Best of Singapore & Malaysia Trip Notes
Get ready to embark on an exhilarating 8-day expedition that will sweep you across two vibrant nations – Singapore and Malaysia. This extraordinary journey will transport you through the heart of these diverse countries, unveiling a tapestry of experiences that range from cosmopolitan glamour to cultural immersion. Begin your adventure in the dazzling city-state of Singapore, where gleaming skyscrapers and futuristic marvels await. From there, we’ll set forth on a path that leads to the historic town of Malacca, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Kuala Lumpur beckons, with its iconic Petronas Twin Towers and a dynamic blend of cultures. Your journey then ascends to the cool, misty heights of the Cameron Highlands, where emerald tea plantations and lush landscapes greet you. Join us in the Best of Singapore & Malaysia tour as we traverse this captivating route, weaving together the diverse colors, flavors, and experiences of Singapore and Malaysia.
Duration : 8 Days
Destination : Singapore / Malaysia
Start/Ends in : Singapore / Penang
Group Size : 12-42 People
Age Req. : 18+
Trip Theme : Classic, Overland
Hotels : 5 & 4 Star
Departs : All Year Round
Why you will love this tour
- * Experience a harmonious blend of modernity and tradition as you explore the futuristic cityscapes of Singapore and delve into the rich cultural heritage of Malaysia’s historic towns.
- * Traverse the winding streets of UNESCO-listed Malacca, where centuries of history come to life in vibrant architecture, eclectic street art, and tantalizing street food.
- * Marvel at the iconic Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur, a city that seamlessly merges tradition with innovation, offering a captivating mix of old-world charm and contemporary allure.
- * Retreat to the serene Cameron Highlands, where rolling tea plantations, cool misty air, and lush landscapes provide a refreshing escape from the urban bustle.
- * Savor the culinary wonders of Penang, a food lover’s paradise known for its diverse street food, cultural diversity, and historical richness.
- * Throughout this 8-day journey, relish the convenience of expertly curated experiences, seamless transfers, and the company of like-minded travelers, ensuring that every moment is filled with discovery and delight.
The group welcome meeting with your guide and other travelers is held around 18:30 at the hotel lobby on Day 1 of your tour unless otherwise notified.
The meeting point for the tour is :
Concorde Hotel – Singapore
Address : 100 Orchard Rd, Singapore 238840
Phone : +65 6733 8855
Emergency Number: +44 203 14 99 200
The Webley – Penang
Address : 183, Jalan Magazine, George Town, 10300 George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
Phone : +60 4-259 8000
Emergency Number: +44 203 14 99 200
Singapore: Singapore is a bustling metropolis known for its stunning skyline, diverse culinary scene, and efficient public transportation system.
Melaka: Malacca, a historic Malaysian city, boasts a rich cultural heritage and charming colonial architecture that draws visitors from around the world.
Kuala Lumpur: With its iconic Petronas Twin Towers, cultural diversity, and bustling street markets, Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia, stands out as a vibrant and cosmopolitan city.
Cameron Highlights: Nestled in the lush hills of Malaysia, the Cameron Highlands is a serene retreat famous for its picturesque tea plantations, cool climate, and scenic hiking trails.
Penang: Penang, an island state in Malaysia, is celebrated for its blend of historical architecture, delectable street food, and vibrant cultural festivals.
Please note that the itinerary may be subject to small changes depending on the conditions during the tour. Alternative accommodation of similar standards may be used depending on the group size and hotel availability.
Inclusions & Exclusions
The tour price covers the following services:
Accomodation : 5 and 4 star hotels & Lodges.
Airport Transfer : Airport transfers for the included domestic flights on the tour
Meals : 7 Breakfasts
Transportation : A/C Vehicles
Guide : Services of experienced Travel Talk local guides licenced by the Ministry of Tourism
Singapore Botanic Gardens
Baba Nyonya Museum
Sultan Abdul Samad Building
Lata Iskandar Waterfall
Kek Lok Si Temple
Thai Temple of the Reclining Buddha
What is NOT included in the tour price?
- Any flights not mentioned above
- Travel insurance
- Meals not stated above
- Items of a personal nature
- Tips & gestures
- Entrance fees to the sights and museums
- Optional activities
- Other services not stated in the itinerary
Hotels & Accommodation
Solo travelers will be roomed with another solo traveler of the same gender in a twin or triple room or can upgrade to a solo room by paying the single supplement. You may choose the solo room option when booking online or contact us to arrange a private room. Your tour leader will allocate rooms upon arrival at the starting hotel in accordance with the rooming lists, last minute changes may not be guaranteed.
