WW2 Malayan Peninsula and Sarawak

A bubbling, bustling melting pot of races and religions where Malays, Indians, Chinese and many other ethnic groups live together in peace and harmony.

Multiculturalism has not only made Malaysia a gastronomical paradise, it has also made Malaysia home to hundreds of colourful festivals. It's no wonder that we love celebrating and socialising. As a people, Malaysians are very laid back, warm and friendly.

Geographically, Malaysia is as diverse as its culture. Malaysia separated by the South China Sea with its capital (Kuala Lumpur) in Peninsular Malaysia and two states (Sarawak and Sabah)and 1 federal territory (Labuan) in East Malaysia.

One of Malaysia's key attractions is its extreme contrasts. Towering skyscrapers look down upon wooden houses built on stilts, and five-star hotels sit several metres away from ancient reefs. Cool hideaways are found in the highlands that roll down to warm, sandy beaches and rich, humid mangroves.

Our tours are tailor made for Commonwealth servicemen and women or their relatives who served in Malaysia during World War 2, the Emergency (1948-60) or during the period of Confrontation (1962-66). For the perfect holiday, full of surprises, an opportunity to visit the places that you or your relative never had time for, and in rather more comfort.  2013 is the year to do it as Malaysia celebrates its 50th anniversary.

Your guide:      Colonel Christopher Newbould

Cost:                Coming soon


Dates:              15-26 April 2013

                        Singapore option 25-29 April



Day 1: Monday 15 April

Depart London Heathrow for Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on overnight

Accommodation:        None

Meals:                        None


Day 2: Tuesday 16 April

Arrive Kuala Lumpur International Airport 

Transfer to hotel and check in

Optional Visit to Cheras Road Cemetery or free time

At the time of the Japanese invasion of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur was the headquarters of the 3rd Indian Corps. Early in 1941 part of the recently raised 8th Division of the Australian Infantry Force was assigned to Malaya, a territory of strategic importance to Australia. The headquarters divisional staff arrived on February 18th in advance of the main force, which numbered some 6,000 men, and the divisional headquarters and attached units were posted at Kuala Lumpur. As the Japanese moved successfully down the peninsula a temporary prisoner-of-war camp was established at Pudu jail, to which United Kingdom and Commonwealth serviceman were taken before being sent to Changi Camp on Singapore island. Some of them died, of wounds or sickness, while in this camp and were buried in the Cheras Road Cemetery.

There are 148 Commonwealth burials of the 1939-1945 war here. In addition, there are over 600 non world war burials of servicemen and dependants here, 5 being unidentified children of Gurkha soldiers.

Dinner in hotel included

Overnight in hotel

Accommodation:         Holiday Inn, Kuala Lumpur

Meals:                          L, D


Day 3: Wednesday 17 April

Breakfast in hotel

Enjoy a full day tour exploring the best of Kuala Lumpur. Spend your morning discovering bustling Chinatown, Royal Palace, National Museum and the Craft Cultural Complex. After your buffet lunch, view Malaysian suburban homes as well as rural lifestyle before learning about the art of Batik designing. The last stop is the spectacular limestone Batu Caves - a must-see for all visitors to Kuala Lumpur.


  • 8-hour tour of Kuala Lumpur's must see attractions
  • Spectacular Batu Caves
  • Buffet lunch at a local restaurant
  • See historic Malaysian artefacts at the National Museum
  • Stroll through the lake gardens near the National Museum
  • Travel to Gombak to witness the art of batik design

Return to hotel before evening at Leisure. Dinner at own expense

Overnight in hotel

Accommodation:         Holiday Inn, Kuala Lumpur

Meals:                          B, L


Day 4: Thursday 18 April

Breakfast in hotel

Full day tour to historic Malacca

Explore historic Malacca, the oldest trading port in Malaysia. Visit St. Paul's Hill, the famous gateway and the ruins of St.Paul's church. You will have the opportunity to sample a local lunch before heading back to Kuala Lumpur.


