(665229-U)(KPL-LN 3993)
Traveller's Tips
traveler's tips



Located in Southeast Asia, Malaysia is a country that consists of thirteen states and three federal territories with a total landmass of 329,847 square kilometres. The capital city is Kuala Lumpur, while Putrajaya is the seat of the federal government. The population stands at over 27 million. The country is separated by the South China Sea into two distinct regions - Peninsular Malaysia, extending from the Thai frontier to the border of Singapore and the States of Sabah and Sarawak on Borneo's northern coast. Malaysia borders Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Brunei and the Philippines. Malaysia is headed by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and politically led by a Prime Minister. The government is based on federal constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy.

The Standard Time in Malaysia is GMT +8 hours.


As Malaysia is located near the equator; the country experiences a tropical climate. At lower altitudes the weather is normally warm, humid and sunny all year round, with temperatures hovering around 32°C by day and 22°C at night. The seasons follow the monsoon winds. Rainfall comes at any time in quick, heavy downpours, followed by sunshine within the hour. On the west coast of the Peninsular, the peak rainfall is generally from September to December. On the east coast and in Sabah and Sarawak, the monsoon rains normally occur between October and February. Annual rainfall varies from 2,000mm to 2,500mm. Worldwide climate changes can and do now affect these traditional patterns. An umbrella is always useful! At higher levels (in hill-stations, for example), much cooler temperatures is expected, with averages of 23°C by day and 10°C by night. The presence of insects such as mosquitoes in national park lodges and even occasionally in hotels can be a nuisance but is common in the tropics and not a reflection on standards of hygiene.

Malaysia is a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural and multilingual society. The population consists of 62% Malays, 24% Chinese, 8% Indians, with other minorities and indigenous peoples. Although Malay (Bahasa Melayu) is the national language of the country, English and Mandarin are widely spoken. Other languages are like Indian (Bahasa Tamil) and local dialects.

In this multiracial nation, freedom in religious beliefs is a direct reflection of peace and harmony. Malays are Muslims while Chinese are predominantly Taoists or Buddhists, though some are Christians. The majorities of Malaysia's Indian population are Hindu, though sizable percentages are also Muslims and Christians. Many indigenous tribes of East Malaysia have converted to Christianity although some still follow their animist traditions.

Although many religions are practiced freely, Malaysia is predominantly an Islamic country and rather conservative, thus observance of local customs and courtesy is appreciated. Modesty of attire in public places is expected.

During Ramadan, all Muslims will fast for one month before celebrating Hari Raya Puasa, which is one of the major celebrations in the country. Another major festival is Chinese New Year, normally falls in January or February, depending on the Lunar calendar. Open house is common during these two celebrations and visitors are served with traditional food, cakes and all sort of tidbits


- New Year’s Day (January 1)
- Hari Raya Puasa*
- Chinese New Year*
- Awal Muharram*
- Birthday of Prophet Muhammad*
- Labour Day (May 1)
- Wesak Day*
- Hari Gawai (Sarawak only – June 1 & 2)
- Agong’s Birthday (June 7)
- National Day (August 31)
- Deepavali*
- Hari Raya Haji*
- Christmas (December 25) 

Some public holidays are not applicable to certain states. 
* Subject to change.


Malaysia offers you never-ending adventure, from mild to vigorous, land to sea. Challenge your adrenaline level with various activities such as cave excursions, rock/mountain climbing, jungle trekking, mountain biking, deep sea fishing, rafting, jet-skiing, paragliding, snorkeling or scuba diving and many more.

If you are looking for a relaxed vacation, check out the amazing beaches or the heavenly island resorts around the country. Or perhaps the mystical rainforest and the tranquilizing highland resort is your cup of tea for a complete relaxation. Also, you might not want to miss out the many choices of massage centre, reflexology and health centre in town. If you have great passion for history and art, there are many historical buildings or structures, monuments, museums and also special themed art galleries open for visitors.

For golf enthusiasts, be sure to give it a swing at numerous spectacular courses or driving ranges throughout Malaysia. They can be found located high in mountains, along seashores, on tropical islands, amidst towering rainforests or in the heart of cities.

Shopping fanatics can experience all kinds of different shopping spree in Malaysia, where many exquisite souvenirs, unique handicrafts and quality antiques can be purchased at good bargains. Also be spiced up by the amazing nightlife in Malaysia, from fun pubs to discotheques, music café, karaoke lounge, night market and famous night food hawker stalls.


