Singapore Garden Festival 2020, Borneo & Malaysia

Singapore Garden Festival 2020 Gaya Island Resort
From £3920
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Singapore, Malaysia & Malaysian Borneo
Direct flights from London Heathrow & Manchester

Gardens by the Bay

This 12 day tour flies you to three exhilarating destinations. We start in the multicultural metropolis of Singapore, home to the iconic Gardens by the Bay and the world's leading celebration of tropical gardening, the Singapore Garden Festival. We then transfer to the luxurious Gaya Island Resort in Malaysian Borneo, where you will have the opportunity to visit a fascinating Mari Mari cultural village before getting up close to Sun Bears and Orang Utans. The programme ends with two nights in the thrilling city of Kuala Lumpur. 

Our tour includes return flights with Singapore Airlines from London Heathrow and Manchester, transfer flights and accommodation at three luxurious 5* hotels; InterContinental Middle Hill Singapore, Gaya Island Resort and Ritz Carlton, Kuala Lumpur. 

Orangutan Gaya Island Resort

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​​​​​ Singapore Sites with ECT Travel

A city nestled in lush greenery, Singapore is a place of contrasts; 21st century architecture sits alongside traditional village markets and history rubs up against a high tech future. Based for three nights at the centrally-located 5* InterContinental Hotel, you will have ample time to soak up the atmosphere of this remarkable city.

Flowers and gardens

Our tour is timed to coincide with the biennial Singapore Garden Festival, now one of the world’s leading garden shows. This eight day extravaganza features some 400,000 plants designed to demonstrate the very best in tropical gardening and attracts award-winning landscape and garden designers, florists and horticulturalists from around the world.  A key highlight of the 2020 Festival will be the Floral Windows to the World Championships, an intense three-day competition featuring vibrant cut-flower displays and theatrical floral installations by some of the world's leading floral designers. 

Gardens by the Bay Singapore

The city is also home to the landmark attraction, Gardens by the Bay and the award-winning cooled conservatories of Bay South. Here you find the Flower Dome with its ever-changing floral displays such as Tulipmania, Orchid Extravaganza and Blossom Beats, and the mysterious mountain world of the Cloud Forest. And of course, no one can miss Singapore's towering vertical garden Supertree Grove. Those with a head for heights may like to stroll along the 22m high Skyway built in these iconic 'trees' and enjoy panoramic views of the Gardens and Marina Bay skyline.

Singapore Botanic Garden

Singapore’s 160 year-old Botanic Garden is another of the city's green gems. This tropical sanctuary is the first - and only - UNESCO World Heritage listed tropical botanic garden and is a unique example of the informal English Landscape Movement style in an equatorial climate. The National Orchid Garden, with its 1,000 species and 2,000 hybrids, has been part of the Botanic Garden since 1859 and we have arranged for you to enjoy a private tour with one of the Garden's botanic experts.  

Culture & Sightseeing

Discover the highlights of Singapore on a guided tour. You will visit Thian Hock Keng Temple, the oldest Chinese temple in the city, the vibrant district of Kampong Glam, home to the colourful Haji Lane with its quirky boutiques, cafes and bars and Arab Lane, a pretty, bustling street at the heart of Singapore's Islamic community.   We have also arranged for you to see the Chinatown Heritage Centre. Located within three beautifully-restored shophouses on Pagoda Street, this fascinating museum offers a rare glimpse into the lives of Chinatown's early residents. And of course, no trip to Singapore would be complete without a sightseeing cruise on a Bum Boat. These vessels have been a feature of the Singapore River for over a century and this evening tour provides a unique view of the city past and present. One of the treats of modern Singapore is the spectacular Light & Water Show at Marina Bay Sands and the boat arrives at Bayfront South Jetty in time for you to experience this magical display.

You will also be treated to a classic afternoon tea at the iconic Fullerton Hotel. Built in 1928, this grand neoclassical landmark has played a pivotal role in Singapore’s rich history, being once home to Singapore’s General Post Office, the Exchange Room and Exchange Reference Library, and the prestigious Singapore Club. 

Singapore Garden Festival displays

Established in 2006 as a celebration of the city's gardens, the biennial Singapore Garden Festival is now one of the world's leading garden shows, attracting award winning landscape and garden designers, florists and horticulturalists. The 2018 Festival transported visitors to an exotic wonderland. Designers came from Austria, Azerbaijan, Canada, Czech Republic, France, Republic of Korea, Romania and Spain, as well as Singapore and floral highlights included Dmitry Turcan's sculptural, Asian-inspired installation 'Seize the Moment', which was named 'Best in Show', and Keith Lin's Bronze Award winning suspended, colour-graded design 'Possibilities'. 

