to hotel policy. Sometimes it may be available mid-morning but this is in no way guaranteed. If your flight is scheduled to arrive in the early morning you may have to wait until a room becomes available. Alternatively you can book one night's 'pre-tour accommodation' which will ensure that your room is ready whenever you arrive. Please refer to the 'Additional Services' panel in the pricing page of our brochure. When arriving early after an overnight rail journey, it is not always possible to check into your hotel immediately. Please be patient and wait for your tour guide’s instructions. Normally the leader will arrange a day room for guests to share if it is not possible for all rooms to be ready at once. Rooms must generally be vacated by 12.00 noon unless you have made prior arrangements with the hotel reception. If you want to keep your room for longer you may have to pay an additional charge. Please ensure that you settle all bills (eg mini-bar, phone calls) when you check out. If you are sharing a room with someone who is checking out before you make sure they pay their bills at reception or you collect some money to cover their bills as you will be asked to pay upon check out.

Photo etiquette

Please ask first if you want to take someone's photograph. This is just a normal courtesy and if you are refused permission please abide by that person's wishes. At certain ancient sites, and in most museums, photography (video or still) may be forbidden, or may incur an extra charge for camera-use. Do not take photos of buildings, structures and personnel of potential military significance (including airports, bridges, and police stations).

Flexibility and patience

Travelling with us can provide you with some really rewarding travel experiences. Our tours visit countries where travel modes and lifestyles are often not as sophisticated as our own. There is also a laid-back attitude amongst workers and there will often seem to be huge amounts of red tape and bureaucracy when doing the simplest things. You will enjoy your trip much more if you slip into the rhythm of local life and are prepared to take things as they come.

A word on drugs

In most countries even the smallest quantity of an illegal substance is considered a very serious offence and can carry lengthy jail terms. Avoid any contact with illegal drugs. Don’t put yourself and others at risk and never carry bags or luggage for other people. Any person found to be carrying or using illegal drugs will be asked to leave the trip immediately without the right to any refund.

Local Prices

Malaysia

Malaysia is an inexpensive country by Western standards, but is not as cheap as a lot of other Asian countries. The bigger cities will be more expensive. To give you an idea of costs, a litre of water will cost around RM2, a large bottle of Tiger Beer will cost RM8, a street snack, such as a satay stick will cost RM1 and a restaurant meal will set you back around RM8 to RM14.

Singapore

Singapore is the most expensive of all South East Asian countries. Cheap food and drink options can be found at the hawker centres, where you can get a main meal for around SGD5-6. A beer will cost around SGD4.

Thailand

Thailand is wonderfully inexpensive. A meal in a restaurant will cost around THB100-THB300, whereas a street snack is only THB30-THB50. A large bottle of Singha beer is about THB80-THB120 and a litre of water will set you back THB10-THB20.


other-important-information

Local Tour Guides

By employing and training local site guides to lead our group holidays, there is a two-fold benefit. Firstly, we provide employment opportunities for the local community. Just as importantly is the benefit to you, the traveller. Your tour guide’s friendship, humour, passion and intimate knowledge of the region will be key factors in making your holiday a success.

Single Supplement

A single supplement is available on this trip. On the following nights a single room is not available: 
Day 10 Raft house 
Day 11 Overnight sleeper train

Local Emergency Contacts 

In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency, the Geckos Thailand office can be reached on Tel: +66 898 103 722

Grassroots Adventure

Please remember that our tours are of an adventurous nature. Our style of travelling means that it is more desirable to carry a backpack and a day pack on our tours.

Please note that the accommodation facilities here are basic, but provide you with an authentic experience of how these people live. You may wish to bring an inner sleeping sheet for the train journeys and the village stay, but please note that this is not a necessity. For light sleepers, we recommend that you bring ear-plugs and eye-patches for the overnight rail journey and the village stay.

For certain departures, this itinerary may be operated in the reverse direction to that shown here. Occasionally it may be necessary to amend this itinerary for reasons beyond our control such as weather and road conditions. Changes to domestic train schedules occur frequently and with little notice: any such changes may necessitate some alterations to this itinerary.

Please note that South East Asia is a developing region whose infrastructure may differ from what you expect in your homeland. This is an 'adventure' trip and we hope to expose you to all aspects of the local cultures. Please be open minded while travelling, as this will allow you to truly experience everything that Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore have to offer.

On this trip you may link up with passengers on other tours.

Begging:- At some of the tourist sites and in the cities it is possible you will come across beggars. This can prove an uncomfortable encounter especially for inexperienced travellers. There are many genuine beggars, however there are also those who find the lifestyle easier than working and these people often see tourists as easy prey. As a general rule, if you feel the impulse to give, you should be discreet in the giving. Never make a show of it, as you will attract a crowd, which brings with it its own set of problems. There are often charities that take care of the needy and it may be wise to give to them rather than to individuals begging.

Dress standards:- In places you should dress conservatively to avoid attracting unwanted attention and so as not to offend the local population. This is especially applicable to women travellers. Dress rules also apply at many of the religious sites.

