Selamat datang I’m
Wayne Lau, and I’d like to welcome you to beautiful Malaysia
My name is Wayne Lau, and I’m a tour guide from Penang. What I love most about my home country is that it’s a true melting pot of cultures with Chinese, Malay, Indian and European influences. Divided by 500 kilometres of sea, Malaysia is split into two very distinct territories – Peninsular Malaysia and Malaysian Borneo. Whilst the former offers frenetic cities, street art, tea plantations and some of the world’s best street food, the latter is home to ancient rainforests, endangered wildlife, rugged mountains and some of the world’s best scuba diving. But like magnets, these two different worlds combined make Malaysia a truly unique and compelling destination!
Malaysia & Borneo
Climate & Weather Averages in Malaysia & Borneo
Malaysia’s weather is consistently hot and humid with little temperature variation throughout the year. Most of the country hovers between 20 and 30 degrees Celsius, though the highlands tend towards cooler temperatures. The northeast experiences a rainy season between November and March, while it rains in the southwest between May and September.Pacific Ocean Sulawesi Raja Ampat Islands Flores Komodo Park
Things to Know
Malaysia & Borneo Population
Capital City Time Zone
UTC +8, MYT, Malaysia Time
Malay – officially, Bahasa Malaysia – is the national language, and Malay and English are lingua francas in Malaysia. Because the country is so culturally diverse, a range of secondary languages are also spoken, like Chinese and Tamil. Many locals also speak a kind of creole called “Manglish”, a quirky blend of all of the above.
The Malaysian ringgit (RM) is the official currency. Money can be changed at moneychangers in most urban areas and tourist centres, but many of these only take crisp bills in good condition. All ATM can read chips from Visa, Mastercard and sometimes American Express in main cities but be sure to have ringgit on hand for more rural adventures.
UK, Schengen Area, North America, Australia and New Zealand citizens can enter and stay in Malaysia for up to 90 days without applying for a visa. Most other countries can enter and travel visa-free up to 14 or 30 days. Others must apply for an e-visa under certain requirements.
Experiencing local traditions
2023-24 Falling on April
Hari Raya is the celebration of the end of Puasa - the fasting month for Muslims. Prior to the celebration day, we can find many night markets selling local dishes.
Chinese New Year - February
Lion dances, fireworks, and plenty of red lanterns along the streets. This is the best time to get some blessings from family and the Gods.
“One of my favourite things to do on the island of Penang is watch the sunset in Batu Ferringhi, where the world looks like nothing but fire and water. From the beach, the sunset over the horizon, and the sky blends into the ocean as one unified pink and orange canvas that shifts and changes until day breaks. If I’m feeling motivated, I’ll come to the beach or the mountain trails for a pre-dawn jog, and the spectacular sunset is my reward.”
Responsible Travel Initiatives
Carbon Impact Correction
We partnered with Path Net Zero in early 2023 in order to provide our partners with an international, certified carbon emissions calculator. We can now measure the carbon emissions of the Discova tours you book for your travellers, and find alternative, lower-impact solutions.
...are an easy and sustainable way to give back to local communities. In Malaysia, we work with social enterprises that empower local artisans and create opportunities for disadvantaged members of the community.
From homestays to cooking demonstrations and village walks, we work closely with community-based tourism projects, designed to support sustainable development of the communities whilst allowing travellers to experience the local life in Malaysia.
The ChildSafe Movement trains individuals and organisations and provides them with the tools to protect children and youth. Your travellers can rest assured that they follow child safeguarding standards when they travel with Discova, and that all of our global staff are ChildSafe trained, from our tour guides right to our top management teams.
What to Eat
Local flavours and delights
This Malaysian staple is a flaky flatbread, chewy on the inside and crispy on the outside, served 24 hours a day. Order it stuffed with egg, onion, banana, or plain, served with dahl curry and sometimes other dipping sauces.
Nasi lemak is Malaysia’s national dish of rice cooked with coconut milk and pandan leaf, served with anchovies, peanuts, cucumber and often sambal and a boiled egg. Different vendors may serve nasi lemak with fish, chicken, or beef as well.