Concorde Hotel – SINGAPORE – 5 STAR
An elegant Singapore hotel with a perfect location. Hotel facilities include an outsood swimming pool, a fitness center and an on-site restaurant. Tea/ coffee maker is available in all rooms.
HATTEN PLACE – MELAKA – 5 STAR
A stylish & luxury hotel located in the heart of Malacca. An outdoor swimming pool, a SPA & wellness center, fitness center and an on-site restaurant & bar are some of the offered services.
Royale Chulan – KUALA LUMPUR – 5 STAR
The elegant & centrally located 5-star hotel offers its guests a pleasant stay with an outdoor swimming pool, SPA & wellness centre, fitness centre and rooms equipped with tea/ coffee maker.
STRAWBERRY PARK – CAMERON HIGHLIGHTS – 4 STAR
A charming hotel in Cameron Highlands, surrounded by the mountain ranges. Modern design rooms are equipped with safe box, flat screen TV, minibar and tea/ coffee maker.
THE WEBLEY – PENANG – 4 STAR
The stylish George Town hotel provides many facilities including an outdoor swimming pool, fitness centre, two on-site restaurants offering varieties from different cuisines and a bar.
Please note that entrance fees to sights and optional activities are not included in the tour price.
Half Day City Tour in Singapore
Visit to Gardens by the Bay
Kampong Glam and Little India Discovery
Sentosa Island Tour with Cable Car & S.E.A Aquarium
Essential Information: Singapore & Malaysia & Borneo
Passport & Visas
Visas to enter Singapore are compulsory for most tourists. Travelers holding passports from certain countries, including but not limited to those listed below, must secure an entry visa prior to their arrival in Singapore. For the entire list, please visit the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority website.
- People’s Republic of Korea
- People’s Republic of China
It’s important to understand that obtaining an entry visa doesn’t guarantee automatic entry into Singapore. Upon your arrival, clearance through immigration is mandatory, and only Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) officers possess the authority to grant immigration passes for entry. This rule applies to both visa-required and visa-exempt passport holders.
If you’re not arriving from the countries mentioned earlier, there’s no need to go through the visa application process for Singapore. Nevertheless, all travelers, regardless of their visa requirements, are obliged to obtain a Singapore Arrival Card, which can conveniently be acquired online. For comprehensive details on Singapore Arrival Card prerequisites and the application process, please visit the provided link.
Passport validity entry requirements: To enter Singapore, travelers typically require a valid passport with at least six months of validity remaining beyond their intended departure date.
The travellers are also required to keep their passport copies with them while entering Singapore.
Most travelers don’t need a visa to go to Malaysia for trips that last less than three months, as long as they’re going for tourism or business reasons. This rule applies to citizens from countries like Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, and South Africa.
But, if you’re going to the island of Borneo, keep in mind that the eastern states of Sabah and Sarawak might have extra rules for entry or visas because they have their own immigration controls. It’s a good idea to check your government’s advice for the latest info on traveling in eastern Malaysia before you go. Also, when you arrive in Sabah or Sarawak, even if it’s on a domestic flight from mainland Malaysia, you’ll need your passport.
To find out which countries need visas or not to travel to Malaysia, you can visit the official Malaysian government website for the complete list.
This information is provided as a guidance, we strongly advise that you check with the consulate or embassy as this information can change at any time and with little notice. It is your responsibility to make sure that all the required travel documents are ready when travelling.
We are closely monitoring the latest travel updates to Singapore, Malaysia, and Borneo and following the advice of the UK Foreign Office (FCDO). For the latest travel advice from the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, please visit https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/vietnam, https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/malaysia.
We recommend all travellers to check their Government National Travel Advisory prior to their departure:
Australia – https://www.smartraveller.gov.au/
Canada – https://travel.gc.ca/
New Zealand – https://www.safetravel.govt.nz/
All passengers travelling with Travel Talk are required to have personal travel insurance before participating in any of our tours. Your guide will collect your travel insurance details on the first day of your trip. It is your responsibility to make sure you have an adequate and suitable travel insurance for you in place, you may read more at https://www.traveltalktours.com/travel-insurance
Health & Safety
The health and safety of our passengers, staff and communities visited is of utmost priority. As we monitor and comply with the official advice from the UK Foreign Office, as well as World Health Organization and government authorities regularly, we have implemented several policies and precautions on our tours for your wellbeing. You may find our Safe Travels Protocols at https://www.traveltalktours.com/safe-travels
Travel Talk Adventures has received the Safe Travels stamp by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), which allows travellers to recognise companies around the world that have adopted health and hygiene global standardised protocols – so consumers canexperience ‘Safe Travels’.
