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Visitors to Malaysia must be in possession of valid passport/travel documents with a minimum validity of six months beyond the period of intended stay. In the case of a national passport not recognized by the Malaysian Government, the holder must be in possession of a document in lieu of passport obtainable at the nearest Malaysian Mission abroad. The national passport must also ensure his re-entry into the country of his citizenship. Every visitor to Malaysia has to fill in a Disembarkation Card (IMM. 26). Read More
With a temperature that fluctuates little throughout the year, travel in Malaysia is a pleasure. Average temperature is between 21° C and 32° C . Humidity is high. Rain tends to occur between November to February on the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia, on western Sarawak, and north-eastern Sabah. On the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia the rainy season is April – May and October – November.
The best time to travel is from April to October, when the weather is at its driest.
|Capital City:||Kuala Lumpur|
|International Airports:||There are 5 international airports in Malaysia, which are the KLIA (Kuala Lumpur International Airport), Langkawi, Penang, Kota Kinabalu and Kuching.|
|Time Zone:||Malaysia runs at GMT +8 hours and 16 hours ahead of U.S. Pacific Standard Time. Malaysia is in the same time zone as Singapore, Hong Kong and Perth.|
|Religion:||Malaysia practices all religions. Official one is Islam|
|Language:||Malay is the national and official language of Malaysia, but English is widely spoken. Other languages such as Chinese (Mandarin, Cantonese and Hokkien), Iban and Tamil are spoken by minority groups.|
|Currency:||The monetary unit of the currency is Ringgit Malaysia and is written as RM or MYR. Notes in circulation are RM 100, RM 50, RM 10, RM 5 and RM 1. Coins in circulation are 50, 20, 10, and 5 sen (cents) denominations.|
|Exchange Rate:||Money and travelers cheques of all major currencies can be exchanged at hotels, banks, and licensed money changer in tourist areas. Banks and money changer usually offer the best rates.|
|Credit Card Payment Availability:||International credit cards are widely accepted in department stores, major hotels, up-market shops and restaurant. Make sure that you have enough cash in local currency before you leave for smaller towns or remote areas.|
|ATM Accessibility:||Easily accessible and in all major cities, shopping malls and petrol Kiosks|
|Electricity:||The electricity current in Malaysia is 220 volts or 250 volts AC at 50 cycles per second. Malaysia uses standard 3-pin square plugs (British Plug) and sockets. Adaptors could be used for other types of plug.|
|Water:||Generally, the level of food hygiene throughout the country is high. However, make sure your food and drinking water are safe. Food from street vendors should be treated with care. Drink only bottled water, or carbonated (bubbly) drinks in cans or bottles. If possible, avoid tap water, fountain drinks|
|Business Hours:||Governmental agencies work Monday to Friday from 08:00 to 17:30 (excluding one-hour lunch) and are closed Saturday and Sunday. However, the states of Kedah, Kelantan, Terengganu and Johor observe Friday and Saturday as weekend. Departmental stores are open from 10:00 or 10:30 – 22:00 or 22:30. Most post offices are open Monday – Friday from 08:30 – 20:00. Saturday from 08:30-17:00, except 1st Saturday and Public Holidays during the Chinese New Year as well as Hari Raya shops may be closed several days before and after as well as during the festive holidays.|
|Banking Hours:||Banking hours in most states of Malaysia are normally from 09:15 to 16:00 Monday – Friday. Banks are closed on Saturday and Sunday.|
|Photography Restrictions:||Taking photographs at places of worship is usually permitted but it is always polite to ask permission beforehand.|
|Tipping:||Tipping is not common in Malaysia, especially in the more rural areas. In most hotels and large restaurants, a 10% service charge is added to the bill along with 6% government tax. For tours and sightseeing we recommend tipping for the driver and guide, depending on the quality of the service. Porters and bellboys are usually tipped depending on the weight and size
of the bags.
|Vaccination Requirements:||In all major cities and town, Malaysia has government hospitals for accident and emergency treatment. Patients are treated accordingly to medical priority and not order of arrival. And in most cities and towns, there are private clinics and even private hospitals, which are generally of international standards. Private dental can be found at major shopping complexes.|
|Dress Code Restrictions:||It is recommended to wear loose-fitting “summer” clothing. If travelling to higher altitudes like Cameron Highlands and the mountain ranges of central Malaysia (Peninsular) and in Borneo some form of layering is required. Formal style clothing is not required, but for visits of various sights, especially religious sights, long trousers and long sleeves are required; the dress should be respectful. Laundry facilities are widely available and quick.|
|Peculiar Customs to Observe:||Malaysia is generally a laid back and relaxed country. However, it has its own customs and visitors should try to observe these practices when they arrive. The following guidelines will help visitors understand the country and its people better, for a smooth and pleasant stay in Malaysia.Read More
Although handshakes are generally acceptable for both men and women, some Muslim ladies may acknowledge introductions to gentlemen by merely nodding and smiling. A handshake should only be initiated by ladies. The traditional greeting or salam resembles a handshake with both hands but without the grasp. The man offers both hands, lightly touches his friend’s outstretched hands, and then brings his hands to his chest to mean, “I greet you from my heart”. The visitor should reciprocate the “salam”.
The right hand is always used when eating with one’s hand or giving and receiving objects.
The right forefinger is not used to point at places, objects or persons. Instead, the thumb of the right hand with four fingers folded under is the preferred usage
Shoes must always be removed when entering a Malaysian home.
Shoes must be removed when entering places of worship such as mosques and temples. Some mosques provide robes and scarves for female visitors. Taking photographs at places of worship is usually permitted but always ask for permission beforehand.
Public behavior is important in Malaysian culture. Most Malaysians refrain from displaying affection (i.e. embracing or kissing) in public. It would be appropriate for visitors to do the same.
Drinks are generally offered to guests. It is polite to accept.
Toasting is not a common practice in Malaysia. The country’s large Muslim population does not drink alcohol.
Due to its wide variety of cultures and religions, Malaysia celebrates many festivals, the most important of which are Hari Raya Aidilfitri (Malay/Muslim),
Chinese New Year, Deepavali (Hindu), Christmas, Gawai Dayak (harvest festival, Sarawak) and Kaamatan (harvest festival, Sabah).
Many other major festivals take place throughout the year during which people practice the Malaysian tradition of “open house”, inviting anyone and
everyone into their homes to enjoy traditional food and warm hospitality.