Travel tips to Malaysia
Malaysia is an enticing country that attracts everyone with its appeal. If you have already been fascinated by its charisma and planning to come here, then you must keep certain things in mind before packing your bags.
No, don’t panic. It’s just about handling the stuff in a convenient way.
While traveling to foreign places, one must be a little cautious about the surroundings, if not problems might crop up just next door. Thus, before traveling to Malaysia, always check out the travel tips to be at ease.
Upon departure, airport tax is charged in Malaysia which is RM5 for domestic and RM40 for international flights.
A normal eight-hour working day system, with Saturdays as half-working day and Sunday as complete holiday, prevails in Malaysia. All government offices, public service departments and a few banks generally close on the first and third Saturday of every month.
In states of Kelantan, Terengganu and Kedah, full working days extend from Saturday to Wednesday while Thursday is a half-working day and Friday is a holiday. Private sector companies usually operate from 9am to 5pm (Monday-Friday) and 9am to 1pm (Saturday) and government offices are open from 8.30am to 4.30pm.
Malaysia’s temperature fluctuates little throughout the year, and that makes traveling to Malaysia a pleasure. Average temperature is between 21 Celcius and 32 Celcius, with high humidity. 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 to May and October to November. For a four-day weather forecast in Kuala Lumpur, visit intellicast.
While using credit card, be careful because you can be swindled. Use plastic only at big and reputed stores, and keep it under observation.
Tap water is usually fine to drink. In case you don’t prefer tap water, then bottled water is available at general stores across the country.
For driving in Malaysia, you need to have an International Driving Permit (IDP). However, prefer using taxis because traffic is not very smooth here. Don’t mix drinking and driving as it a punishable offence and breathalyzer tests are common by the police. Check out the rental car services.
Don’t even think of bringing any recreational drugs into Malaysia. Person at default would be treated with a binding death sentence, even if he is here for transit or carrying small amounts.
Electric supply is on a 240-volt 50-cycle system.
While doing shopping, be aware and prefer buying products from reputable stores. Markets like Chinatown often sell fake products.
In Malaysia, gambling is illegal and there are only few spots where it is permissible. Don’t get into illegal gambling joints because tourists are frequently cheated.
Always carry your regular and general medicines along. Also keep the recommended prescription in case you fall short of medicine, you can get the related ones from the medical stores. It’s hot and humid in Malaysia and to steer clear of sunburn, mosquito bite etc, bring your sunscreen, hat, sunglasses, mosquito repellent etc and use them whenever required. Don’t take cut fruits from roadside vendors.
Always take only that much luggage which you can handle. Take only required things and don’t assemble many things. Prefer taking durable suitcases or bags because you never know how the airlines’ would deal with baggage. Always keep handy bag containing medicines, required things and travel documents.
Malaysia has about all medical facilities, in case you require any. Tourists usually don’t prefer going to government hospitals, and private medical care being the only option, costs a lot. So, make sure to have adequate travel health insurance.
English Language newspapers are available i.e. The New Straits Times, The Star, Business Times, Malay Mail, Daily Express, Sabah Daily News and Sarawak Tribune. International newspapers can be obtained at most bookshops and newsstands. Several dailies in other languages include Utusan Melayu, Berita Harian, Nanyang Siang Pao, Sin Chew Wit Poh and Tamil Nesan. There are also weeklies, such as the Leader and Straits Shipper.
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 recognised 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). The card has to be handed over to the Immigration Officer on arrival together with the national passport or other internationally recognized travel document endorsed for travel into Malaysia. A passport/travel document is also necessary for travel between Sabah and Sarawak.
- Visitor passes issued for entry into Peninsular Malaysia are not valid for entry into Sarawak. Fresh visit passes must be obtained on arrival at the point of entry in Sarawak. However, subject to conditions stipulated, visit passes issued by the Immigration Authorities in Sabah and Sarawak are valid for any part of Malaysia.
All pedestrians must use pedestrian bridges or pedestrian traffic lights to cross the roads because vehicles don’t stop at zebra crossings.
Public Display of Affection:
Don’t involve in any of such activities on roads, stations or any other public places in Malaysia.
With its multi-ethnic population, it is not surprising that almost every month sees a different festival. Some of these are declared as Public Holidays. As festivals vary from year to year, it is best to check the dates with the nearest Tourism Malaysia Office before you plan your trip.
With crime levels on increase, always be watchful and keep an eye over your belongings. Use common sense judgment whenever dealing with strangers. In big cities, pickpockets and snatch-and-run thieves are really common. So to avoid such situation, be careful and don’t display your valuables or money in public.
Taxi drivers hardly use meters, so it’s always better haggle for the prices before getting into the taxi. At nights, prefer using dial-a-taxi / registered service as unregistered taxi drivers may assault their victims. Check out these taxi services.
In case you lost your way or require any help, seek the assistance of a traffic police officer. These officers dress in dark blue shirts and trousers, and checkered hat bands with letter ‘I’ on a red and blue badge on their breast pocket. Most of the times, these officers can be spotted at tourist spots, attractions and monuments.
It’s always recommended to deposit your travel documents and valuables in a hotel safe or keep them under observation.
Public washrooms in Malaysia are safe and convenient to use. Usually they charge between RM0.20- RM2.00 as per the facilities. Always carry some loose change with yourself.
Malaysia is one of the healthiest countries in the world. If you’re coming from yellow-fever affected areas, then you’ll be requiring a certificate of inoculation. For cholera and smallpox, no vaccination is needed in Malaysia.