Ramadan

Ramadan occurs in the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. It is an interesting time to travel in the Malaysia. In the evening there is a celebratory atmosphere as people break their fast, and to witness all this is a real highlight. However, during the day, people must refrain from eating, smoking and drinking so if you encounter someone who is a bit grumpy, be sympathetic! Tourist sites are generally unaffected although some places may close early, but your leader will plan around this. Most hotels bars and tourist restaurants will remain open. Ramadan lasts for one month and the exact dates for each year can be found on the web at www.holidays.net/ramadan/dates

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daily-itin

Hey Hey Malay

Trip Length

Trip Code

13 days

GTBS

 

Countries Visited

Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand

 

Start City

End City

Singapore

Bangkok

gtbs

 

DAY 1: SINGAPORE

Loosen your belt buckle and head to our pick for Singapore’s best dumpling, Paradise Dynasty on Level 4 of Ion Orchard. If you find better, let us know. We'll take any excuse to head back to Singapore.

  • Arrive in Singapore
  • Attend a pre-tour briefing at 6pm
  • Head out to explore this modern city Visit Chinatown, Boat Quay, as well as the Merlion statue - the half-fish, half-lion icon that became the symbol of Singapore

DAY 2: MALACCA

Over the years, Malacca has been ruled by a sultan, the Portuguese, the Dutch, the British and the Japanese. We’re not sure who was responsible for introducing the colourful trishaws with their lights, decorations and musical horns - but we salute you.

  • Head north to 15th-Century port town of Malacca (Melaka)
  • Stay in the heart of the old town, in an old Baba home
  • Take a walking tour through the ancient streets
  • Visit a variety of temples such as Cheng Hoon Teng Temple, Kampung Kling Mosque and Sri Poyatha Venayagar Moorthi Temple
  • Stop by the Baba Nonya Museum, which showcases the history of the Straits Chinese immigrants
  • Perhaps hire a rickshaw and explore the intriguing Chinese side streets in free time

DAY 3-4: KUALA LUMPUR

We’re staying in the heart of Chinatown so follow your nose to the best dumplings, laksa and chilli pan mee in town.   

  • Take a two-hour bus journey to Kuala Lumpur (which means ‘Muddy Confluence’)
  • Enjoy time to experience the diversity of old and new Malaysia
  • Stroll through the renowned markets and perhaps grab something to eat from a hawker stall
  • Perhaps take a ride up the elevators of the 421 metre tall Menara Kuala Lumpur (KL Tower)

DAY 5: CAMERON HIGHLANDS

Time for a quick round of Name That Roadkill on a bus through the highlands. Once you’ve arrived, you can take a trek, explore a green tea plantation or just tuck into some scones at Ye Olde Smokehouse.

  • Continue to the Cameron Highlands
  • Travel through a wide variety of scenery from the flat lowlands up through mountainous terrain
  • Arrive at the scenic hill town of Tanah Rata
  • Choose from many optional activities such as a trekking, visiting the green tea plantations that have made this region famous or just relaxing in ‘Ye Olde Smokehouse’

DAY 6-7: PENANG

Today’s challenge – see if you can find the hawker stall on Kimberley St where Lean Joo Sean has been selling char koay teow (stir-fried rice noodles) since 1954. You can’t miss his white chef’s hat and queues of hungry punters.   

Day 7

  • Head into Malaysia and towards Penang
  • Arrive in Georgetown, the largest town on the island, in the evening

Day 8

  • Enjoy a walking tour of Georgetown, following the Heritage Trail
  • Visit Fort Cornwallis and the Penang Museum, a small eclectic collection showcasing the various cultures
  • Enjoy free time to discover the colourful markets, old temples and historic Chinese clan houses of Georgetown
  • Perhaps catch the bus to Batu Ferringhi Beach
  • Be sure to hunt down a street stall in Little India and buy cheap snacks such as samosas or pakoras
  • Take an optional evening rickshaw ride to Gurney Drive and dine at one of the many hawker food stalls – local specialities include char kway teow, Penang prawn mee (noodles) and laksa

DAY 8-9: AO NANG

We cross the border at Wang Kelian (Malaysian checkpoint) / Wang Prajan (Thai checkpoint) before proceeding up the isthmus.

Time to get active. Take a day visiting the amazing islands in the south of Thailand or if you’ve slipped into extreme holiday mode, we’ll also accept “turning the pages of a book”.

  • Spend two days in Ao Nang appreciating the peace and tranquillity
  • Kick back, relax and swim in the warm waters of this hidden tropical paradise
  • Spend a full day exploring some of Thailand's famous local islands

DAY 10-12: KHAO SOK NATIONAL PARK - RAFT HOUSE

Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner

The floating rafthouses on Cheo Lan Lake are literally on the water. So when we say “lake views” we’re not mucking around. Also, that’s not an alarm clock; it’s just a friendly gibbon reminding you to wake up for our jungle walk.

  • Travel on board a longtail boat through Cheo Lan lake through the limestone cliffs and lush jungle
  • Enjoy a night where you are literally floating on the lake, if you need to cool off just in the lake from your raft
  • Your wake up call will just be the friendly gibbon, unfortunately no snooze button.
  • It’s an overnight train ride from Surat Thani to Bangkok, so dig out that deck of cards you threw into your backpack at the last minute. Just paid for itself.

DAY 13: BANGKOK

The tour ends on arrival in Bangkok.

 

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The information provided here is given in good faith and has been compiled with all reasonable care. However, things change and some of the information may become out of date. Please ensure that you have the most up-to-date information for your trip. We recommend that you check the trip notes for your tour around one month before departure. If you have any queries, please contact your travel agent or our staff in Australia. We are here to help you!

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Last Updated

9 April 2014

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