Real Food Adventure - Malaysia Trip Notes

Travel to Malaysia to explore the unique cuisine of this South-East Asian country. Indulge in the food of Kuala Lumpur, Melaka and Penang and experience cooking classes, market visits and restaurants in among fascinating cultural activities.

    • 10
    • TMZF
    • Trip Price tool tip
      USD $1,670
      CAD $1,695
      AUD $1,760
      EUR €1,360
      GBP £1,045
      NZD $2,085
      ZAR R16,025
      CHF FR1,675
    • Extras tool tip
      MYR 100 Melaka - Trishaw Tour
      MYR 160 Penang Cooking Class
    • Total price tool tip
      USD $1,670
      CAD $1,695
      AUD $1,760
      EUR €1,360
      GBP £1,045
      NZD $2,085
      ZAR R16,025
      CHF FR1,675
      *
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    • Food
    • Original
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There is a later version of this trip also available for travel from Jan 1, 2015 to Dec 31, 2015. View later Real Food Adventure - Malaysia.
Print Version
Last Modified: 08 Oct 2014
Real Food Adventure - Malaysia
Trip code: TMZF
Validity: 01 Jan 2014 to 31 Dec 2014

Smack bang in the middle of the South East Asia island chain, the diversity seen in Malaysia’s cuisine can be attributed to its location. Having been an economic trading hub for centuries, Malaysia is an open door for foreign produce and various influences to leave their stamp on this nation’s food style.
****A tip before booking****
Just as a heads up before you book: this trip is new to our range this year. And while we have thoroughly researched every detail of the logistics, new destinations can sometimes throw us some unexpected surprises. More often than not, it’ll be a great surprise. But every now and again there might be a hiccup. We like to think that’s what puts the ‘adventure’ in ‘adventure travel’.
Table of Contents
StyleGroup sizeEmergency contact
ThemesYour fellow travellersEmergency funds
MapSingle travellersVisas
ItineraryAccommodationIssues on your trip
Also available to purchaseMeals introductionWhat to take
Itinerary disclaimerMealsHealth
Culture shock rating TransportSafety
Physical ratingGroup leaderTravel insurance
Included activitiesJoining point Responsible Travel
Optional activitiesJoining point descriptionA couple of rules
Money ExchangeJoining point instructionsThe Intrepid Foundation
Spending moneyArrival complicationsCarbon offset
TippingFinish point Feedback
Departure taxFinish point descriptionFurther Information
Important notesFinish point instructions
Buzzing cities, idyllic islands, exotic ports and lush highlands combine to create magical Malaysia. Home to a collision of cultures, you can eat roti for breakfast and feast on fragrant curries for dinner; admire mosques in the morning and temples in the afternoon; and visit remote villages as well as towering skyscrapers – it’s all possible in Malaysia.
Style
Original
  • Original trips are classic Intrepid adventures. With a mix of included activities and free time, they offer plenty of opportunities to explore at your own pace and take part in activities that really get beneath the skin of a destination. While the occasional meal may be included, you'll have the freedom to seek out your own culinary adventures. Accommodation is generally budget or tourist class (2-3 star), but you're as likely to find yourself as a guest of a local family as staying in a hotel or camping. Transport will vary as well. Depending on the destination and the itinerary you could find yourself travelling on anything from a camel to a train or a private safari vehicle. It's all part of the adventure! Original travellers have a desire to make the most of their travel time and really get to know a place, its people and cultures.
Themes
Food
Map
Real Food Adventure - Malaysia
Itinerary
Days 1-2 Kuala Lumpur
Selamat datang! Welcome to Malaysia.
Your trip starts at 6.00pm with a group meeting with the Leader and your fellow travellers. A note will be posted in the reception by the Leader with details on the meeting time and place.
Kuala Lumpur, the cosmopolitan capital of Malaysia, is affectionately known as KL and you'll almost always hear locals refer to it by its acronym. Communities of Indian, Chinese and ethnic Malay people mingle peacefully, allowing travellers to get the best of all three worlds.
Delve into the culinary culture of Kuala Lumpur with a tour of the city, taking in some of its most well known food precincts. Taste your way through the city's hidden backstreets and narrow alleys where some of the very best local food can be found. From Brickfields (otherwise known as Little India) to Chinatown, this will be the perfect introduction to the Malaysian melting pot. Our tour concludes at the iconic KL Tower, where we take the lift to the observation deck for an incredible view out over this vibrant metropolis.