This creamy dessert is perfect for the summertime, an iced bowl of coconut milk, palm sugar syrup and green rice jelly. Already deliciously refreshing in its standard form, add more toppings like fruit and sweet beans to elevate the mix.
Banana Leaf Rice “Try banana leaf rice for a true food experiencethis is my favourite thing to order at Malaysian restaurants. The waiter comes first with a large banana leaf as a “plate”, then serves up a big mound of rice in the centre. Next comes dollops of three or four kinds of vegetables or curries - though there are some typical sides, you get whatever the restaurant has made that day. I really like the “you get what you get” surprise. Eat it with your hands like the locals do, it tastes better! “
Malaysia & Borneo Destination Guide
Explore Our Regions
Kota Kinabalu •
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Malaysia & Borneo Destination Guide
Malaysia’s capital is a true melting pot of cultures. Twenty-four-hour Indian ‘mamaks’ serve up hot roti next to Malay mosques, western expats overindulge in trendy bars, and shoppers hop between bustling Chinese markets and malls set amidst gleaming skyscrapers. The arts are thriving, museums are abundant, and the old world is carefully balanced against the new. Each facet of Kuala Lumpur’s kaleidoscopic society is connected to the next by an excellent public transportation system.
Bandar Sri Damansara Segambut
Taman Tasik Titiwangsa
Malaysia National Museum
Thean Hou Temple
Sunway Lagoon Theme Park
Seri KembanganPetrona Twin Towers NegaraUkayZooPerdana Private Half-Day Kuala Lumpur City Tour KL’s Urban Charm Food - Private Tour Dining Experience with Refugees - Private Tour
The Chow Kit-an Ormond Hotel
The Chow Kit redefines luxury for modern travellers, emphasising comfort, purpose, and balance. The hotel believes that true luxury lies in a life lived without frivolity, focusing on what truly matters. Located in the bustling heart of old Kuala Lumpur, Chow Kit serves as a sanctuary for travellers, providing an opportunity for both relaxation and inspiration.
Awards & Accolades:
Featured in MICHELIN Guide’s 2023 : ‘Best Hotels in Malaysia’
World Travel Awards 2023: ‘Malaysia’s Best Boutique Hotel’
AHEAD Awards 2021, SLEEPER Magazine: ‘Hotel Restoration & Renovation’ & ‘Visual Identity’ National Geographic : ‘The World’s Best Value Hotel’.KUALA LUMPUR
Malaysia & Borneo Destination Guide
1. Private Half-Day Kuala Lumpur City Tour
An experience of Kuala Lumpur’s enchantment while exploring iconic landmarks and immersing in rich heritage. Travellers visit the captivating Masjid Jamek mosque, discover Sultan Abdul Samad Clock Tower, Independence Square, and Central Market. They can capture stunning photos at KLCC Park, then savour a delightful vegetarian lunch at a charming Chinese Temple canteen. From here they cross a picturesque bridge, then marvel at KL’s breathtaking skyscrapers, including the Petronas Twin Towers.
2. KL’s Urban Charm Food - Private Tour
A tantalising culinary journey through KL’s vibrant streets. Visitors explore Lot 10 Hutong Food Court and indulge in an iconic Malaysian dessert, cendol. Along the way they will discover the cultural significance of Sri Maha Temple, Chinatown, and savour Indian-influenced roti canai and Malaysian cuisine essentials like juicy beef meatballs, nostalgic snacks, and claypot chicken rice. They then unwind at a hidden café, enjoying hand-crafted teas.The Discova Difference: This tour provides direct income contribution to local hawkers and restaurant owners. The Discova Difference: A low-carbon trip, utilising the electric subway and their own two feet to explore KL’s attractions.
3. Dining Experience with Refugees - Private Tour
Embarking on a unique tour, travellers support the economic integration of refugees in Malaysia. Visiting their houses, they will meet a talented refugee chef who will share their stories while preparing delicious dishes. This tour offers insights into the refugees’ resilience and inspiring journey of survival, highlighting the power of local gastronomy as a means of creating hope and new opportunities in their newfound home.
Chinatown, Kuala LumpurThe Discova Difference: Travellers uncover untold stories of courage and war while savouring delectable international cuisine prepared by refugees, and contribute to their daily needs.
