This incredible adventure, designed specifically for Nerang State High School is an amazing opportunity for students to immerse themselves in the intriguing, rich and wonderful cultures of Malaysia and Thailand. We begin the journey with a visit to the limestone Batu Caves, discovering some famous sights and learning about the spiritual side of Kuala Lumpur, before meeting our friends at the University Putra Malaysia. We then set off out into the countryside to view an archaeological excavation site in Lenggong Valley, via historical Ipoh and then discovering the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Georgetown. Before we leave Malaysia, we learn some skills whilst enjoying a tasty cooking class and witness a beautiful sunset from Monkey Beach.
On arrival in Thailand, we are transported directly to the stunning seaside resort town of Hua Hin, with time for more night markets and spending a full day at the Thai Elephant Refuge Centre, learning about these big, beautiful beasts and ways to help conserve them for future generations. Following this, we jump on bikes as we cycle around the ancient ruins of Ayutthaya Historical Park, rewarding ourselves with a sunset cruise. Our adventure culminates with two days in bustling Bangkok, racing around the city seeing some amazing temples, monuments and palaces, wrapping up an incredible two weeks of intriguing culture, diverse landscapes, life long friends made and worthwhile educational lessons learnt. This is a school excursion not to miss!
These adventure tours will often involve long journeys and rough roads. To enjoy these adventures we suggest reasonable fitness and health, a moderately active lifestyle and have a positive attitude.
Suggested preparation: Two or three times a week, we recommend you walk on undulating terrain for an hour or more, for at least 3 months prior to departure.
After all the preparation, planning and waiting, your adventure is finally here! Your flight today is with Singapore Airlines and departs from Brisbane International airport at 09:10, so please arrive with plenty of time beforehand. You will fly via Singapore and you will land in Kuala Lumpur at 17:45 today. On arrival at Kuala Lumpur airport, you will be met by your World Youth Adventures representative and transferred directly to your hotel in central Kuala Lumpur. A Welcome Meeting will take place shortly after you settle into your rooms followed by dinner at the hotel. Get a good nights rest, as you have your first full day of discovery tomorrow!
We start the day by visiting the most famous site in Kuala Lumpur, the Petronas Twin Towers. Soaring to a height of 451.9 metres, the 88-storey twin structure is Kuala Lumpur's crown jewel. Majestic by day and dazzling at night, the Petronas Twin Towers is inspired by Tun Mahathir Mohamad's vision for Malaysia to be a global player. We then visit the National Monument, a sculpture that commemorates those who died in Malaysia's struggle for freedom, principally against the Japanese occupation during World War II and the Malayan Emergency, which lasted from 1948 until 1960. You will also see the King’s Palace, Old Railway Station, Independence Square and Thean Hou Temple.
We then take a 30 min drive out of the city to see the limestone hill that has a series of caves and cave temples that make up what is known as Batu Caves. We have time to explore these fascinating Hindu shrines and learn about the history of the area. We return to Kuala Lumpur in the late afternoon and begin our walking tour of Jalan Alor Food Street. Jalan Alor is a unique street food destination, hustling and bustling with activity and is a food haven, serving up some of the best culinary delights that Malaysia has to offer!
Today you will spend the day at the Universiti Putra Malaysia. Activities will be arranged by Nerang State High School.
In the evening, you will transfer to Menara Kuala Lumpur Tower for a memorable dinner! The modern revolving restaurant situated 282m above ground level is the highest restaurant in Southeast Asia and offers an unmatched view of Kuala Lumpur. The lift takes only 54 seconds going up to the observation deck and takes 52 seconds to come down. Enjoy an unlimited lavish buffet that is complemented by a variety of delicious dishes.
Today you have a full day visiting the National Museum, Islamic Arts Museum and The National Mosque. The National Museum houses four main galleries allotted to ethnology and natural history. The displays range from free-standing tableaux showing cultural events like weddings, festivals and costumes; to traditional weapons, musical instruments, arts and crafts, ceramics, and flora and fauna. Onto the Islamic Arts Museum, housing more than ten thousand artefacts, as well as an exceptional library of Islamic art books. The art objects on display range from the tiniest pieces of jewellery to one of the world’s largest scale models of the Masjid al-Haram in Mecca. The aim is to create a collection that is truly representative of the Islamic world. We finish off today's learning with a visit to the National Mosque, situated amongst 13 acres of beautiful gardens. The mosque was built in 1965 and is a bold and modern approach in reinforced concrete, symbolic of the aspirations of a then newly independent Malaysia.