Included Activities
  • KL Street Food Walk and City Tour
Optional Activities
  • Orang Asli Museum - MYR10
  • Monument - MYR47
  • Islamic Arts Museum - MYR12
Accommodation
Ancasa Express Kuala Lumpur or similar (2 nts)
Days 3-4 Melaka
Once the most important trading port of Malaysia, Melaka attracted Chinese, Indian, Dutch, Portuguese and British traders, all seeking wealth or an opportunity to control the Straits of Malacca, a vital trading route between the Indian and Pacific oceans. Today, Melaka's wealth of historical sites remind visitors of times gone by and its multicultural past is revealed in the city's distinctive cuisine.
Our focus over the next two days will be the different influences that have contributed to 'Melaccan' cuisine. Your leader will take you on an orientation walk of this charming old town filled with history, taking in some of the sights including Jonker Street, the Stadthuy's and A' Famosa Fort.
Discover the unique flavours of Nyonya cuisine in a cooking class. Nyonya cuisine describes the fusion of Chinese ingredients with Malay spices, herbs and cooking techniques that originated with the early Chinese migrants to Malaysia. Melaka also has it's own regional take on Nyonya cuisine, exhibiting influence from Indonesia particularly in the use of coconut milk. Learn how to prepare a few signature Nyonya dishes and enjoy a feast of these fragrant, tangy, spicy flavours for lunch.
Included Activities
  • Melaka Orientation Walk
  • Melaka - Trishaw city tour
  • Cooking Class
Optional Activities
  • Baba Nonya Heritage Museum - MYR8
  • Eye on Malaysia - MYR20
  • Entrance - MYR20
  • Melaka Riverboat Trip - MYR15
  • Sultanates Palace - MYR2
Accommodation
Hash House Hotel or similar (2 nts)
Day 5 Cameron Highlands
Head into Malaysia’s hill stations, where the country’s best tea is produced. The British were instrumental in early tea cultivation in the Cameron Highlands, with the first plantations established in the late 1920s. The gentle slopes of the region, as well as its distinctive climactic conditions (the Cameron Highlands is one of the few places in Malaysia that has a tropical highland climate and a lower average temperature of about 18 °C) provide ideal conditions for tea-growing. Visit a tea plantation and sample some of the local brews.
Afterwards, indulge in an iconic Cameron Highlands steamboat dinner. Choose meats, seafood and fresh vegetables, plonk them in the spicy soup simmering in the middle of the table and watch dinner cook before your eyes.
Included Activities
  • Tea plantation tour
Meals Included
1 Breakfast
Accommodation
Century Pines Hotel or similar (1 nt)
Days 6-7 Suka Suka - Home stay
A bus journey takes us to the west coast and our home away from home - a small homestay run by our long-term friends Aziz and Asiah, located on a picturesque lake just outside of Kuala Kangsar.
During the course of our stay, be prepared for a truly memorable real food experience! Watch a cooking demonstration by our hosts of some northern Malay specialties, then enjoy a traditional banquet of regional delicacies - eating with our hands and wearing sarongs.We will also take a walk around the surrounding village to really immerse ourselves into the rural Malay lifestyle.
Our accommodation for these two nights is in comfortable and clean bungalows with twin-share beds and cold showers. Please note that out of respect for our hosts, alcohol is not available during our stay.
Included Activities
  • Malay Homestay - Village Walk
  • Suka Suka Cooking Demonstration
Meals Included
1 Dinner
Accommodation
Homestay or similar (2 nts)
Days 8-10 Penang
Penang - Malaysia's prized island - has a beautiful coastline, wonderful cuisine and its colonial heritage is still present amongst the modern skyscrapers that tower over Georgetown.
Penang Island was the first destination of the colonial British in 1786. They invited Chinese, as well as others from all over Asia, to live on this island in the tropics. Today, this exotic blend of cultures still exists and the World Heritage site of Georgetown contains a fascinating blend of cultures as well as religious worship.
Refuel with a tasty excursion through Georgetown. First, get interactive with the locals (and your food) at a Yum Cha breakfast, before heading to the local market to bargain for fresh produce. Next we chop, sizzle and stir in our final cooking class at a local restaurant, whipping up some Penang flavours. Our local hosts will be on hand to shout out which fresh herbs from the garden will suit the dishes best. Sit down to eat this delicious home-cooked meal and raise a glass to the end of this delicious Real Food Adventure.
