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Skyline of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, at night

Malaysia Travel Guide

Malaysia, a diverse country in Southeast Asia, offers a vibrant tapestry of experiences for travelers. Explore the bustling capital of Kuala Lumpur, where towering skyscrapers stand alongside historic landmarks such as the iconic Petronas Twin Towers and the vibrant street markets of Chinatown. Indulge in the country's rich culinary scene, sampling delicious street food or dining in world-class restaurants. Immerse yourself in the cultural melting pot of Malaysia by visiting the colorful neighborhoods of Little India and Kampung Baru.

Venture beyond the cities to discover Malaysia's natural wonders. Unwind on the pristine beaches of Langkawi, surrounded by turquoise waters and lush rainforests. Explore the lush tea plantations of the Cameron Highlands or go trekking in the dense jungles of Taman Negara National Park. Wildlife enthusiasts can embark on thrilling jungle safaris in Borneo, home to endangered orangutans, proboscis monkeys, and diverse bird species. Malaysia's blend of urban excitement and natural beauty creates a captivating travel experience that caters to every type of adventurer.

Key Facts

Time Zone

GMT+8

Money

Malaysian Ringgit (MYR)

Dialing Code

+60

  • Malaysia is one of the most developed and stable countries in South East Asia.
  • Ideally situated, with land borders with Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia and Brunei (and cheap flights to other parts of Asia and Australasia) Malaysia is perfectly suited to fit into any travel itinerary and budget.
  • The fusion of different cultures has provided some of the best food in the world. Even for you non-foodies out there, Malaysia will tantalise your taste buds.
  • The melting pot of ethnicities means there is never a shortage of festivals to attend! From Hindu Deepavali (festival of lights) to Chinese New Year there is always a sense of anticipation and excitement!

Kuala Lumpur, the major business hub in Malaysia, is the gateway to this stunning country. The amazing mix of old and new is shown in every aspect of KL life, where shiny new shopping malls stand next to tiny street markets and umbrella hawkers hurry down the street alongside suited businessmen. Whether you want to see the sights of the Petronas Twin Towers and Masjid Jamek or take excursions into the Genting Highlands and Batu Caves, Kuala Lumpur will dazzle and delight you!

  • Visit the Sabah to discover the cute creatures being helped in the Sepilok Orangutan rehabilitation centre.
  • Get your adrenaline going with extreme adventures like scuba diving, mountain climbing and white water rafting, which are available across Malaysia.
  • Discover new species and hidden depths of the rainforest in Borneo! Chill out on the beach on Langkawi Island. Fancy jet skiing or quad biking, or just prefer to lay back and soak up the sun? Either way, Langkawi provides the perfect backdrop for an amazing stay. 
  • Explore exciting cities like Melaka which has been occupied throughout history by the Portuguese, Dutch, British and Japanese- taking multi-culturalism to a whole new level.
  • Escape from the heat by trekking and try tea tasting at the elegant hill station in the Cameron Highlands.

As with Malaysian culture, Malaysian food is a blend of influences from Chinese, Thai, Indonesian, Indian and Western palates. Each of the ethnic communities has its own specialities and street food is cheap and plentiful. Why not try a Nasi Goreng (Malaysian-style fried rice) or Rendang Daging (slow-cooked beef with lemongrass and coconut)?

Although Malaysia is a very multicultural society, it is a Muslim country and the Islamic festival of Ramadan takes place every year when Muslims refrain from eating, drinking and smoking during daylight hours. During this time it may be more difficult to access the variety of food normally on offer.

Muslims also are not allowed to consume alcohol but restaurants and bars serve alcohol to the Indian, Chinese and Western communities. So getting a beer at the end of a long, hot day sightseeing will be easy.

Ramadan 2012 falls between the evening of Friday 19th July and Saturday 18th August.

Ramadan 2013 falls between the evening of Monday 8th July and Wednesday 7th of August.

Malaysia is hot and humid all year round, with humidity hovering at around 80% and temperatures ranging from 21ºC to 32 ºC across the country and seasons. Rainfall is the biggest variable in Malaysia's climate and ranges depending on the season and which part of the country you are in.

West Coast Peninsular: The wettest months are September to December and the driest are January and February.

East Coast Peninsular: The wettest months are September to December and the driest are June and July

Sabah and Sarawak: The Wettest months are November to February and the driest are April to July.

Due to the possibility of sudden downpours always have an umbrella or lightweight raincoat to hand! But don’t worry as outbursts are short and strong and very rarely last all day.

Visa

Visas may be required in order to enter or transit through certain countries depending on your passport nationality, your reason for travel and how long you intend to stay.

Visa, passport and entry rules are subject to change and you should check the most up-to-date information from the relevant embassy or visa specialist.

To make things easier we have teamed up with The Travel Visa Company who are one of the UK’s leading travel visa specialists. You can use their website, alongside embassy websites,  to find out the specific entry requirements for the countries you intend to travel to.

For a fee, their dedicated team of experts can also apply for visas on your behalf, taking away the hassle and streamlining the process for you if you wish. For more details on the services they provide please click here – The Travel Visa Company

Passport

Passports must be kept in good condition. Travellers with damaged passports may be refused entry at immigration. It is the responsibility of the traveller to ensure that all travel documents are in good condition before they travel. Most countries will also require at least 6 months of validity on your passport from the time you finish your trip. 

Further Entry Requirements

Some countries will require proof of certain vaccines, such as yellow fever or covid, in order to gain entry. Please check with the relevant embassy or a visa specialist before travelling.

The official language of Malaysia is Bahasa Malaysia but English, Mandarin, Cantonese, Hokkien, Hakka, Tamil and Hindi are also widely spoken due to the vast array of ethnicities present in Malaysia. When you are there you may even pick up some ‘Manglish’- a mix of the languages spoken in Malaysia and English. This is an amazing language to hear and you will hear the word ‘lah’ said at every opportunity!

Malaysia uses the 3 flat pin plug which is the same as we use in Britain. You will not need to buy an adapter to use British appliances in Malaysia.

Being a country with an eclectic mix of people and cultures, Malaysians are generally tolerant of outsiders' customs. However, it can be a generally reserved and conservative place so please keep that in mind while travelling. The majority of Malaysians are practising Muslims and you should be mindful of respecting customs and traditions regarding the religion of Islam. 

Public displays of affection are frowned upon. Travellers should dress appropriately at all times, and take care to cover up their shoulders and knees, particularly when visiting mosques, temples, or other religious sites.

Women travellers especially should be mindful that Malaysian women tend to dress more conservatively than Western standards and keep that in mind while packing.

For complete and updated information regarding local laws and customs in Malaysia please refer to travel.state.gov

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