Today we leave the hustle and bustle of Kuala Lumpur behind and head to the state of Perak, bound for Ipoh (approx. 2.5 hours drive). On arrival in Ipoh, you will embark on a tour to Tambun Rock Paintings. The caves bear 2,000 year old paintings dating back to the Neolithic era depicting the life of early inhabitants of the peninsula. For such a significant historical site, it has been ashamedly left obscure and relatively hard to locate. To get to the cave, you will need a good pair of walking shoes and have to climb a flight of relatively steep concrete steps. Afterwards, we enjoy an Ipoh Highlight Tour which includes the Ipoh Railway Station, Perak Cave Temple, St Michael Old Building, Panglima Street and Little India Street.
We leave Ipoh behind and continue our journey to Lenggong Valley, where we will visit the Lenggong Archaeological Museum. Nerang State High School will arrange the Field Work at the Universiti archaeological excavation site in Lenggong Valley. Tonight, a local family will host the group as you experience authentic Malaysian hospitality at your overnight homestay.
Today we transfer to Penang and to Universiti Sains Malaysia. Activities will be arranged by Nerang State High School. You will spend a day on campus, including an orientation of the Centre for Global Archaeology Research and workshop. Accommodation tonight will be in the Universiti dorm rooms, arranged by Nerang State High School.
We start the day with a short transfer to your hotel in Georgetown, check into your rooms to store your bags and then set out on your day of discovery! We begin with a Georgetown Heritage Tour which highlights the streets of this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Your tour also takes in the Fort Cornwalls, Penang Museum, Peranakan Mansion, Mural Streets and Oldest Protetant Cemetery. We then transfer to Penang National Park, which is the smallest national park in the world, and attracts scientists, researchers and nature lovers to explore its myriad of natural treasures. Previously known as Pantai Achech Forest Reserve, it was gazetted as a National Park in April 2003. The park is unique as it contains several different types of habitat including a meromictic lake; forests of hill/lowland dipterocarp, mangrove sea with coral reefs and turtle nesting beaches. We end the day with a trip Monkey Beach and return to Georgetown for dinner at a local restaurant.
We have an amazing day today. We start with a Wet Market Tour, where you will be introduced to some of the freshest produce found in Penang. Colourful fresh fruit, vegetables and meats are all on display and the markets are abuzz with activity. We then continue you onto the highlight of our day, our cooking class with Pearly Kee - homecook teacher, coach, cooking ninja, kitchen goddess and food specialist! You will learn the secrets of authentic Nyonya, Malay, Southern Indian, Nasi Kandar, street food and more and this is a class that requires no previous cooking skills to be able to be enjoyed! You will taste all of your creations and walk away with some new recipes to try back home!
We say farewell to Malaysia today as we embark on the second portion of our adventure to Thailand. Your flight departs Penang early today at 08:00, flying with Thai Airways, arriving at Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok at 09:00, where you will meet your new World Youth Adventures Tour Leader, who will be waiting for you. He will then escort you to your private coach and together we head out to the beach city of Hua Hin (approx 3 hours drive).
On the way we will visit Amphawa floating market on the canal near Wat Amphawan Chetiyaram. On Friday, Saturday and Sunday, during 12.00 a.m. – 8.00 p.m, the Amphawa Canal is occupied by vendors who pack their boats with food and drinks, such as fried sea mussel, noodles, coffee and sweets. There are also things for sale on wheelbarrows on the bank. You can enjoy a cosy atmosphere and music broadcast by the community members, explore the market and try the local food - a great introduction to Thailand!
After that we continue to Hua Hin, check in at our hotel and then have free time to relax by the hotel pool or on the beachfront. In the evening you will head out with your guide and visit the night market of Hua Hin where you will find countless outlets selling delicious food that is freshly cooked and served to you within a matter of minutes. Other than the food, you'll discover an overwhelming variety of local handicrafts, souvenirs and clothing on sale. The night market can get very hot and busy at weekends, so take your time here and enjoy dinner together in a local restaurant around the market.