Recommended Hotels in Kuala Lumpur
Pullman Kuala Lumpur City Centre - Hotel & Residences
Pullman Kuala Lumpur City Centre Hotel & Residences offers 450 modern rooms and suites with contemporary amenities, along with 157 residences for comfort and convenience. Five restaurants and bars cater to various tastes, while the 10th-floor rooftop oasis features serene garden spaces, a swimming pool, Fit Lounge, The Zone (kids room), Living Space (residence guest area), Poolside Bar & Grill, and Vibes Spa.
Four Seasons Hotel Kuala Lumpur
Immersed in the multicultural vibrancy of Malaysia’s dynamic capital, Four Seasons Hotel Kuala Lumpur shines as the epitome of sophistication. Combining extraordinary dining experiences, sleek and spacious accommodations, and the legendary Four Seasons service, the hotel stands as the nexus of success and style in the city.
Known as the “Pearl of the Orient”, Penang has linked Asia, Europe and the Middle East for centuries. Famous for its incredible food and gorgeous beaches, Penang is also home to a great deal of art and history, reflected in its colonial mansions, Chinese clan houses, Hindu temples, and extraordinary murals painted on alleys throughout trendy Georgetown. The northwest of the island is an uninhabited expanse of mountainous jungle, perfect for hiking.
Langkawi is a 99-islands archipelago, a rugged beauty frequented by beach bums and nature lovers alike. Come here to relax on powdery sand beaches, swim in calm turquoise water and sip on the cheapest alcohol in the country – the whole island is duty-free. The touristy shorelines are well developed enough to be comfortable, but the interior has retained its traditional homes and lifestyle. Mountains, forest parks, hot springs and waterfalls lie to the north.Malaysia & Borneo Destination Guide Langkawi Sky Bridge Hutan Lipur Air Terjun Temurun Pulau Langgun Pulau Timun Kuah LANGKAWI Pulau Dayang Bunting Pulau Singa Besar Strait of Malacca Strait of Malacca Strait of Malacca Langkawi Waterfall Exploration and Rice Field Lunch 1
Berjaya Langkawi Resort
Berjaya Langkawi Resort offers 412 rooms and suites, situated in Burau Bay on Langkawi Island, Kedah. Guests can enjoy the Malaysian-styled chalets and suites, set amongst 70 acres of lush rainforest, estimated to be over 500 million years old. LANGKAWI
1. Langkawi Waterfall Exploration and Rice Field Lunch
An unforgettable waterfall discovery adventure to Seven Wells Waterfall, nestled beneath majestic Mat Cincang Mountain. Visitors climb to a lookout point for panoramic views, experience waterfall sliding or relax in natural pools, and explore a second natural wonder, a magnificent 100-metre waterfall. They conclude the stunning discoveries with lime water and a delightful Malay-style 3-course lunch, surrounded by picturesque rice paddy fields.
The Discova Difference: Discover Langkawi’s hidden treasures on our exclusive tour, where you’ll have the privilege of visiting two enchanting waterfalls and savoring an exquisite countryside view dinner. It creates an unparalleled and privileged experience for discerning travelers.
2. Penang Joss Stick Making Class - Private Tour
Invite your clients to discover the art of joss stick making in a centuryold handmade joss stick shop. This insightful class teaches the traditional process of creating joss sticks using natural ingredients. Afterwards, travellers visit a nearby temple to offer the freshly made joss sticks and flowers from a roadside stall, creating a truly immersive experience in the spiritual ambiance of the Mercy Temple.
3. Georgetown Street Art Trail - Private Tour
A street art exploration in Penang, Southeast Asia’s unofficial street art capital. Visitors marvel at diverse and creative artworks adorning the city’s walls, from vibrant iconic murals to charming sculptures as they stroll through the city, taking in the finest street art examples. Afterwords, they can unwind at a traditional Chinese coffee shop, indulging in mouthwatering local delicacies like char koay teow, lor bak, and Penang laksa, and end with coffee and dessert, savouring Penang’s unique flavours.