The main gateway into Malaysia is through Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) at Sepang, located approximately 50km south of Kuala Lumpur. Other major international airports which serve as entry points to Malaysia are Penang, Johor Bahru, Kuching, Kota Kinabalu and Langkawi.

The main entry point by sea to Kuala Lumpur is Port Klang, about 50km away from Kuala Lumpur. Malaysia is also accessible by rail and road from Singapore and Thailand.


Foreigner entering Malaysia must hold a passport valid for at least 6 months from the date of departure from Malaysia. Entry into Sabah and Sarawak requires separate customs formalities, both on arrival from Peninsular Malaysia and between the two states. It is essential that the name on your passport and the name on your air tickets are identical - especially important for newly-weds - you may not be able to enter if this is not the case.

Citizens of the United States do not need visas for tourism and business visits, and upon entry are granted a Social/Business Visit Pass good for up to 3 months. Citizens of Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom can also enter the country without a visa and will be granted up to 30 days pass upon entry. For other countries, please consult the nearest Malaysian consulate before your trip for visa regulations. Travelers holding Israeli passports are not permitted to travel into Malaysia.

It is your personal responsibility to ensure that you are in possession of a full passport and visa/permit (if required) to enter or transit any countries en route. Please note that possession of narcotics and other illegal drugs in Malaysia carries death sentence. Pornography, firearms and ammunition are strictly prohibited.


Customs Duty Exemption 1988, Clause 19 allows Malaysian citizens and visitors to import goods, provided they abide by the following conditions:-

Wine, Liquor / Liquor Malt

All not more than 1 litre


225 gm / 200 cigarettes / 50 cigars

Duty Food Item

Not more than RM75


Not more than RM400 (except goods from Langkawi and Labuan , worth not more than RM500)


The above goods can be imported and are exempted from customs duty if these conditions are followed:-


The goods are imported together or in visitor’s baggage.


Goods are for personal usage and used regularly.


Visitors can convince the Customs Officer that they are not Malaysian citizens and are only planning to stay in Malaysia for less than 72 hours.


For Malaysian citizens, they have to convince the Customs Officer that they have left the country not less than 72 hours (for Labuan Federal Territory - 24 hours and Langkawi - 48 hours).

Malaysian citizens or visitors who carry goods exceeding the stated duty free limit must pay full tax for the excess with a ratio of 30% from the worth of goods.

Tourists are free to bring in any amount of foreign currencies or traveler’s cheques. However, tourists would be required to seek for approval if the amount of foreign currencies including traveler’s cheque to be carried out exceeds the amount brought into Malaysia and if the amount to be taken out of Malaysia is more than the equivalent of USD2,500. Tourists must also obtain permission and declare the amount of Ringgit Malaysia in excess of RM1,000 being brought into or out of Malaysia.

All airports in Malaysia and other destinations impose domestic and international departure taxes. Do keep local currency or (where appropriate) USD available, as these taxes are not included in your tour package prices.

Note: These information provided are correct at the time of composition and may subject to change.

As effective on 21 May 2007, a new security regulation on hand luggage has been set for all international passengers departing from or transiting (changing planes) on commercial flights (incl. charter flights) at all International Airports in Malaysia. Passengers can hand carry only small quantities of liquids, gels or aerosols items of not more than 100ml each with a maximum total capacity not exceeding 1 liter, using only one small size, transparent and re-sealable plastic bag. This rule also applies to all International-bound passengers departing from our Domestic Airports. The re-sealable plastic bags are available at information counters, check-in counters and boarding pass check points.

The specified items cover liquids such as water, drinks, soups, syrups and other beverages, gels (including hair and shower gels), pastes (including toothpaste), mascara, lip gloss, creams, lotions, oils, perfumes, sprays, liquid/solid mixture, contents of pressurized containers (including shaving foam and deodorants), aerosols and other items with a similar consistency.

Passengers may take extra liquids, gels or aerosols on board aircraft which are purchased from Airport Shops/Duty Free outlets in the security restricted areas of the terminal on the day of travel. However, these items must be placed in standard Security Tamper-Evident Bags (STEBs) provided by the shops, with receipt attached to it as Proof of Purchase.

Other extra liquids, gels or aerosols should be kept in checked in baggage.
Medicines, baby food/milk and special dietary requirement required on board during the flight are allowed (must be verified by airport security) and do not need to be carried in the transparent, re-sealable plastic bag.