Included Activities
  • Kuala Kangsar Royal Town Tour
  • Walk
  • Penang Cooking Class
Optional Activities
  • Penang - Half Day Sightseeing - MYR200
  • Penang - Fort Cornwallis - MYR3
  • Penang - Kek Lok Si - MYR7
  • Chong Fat Tze Museum - MYR12
  • Khoo Kongsi - MYR10
  • Teluk Bahang National Park - Free
Accommodation
Banana Boutique Hotel or similar (2 nts)
Also available to purchase
For many of our trips we have other services or experiences that are also available to purchase to extend your trip or to make your holiday a little easier. Below is a list of other travel products you can purchase in conjunction with this trip.
      Itinerary disclaimer
      Occasionally our itineraries are updated during the year to incorporate improvements stemming from past travellers' comments and our own research. The information given in this itinerary may be slightly different to that in the brochure. It's very important that you print and review a final copy of your Trip Notes a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans. For the latest updated Trip Notes please visit our website: www.intrepidtravel.com
      Please note that while we operate successful trips in this region throughout the year, some changes may occur in our itineraries due to inclement weather and common seasonal changes to timetables and transport routes. This can happen with little notice so please be prepared for modifications to the route.
      Culture shock rating

      Expect some culture shock. You'll be exposed to signs of poverty and access to services may be sporadic. The food will be quite different to home and English speakers harder to find. Respecting the local culture will make it easier to fit in and really experience the location.
      Physical rating

      Some easy physical activities included in your trip. No physical preparation is required to make the most of the journey.
      Included activities
      Included activities are listed in the day-to-day itinerary, all other activities are optional and at your own expense. If you choose not to participate in the included activities on this itinerary, the cost will not be refunded.
      Optional activities
      A selection of optional activities are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only. Prices are approximate and are for entrance only and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability and it may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination.
      Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. This means that it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, however we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with booking these activities. The decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.
      Money Exchange
      The official currency of Malaysia is the Ringgit (MYR).
      The most convenient and cheapest way to obtain local currency in is via an Automated Teller Machine (ATM). ATM's are now readily available and visa cash advances are available in major banks. Foreign currency notes that are old, torn or faded can be very difficult to exchange, clean bills in small denominations are most useful. Traveller's cheques can be difficult to change.
      Spending money
      Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping, participating in optional activities, and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
      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 Intrepid 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
      Departure tax
      All departure taxes should be included in your international flight ticket.
      Important notes
      PASSPORT DETAILS
      Please provide passport details at the time of booking. If we have not received these details at least a month before the departure date of your tour, there is a risk the internal flight cannot be booked.
      RAMADAN:
      The month-long Ramadan Festival will be in progress from the 17th June 2015. This is a festival of sacrifice where the devout refrain from eating or drinking during daylight hours. During Ramadan business hours are shortened, including opening hours at all popular tourist attractions. Alcohol is not permitted during daylight hours and many restaurants will be closed. While you definitely need to expect some delays and inconveniences during this period, the month of Ramadan is a fantastic month to travel in Muslim countries as it offers a chance to witness this fascinating Islamic event and the nightly celebrations when the sun sets and the fast is broken.
      CHINESE NEW YEAR:
      An important 15-day festival for the Malaysian Chinese, based on the lunar calendar in January or February. In 2015,the Year of the Sheep is scheduled to be held from 19 February. This can be a busy time and some transport delays, shop closures and reduced opening hours at some sites may be expected, but there are also many fabulous festivals and rituals to observe during this time, so it's a great time to travel. Although we make all reasonable efforts to avoid disruption a flexible approach from the traveller is appreciated.
      FLIGHTS:
      There's a 15kg luggage limit on the included flight. Intrepid will not pay for any excess luggage.
      MINIMUM AGE:
      The minimum age for this trip is 15 at the time of travel. Any travellers under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a legal guardian, or in lieu of a legal guardian, by an escort over the age of 18, appointed by their legal guardian. The legal guardian or their designee will be responsible for the traveller under the age of 18 day to day’s care. If a legal guardian elects to designate an escort in their lieu, they will be required to complete and sign a relevant document, to delegate their authority.
      Group size
      Maximum of 12 travellers per group.
      Your fellow travellers
      As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part.