4. Penang Streetfood Delight - Private Tour
Penang is renowned for its exceptional cuisine and vibrant cultural fusion. Travellers will get to explore Georgetown aboard a beca trishaw for a leisurely glimpse of historical landmarks like Kapitan Keling Mosque and Kuan Yin Teng Temple. The tour includes a satisfying meal at Red Garden Food Paradise on Penang Upper Road. This convenient spot offers a wide array of local delights alongside international dishes, for an unforgettable culinary journey.The Discova Difference: Follow a local guide to explore the artistic phenomena of street art in the historical area.
Our recommended hotels in Penang & Langkawi
Eastern & Oriental Hotel
The Eastern & Oriental Hotel, or “E&O” as generations of travellers call it, offers a timeless style and unique charm. For over 138 years, the hotel has welcomed visitors from around the globe, and its recently reopened Heritage Wing furthers its legacy as a premier destination for classic hospitality.
Campbell House Penang
Located in UNESCO Georgetown, Campbell House is a Heritage Boutique Hotel that provides a convenient location for exploring vibrant street food, art, and culture. The 12 ensuite bedrooms create a harmonious blend of East-meets-West ambiance, and guests can unwind on the roof terrace, use the library, or savour chef specials at the Michelin-selected Italian restaurant.
Four Seasons Resort Langkawi
Flanked by a mile-long beach and limestone cliffs, the secluded retreat offers a portal to Langkawi’s natural wonders. Guests can wake up with a morning swim in their private plunge pool, then head out to explore the mysterious mangrove forests, winding rivers, and ancient sea stacks that make up the landscape. Nestled within the Langkawi UNESCO Global Geopark, the resplendent grounds are home to several tropical bird species, including hornbills.LANGKAWI PENANG Kilim, Langkawi
Sabah, known as “The Land below the Wind,” is an exquisitely captivating state in Malaysia that offers a plethora of awe-inspiring experiences, ranging from conquering the majestic heights of Borneo’s tallest mountain to witnessing the heartwarming spectacle of baby turtles being released back into the vast embrace of the ocean.Malaysia & Borneo Destination Guide
Borneo Natural Sukau Bilit Resort
Borneo Natural Sukau Bilit Resort offers cosy and spacious accommodation that respects the natural environment. Guests can enjoy forest views and the soothing sounds of the Kinabatangan River from their balconies.SANDAKAN, SABAH
1. Tip of Borneo Cooking Class Experience
A captivating journey from Kota Kinabalu to the scenic ‘Tip of Borneo’. Travellers will enjoy a cooking class, stroll through a garden, savour a delicious lunch, explore the scenic area, and indulge in beach activities. The enchanting beauty of this place, with its breathtaking views and serene atmosphere, will offer travellers a perfect getaway to unwind, relax, and create unforgettable memories.
2. Wildlife Paradise: Discovering Rare Species Along the Kinabatangan River
An overnight excursion along the Kinabatangan River, perfect for guests seeking an exotic and naturefilled adventure. Travelling on a daily river cruise, observers can immerse themselves in the captivating beauty of this tropical waterway, keeping a keen eye out for endangered wildlife, including orangutans, proboscis monkeys, rhinoceros birds, and other rare creatures. It’s an extraordinary journey to reconnect with nature and witness the wonders of this remarkable ecosystem.
3. Danum Valley: Unleashing the Wild Wonders of Borneo’s Pristine Rainforest
An exhilarating jungle expedition into the protected rainforest of Borneo. Travellers trek through the lush wilderness in search of orangutans, flying squirrels, sambar deer, and other remarkable wildlife. They can take in the breathtaking views from a canopy walk high above the jungle, and experience the pristine beauty of Borneo’s virgin rainforest in this unforgettable adventure that will leave them in awe.Masjid Bandaraya, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
Recommended Hotels in Sabah
Nestled within one of the world’s last natural tropical rainforests, Sabah Hotel offers unrivalled 4-star deluxe luxuries to discerning travellers. Adventurous guests can explore eco-tours and historical sites in Sandakan, promising an everlasting and unforgettable experience of nature, luxury, and comfort.