Overnight at: Hotel ibis Hua Hin, Standard Room
Today you will be picked up in the morning around 9am to spend a full day at the Elephant Refuge Centre of Hua Hin. World Youth Adventures parent company World Expeditions, adheres to a strict comprehensive Animal Welfare Code of Conduct that was developed in conjunction with World Animal Protection. To download the code of conduct visit the World Expeditions website and locate it under Responsible Travel / Animal Welfare. The Elephant Refuge Centre has been approved by World Animal Protection as a legitimate refuge centre for elephants. Elephant tourism experiences can be found throughout Asia and it can be difficult for travellers to resist the temptation to ride these beautiful and incredibly intelligent creatures. In recent years there has been much research into the impact of tourism activities on elephants’ well-being. From the brutal taming of baby elephants called 'the crush' to ongoing confinement and the mere fact that the elephants spine is not meant to carry heavy weights there are many instances where incorrect management results in a negative impact for the elephants. Because of this, World Expeditions and World Youth Adventures discourage travellers from riding on the back of elephants and we do not include elephant rides in our itineraries throughout our global program. You will explore the center with an expert guide, walking with an elephant to a nearby forest and giving her a refreshing shower afterwards. Learn about the conservation issues that elephants face, and how they are exploited as tourist attractions, forced to carry people and perform tricks. We see none of this at this elephant refuge, where elephant’s natural behavior is valued. You will also have the opportunity to observe the feeding of 450+ wild animals, whether its bears, gibbons, macaques, otters, langurs or rescued elephants. This tour is designed to help educate and create awareness amongst animal loving tourists, about the plight of animal welfare and exploitation in South East Asia. More infomation can be found here:
At the end of this day you will be transferred back to your hotel for some free time, before dinner, served at your hotel.
Overnight at: Hotel ibis Hua Hin, Standard Room
Early this morning after breakfast, we check out and head towards the Historic city of Ayutthaya (approx. 4 hours drive). After lunch in a local restaurant you will meet your local guide who will help you choose your bike for the easy and enjoyable ride around the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Ayutthaya Historical Park.
During the tour we make regular stops for sightseeing and photo opportunities, as we discover the ruins of these ancient temples. After almost 3 hours of leisurely cycling, you will return to the meeting point and transfer to your hotel where you can rest, relax and freshen up before the evening. Tonight, we board a dinner cruise around Ayutthaya and take in the romantic atmosphere of the old capital. Preserved in its beauty are precious treasures, artistic and cultural heritage for later generations to admire and you will have ample opportunities to discover some of these magnificent sites along the river.
During your cruise, a carefully selected, delicious set menu of traditional Thai cuisine will be served. The art of Thai cuisine is balancing the delicate flavours that make up our four different tastes: sour, salty, sweet and of course, spicy hot!
Overnight at: Krungsri River hotel, Luxury Room
After breakfast, we travel towards the final destination of our adventure, Bangkok (approx. 1.5 hours drive). On arrival, we check in quickly before our full day of sightseeing including Wat Saket, Wat Suthat and the Democracy Monument.
After lunch in a local restaurant, we will be visiting Jim Thompson House, named after the American who revived the Thai Silk industry after World War II. This house, a perfect example of authentic Thai residential architecture and Southeast Asian art, consisting of a complex of six traditional Thai-style houses, teak structures that were purchased from several owners and brought to the present location from various parts of Thailand.
Overnight at Hotel De’ Moc, Standard Room
Another day in Bangkok, we begin by visiting the oldest, largest and most famous temple in Bangkok – Wat Pho. As we arrive early we will be able to see the morning rituals of the monks. From here we head towards the Grand Palace Complex which also contains the Temple of the Emerald Buddha (Wat Phra Keow). This Buddha statue has been carved out from one piece of jade and is one of the most revered and holiest of all the other statues. The Grand Palace - built in traditional Thai architecture mixed with European designs - was once the official home of the Kings of Siam. After lunch in a local restaurant, we board a long tail boat to explore the Klongs, Bangkok’s maze of canals and waterways. You will observe parts of Thai traditional life, which have disappeared from most of Bangkok. Back on the Chao Phraya, we end the day with a visit to Wat Arun, the Temple of Dawn and watch the roofs of the city glittering in the afternoon sunlight. In the evening our driver will come pick us up from the hotel to enjoy a traditional dance performance and special farewell seafood dinner at Silom village, where we will celebrate our incredible adventure from the last two weeks!
Overnight at Hotel De’ Moc, Standard Room
Private transfer to Bangkok airport for your flight back home. Your flight today is with Singapore Airlines, departing Bangkok at 15:30. You will arrive back at Brisbane Airport at 0705 on the 30th of September. All services finish on arrival in Brisbane.
Per Person, Twin Share