Colonial George Town and Malacca, the gleaming twin towers of Kuala Lumpur combined with the Orang Utans and the tropical charms of mystical Borneo, plus Singapore
Selected departures January to November 2017
You should arrive at the airport to take your overnight Singapore Airlines flight to Penang, via Singapore.
After our afternoon arrival we transfer to the four-star superior Parkroyal Hotel on Batu Ferringhi beach for three nights with breakfast. The rest of the afternoon is at leisure to relax after your flight.
This morning we enjoy a walking tour the beautifully preserved colonial centre of George Town. A UNESCO World Heritage site, George Town is perhaps unique in South East Asia in having over 30,000 pre-war buildings. After a fascinating ride by cycle rickshaw you’ll enjoy an included lunch. The afternoon is at leisure to enjoy the many facilities of your hotel. In the evening, the local night market is an easy stroll from the hotel and a great chance to try the local street cuisine or hone your bargaining skills!
Reached by the Penang Hill Funicular Railway, the 2,700ft Penang Hill was used a cooler retreat during the British colonial period and many prominent bungalows were built here, as well as the original official residence of the Governor. You can still see the Post Office and Police Station. After an included lunch, you are free to enjoy the afternoon at leisure.
After a free morning, we cross over the eight-mile Penang Bridge to Butterworth on the Malaysian mainland where we take the afternoon train service for the four-hour journey to the capital, Kuala Lumpur. The train has recently been upgraded and offers a modern, air-conditioned and comfortable service – a perfect way to see rural Malaysia. Our hotel in ‘KL’ for two nights is the four-star superior Maya Hotel with breakfast, well located right in the centre of the city and close to the city’s world-famous landmark, the gleaming Petronas Twin Towers. Lunch is included today.
Today we drive to one of the most famous of the Straits Settlements, Malacca. Originally colonised by the Portuguese in the 16th century, it was later taken over by the Dutch, before finally succumbing to the might of the British East India Company. There’s plenty to see in the many old shophouses now converted into attractive boutiques and cafes, but many are still family homes as well. Like George Town, this vitally strategic port is a blend of Chinese, Hindu and Muslim cultures and fascinating insight into the historical legacies of all these civilizations. Lunch is included today. In the afternoon we return to our hotel in ‘KL’.
Today we fly to Sandakan in Malaysian Borneo for a one night stay at the three-star superior Sabah Hotel with breakfast. Founded in 1879 by the British North Borneo Company and with fascinating colonial history, Sandakan is a charming small port on the eastern side of Borneo.
This morning we visit the nearby Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre, a highlight of our tour! The aim of the sanctuary is to re-introduce Orang Utans into the wild and as such it is open to the forest. There are two feeding times every day but the Orang Utans are free to come and go as they please. There is a smaller area where younger individuals are cared for. Right next door is another sanctuary for the endangered Borneo Sun bear. Late in the afternoon we catch the short flight to Kota Kinabalu on the western side of Borneo and transfer to the outstanding five-star Shangri-La Rasa Ria Resort & Spa for three nights with breakfast.
A day at leisure to enjoy they huge sandy beach and extensive swimming pools at your hotel. There is also a 400-acre nature reserve adjacent to the resort as well as championship 18-hole golf course and superb Spa. Choose from five restaurants and two bars – this is the best spot to watch the spectacular sunset over the South China Sea.
A further day to relax or perhaps take the option to experience one of the last surviving steam locomotives in Asia – the North Borneo Railway. Departing from Kota Kinabalu station, the trip includes a ‘Tiffin’ lunch.
On arrival, transfer to the four-star Swissotel Merchant Court, with breakfast, well located next to the many restaurants of Clarke Quay.
Today you have the opportunity to explore Singapore’s unique blend of Indian, Chinese and Malay influences. We’ll enjoy a tour of the riverfront area and spend time in the beautiful botanic gardens, of which the Orchid enclosure is an outstanding feature.
After a morning at leisure, you have a late afternoon transfer to the airport for your overnight Singapore Airlines flight home.
You arrive back in the UK this morning.
Experience the colonial history of Malaysia, its modern mix of cultures, incredible cuisine and the natural treasures of tropical Borneo, the land of the Orang Utan, before relaxing at the sumptuous Shangri-La Rasa Ria Resort and continuing on to the bright lights of Singapore.
The price of this holiday is per person, based on two people sharing a twin room. Eleven nights' accommodation in three, four and five-star hotels with breakfast and five meals; scheduled flights to/from Singapore; all transfers including train from Butterworth to Kuala Lumpur and two flights' guided tours of George Town & Penang Hill, Kuala Lumpur, Malacca, Sandakan including the Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre and Sun Bear santuary, Singapore city tour; all local transport as described; hotel porterage of one item of luggage per person; the services of a Riviera tour manager.
Hazel and Simon Morton
A thoroughly enjoyable trip - an ideal introduction to the area - we saw and learnt so much (as we have always found with Riviera Travel tour managers!) Diane was excellent - as was Gerard our coach driver. Already booked our nex...
Mrs Nicola Roberts
My husband and I sailed on the Royal clipper July 2014, we loved this so much we have saved up to go again this year. We are seasoned travellers and have visited many places. When I asked my husband which has been his favourite, i...