Borneo Rainforest Lodge
This award-winning lodge is set amidst 43,800 hectares of protected rainforest in the Danum Valley Conservation Area. With over 200 species of plants per hectare, it teems with 320 species of birds and 124 species of mammals. The lodge features 30 eco-sensitive chalets and a spa. Reviews recommend a 4-day/3-night package to fully immerse in the vast biodiversity of this ancient 130-million-year-old rainforest.
Sukau Rainforest Lodge
Nestled on the banks of the Kinabatangan River, Sukau Rainforest Lodge is an award-winning sanctuary for Borneo’s magnificent wildlife. Guests can immerse themselves in the tranquility of the rainforest and experience the symphony of its inhabitants. The lodge offers rare comfort and luxury amidst the Borneo Rainforest while maintaining a commitment to ecolodging and true sustainability.
Kinabatangan Riverside Lodge
Established in 1994, Kinabatangan Riverside Lodge collaborates with locals, paying monthly land rental fees and employing them to manage the property. To preserve the river and rainforest ambiance, local services are engaged to handle waste disposal in Kinabatangan. This commitment ensures the lodge maintains its unique atmosphere in harmony with the surrounding environment.SABAH SABAH SABAH SABAH
Sarawak, often referred to as the “Land of Hornbill,” is a captivating gem within Malaysia. This vast state, encompassing the largest area in the country, is home to a rich tapestry of diverse minority groups, some of whom trace their ancestral roots back to the legendary headhunter tribes.
Malaysia & Borneo Destination Guide
1. Afternoon Kuching Food Trail on Foot Tour
A culinary street food tour of Kuching to savour a diverse range of local dishes influenced by various cultures. Led by a knowledgeable guide, travellers will cross the Sarawak River by sampan and delight in famous local treats and snacks. A drive to Bintawa will offer the opportunity to taste kueh chap, a flavoursome pork broth. The tour concludes with a gula apong ice cream, a delightful palm sugar dessert.
2. Gunung Gading National Park Full-Day Shared Tour
A day trip to Gunung Gading
National Park, the main conservation area in Sarawak for the rafflesia, the world’s largest flower (it can reach up to one metre in diameter). Travellers explore the park’s picturesque walking trails that wind through pristine rainforest, leading to stunning jungle waterfalls, and enjoy a packed lunch. As the rafflesia does not have a specific flowering season, it’s advisable to check before booking the tour to avoid any disappointment.
3. (3) Days Aiman Batang
Ai - Mengkak - Shared Tour
A discovery of the rich culture and lifestyle of the Iban people during a visit to a longhouse at Batang Ai Hydro Lake. Guests travel from Kuching to the lake by car and boat, with stops at a farmers’ market and a local town for lunch. The immersive two nights at the longhouse feature cultural performances, a farm walk, blowpipe demonstration, and authentic local meals.
4. (3) Days Mulu National Park - Shared Tour
A captivating 3-day shared tour to explore the wonders of Mulu National Park. Guests will be accommodated at the Mulu Marriott Resort & Spa, providing a comfortable base for their adventure. They will have the opportunity to visit notable caves such as Deer Cave, Lang Cave, Wind Cave, and Clearwater Cave, and witness the spectacle of bats taking flight at dusk and gain insights into the culture of the Penan tribe at their settlement, amongst others.
During this insightful 14-day trip, we cover four different destinations that showcase the culture, nature, and history of incredibly diverse Malaysia.
Exploration of the multifaceted city of Kuala Lumpur. The historical and natural treasures of Penang and Langkawi in North Malaysia. Uncovering the harmonious blend of ancient tribes and nature in Sarawak. North Borneo’s diverse flora and fauna on a thrilling adventure.
Day 1 - 3: Kuala Lumpur
Malaysia buzzing capital city is one of the most diverse and underrated places in Asia. It’s a place where East meets West, where the past meets the present, and where the traditional meets the modern. From its stunning architecture and cultural landmarks to its vibrant nightlife and culinary delights, Kuala Lumpur has something to suit every taste and interest during these first three introductory days.
Day 3 - 7: Penang & Langkawi
Travellers head off from the capital to Malaysia’s stunning islands, Penang and Langkawi. Penang is a UNESCO Heritage City that showcases the rich culture and history of Malaysia, whilst Langkawi is a natural paradise that boasts the first UNESCO Geo Park in Malaysia and a pristine rainforest. This is the perfect opportunity to experience the best of both worlds: culture and incredible nature.