A key highlight of the 2020 Festival will be the Floral Windows to the World Championships, an intense three-day competition featuring vibrant cut-flower displays and theatrical floral installations by some of the world's leading floral designers. Other themes and events are still to be announced - we will update this page as news is released.


Borneo is the single largest stretch of rain forest in Southeast Asia and the third largest rain forest on earth. Our programme takes you to Gaya Island, the largest of five islands which make up the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park in Sabah, which has been a forest reserve since 1923. Based at the Gaya Island Resort, a luxurious sanctuary nestled in the hillside of the ancient rain forest, you will have the chance to relax and explore the cultural and natural wonders of this fascinating place.

We will visit a Mari Mari Cultural Village where five different Borneo tribes offer an authentic insight into a tradititonal way of life that no long exists.  

The area is also famous for its wildlife and our Sandakan Wildlife Experience guarantees encounters with both Sun Bears and Orang Utans. Found only in tropical forests in Southeast Asia, the Sun Bear population is rapidly diminishing due to serious threats from habitat loss and commercial hunting. We will visit the Borneo Sun Bear Conservation Centre, which is dedicated to increasing protection and guaranteeing the survival of the world's smallest bear, for a talk about these special creatures and the chance to observe them in action.  We will also go to the Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre where orphaned and injured Orang Utans are brought to be rehabilitated and returned to forest life. We have arranged for you visit the nursery for a talk and the chance to witness a baby Orang Utan in training. 

The American author Agnes Keith lived in Sandakan from 1934 until after the end of World War II and the villa she shared with her husband, and immortalised in her autobiography Land Below the Wind, has been turned into a fascinating museum telling her story and offering a taste of colonial life. You will have the option to visit after the Wildlife Experience. 

Another optional treat is a ride on the North Borneo Railway, the oldest running steam train in Sabah and Borneo. Refurbished to recreate the nostalgic romance of people travelling by steam train in the days of the Chartered Company and the British Colonial Office, the outside bears the train's original carved brass logo, while the interior is furnished with natural woods of the Sabah. The 36 mile route from Kota Kinabalu to Papar takes passengers on a journey of discovery through the heart of Borneo, passing through villages, coastal towns, paddy fields, rainforests and rubber and coffee plantations. 


Visit sites of Kuala Lumpur with ECT Travel

The tour culminates with three nights in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia’s  vibrant, multicultural capital.  Staying at the 5* Ritz Carlton, you will be perfectly placed to explore the city’s historic monuments, lush parks, bustling street markets and lively nightspots.

Our itinerary begins with afternoon tea at the hotel. This is a chance to indulge in decadent delicacies and fine teas in the elegant comfort of the Lobby Lounge. There is even a string quartet! 

Day two of your Kuala Lumpur experience is a guided tour of the city’s cultural and historic highlights. You will visit Petronas Twin Towers, the world’s tallest twin skyscrapers; the magnificent King’s Palace, official residence of the supreme King of Malaysia; The National Museum, National Mosque, National Monument, Kuala Lumpur City Gallery, Sultan Abdul Building and the famous Merdeka Square. This immaculate 200m long stretch of green is possibly the city’s most famous landmark and boasts the world’s tallest flagpole.

5* InterContinental Singapore

Intercontinental Singapore

Boasting large, elegant bedrooms, 5* services such as an Insider Concierge, in-room Smartphones, yoga quiet room and array of both European and Asian bars and restaurants, the InterContinental Singapore is a luxurious base from which to explore all that this city has to offer. 

Located in the historic district of Bugis and Bras Basah, this multi award-winning hotel is a short stroll from many cultural institutions such as the National Museum and the Singapore Art Museum and just minutes from Marina Bay and the Central Business District. Direct access to Bugis train station connects you to the city's many shopping and entertainment precincts - including Bugis Junction Shopping Mall with its 200 retail and dining outlets.

You will be staying for three nights and your stay includes breakfast as well as a welcome get-together with delicious canapes and a glass of fizz.