Please make sure to regularly check your Government’s travel advice before travelling and be well-informed of any requirements. Your tour guide will also notify you of the regulations and protocols to follow throughout your trip with us.
Please note that if any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary or possess a potential risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, we reserve the right to remove them from all or part of a trip.
Please consult with your doctor for the latest medical travel information and any vaccinations you may need. We recommend that you bring any personal medical requirements and medications with you as these may be difficult to obtain while on tour.
Singapore has a tropical rainforest climate characterized by high humidity, consistent temperatures, and rainfall throughout the year. The weather in Singapore doesn’t experience distinct seasons but rather consists of two main monsoon seasons: the Northeast Monsoon (from November to March) and the Southwest Monsoon (from June to September).
The best time to visit Singapore largely depends on your preferences for weather and outdoor activities. Dry Season (December to February and June to August): These are the driest months with lower rainfall and more sunshine. The temperatures are slightly cooler during this time, making it a comfortable period for outdoor exploration. However, keep in mind that Singapore is quite humid year-round.
Overall, the months of February, March, and July tend to offer a good balance of pleasant weather and fewer crowds. However, Singapore’s climate is relatively stable year-round, so it’s a suitable destination to visit at any time, depending on your preferences and what you plan to do during your stay.
Malaysia‘s weather is typically characterized by a tropical climate with high humidity and temperatures throughout the year. However, there are some regional variations in weather patterns due to the country’s geographical diversity. Malaysia experiences two main monsoon seasons, which can affect the best time to visit different parts of the country.
In the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia, including destinations like Kota Bharu, Terengganu, and the Perhentian Islands, the wet season prevails from November to February due to the northeast monsoon. Conversely, the ideal time to explore this region is during the dry season, which spans from March to October. This period offers sunny weather, making it perfect for engaging in beach activities and water sports. Meanwhile, in Borneo, renowned for its lush rainforests, diverse wildlife, and Mt. Kinabalu, the climate remains consistently tropical with rainfall year-round. However, the prime time to visit Borneo is during the drier months, extending from April to September, allowing for more enjoyable trekking and outdoor adventures. It’s worth noting that Borneo can still experience occasional rain showers throughout the year, so it’s wise to be prepared for such conditions.
The official currency of Singapore is the Singapore Dollar, abbreviated as SGD or represented by the symbol “$” or “S$.” Currency exchange in Singapore is widely available, and you can exchange your foreign currency at banks, money changers, and even at the airport. Rates may vary slightly among different providers, so it’s a good idea to compare rates. Singapore has a well-developed network of ATMs, and you can easily withdraw Singapore Dollars using your debit or credit card. Credit cards are widely accepted in Singapore, and you can use them for most transactions, including shopping, dining, and hotel payments. While it’s convenient to have some cash on hand for small purchases or in case you visit places that do not accept cards, Singapore is generally a safe place, and it’s common for residents and tourists to rely on electronic payments.
The official currency of Malaysia is the Malaysian Ringgit, abbreviated as MYR or represented by the symbol “RM.” Currency exchange services are widely available throughout Malaysia, including at banks, money changers, and airports. When exchanging currency or using ATMs, be aware of any fees or commissions that may apply, both from the currency exchange service provider and your own bank or card issuer. Malaysia has a well-established network of ATMs, and you can easily withdraw Malaysian Ringgit using your debit or credit card. Credit cards are widely accepted in Malaysia, and you can use them for most transactions, including shopping, dining, and hotel payments. While it’s advisable to have some Malaysian Ringgit in cash for small purchases or in case you visit places that do not accept cards, it’s generally safe to rely on electronic payments in Malaysia.
Please remember that everyone has different spending habits, some prefer to spend more on souvenirs, some on experiences and others on a night out! Make sure to budget your trip to your spending habits for shopping, drinking, and tipping.
Tipping practices in Malaysia, Borneo, and Singapore vary, but they share some common customs. In Malaysia, a 10% service charge is often included in restaurant bills, and additional tipping is appreciated but not mandatory. Similar practices apply in Borneo. In Singapore, tipping is less common, with service charges included in many restaurant bills, and additional tips are generally not expected for services like taxis or public transportation. However, it’s customary to leave small tips for hotel staff. Overall, while tipping is appreciated for good service, it’s not obligatory, and the amount you choose to tip can vary based on your discretion and satisfaction with the service.