      Due to privacy reasons we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure. However you can download Intrepid's FREE Meet Up app to chat with your fellow travellers before your trip. Meet up, discuss your upcoming trip and share the excitement of planning for your adventure. For more information visit: www.intrepidtravel.com/meetup
      Single travellers
      Our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and don't involve a compulsory single supplement. Single travellers share with people of the same gender in accommodation ranging from twin to multishare. Some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on a mixed gender share basis and where applicable this will be specified in our Trip Notes. On a selection of our trips, you have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure that you have your own accommodation (where available). Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour - pre-trip and post-trip accommodation will be booked on a single room basis.
      A single supplement is available on this trip. On the following nights a single room is not available:
      - Day 6 Island Hideaway
      - Day 7 Penang
      Accommodation
      Hash House Hotel or similar (2 nts), Ancasa Express Kuala Lumpur or similar (2 nts), Homestay or similar (2 nts), Banana Boutique Hotel or similar (2 nts), Century Pines Hotel or similar (1 nt)
      The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our usual accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances.
      Throughout the trip we request that our hotels prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination.
      If you've purchased pre-trip or post-trip accommodation (if available), you may be required to change rooms from your trip accommodation for these extra nights.
      Please note that at our homestay we stay in shared A-frame huts which have cold water and no fans. Some of our guesthouses may not have windows which is typical in Malaysia.
      Meals introduction
      While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There's no obligation to do this though.
      Meals
      9 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
      Please budget for additional meals and expenses while on your trip. Our suggestion is based on past traveller feedback but you may choose to spend more or less.
      USD 200.00
      Transport
      Van, Trishaw, Bus
      Group leader
      All Intrepid group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Intrepid endeavours to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders.
      Your leader will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. At Intrepid we aim to support local guides who have specialised knowledge of the regions we visit. If you were interested in delving deeper into the local culture at a specific site or location then your leader can recommend a local guide service in most of the main destinations of your trip.
      Joining point
      AnCasa Express @ Pudu
      4th Floor, Pudu Sentral, Jalan Pudu,
      Kuala Lumpur
      55100
      MALAYSIA
      Phone: +60 (03) 2072 2688
      Joining point description
      Located within walking distance of vibrant Chinatown, with its wide variety of colourful night bazaars, hawker stalls, food courts featuring authentic Chinese based local mouth watering delicacies and neighbouring Chinese medical stores and textiles shops. Chinatown is within walking distance of main bus terminal, the Puduraya, which connects the north and south of peninsular Malaysia.
      To access the hotel,
      Our hotel is located on the 4th Floor of Pudu central in Chinatown. To access the hotel you will need to enter the bus station and catch an elevator to the 4th floor where the hotel is situated.
      AnCasa Express @ Pudu rooms have en suites bathrooms with air conditioning, telephone and TV.
      www.ancasaexpress.com/pudu
      Joining point instructions
      There are two airports in KL, and both are accessible by public transport or have taxi stands. Taxis are cheap, safe and reliable. Taxi vouchers can be purchased at taxi counters found as you exit the baggage claim area at both airports. A taxi to the hotel from either airport should cost about MYR100-120 and take approximately 1 hour.
      To catch public transport:
      1. If you are arriving at KLIA Airport, take the KLIA Express Train to KL Sentral station, the cost of a ticket is MYR35. Change to the LRT train to Pasar Seni, a ticket costs MYR1.60. From here the hotel is a 10 minute walk or a short taxi. Total travel time this way would take approximately an hour.
      2. If you are arriving at LCCT Airport, catch the StarBus Shuttle to Jalan Petaling, cost of a ticket is MYR10. From here the walk to the hotel is about 3 minutes. Total travel time for this option would be about 1 hour and 15 minutes.
      Normal check in time at the hotel is after 12:00.
      An arrival transfer from the airport is available if arranged at the time of booking. Transfers cannot be arranged on arrival. Please advise your flight arrival details at least 14 days prior to your departure. If you plan to arrive earlier, this arrival transfer can only be offered in conjunction with pre-tour accommodation booked through Intrepid.
      If you have pre-booked an airport transfer, please make your way to the main Terminal arrival hall and your driver will be holding a sign bearing your name.
      Please do not believe touts in suits who tell you there is an 'issue' with your arrival transfer.
      If you cannot find your pre-booked transfer, or you have any concerns about your transfer, please the transfer operators hotline at +6012 6388382.