5* Gaya Island Resort

Gaya Island Resort

Set on an island within the protected Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park, this beachfront resort offers a peaceful sanctuary nestled in the hillside of an ancient rain forest with a stunning outline of Mount Kinabalu on the horizon. Spacious, tactile and modern yet respectful of local Sabahan elements, each accommodation uses local materials that blend harmoniously with the natural environment. Villa interiors are designed with a contemporary elegance and offer a variety of views including mangrove, canopy, tropical rain forest and the South China Sea. There are several dining options offering both local and more international dishes, as well as a Spa Village set among lush mangroves. The resort is accessed by boat and has been designed as a walking destination in line with its commitment to ecologically-sustainable practices. 

You will enjoy four nights here on a full board basis, giving you plenty of time to soak up the extraordinary atmosphere. 

5* Ritz Carlton Kuala Lumpur

5* Ritz Carlton Hotel

Located in the prestigious Golden Triangle shopping and nightlife district, Kuala Lumpur's luxurious Ritz Carlton Hotel ensures its guest feel truly pampered.  There is a lavish spa, while the bedrooms not only boast marble bathrooms with rainfall showers, but also a full butler service. The hotel has five restaurants including the award-winning Li Yen Cantonese dining room renowned for its Dim Sum lunch.

You will stay here for two nights so you can explore the city and relax ahead of your journey back to the UK.

Day 1, 18th July

1125h - depart London Heathrow Terminal 2 with Singapore Airlines, SQ317 (Flight time 13hrs 5 mins)

1140 - depart Manchester Terminal 2 with Singapore Airlines, SQ51 (Flight time 13hrs) 

Day 2, 19th July

0730h -  London flight arrives at Singapore Changi International Airport

0740h  - Manchester flight arrives at Singapore Changi International Airport

Coach transfer to 5* Intercontinental Hotel Middle Hill

0930h - tea, coffee and pastries, put luggage in store*

*Please note, check in is at 1500h. If you would like early access to your room, there is a supplement (charged by the hotel) of £150 per room

1100h—highlights of Singapore coach tour with a local guide, including Thian Hock Keng Temple, Kampong Glam, Arab Street, Haji Lane and the Chinatown Heritage Centre. (Lunch is not included in the tour but there are plenty of quick-serve restaurants close to Chinatown Heritage Centre.)

1500h—return to hotel and check in

1800h—welcome reception with canapes and a glass of fizz

1900h - Singapore by Night coach tour with a local guide, including Orchard Road and the Civic District

2000h - arrive at Clarke Quay Jetty

2015-2045h - Bum Boat ride

2045h - alight at Bayfront South Jetty

2100-2115h - Light & Water Show

2130 - depart Marina Bay Sands

2145 - arrive at the hotel

Day 3, 20th July

Breakfast at the hotel

0930 - coach transfer to Gardens by the Bay, the Singapore Garden Festival and Floral Windows to the World Competition

PM - return to the hotel

Evening at leisure or optional dinner with the Tour Manager

Day 4, 21st July

Breakfast at the hotel 

0930h - coach transfer to Botanical Gardens and National Orchid Garden. The visit includes a guided tour of the National Orchid Garden with a botanical expert (1hr 30mins)

PM - afternoon tea at Fullerton

1730h - return to the hotel

Evening at leisure

Day 5, 22nd July

AM - early check out and coach transfer to airport 

0845h - depart Singapore for Silk Air flight SQ5092 to Kota Kinabalu (flight time 2 hrs 35 mins)

1120h - arrive Kota Kinabalu Airport and coach transfer to Jesselton Point Waterfront (1 ½ miles from the airport)

Speedboat transfer from Jesselton Point to Gaya Island Resort (max 15 passengers per speed boat YTL have several speed boats) where you will be met on arrival. Porters will take your luggage to your room

Early evening welcome cocktail with local hotel manager

Dinner at the hotel

Day 6, 23rd July

Breakfast at the hotel

0845h - speedboat transfer to Jesselton Point Waterfront, join local guide for visit to Mari Mari Cultural Village for a tour and hands-on experience. A light lunch will be provided

1415h - return to Gaya Island Resort 

Afternoon at leisure

Dinner at the hotel

Day 7, 24th July

0530h - speedboat transfer to Jesselton Jetty

0550h - arrive Jesselton Jetty, coach transfer to Kota Kinabalu International Airport

0705h -  depart Kota Kinabalu for Sandakan, Malaysia Airlines flight MH2042 (flight time 40mins)