Eating & Drinking
Singaporean cuisine is a delightful blend of various culinary influences, reflecting the country’s multicultural population. The cuisine is known for its diversity, and you can find a wide range of flavors, from sweet and spicy to savory and aromatic. Here are five of the most traditional and iconic dishes in Singaporean cuisine:
Hainanese Chicken Rice (Hainan Ji Fan): Hainanese Chicken Rice is often considered Singapore’s national dish. It consists of poached chicken served with fragrant rice cooked in chicken broth and accompanied by chili sauce and ginger paste. The dish is simple yet incredibly flavorful.
Laksa: Singaporean laksa is a spicy noodle soup that comes in two main varieties: curry laksa and asam laksa. Curry laksa features a coconut milk-based curry broth, while asam laksa has a sour tamarind-based broth. Both versions are rich and packed with noodles, seafood, and herbs.
Satay: Satay is a popular street food in Singapore. It consists of skewered and grilled meat (usually chicken, beef, or mutton) served with a delicious peanut sauce, rice cakes, and a small serving of cucumber-onion salad. The combination of tender, marinated meat and the savory-sweet peanut sauce is a must-try.
Chilli Crab: Chilli Crab is a spicy and savory seafood dish that’s synonymous with Singaporean cuisine. Mud crabs are stir-fried in a flavorful tomato and chili-based sauce, creating a tangy, spicy, and slightly sweet dish. It’s typically enjoyed with mantou (steamed buns) to soak up the delicious sauce.
Malaysian cuisine is a delightful fusion of flavors and influences from Malay, Chinese, Indian, Thai, Javanese, and Sumatran culinary traditions. This diversity results in a rich and complex cuisine with a wide range of flavors and dishes. Here are five of the most traditional and iconic dishes in Malaysian cuisine:
Nasi Lemak: Nasi Lemak is often considered Malaysia’s national dish. It features fragrant coconut rice served with a variety of accompaniments, including sambal (spicy chili paste), fried crispy anchovies, roasted peanuts, boiled or fried egg, cucumber slices, and a choice of rendang (spicy meat stew), fried chicken, or other proteins. It’s typically served on a banana leaf and is a beloved breakfast option.
Roti Canai: Roti Canai is a popular Malaysian breakfast dish of Indian origin. It consists of thin, flaky, and crispy flatbreads served with dhal (lentil curry) or other curries. It’s often enjoyed with a side of pickles or sambal.
Char Kway Teow: Similar to the Singaporean version, Malaysian Char Kway Teow is a stir-fried noodle dish made with flat rice noodles, prawns, Chinese sausage, eggs, bean sprouts, and a savory soy sauce. It’s cooked in a hot wok to achieve a smoky flavor.
Hainanese Chicken Rice: Hainanese Chicken Rice, though with Chinese origins, is widely enjoyed in Malaysia. It features poached chicken served with fragrant rice cooked in chicken broth, accompanied by chili sauce and ginger paste. It’s a beloved dish at hawker centers and restaurants.
Essentials to Bring & Internet
-Face mask/cover and hand sanitiser enough for your personal use throughout the trip – See more at https://www.traveltalktours.com/safe-travels/
-Travel Documents: Passport, Visa (if required), flight or transport ticket (and photocopies)
-Travel Talk Tour Voucher (printed or digital)Travel Insurance Policy (and photocopy)
-Personal medical kit and medicine
-Money (cash, credit card, travellers’ cheques)
-Reusable water bottle
-Ear plugs and eye mask
-Sun protection – hat, sunglasses, sunscreen
-Comfortable, closed walking shoes
-Wind/water proof jacket
-Warm clothes, hat, and gloves for cold weather
-Sandals, swimwear, shorts for warm weather
Internet access in Singapore is characterized by its speed, reliability, and extensive coverage. The country boasts a highly developed telecommunications infrastructure, including a robust fiber optic network and advanced 4G/5G mobile networks. High-speed broadband with speeds ranging from 100 Mbps to 1 Gbps or higher is widely available for both residential and commercial use. Public Wi-Fi networks are prevalent in public places, and mobile internet connectivity is strong. Several internet service providers offer a variety of plans, and internet cafes cater to gamers and those without stable home connections. While there are regulations to ensure responsible internet usage and some content filtering, Singapore’s internet landscape is generally open and accessible.
Internet access in Malaysia is relatively good, especially in urban areas of Peninsular Malaysia. The country has a reasonably developed internet infrastructure with a range of broadband options available. However, the quality and speed of internet can vary, with urban centers enjoying faster and more reliable connections compared to rural areas. Mobile internet is widely accessible, and 4G coverage is generally available across the country. In Borneo (Sabah and Sarawak), internet access can be less consistent, especially in remote and rural regions, where infrastructure development may lag behind. In cities and major towns, you can expect better internet connectivity, but it may still not be as fast or reliable as in some parts of Peninsular Malaysia.
