An overview of the best day tours in Malaysia:
Day Trip Kuala Lumpur to Batu Caves and Temple
In order to make the most of your time in Kuala Lumpur, you may need to head to the outskirts of the city. Just 20 minutes from the heart of Kuala Lumpur, you’ll come across the Batu Caves, an unusual destination with religious importance, wildlife and stunning views. This short, three-hour tour is a whirlwind experience of Malaysian culture and tradition, making it the perfect introduction or conclusion to your Kuala Lumpur vacation.
To start the tour, a professional guide and driver will pick you up right from your hotel in Kuala Lumpur. To begin the trip out with plenty of flavor, the tour winds through Brickfields, also known as Little India. Out your window, you’ll see things like ornate six-tiered Chinese Thean Hou Temple and the 19th century Buddhist Maha Vihara, a structure with undeniable colonial influences. All of this architecture is nestled among bright homes, bustling shops and vendors selling everything from Indian to Chinese cuisine.
After passing through Little India, the 30-minute journey by car will arrive at the Batu Caves. These limestone caves were only discovered in 1878 by William Hornaday, but ever since they have served as a Hindu shrines and temples. To get to the cave temples, you’ll first have to trek up an enormous staircase featuring 272 steps. It’s a workout, but the views are remarkable. Plus, there are some macaque monkeys that live in the area that frolic on the steps, aiming to get your attention along the way. Tour Cathedral Cave, the largest in this incredible complex, and then head back to the bus for a few more brief stops. All on the way back to Kuala Lumpur, you’ll see batik art being made and even pewter smithing, both of which are a fantastic introduction into local handicrafts and culture.
Day Trip from Kuala Lumpur to Melaka
While many of Kuala Lumpur’s visitors come for the contemporary architecture and ample shopping opportunities, the city is also a fantastic home base to explore other nearby destinations. Melaka City, for example, is just two hours away by car. A day trip to Melaka (also spelled Malacca) is a chance to dive into the region’s multicultural history and explore some incredible architecture and culture.
This eight-hour tour begins in Kuala Lumpur, where you’ll board an air conditioned bus and depart from KL to Melaka. Along the way, look out your window for stunning views of the Malay Peninsula. Upon arrival in Melaka City, the very first stop will be the Stadthuys, which was constructed in the 17th century and is one of the oldest Dutch buildings in Asia. The Stadthuys is also a central landmark in the Red Square. Next, head to St. Paul’s Hill, where you can find the incredible St. Paul’s Church, which was built in the 16th century by the Portuguese and now stands as one of the oldest religious structures in Malaysia. St. Paul’s Hill is also an amazing spot to take photographs, as it looks out onto Melaka City below with panoramic views.
Enjoy some relaxation midday with a traditional Malaysian lunch at a local eatery. Then, make your way to Chinatown. Malacca is a melting pot of cultures, and that is very evident as you stroll through the Chinese shops and eateries of Jonker Street. Head to A Famosa, the gate that remains at the entrance to the Dutch and Portuguese forts, and then round out the tour with a visit to the Chinese temple of Cheng Hoon Teng. Use the return bus journey to Kuala Lumpur to reflect on the day, compare souvenirs with other tour participants and learn more about the local history from your tour guide.