0745h -  arrive Sandakan and receive packed breakfast

0810 -  coach transfer to Sepilok

0840h - arrive Borneo Sun Bear Conservation Centre for lecture 

0915h - see Sun Bears from viewing platform

0945h - depart for Sepilok Orang Utan Sanctuary for lecture and viewing of baby Orang Utan in training at the indoor nursery

1115h - depart for English Tea House 

1145h - early lunch at English Tea House

1200h - optional visit to Agnes Keith Museum 

1340h - depart for the airport by coach

1455h -  depart Sandakan Airport for return flight to Kota Kinabalu, Asia Airlines flight AK6495

1545h -  arrive Kota Kinabalu

1630h - depart airport for Jesselton Jetty

1650 -  arrive Jesselton Point for speedboat transfer back to Gaya Island Resort

Rest of the afternoon at leisure 

Dinner at the hotel

Day 8, 25th July

Breakfast at the hotel

Day at leisure or optional return trip on the North Borneo Railway Train (4 hours), including Tiffin Lunch 

Dinner at the hotel

Day 9, 26th July

Breakfast at the hotel

1000h (approx) - depart from Gaya Island Resort by speedboat

Coach transfer to Kota Kinabalu International Airport

1205h - depart Kota Kinabalu for Malaysian Airlines flight to Kuala Lumpur, MH2621 (flight time 2hrs 25mins)

1430h - arrive Kuala Lumpur and coach transfer to Ritz Carlton Hotel

Afternoon tea at the Ritz Carlton

Evening at leisure

Day 10, 27th July

Breakfast at the hotel

0930h - guided coach tour of KL including Petronas twin tower, Kings Palace, The National Museum, National Mosque, National Monument, Kuala Lumpur City Gallery, Building of Independence Sq, Sultan Abdul Samad Building Moorish style railway station

Lunch at the KL tower Atmosphere 360

1630h - return to hotel

Time at leisure for shopping at Pavilion

Farewell dinner at the hotel

Day 11, 28th July

Breakfast at the hotel

AM - at leisure to enjoy the city

1300 - check out of the hotel 

Transfer to Kuala Lumpur airport

2040h - London flights depart Kuala Lumpur for Singapore Airlines flight SQ119 to Singapore (flight time 1hr 10mins)

2145h - Manchester flights depart Kuala Lumpur for Singapore Airlines flight SQ5341 to Singapore (flight time 1hr)

2150h - London flights arrive Singapore Airport Terminal 2

2245h - Manchester flights arrive Singapore Airport Terminal 2

2330 - London flights depart Singapore Airport Terminal 3 for Singapore Airlines flight SQ322 to Heathrow Terminal 2 (flight time 13hrs 25mins)

Day 12, 29th July

0225h - Manchester flight departs Singapore Airport Terminal 3 for Singapore Airlines flight SQ52 to Manchester Terminal 2 (flight time 13hrs 45 mins)

0555h - London flight arrives at Heathrow Terminal 2

0910h - Manchester flight arrives at Manchester Airport Terminal 2

Singapore Airlines

18/07/20: Manchester Terminal 2 - Singapore Changi International Airport 

Depart 1140h, arrive 0740 on 19/07 SQ51

Flight time 13 hours

Economy seat 1x30kg checked baggage

18/07/20: London Heathrow Terminal 2 - Singapore Changi International Airport

Depart 1125h, arrive 0730h on 19/07 SQ317

Flight time 13hrs 5mins

Economy seat 1x30kg checked baggage


22/07/20: Singapore - Kota Kinabalu

Depart 0845h, arrive 1120 SQ5092

Flight time 2hrs 35mins

Economy seat 1x30kg checked baggage

Malaysian Airlines

24/07/20: Kota Kinabalu - Sandakan

Depart 0705, arrive 0745h MH2042

Flight time 40mins

Economy seat - cabin allowance 1 piece not exceeding LxHxW115 cm and 7kg in weight

24/07/20: Sandakan - Kota Kinabalu

Depart 1455h, arrive 1545h AK6495 - Air Asia

Flight time 40mins

Economy seat - cabin baggage allowance 1 piece not exceeding  56cm x 36cm x 23cm, and 7kg in weight


