World Challenge in Malaysia

This Easter seventeen year 9 and 10 students travelled to Malaysia with World Challenge. The trip began with the group exploring Kuala Lumpur’s vibrant street markets filled with endless Asian cuisine and culture.

On day two, we attended a responsible tourism workshop, which introduced the team to Malaysian culture and traditions and encouraged our travelling activity to be environmentally sustainable.

Following our visit to KL, we travelled to Kuala Tahan, and took a refreshing boat ride before beginning our 3 day trek in the Taman Negara Rainforest, approximately 130 million years old, making it one of the planet’s oldest and most biologically diverse tropical rainforest. Despite the humidity and unbelievable heat, the trek was an amazing experience with ‘first times’ for many, which included sleeping in caves with bats, listening to barking deer during the night, and cooking some interesting meals on trangias. Afterwards, we travelled to the Cameron Highlands for some relaxation, and also had the chance to catch some of the breathtaking views of the Cameron valley.

The next day, we travelled to the Kampar River for white water rafting and were treated to a delicious Easter lunch by the rafting company. This was the perfect way to have some fun after the trek.

We then entered the project phase of the trip involving turtle conservation work with WWF. Again, we got up early and travelled to the small coastal village of Padang Kemunting. During this period, we did a beach cleanup where we collected an unbelievable amount of rubbish (roughly 9,000 pieces), as well as a hatchery, and turtle pool clean.

For our final days we explored Melaka, a nearby town filled with amazing food and markets. As we managed to save extra ringgits to indulge later in the trip, we had a great Indian lunch served on banana leaves, followed by a delicious dinner and lunch the next day of authentic Malaysian recipes. On our final day, before our evening flight home we had a day of sightseeing in Kuala Lumpur where we visited the Petronas Towers, then headed to the airport, for an exhausting 25 hour journey back to London, but it was all worth it for the extraordinary and enriching experience.

By Naomi Toft and Jack Ashley

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