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EXPLORE malaysia

With a $500 Deposit


FEBRuary 21  -  MARCH 3, 2024

9 Nights 10 Days

Malaysia is a thriving and well-developed multicultural Southeast Asian country, comprised of 32 million people of ethnic Malay, Chinese, Indian and indigenous backgrounds. Two-thirds of the population is Muslim, and Buddhists, Christians and Hindus constitute significant communities. Our program begins in Penang, a lush, botanic island known for its UNESCO world heritage site of Georgetown and seaside resorts. From Penang, we will make our way to Bukit Merah Orang Utan Island, an orangutan sanctuary.  After visiting this eco-tourism destination, you will be transported to the paradise of Ipoh, you will be treated to a fine dining experience in the depths of the 260-million year old limestone cave cellar.  Our journey continues to the modern governmental city of Putrajaya and Malacca, famous as a port through which medieval trade and commerce flourished.  We will spend a few days in the capital Kuala Lumpur, a cosmopolitan metropolis that boasts the iconic Petronas Towers, night markets, museums and other sites of interest. All along the way, we will enjoy food inspired by the country’s many cultures, and learn about the unique customs and hospitality found in Malaysia.


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With a $500 Deposit


Bayan has been offering faculty-led tours to world heritage destinations since 2017, with previous tours to Southern Spain, Malaysia & Singapore, Uzbekistan and Bosnia-Herzegovina. 



Tours offered by Bayan cater to the diverse interests and needs of families, while offering an exceptional educational and cultural program. Each tour is led by one or more faculty members who provide daily background lectures and insights about the historical and contemporary contexts. Local guides are utilized as well at various points in time. The itinerary is crafted by experienced personnel to maximize your enjoyment and satisfaction. While the scheduled program is robust, ample time is provided to explore on your own, shop for local handicrafts and souvenirs, and enjoy some leisure activities. Bayan’s tour group size is generally kept to 20-30 participants.

faculty guide

Dr. Nadia Kahn 

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Dr. Nadia Kahn recently received her doctorate in Islamic Studies from the University of Chicago Divinity School. Nadia loves to learn about the transmission of tradition. Her dissertation focused on debates amongst American Muslim parents, religious scholars, and parenting experts about child-rearing. Her research explored infant feeding and childhood disciplinary practices amongst American Muslims. She is currently running a weekend school called KL Kuttāb in Kuala Lumpur, where she resides with her family.



All pricing is double-occupancy. 




  • Airport transfers

  • 9 nights hotel (4* and 5*)

  • Ground transportation by private luxury coach

  • Daily breakfast, 6 lunches and 3 dinners including Jeff's Cellar

  • Services of English speaking guides

  • All entrance fees for sites



  • ​​Airfare

  • Airport transfers when arriving and departing at times not indicated in the itinerary

  • Other meals not included in the itinerary

  • Porterage (luggage assistance)

  • Personal items

  • Incidental charges (telephone bill, mini bar, room service, laundry, etc.)

  • Tips and gratuities for drivers, guides

  • Travel insurance

  • Covid-19 testing costs (if required at any time)


With a $500 Deposit

tour highlights


  • Penang Hill funicular train ride

  • Fishing village

  • Batu Feringghi resort area

  • Chinese Kwan Yin Temple

  • Kapitan Keling Mosque (jumah prayers)

  • Georgetown historic core (UNESCO site)


Bukit Merah

  • Bukit Merah Orang Utan Island



  • Banjaran Hot Springs

  • Buddhist/Taoist cave temple

  • Fine dining experience in Jeff’s Cellar



  • Governmental complex

  • Putra Bridge

  • Putra Mosque



  • Malacca town including Jonker Street (UNESCO site)

  • Kampong Morten village

  • St. Paul’s Church / St. Peter’s Church

  • Cheng Hoon Teng Temple 

  • Dutch Administration office

Kuala Lumpur

  • Monuments / King’s Palace

  • National Museum and City Gallery

  • Masjid Negara - National Mosque (jumah prayers)

  • Petronas Twin Towers

  • Royal Selangor Pewter Factory

  • Batu Caves

  • Shopping centers and night markets



Our tour group will stay at the following hotels:


  • Shangri-la Rasa Sayang Penang - 5*  (3 nights)

  • The Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat - 5* (2 nights)

  • The Majestic Malacca -  5* (1 night)

  • Kuala Lumpur Pavillion Hotel - 4* (3 nights)

