England is full of pageantry and tradition, and nowhere else is that on display so vividly than in London. Yet the capital of the United Kingdom is hardly living in the past, continually courting innovation and growth in its art, architecture, restaurants, and hotels. From the burgeoning East End to the well-established City Centre, T+L’s London travel guide proves the world-class destination continues to evolve.
How did a 2,000-year-old settlement with such a deeply entrenched history—and such familiar-to-the-point-of-predictable iconography—come to stand at the leading edge of design, fashion, fine art, and pop culture? By embracing international styles and influences (and people) as much as passionately as its own. The city’s millennial resurgence resulted from a blend of clear-eyed preservation, savvy reinvention, and bold innovation.
Only here could a brash new landmark like the Shard so swiftly find its place in the old cityscape; only here could a cutting-edge gastro pub (an alien term less than 20 years ago) like The Ledbury so readily slip into local parlance and routine. Each year, millions of tourists visit London to experience its modern-day renaissance, whether taking in the new look of the South Bank or heading out to newly hot neighborhoods, and no matter the time of year, a London trip brings a taste of bustling city life.
England’s temperate climate means rain showers throughout much of the year, although temperatures remain mostly comfortable. Tourist numbers hit a high between April and September, and again around Christmas time, when the nights are long, but holiday decorations provide extra sparkle. Opt for travel dates in the spring and fall for brisk days and nights, plus a little more breathing room.
What to Expect
On your maiden visit to the Big Apple, be sure to allow a minimum of three days so you can take a breath and enjoy all the city has to offer without being in transit every moment of your trip. The following will only scratch the surface of what to expect but will arm you with information to feel confident during your time in New York City.
Selamat datang! Welcome to Malaysia. Your adventure begins with an important welcome meeting at 6 pm. If you have any free time beforehand, why not get out and explore this intriguing city that was born between the Borneo jungle and the South China Sea.
Modern-day ‘KK’ is a vibrant modern metropolis, having recovered from World War II bombings – the Sabah State Museum is a great place to immerse yourself in its backstory.
Leaving Kota Kinabalu behind, you’ll head for the hills and travel towards the unspoiled wilderness of the World Heritage-listed Mt Kinabalu National Park (approximately 3 hours). You will stop off en route at a local home in a Dusun Village. Sample the local foods with a home cooked lunch to get some insight into what it’s like to live in a rural village.
Later you can stretch your legs and soak up the mountain scenery with a stroll through Mt Kinabalu National Park. There are many walking trails from which you can bird watch. The Mt Kinabalu Botanical Garden is an excellent showcase of the diverse plant life on the mountain, as flora from all over the park has been replanted here. Spend the night in a mountain lodge close by to the park in Kundasang.
You might wake to the call of a Bornean gibbon, or perhaps a hornbill. Enjoy an early morning cruise down the river, searching for more birds and wildlife. Keep an eye out for Long Tail Macaques and Pig Tail Macaques – your expert leader can tell you the difference. Later that morning, take a walk to Bilit Village, home to the local Orang Sungei community.
The Orang Sungei, which translates to ‘River People’, are one of Sabah’s many indigenous communities and are very hospitable with a diverse cultural heritage. Enjoy some free time in the afternoon before another river cruise to see wildlife along the riverbank. This final river cruise will be your last chance to photograph or simply marvel at your surrounds. Spend one more night in your lovely accommodation right in the heart of the jungle.
Head back to Kota Kinabalu today by boat and minivan. This will take around 40 minutes. Optional activities include a visit the intriguing Mari Mari Cultural Village, nestled deep in the countryside. Here you will see how indigenous ethnic groups of Borneo used to live. Or a visit to the Sabah Museum to learn about Sabah’s past or do some last-minute souvenir shopping at the Filipino market. Tonight, perhaps head out for a meal with your group to celebrate your Borneo adventure.
There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time.