      Arrival complications
      We don't expect any problems (and nor should you) but if for any reason you are unable to commence your group trip as scheduled, please contact your starting point hotel, requesting that you speak to or leave a message for your group leader.
      Please also make sure have a copy of the local operator's emergency phone numbers from our Emergency Contact section of these trip notes.
      Finish point
      Banana Boutique Hotel
      422, Chulia Street
      Georgetown
      Pulau Penang
      Penang
      10200
      MALAYSIA
      Phone: +60 (04)2610718
      Fax: +60 (04)2610771
      Finish point description
      A restored historical building located in the heart of Georgetown Penang, within walking distance of major heritage sites and surrounded by a great selection of restaurants that Penang is famous for. Rooms are equipped with en-suite bathroom, wifi, AC, ceiling fan, tea/coffee making facilities & mini bar.
      http://www.bananaboutiquepenang.com
      Finish point instructions
      Normal check out time is 12 noon. If you are departing later, you can arrange luggage storage at the hotel.
      A departure transfer is available - enquire at time of booking.
      A taxi costs approx. 30MYR (approx. 10USD) and takes approx 1hour
      Emergency contact
      In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency, Intrepid's Thailand Office can be reached on Tel: +66 898 103 722 (Thailand, Laos, Malaysia, Borneo, Indonesia, Burma & Phillipines) and Tel: +855 92 555 969 (Cambodia). For all other enquiries please contact our Reservations department which is open 24 hours, 6 days per week (excluding Sunday). For further contact details please refer to:
      Emergency funds
      Please also make sure you have access to an additional US$400, to be used when unforeseen incidents or circumstances outside our control (eg. a natural disaster, civil unrest or an outbreak of bird flu) necessitate a change to our planned route.
      Visas
      Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. The visa requirements for your trip vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. As a general rule most countries expect that you will have at least 6 months' validity on your passport. On arrival visitors may be asked to present return tickets and evidence of means to cover your intended stay.
      We keep the following information up to date as much as possible, but rules do change - it's important that you check for yourself. Residents from other countries must consult the relevant embassies or your travel agent.
      MALAYSIA:
      Australia: No - not required
      Belgium: No - not required
      Canada: No - not required
      Germany No - not required
      Ireland: No - not required
      Netherlands: No - not required
      New Zealand: No - not required
      South Africa: No - not required
      Switzerland: No - not required
      United Kingdom: No - not required
      USA: No - not required
      The above nationalities do not need visas to visit Malaysia as a tourist for up to three months. Other nationalities should check with their Malaysian embassy or consulate.
      Issues on your trip
      While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.
      We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager.
      You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. But we do ask you to be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is complete.
      What to take
      What you need to bring will vary according to the trip style you have chosen, the countries you are visiting and when you are travelling. Generally speaking you should pack as lightly as possible. On the vast majority of our trips you are expected to carry your own luggage and although you won't be required to walk long distances with your luggage (max 30 minutes).
      Most travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. Smaller bags or backpacks with wheels are convenient although we recommend your bag has carry straps. You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water and a camera etc for day trips.
      You can find Intrepid's Ultimate Packing List on our website. It should be used as a guide only and isn't intended to be a complete packing list.
      WATER BOTTLE:
      Consider bringing your own water bottle to refill along the way. The sale of bottled water contributes to an enormous environmental problem around the world. In addition to the water in bottles, the production of a 1 litre plastic bottle takes 2 litres of water and 200ml of oil. A large proportion ends up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments. Although it can be difficult to avoid bottled water when travelling, please consider water purification techniques such as iodine or micropur and use the water dispensers which are provided at some of our accommodation. When unable to avoid bottled water it is better to buy the largest available and distribute into your smaller bottle for the day.
      Health
      All Intrepid travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, Intrepid reserves the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund.
      You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations and anti-malarial requirements before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements (including a spare pair of glasses) as they may not easily be obtained at the locations on this trip. For legal reasons our leaders and guides are prohibited from administering any type of drugs including headache tablets and antibiotics. Please ensure that you are adequately prepared.
      Safety
      Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trip.
      We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, air tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.
      Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your group leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your Intrepid itinerary, and Intrepid makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your group leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns.
      For more details on the type of conditions and safety standards you can expect on your trip, please refer to Intrepid's operational safety policy on our website. We recommend that you take a moment to read through this information before travelling, and would appreciate any feedback on how well it's being implemented in the field:
      FIRE PRECAUTIONS:
      Please be aware that local laws governing tourism facilities in this region differ from those in your home country and not all the accommodation which we use has a fire exit, fire extinguishers or smoke alarms.