  • Explore the oldest trading port in Malaysia on this full-day trip from Kuala Lumpur
  • Walk through the ruins of St. Paul's church
  • Panoramic views of Malacca from St. Paul's Hill
  • Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant
  • Stroll through Antique Row

Return to hotel before evening at Leisure. Dinner at own expense

Overnight in hotel

Accommodation:         Holiday Inn, Kuala Lumpur

Meals:                          B, L


Day 5: Friday 19 April

Breakfast in hotel and then check out of hotel

Early Departure from Kuala Lumpur to Tanah Rata. Travel via historic Slim River, where bitter fighting took place against the Japanese in January 1942. We begin the ascent at Tapah through mountain roads. See highland scenery, waterfalls, streams and giant tree ferns along the way.

Lunch at own expense

PM - Arrive at Cameron HIghlands and check in to hotel

Cameron Highlands, 1892 metres above sea level, situated in the state of Pahang, was first discovered in 1885 by the British during their colonial rule of the then Federated States of Malaysia. It was a weekend retreat for them to escape the heat in the lowlands. Today it is where the unhurried pace of life and holiday ideas unfold into a myriad of exciting discoveries, jungle trekking, tranquil lakes, gurgling streams, captivating waterfalls, tea plantations, vegetable and fruit gardens, flower nurseries, handicraft centres and traditions that will charm you and turn your trip into a soothing holiday.

Visit a tea plantation in the early evening

Overnight in Cameron Highlands

Accommodation:         Bala’s Holiday Chalet or similar

Meals:                          B, D


Day 6: Saturday 20 April

Breakfast in hotel and then check out of hotel

AM – Tour the Agro market and visit vegetable farms, orchards, and the Sam Poh Temple.

Lunch at own expense

PM – Return to Kuala Lumpur and check in to hotel

Dinner in hotel included

Overnight in hotel

Accommodation:         Holiday Inn, Kuala Lumpur

Meals:                          B, D


Day 7: Sunday 21 April

Breakfast in hotel and then check out of hotel

Transfer to Kuala Lumpur International Airport to take flight to Kuching International Airport

Lunch at own expense

Kuching is the capital of the East Malaysia State of Sarawak. Kuching is the most populous city in the state of Sarawak and the fourth largest city in Malaysia Nestled on the banks of the Sarawak River, the capital, Kuching, retains the old-world charm of its romantic past. The river is the focal point of the town and features a graceful, European-style esplanade - The Kuching Waterfront - with views across to the Astana (The Palace) and Fort Margherita.  The narrow, bustling streets near the river are crammed with ornate temples, markets, historic buildings and traditional Chinese shop houses selling local handicrafts. Kuching also lays claim to nine museums, many within walking distance of each other. No other city in Malaysia displays its charm with such an easy grace as Kuching, the capital of Sarawak. The city is cut almost in half by the meandering Sarawak River - its lifeline since time immemorial and where it all began in 1839. Its skyline is a mix of minarets and domes, ornate temple roofs, church spires, fortress, towers, modern and colonial buildings - all set amidst a profusion of greenery against the dramatic backdrop of inky-blue Mountains.

Transfer to Hotel to Check in

Free time

Dinner in local restaurant

Overnight in hotel

Accommodation:         Riverside Majestic Hotel or similar

Meals:                          B, D


Day 8: Monday 22 April

Breakfast in hotel

AM -  Depart for Semenggoh Orangutan Centre located 24 kilometres from Kuching. This orangutan rehabilitation centre trains orphaned or rescued orangutans how to survive in the wild. Over 20 orangutans live in forest within the nature reserve and often return to the centre at feeding times. Upon arrival, head to the briefing area. Visit includes a brief talk from the rangers and a short walk along a trail to the feeding area to watch the orangutans come down from the trees for a free meal.