Culture, Religion, and Traditions
Singapore’s culture is a vibrant tapestry woven from a rich blend of ethnic, religious, and linguistic diversity. The country’s multicultural identity is celebrated through its festivals, traditions, and daily life. Four main ethnic groups—Malays, Chinese, Indians, and Eurasians—coexist harmoniously, contributing to a diverse culinary scene, languages spoken, and cultural practices. Singaporeans often observe various cultural and religious festivals, such as Chinese New Year, Deepavali, Hari Raya Puasa, and Christmas, and these celebrations are marked by colorful parades, traditional rituals, and communal feasting. The culture places a strong emphasis on respect for one another’s traditions and the value of social harmony, and it’s reflected in the country’s inclusive and multicultural society.
Religion plays a significant role in Singapore’s cultural landscape, with freedom of religion being a fundamental principle. The country is home to various religious communities, including Buddhism, Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, and Taoism, among others. Each of these religions has its own vibrant temples, mosques, churches, and places of worship that are often open to the public, allowing Singaporeans and visitors to explore the country’s religious diversity.
Malaysia’s culture is a vibrant tapestry woven from the diverse threads of its multi-ethnic and multi-religious society. The country’s cultural mosaic is primarily influenced by three main ethnic groups: Malays, Chinese, and Indians, each contributing their own customs, traditions, and languages. This rich tapestry is further enriched by the presence of indigenous tribes in East Malaysia (Borneo). Religion plays a crucial role in Malaysian culture, with Islam being the predominant faith, followed by Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity, and indigenous belief systems. These diverse religious communities coexist harmoniously, and religious festivals, such as Eid al-Fitr, Diwali, Chinese New Year, and Christmas, are celebrated with great enthusiasm and are often national holidays. Malaysian culture is characterized by its traditional arts, music, dance, and culinary delights, making it a melting pot of flavors and traditions. The country’s commitment to preserving its cultural heritage is evident in the various cultural festivals, museums, and heritage sites that showcase the richness of its cultural diversity.
Etiquette and How to Dress
In both Singapore and Malaysia, etiquette and dressing appropriately are important aspects of local culture and are generally expected to be respected by both locals and visitors. When it comes to clothing, it’s advisable to dress modestly, particularly when visiting religious sites and in more conservative areas. In Singapore, where diverse cultures coexist, there is a greater degree of flexibility in dress, but revealing clothing should be avoided out of respect for local customs. In Malaysia, dressing modestly is particularly important, especially in rural and religious areas, where covering shoulders and knees is recommended. It’s a good practice to carry a sarong or shawl that can be used as a cover-up when needed. In both countries, when entering someone’s home or a place of worship, it’s customary to remove your shoes. When dining, it’s polite to wait for the host to start the meal before eating, and using your right hand for giving and receiving items or gestures is considered more respectful. Being mindful of local customs and showing respect for the cultural norms of these countries will generally be appreciated by the locals.
We have many solo travellers joining our tours. Solo travellers will be roomed with another traveller of the same gender. If you would like a private solo room, please contact us. You may see out solo travels page for more details.
Rules to Follow
We are committed to ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone. We do not tolerate any form of violence (physical or verbal), bullying or harassment involving customers, partners, Travel Talk staff or locals. Sexual relationships between a tour leader and a passenger are forbidden.
We will not tolerate any illegal activity, including but not limited to: use and possession of illegal drugs, trespassing, and disrupting public order. If you consume alcohol, please ensure that you drink responsibly and follow the local laws and regulations.
You must follow the advice of your tour leader and local officials regarding health and safety measures. We operate all tours under Safe Travels protocols for the wellbeing of our passengers, staff and communities visited. Please ensure that you have read the https://www.traveltalktours.com/safe-travels/ and are fully prepared for your trip.
If someone is acting inappropriately regarding these matters, please notify your tour leader immediately or contact us on the emergency contact number provided below.
Your tour leader has the right to remove from the group anyone not abiding by these rules, with no right of compensation or refund. See more at https://www.traveltalktours.com/booking-terms/
Please remember that our travellers come from different parts of the world and will have various needs and preferences. Be understanding and patient with your fellow travellers, and always strive to be on time.
We believe that travel is a force for good and show our support through various initiatives and charity organizations, as well as keeping the principals of responsible and sustainable travel at the core of our ethos. These values are engrained in our business culture and the design of our trips just the same. Together with you, we strive to make a positive impact on local people and economies, respecting the local culture, environment, social fabric and customs; encouraging respectful and meaningful cross-cultural exchange. Read more at https://www.traveltalktours.com/responsible-travel/