Malaysian Airlines

26/07/20: Kota Kinabalu - Kuala Lumpur

Depart 1205, arrive 1430h MH2621

Flight time 2hrs 25mins

Economy seat 1X25kg checked luggage*


Singapore Airlines

28/07/20 Kuala Lumpur - Singapore Changi International Airport

For flights to London: depart 2040h, arrive Terminal 2 2150h SQ322

Flight time 1hr 10mins

Economy seat

For flights to Manchester: depart 2145h, arrive Terminal 2 2245h  SQ5341

Flight time 1hr

Economy seat 1x30kg checked luggage

Singapore Changi International Airport - London Heathrow Terminal 2

Depart Terminal 3 2330h, arrive 0555h on 29.07

Flight time 13hrs 25mins

Economy seat 1x30kg checked baggage


29/07/20  Singapore Changi International Airport - ManchesterTerminal 2

Depart 0225h, arrive 0910h SQ52

Flight time 13hrs 45mins

Economy seat 1x30kg checked baggage

We strongly recommend that you book as soon as possible as doing so will enable us to guarantee the tour price quoted. (Outside of any further supplements you may wish to include.) 

For more information about booking, or to make your payment, please call a member of our friendly sales team on 01225 333 747 or 0800 298 0588, or email

Please note:

. We require a deposit payment of £500 on booking

. You may make payment over the phone with a credit* or debit card, or by BACS transfer (please call or email to request bank details)

. You will need travel insurance for this tour

. Please ensure that you have a valid passport - your full name and title will be required by the airline at the time of booking

. On booking, we will send out a booking form which must be filled out and returned to us by email or post.

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Additional information:

  • This tour requires a minimum of 10 passenger refer to point 7 in our booking conditions

  • Mobility: this tour is generally suitable for most, if you are concerned or have specific issues please let us know ahead of booking

  • Please ensure you have a valid passport (at least 6 months from travel dates) and visa 

  • Travel insurance is required 

All the flights and flight-inclusive holidays on this website are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. When you pay you will be supplied with an ATOL Certificate. Please ask for it and check to ensure that everything you booked (flights, hotels and other services) is listed on it. Please see our booking conditions for further information or, for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate, go to

Our ATOL number is ATOL 6545. ATOL Protection extends primarily to customers who book and pay in the United Kingdom.

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Flying from London Heathrow, £4095

Flying from Manchester, £3920

Tour price without long haul flights (meet us there), £3070

Prices are for twin/double room occupancy

Single room supplement £840

Tour Includes

  • Return economy flights with Singapore Airlines
  • All coach transfers during tour
  • 3 nights B&B at 5* InterContinental Hotel, Middle Hill
  • Luggage store
  • Tea, coffee and pastries at 5* InterContinental Hotel, Middle Hill
  • Guided Highlights of Singapore tour
  • Visit to Chinatown Heritage Centre
  • Guided visit to Thian Hock Keng Temple
  • Welcome glass of fizz and canapes at 5* InterContinental Hotel, Middle Hill
  • Guided Singapore by Night coach tour
  • Bum Boat ride
  • Light and Water Show
  • Entry to Gardens by the Bay
  • Entry to Singapore Garden Festival
  • Visit to Botanical Gardens, including specialist guided tour of the National Orchid Garden
  • Afternoon tea at Fullerton Hotel
  • Economy flight with Singapore Airlines to Kota Kinabalu
  • Return speedboat transfers to Gaya Island Resort
  • 4 nights dinner, bed & breakfast 5* Luxury Gaya Island Resort
  • Welcome pre-dinner drink at Gaya Island Resort
  • Guided visit to Mari Mari Cultural Village
  • Light lunch at Mari Mari Cultural Village
  • Return economy flight Kota Kinabalu to Sandakan
  • Entrance to Sun Bear Conservation Centre
  • Entrance to Sepilok Orang Utan Sanctuary
  • Light lunch at the English Tea House
  • Economy Malaysian Airlines flight Kota Kinabalu to Kuala Lumpur
  • 2 nights B&B 5* Ritz Carlton Kuala Lumpur
  • Afternoon tea at 5* Ritz Carlton
  • Guided coach tour of Kuala Lumpur
  • Lunch at KL Tower Atmosphere 360
  • Farewell dinner at 5* Ritz Carlton
  • ECT Tour Manager
  • Travel Disruption Insurance
Optional Extras
  • Optional Extras: The flights to Singapore arrive ahead of check-in. If you wish to check into your room at the time of arrival there is a supplement of £150 per room
  • Visit to Agnes Keith Museum: Return trip on North Borneo Railway