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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, with Buddhists, Christians and Hindus constituting 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 a paradise-like resort near 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 the historic city of 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.  This tour is packed with many curated meals included, ecological excursions, and diverse cultural experiences.


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With a $500 Deposit

The first day of the tour is Friday, February 23. In order to arrive by this date, travelers from North American gateways will most likely need to begin their journey on Wednesday, February 21, accounting for the crossing of the international date line. Travelers from other origin points should book travel to arrive by the early afternoon on Friday, February 23.


Bayan has been offering faculty-led tours to world heritage destinations since 2017, with previous tours to Southern Spain, Malaysia & Singapore, Uzbekistan, Jerusalem & Jordan, Turkey, Egypt, Bosnia-Herzegovina, with exciting new destinations being planned for the coming years.



Tours offered by Bayan cater to the varied 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 needed. The itinerary for each excursion 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 around 30 participants.

faculty guide

Dr. Nadia Khan 

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Dr. Khan recently received her doctorate in Islamic Studies from the University of Chicago Divinity School. She 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. Dr. Khan's 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 based on double-occupancy, airfare is not included. 




  • Airport transfers on February 23 and March 3 only

  • 9 nights hotel (5*)

  • Ground transportation by private A/C coach

  • All entrance fees for sites

  • 9 breakfasts, 6 lunches and 3 dinners including Jeff's Cellar

  • Daily commentary/discussions with faculty guide(s)

  • English speaking local guide(s)



  • ​​International airfare to Malaysia (budget about $1,200 round-trip per person from US gateways) and applicable baggage fees

  • Tourist visa if required (US and EU citizens do not need a visa)

  • Airport transfers when arriving and departing outside of dates/times specified

  • Meals not specified in the package

  • Tips and gratuities for drivers, guides

  • Hotel incidental charges, hotel porters and other individualized services

  • Personal items

  • Urgent care, medical treatment and testing, related expenses

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

  • Travel insurance (recommended)

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With a $500 Deposit

tour highlights


  • Georgetown historic core (UNESCO site)

  • Penang Hill funicular train ride

  • The Habitat/Canopy Walk

  • Penang Butterfly Farm (Entopia)

  • Botanical Gardens

  • Fishing village

  • Chinese and Burmese Temples

  • Kapitan Keling Mosque (jumah prayers)

  • Batu Feringghi resort area



  • Bukit Merah Orang Utan Island (sanctuary)



  • Banjaran Hot Springs retreat

  • Fine dining experience in Jeff's Cellar

  • Shaik Adam Mosque/Little India

  • Buddhist/Taoist cave temple



  • 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

  • Trishaw ride (tricycle rickshaw)

Kuala Lumpur

  • Monuments / King’s Palace

  • Islamic Arts Museum

  • Masjid Negara - National Mosque

  • Masjid India (jumah prayers)

  • Petronas Twin Towers - Skybridge

  • Royal Selangor Pewter Factory

  • Batu Caves

  • Firefly boat cruise (wetland reserve)

  • Batik factory, shopping centers and night markets

With a $500 Deposit

international travel arrangements

Arriving to Malaysia (Penang)


Numerous airlines provide service to Malaysia, with Singapore Airlines being a preferred carrier. Participants should book “multi-city” flights that are scheduled to arrive in Penang (PEN) on Friday, Feb. 23. The tour program officially begins at 5:00pm on that day with a group orientation meeting in the hotel, followed by group dinner at the hotel. For travelers from the US, this would mean departing from your city of origin on Wednesday, Feb. 21. You can plan your travel to add extra days in transit before reaching Penang, such as a layover in Singapore or elsewhere.


IMPORTANT: If you choose to arrive earlier than Feb. 23, you must make your own hotel reservations at the same hotel as the group or at any other lodging of your choice. Bayan cannot add extra nights to your room reservation for the tour.


Departing from Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur)


The Tour concludes on Sunday, March 3 in Kuala Lumpur, with check-out by noon. Depending on your departure time on that day, you can be transferred to the airport at a designated time, or continue sightseeing, and/or extend your stay in Malaysia. Your outgoing flight from KUL or SZB airports can be to any destination of your choice. Plan your flights, local transportation and additional hotel accommodations accordingly if you plan to stay longer in Malaysia.


Booking Your Flights


Once you’ve paid your deposit to Bayan Tours, you should book your flights as soon as possible to try and obtain well-priced airfare with suitable flight timings and layovers. Bayan does not handle flight bookings. You can use your own travel agent, check airline websites, or use other booking sites to select the flight legs that are best for you. We recommend that you choose routes with layovers of not less than 90 minutes.



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 Pavilion Hotel - 5* (3 nights)

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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. Deposits are partially refundable through February 15, 2024, however, a cancellation charge of $ 100 per traveler will apply for any cancellation requested 24 hours after time of booking. For other important terms and conditions, please click here. After payment of your deposit, you will receive an invoice for the remaining balance for your party, reflecting any applicable discounts. The balance payment is due no later than April 15, 2024.
  • 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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