Return to Kuching

Lunch at own expense

Afternoon free

Evening - sunset river cruise on the Sarawak River.  See Kuching City from a different angle as it was in the olden days before the introduction of the motor car. Enjoy a scenic sunset from the deck of the cruise ship. End your cruise around sunset and walk the short distance back to hotel

Dinner in hotel

Overnight in hotel

Accommodation:         Riverside Majestic Hotel or similar

Meals:                          B, D


Day 9: Tuesday 23 April

Breakfast in hotel

AM – Visit to Sarawak Cultural Village 32 km from Kuching at the foothills of Mount Santubong.  This award-winning ‘living museum’ sprawls over a 17-acre site at the foothills of Mount Santubong and offers an excellent introduction to the cultures and lifestyles of the people of Sarawak. A warm Sarawakian welcome awaits you here. Share the arts, crafts, games, foods and music of the seven major ethnic groups in Sarawak. After touring the village, enjoy a multi-cultural dance performance in the village’s own theatre.

Have lunch then return to Kuching for a city tour

Discover the charms of this riverine city established by Sir James Brooke, the first White Rajah of Sarawak. See buildings dating back to the days of the White Rajahs, ancient Chinese temples and colourful markets displaying the produce that first brought traders to Borneo. A visit to Kuching is not complete without making a stop at the Sarawak Museum. Completed in 1891, the museum has an excellent collection of Bornean ethnological and archaeological artefacts and is reputed to be one of the best in South East Asia. We will also visist the site of the former Kuching POW Camp at nearby Batu Lintang where an Act of Remembrance will take place

Evening at leisure

Dinner at own expense

Overnight in hotel

Accommodation:         Riverside Majestic Hotel or similar

Meals:                          B, L


Day 10: Wednesday 24 April

Breakfast in hotel

Day visit to Bako National Park

Drive about 35 minutes to Bako Village

From the village, take a river boat ride to the park situated on a peninsula

Bako is one of the best places in Sarawak to see wildlife in a natural setting. Those commonly spotted at Bako include proboscis monkeys, silver leaf monkeys, long-tailed macaques, wild boars, monitor lizards and numerous species of birds. Forest types range from mangrove to tropical swamp vegetation, cliff and beach vegetation. There are several trails to follow inside the park depending on your level of fitness and interest. The park’s coastline is dotted with small bays, coves and beaches

Lunch will be taken at the Park Canteen before returning to Kuching in the late afternoon.

Farewell dinner

Overnight in hotel

Accommodation:         Riverside Majestic Hotel or similar

Meals:                          B, L, D


Day 11: Thursday 25 April

Breakfast in hotel

AM – Check out and transfer to Labuan Airport for flights to London Healthrow

Accommodation:         None

Meals:                          B


Day 12: Friday 26 April




  • Flights in economy class London Heathrow to Kuala Lumpur
  • Flights in economy class Kuala Lumpur to Kuching
  • Transport throughout tour
  • Military historian and experienced guide throughout tour
  • 4 nights at the Holiday Inn, Kuala Lumpur or similar
  • 1 night at the Bala’s Holiday Chalet or similar
  • 4 nights at the Riverside Majestic Hotel, Kuching or similar
  • Meals where indicated in itinerary
  • Entries to activities show in itinerary
  • Dedicated tour webpage including details of accommodation and tour
  • Social media presentation including original film footage, images and historical background
  • Group forum with photo gallery where group members can ask your guide questions
  • Links through to in-depth research and a wealth of background information 


Costs do not include:

  • Meals unless listed in itinerary
  • Beverages

* Subject to currency fluctuation & confirmation at time of booking


We are pleased to arrange the following: (Subject to additional charges)

  • Transport from home town to London via train or flights
  • Pre or post tour accommodation in London


Terms & Conditions:

  • £100 Per Person deposit required to confirm booking
  • Final Payment 10 weeks prior to departure
  • Please see website for full Terms & Conditions

Arranged by Tropical Sky on behalf of Spirit of Remembrance


UK travellers should ensure that they hold a valid EHIC (EU Health card) in addition to their own health insurance

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