With a $500 Deposit

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  • Who is leading the tour?
    Bayan’s vice president and professor Munir Shaikh will be the faculty escort for the tour. He holds an M.A. in Islamic Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles, with a specialization in the history of Islamic Iberia (Al-Andalus), and certificates from academic programs in Morocco, Egypt and Spain. He has lived for periods of time in Spain (and Morocco), and is conversant in Spanish. He has taught academic courses on Islamic Spain, Middle Eastern history, Islam, and world history, and led world heritage tours in various countries, including seven previous excursions in Southern Spain.
  • What is the expected group size?
    Bayan’s tours are focused on providing a well-rounded experience featuring scholarly knowledge, cultural exposure, recreational activities, and free time. Most tour groups are multi-generational and diverse in nature. In addition to historical and contemporary sites of interest, the itinerary includes visits to mosques and other places of worship to accommodate the religious needs of group members. Our group size tends to be in the range of 30-40 participants from North America and beyond. Participants are able to get to know one another and develop bonds of friendship and camaraderie that can last a lifetime. By participating in a tour, you are helping sustain and advance Bayan’s mission as a non-profit educational institution.
  • When is the registration deadline?
    We are accepting registrations for the tour until March 31, in order to reserve seats on a train, book sufficient hotel rooms, procure entrance tickets to monuments, and ensure other details. You must pay a refundable deposit of $500 per traveler. The deposit is refundable until April 30 (after which it may be applied to a future Bayan tour but not refunded). After payment of the deposit, you will receive an invoice for the remaining balance for your party, reflecting any applicable discounts. The balance payment is due by April 30.
  • Is a visa required for U.S. citizens to enter Spain?
    Bayan’s tours are open to participants who wish to join from anywhere in the world. However, the majority of participants tend to be from the United States. US passport holders do not need to obtain a visa to enter Spain for tourism. This is true for nationals of many other countries as well. However, non-US passport holders are encouraged to check requirements for their nationality and obtain a visa if required.
  • How physically demanding is the tour?
    Our group will be transported from city to city in a luxury air-conditioned tourist bus. However, in each city, since we will be in the historical centers where buses can't go, we will use the metro or other local public transportation, and occasional taxis, to get around. Even so, there will be a significant amount of walking on most days, on slight inclines and steps. The streets at times will have cobblestones. The walking distances involved at any given time can range from 1/4 to 1/2 mile between rest points. The guides will take into account the differing abilities and health conditions of group members and regulate the pace and intensity of the tour accordingly. Nonetheless, participants should expect to walk roughly 12,000 steps each day (about 6 miles in aggregate) during the first few days of the program, and perhaps 8,000 steps per day during the latter portion of the itinerary. This tour may not be suitable for those with knee, hip or foot pain that could be aggravated by the amount of walking involved. Ideally, all participants should prepare for the tour by walking at least 5,000 steps per day in the weeks leading up to the tour.
  • What type of food will we have on the tour?
    Spain’s food is a mix of Mediterranean and local traditions. Some dishes, such as paella, reveal their roots in Arab/Muslim cuisines. While the types of vegetarian options have grown in recent years in Spain, most local meat dishes feature pork (we will be sure to avoid any foods prepared with pork or alcohol). During the tour, we will dine at restaurants that serve zabiha halal foods, or at places that offer seafood and vegetarian options. You can expect meals to include Middle Eastern, Turkish and Moroccan dishes at restaurants run by local Muslims, and Italian and other types of dishes more generally. You’ll have the option of sampling various suitable tapas (small dishes) that are routinely consumed in neighborhood establishments..
  • Will you provide more information about the daily schedule and other details?
    Yes, all participants who have completed their full payment will receive a detailed information packet that includes descriptions of the cities and sites to be visited, the daily schedule, currency exchange, local prayer times, electrical adapters, weather, what to pack, and more.
  • What precautions are you taking with regard to COVID-19?
    We encourage participants to be fully vaccinated with at least one booster shot for all who are eligible to receive these shots. Travelers may visit Spain for tourism, but must provide either a certificate proving full vaccination, a negative test (PCR or rapid antigen), or a certificate of recovery. Travelers can enter using the EU Digital Covid Certificate or its equivalents. We do not expect to mandate masking during the tour, but we encourage masking whenever possible and according to each individual’s comfort level. For example, when shopping in crowded areas, it would be best to wear a mask. General sanitary practices should be maintained at all times, such as washing hands with soap, using sanitizing gels and wipes, and maintaining a reasonable distance between individuals.
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