Day 8 - 10: Sarawak
Guests discover the secrets and wonders of Sarawak, Malaysia’s largest and most mysterious state. Sarawak is home to diverse local tribes that live in harmony with nature. Kuching, the capital city, is also known as the “cat city” and is the most developed city in Borneo Island. From Kuching, various national parks and wildlife opportunities are easily accessible within a half-day travel distance. Sarawak is a place where adventure and culture await, and it’s just less than three hours flight from Peninsular Malaysia.
Day 11 - 14: Sabah
Sabah, the island under the wind, is only two hours flight from Kuching. Sabah is not affected by the typhoon season and suitable to travel to all year round. It offers the best wildlife opportunities in Asia for leisure travellers or adventure seekers. From the majestic Mount Kinabalu to the endangered orangutans and the colourful coral reefs, Sabah has something for everyone and offers a beautiful conclusion to this 14-day tour.Mount Kinabalu, Sabah
Malaysia & Borneo Destination Guide
The Chow Kit-an Ormond Hotel
Riverside Majestic Hotel - Astana Wing
Borneo Natural Sukau Bilit ResortKUALA LUMPUR PENANG SARAWAK SABAH
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Incentive Travel & Corporate Retreats
Malaysia, with its diverse landscapes, vibrant cities, and warm hospitality, offers a wide array of options for incentive travel and corporate retreats. Whether in Peninsular Malaysia or Borneo, companies and organisations can create memorable experiences that combine business objectives with team building, adventure, and cultural immersion.
The capital city of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, offers excellent facilities for corporate events. The city is home to numerous luxury hotels and conference centres that can cater to largescale gatherings. Participants can enjoy team building activities such as scavenger hunts in the bustling streets of Kuala Lumpur or exploring iconic landmarks like the Petronas Twin Towers.
The capital of Sabah, Kota Kinabalu is a gateway to numerous adventure and nature-based activities. Corporate retreats can include thrilling experiences like mountain climbing on Mount Kinabalu, exploring the pristine marine ecosystems of Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park, or team building challenges in the rainforest.
Mulu National Park
For a truly unforgettable corporate retreat, Mulu National Park offers breathtaking natural wonders. Participants can engage in team bonding activities while exploring the park’s massive caves, including the world-renowned Deer Cave and Clearwater Cave. The park also offers opportunities for jungle trekking and witnessing the mesmerising bat exodus from the caves.
We ensure our innovative range of themed programs and educational tours for adults and students make a positive impact and provide opportunities for inspiration, exploration and learning.
Immersive Dining Experience with Refugees
This social enterprise creates a platform for refugee families to rebuild their lives and provide for their families through the language of the world – food. By joining the program, educational groups will not only learn to cook various delicacies from a friendly chef, but also hear about the life and journey of refugees in search for a new life in Malaysia. An experience that will not only encourage compassion and empathy but also supports the families in an interactive and delicious way.
Malaysia is a melting pot of east and west, where different civilizations have interacted and influenced each other for decades. It offers a variety of cultural activities that reflect the traditions and values of its Malay, Chinese and Indian ethnic groups. Visitors can learn about their musical instruments, diverse languages, cuisines and more in fun and interactive ways.
Wildlife Protection Activities
Home to proboscis monkeys and pygmy elephants – there’s no better place to learn about wildlife protection than Borneo. From visiting the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre to joining a rainforest restoration program in the Kinabatangan River area, we offer multiple opportunities for educational groups to learn first-hand about the challenges and protection efforts of Borneo’s endangered species.
Sea Turtle Conservation Program
From May to September, educational groups can join a four-day volunteer program to help protect sea turtles on Talang-Talang Besar Island. Guided by a team of professionals, participants will gain hands-on experience in turtle conservation work, from data recording and nest analysis to releasing hatchlings.
Susung Waterfall, Sarawak
Level 12-1, Mercu UEM, Jalan Stesen Sentral 5, Kuala Lumpur Sentral, 50470 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Tel: +603-2267 3980 Visit