      BALCONIES:
      Some hotel balconies don't meet UK standards in terms of the width of the balcony fence being narrower than 10cm.
      TRAFFIC AND DRIVING ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROAD:
      Depending on where you come from please note that drivers in this part of the world may drive on the opposite side of the road from what you are used to. Look both ways before crossing any road. Traffic can be a little more chaotic than you might be used to at home. Be aware!
      SEAT BELTS:
      Please be aware that local laws governing transportation safety may differ from those in your home country and not all the transport which we use is able to provide seat belts.
      PETTY THEFT AND PERSONAL SAFETY:
      While travelling there is always the risk of pick-pocketing and petty theft, particularly in the more touristy cities. We recommend that you exercise caution when walking alone at night and encourage you to walk together and only on main, well-lit thoroughfares. Be particularly vigilant on public transport. Simple measures like carrying your day pack on your front, not hanging your bag over the back of your chair and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing.
      SWIMMING POOLS:
      You may stay at hotels with unfenced pools and no life guard on duty.
      LIFE JACKETS:
      While life jackets are generally available on water craft, there may be occasions where they are not provided and child size life jackets are not always readily available. If travelling with children and this safety issue concerns you we will be able to advise alternative methods of transport (where available) for you to travel to the next destination. You can choose to travel independently for this leg of the journey. This would be at your own expense.
      WATER SAFETY:
      Please take care when taking part in any activities in the ocean, river or open water, where waves and currents can be unpredictable. It's expected that anyone taking part in water activities is able to swim and have experience in open water. All swimmers should seek local advice before entering the water.
      Travel insurance
      Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.
      When travelling on a group trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24 hour emergency contact number has been seen by your leader.
      If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country.
      Please go to our website for links to various travel insurance providers:
      Responsible Travel
      We believe strongly in low impact or rather positive impact tourism. Broadly speaking this means that we try to minimise the negative aspects of tourism on the local cultures and environments that we visit and highlight the positive aspects. Please visit our website for further details and suggestions on how you can be a responsible traveller:
      LOCAL DRESS:
      Dress standards are conservative throughout Asia, especially outside major cities. To respect this and for your own comfort, we strongly recommend modest clothing. This means clothing that covers your shoulders and knees by wearing sleeves and long trousers. Loose, lightweight, long clothing is both respectful and cool in areas of predominantly hot climate. In many rural areas women will need to wear modest clothing even to swim. Singlets, tank tops and topless sun bathing are all unacceptable. When visiting religious sites men often need to wear long trousers and women a long skirt or sarong.
      A couple of rules
      Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land, but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for Intrepid travellers. Intrepid's philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter and in particular, the local people who make our destinations such special places. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our group leader has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.
      The Intrepid Foundation
      Since Intrepid Travel commenced operating in 1989 we've been committed to giving something back to the communities we visit. One way has been through our support for local humanitarian, development and conservation projects. Many of our travellers want to contribute something too. Whilst it is often tempting to give hand-outs to those less fortunate, this has the potential to promote a culture of begging and dependency. Handouts are not a sustainable way for individuals or communities to live. That’s why we established The Intrepid Foundation – to make it easier for travellers wishing to give back to communities in an effective and meaningful way.
      The Intrepid Foundation is a not-for-profit fund offering a selection of excellent grassroots organisations which you can contribute to. All donations to The Intrepid Foundation will be matched by Intrepid Travel dollar for dollar (up to AU$5,000 per donor and a total of AU$400,000 for all donors in each financial year). And every cent gets there as Intrepid Travel pays for all the administration costs. Donating is simple and secure. Please ask your group leader for information on the projects we support through The Intrepid Foundation or go to our website:
      Carbon offset
      Carbon Offset C02-e 360.00 kgs per pax.
      Feedback
      After your travels, we want to hear from you! We rely on your feedback. We read it carefully. Feedback helps us understand what we are doing well and what we could be doing better. It allows us to make improvements for future travellers.
      Remember that once you’ve left your feedback you’ll automatically be entered into our monthly draw for a US$500 (or equivalent in your local currency) travel voucher.
      Further Information
      A book is a great way to get inspired about a destination… and makes long waits at airports more bearable! These books should get you in the mood for a trip to Malaysia: