Day 1: Upon arrival at Kuala Lumpur International Airport, transfer to the hotel in Kuala Lumpur.
Day 2: At 09.00am, depart for a tour of two of the most interesting museums of Kuala Lumpur. Our first stop is at the National Museum of Malaysia, which provides an overview of Malaysian history and culture. Displays and exhibits in the museum focus on local history, culture and traditions, arts and crafts, economic activities, local flora and fauna, weapons and currency. The tour continues to the Islamic Art Museum, one of the most elegant museum of Kuala Lumpur and the largest Islamic museum of South East Asia. The Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia houses more than ten thousand artefacts, as well as an exceptional library of Islamic art books. Our last stop is the Kuala Lumpur City Gallery, which tells the story of Kuala Lumpur’s Past, Present and Future through miniatures. It is located right in Independence Square (Dataran Merdeka). Return to the hotel.
Day 3: At 09.00am, depart for a full day tour focused on the colonial architecture of Kuala Lumpur. The tour will take us along the oldest part of Kuala Lumpur. First, visit Masjid Jamek: built in 1907 in Mogul style by A.B. Hubback, the mosque compound is decorated with gardens with tall coconut palms. From here we will walk to Medan Pasar, the old market square, which was the place of trade, surrounded by banks, textile shops, grocers; it was also a gambling haunt with opium dens. We will continue our walk reaching the river and walking along the newly restored riverbank, known as the ‘River of Life’. We will soon reach the Sultan Abdul Samad Building built in 1897 under the design of the British architect Arthur Charles Norman. The impressive Mogul-style building featuring copper domes and a forty-metre-tall clock tower, was used as High and Supreme Court as well as government offices. Panggung Bandaraya (City Theatre), just next to the High Court, was built in 1896 and designed by the same architect A.B. Hubback. The Magistrate Court dates to 1910 and is along the same row with all the other government buildings on Merdeka Square. On the other side of what was formally the Cricket Field we can see the mock-Tudor-style Colonial Club, The Royal Selangor Club. Nearby stands the small, yet beautiful, Cathedral of St. Mary the Virgin, built in 1894 in English Gothic Style. Walking under the flyover behind the church we will reach Jalan Tangsi where the former offices of the Malaysian Institute of Architecture (PAM) were located since 1973 until few years ago: the building is a fine town house built in 1907 and designed by an Anglo-Indian architect, A.K. Musdeen. Next to the PAM Building we will see an eclectic Art-Deco style building, Wisma Ekran. We will proceed by car around the lake gardens to reach the Majestic hotel for our Colonial-lunch experience. This Neo-classical and art-deco-style hotel was originally built in 1932 under the design of the Dutch architectural firm Keyes and Dowdeswell for the youngest son of the businessman Loke Yew. After lunch we will walk across to the Kuala Lumpur Railway Station completed in 1910 and designed by the A.B. Hubback. This building is with Mughal features, with elegant domes pavilions along its roof line, inspired by the Indian Chhatris. Return to the hotel around 03.00pm.
Day 4: At 09.00am, depart for a tour focused on modern architecture of Kuala Lumpur. We will head, about half hour away, to the nearby lake gardens; driving along Jalan Tun Razak, passing the National Library built in 1972 by Malaysian architect Ikmal Hisham Albakri. We continue towards the Perdana Botanical gardens to witness the freshly completed, innovative solution for the Perdana Canopy roof conceived and designed by Malaysian GDP Architects. Here we will enjoy the shade while walking around the garden. Within a ten-minute drive we will reach Albakri’s National Mosque. Built in 1965 to commemorate Malaysia’s independence, the design is inspired by the mosques of India, Pakistan, Iran, Turkey and Spain. We will now drive to the intricate Dayabumi complex designed by the joint venture of two well established Malaysian architecture firms MAA and BEP. Completed in 1984 this building boosted ‘the Malaysian Style’ in architecture. The Dayabumi’s thirty-five storey building was at the time of completion the most expensive structure ever built in Malaysia. We shall proceed to a local restaurant for lunch and then continue our tour. We will experience the aggressive impact of the one-hundred-and-six-storey tower TRX – Tun Razak Exchange, developed by the controversial 1 Malaysian Development Berhad. Designed by the British firm Leonard Design Architects with the goal of creating a living breathing ‘organic’ financial centre. We continue on Jalan Tun Razak towards the city centre where, in between tall skyscrapers, we will find Hijjas Kasturi’s Tabung Haji Tower. Completed in 1984 this was, at the time, the tallest building in Malaysia and the highest Muslim edifice in the world. The building features a mosque at its base, with tapering dome and a freestanding minaret. Then we will head to Foster & Partners’ Ilham Tower. This building brings together a variety of spaces for living and working in the heart of Kuala Lumpur. It features a public art gallery which supports modern and contemporary Malaysian art within a global context. Finally, we will walk to the eighty-eight-storey Petronas Twin Towers. Designed by Argentinian Cesar Pelli in 1996, the towers were declared the tallest towers in the world of their time.
Day 5: In the morning, transfer to the Penang by car. At 2.00pm, depart for a tour of George Town, listed by UNESCO as a world heritage city with its diversified arts & cultures. Visit to the renowned Peranakan Mansion which displays over 1000 pieces of antiques and collectable items which blend different cultures together, it is like going back to the golden days of Penang. Then hop on a local trishaw for 1 hour and discover the famous murals around Armenian Street. Continue to Khoo Kongsi where ornate rooftops with intricate carving dragon pillars can be found. End your journey at Chew Jetty, one of the seven Clan Jetties, an ancient village on water.
Day 6: Transfer to Penang International Airport in order to take your flight to the next destination.