Malaysia has excellent domestic air links and a well developed and effective public transportation system served by buses and taxis. Trains and LRT are available in some larger cities. Rental car is usually hirable at airports or through travel agency. Transfers in a tour vehicle will be provided by us for those who purchase our tour package.

Both international and local banks operate in Malaysia. A number of merchant bankers, finance companies and offshore financial institutions are also established here.

BANK HOURS (generally)

States of Kedah, Kelantan & Terengganu

Sat - Wed

9:30AM - 4:00PM

Thurs & Fri


Other states

Mon - Fri

9:30AM - 4:00PM


Sat & Sun



The currency used in Malaysia is Ringgit Malaysia (MYR or RM). Foreign currency and traveler’s cheques can be converted to Ringgit Malaysia at banks, most hotels and licensed money changers. Foreign currencies are normally not accepted in most shops. International credit cards (Visa/Mastercard) and American Express are acceptable in most hotels, restaurants and many shops.

Most foreign currencies are exchangeable in banks. However, it is advisable to shop around, as money-changers may sometimes offer more favorable exchange rates. Passports must be presented when cashing traveler's cheques at banks and a certain amount of commission will be charged. When travelling to smaller towns, ensure that you carry enough Ringgit Malaysia.


If you are planning for an adventurous holidays, you should check your fitness level before attempting a new or unfamiliar activity, be it climbing Mount Kinabalu, scuba-diving off Sipadan, or even gentle rambles in the National Park. Malaysia's heat and humidity can rapidly drain energy level of travelers from temperate regions.

VAC Health standards in Malaysia are ranked among the highest in Asia. When travelling in Malaysia, it is advisable to drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration. Tap water should not be consumed directly without boiling. We advise consumption of drinking water provided by the hotels or bottled water available for purchase in many shops. Do avoid iced water from roadside hawker stalls which may be unhygienic, except for canned drinks.

If you require medical attention, please contact your hotel reception for information on the nearest clinic or hospital. In case of emergency, call 999 for emergency ambulance. If you are on medication or have asthmatic problem, don’t forget to pack your medicine and puffer along.

In Malaysia, exposure to the sun may cause sunburn very quickly, even in cloudy weather, especially at beach resorts. Do avoid prolonged sunbathing and use plenty of high factor sun block. Water-resistant cream is vital if you are swimming or diving. Wear sunglasses and a sun hat if possible. If you are jungle trekking, it is recommended that you take anti-malaria tablets for precautions - your doctor will know which type is suitable. Insect repellents, mosquito coils and nets may be necessary at night if overnight in the jungle. Treat open cuts and scratches immediately as infection in humid climates can delay healing. Do not touch fish, shells, snakes or other marine life near coral reefs as some can be poisonous. Wear plastic shoes or flippers while exploring reefs.

If you are arriving from an area in which yellow fever has been reported, you will be required to show proof of yellow fever vaccination. Contact your nearest MTB office to research on the specific areas that fall into this category.

Winter clothing like gloves and scarf are never required in Malaysia, not even a thick jacket. Lightweight, washable, casual clothes are the order of the day in Malaysia - cotton or cotton-rich or synthetic mix (preferably the former) is recommended. A light sweater is a good idea for cooler evenings and on highlands. Branded clothes as well as cheap clothes are sold everywhere. We also recommend our traditional batik shirts which are colourful and cool.

Most hotels provide laundry service and there are also many laundry shops around in town. However, do bring along enough clothing for changing as Malaysia’s weather can cause heavy perspiration.

For formal or semi-formal occasions, often men can opt for a long-sleeved traditional batik shirt. Topless sunbathing is not acceptable at the beach or poolside. Check the required dress code before entering any place of religious worship.

Camping gear is often available for hire in national parks but it is likely to be in great demand. Appropriate clothing and footwear is recommended for different activity you are attempting. There are generally no worries about leaving items behind when you come to Malaysia as toiletries, medicines, suntan lotion, insect repellents, sun hats, etc are available for purchase in most places. In remote areas power cuts can occur and a torch can come in handy. In some locations, you will not have the luxury of a shaving point but disposable razors are sold widely in towns and cities.


The Voltage used in Malaysia is 220 - 240 volts AC at 50 cycles per second. Standard 3-pin square plugs and sockets are used. Most hotels can supply an adaptor for 110-220 volt appliances upon request.

We can pre-book a hire-car of your choice for all or part of your stay in Malaysia. In most cases, car rental with unlimited mileage is offered. Fuel is at own cost and many petrol stations are open 24 hours. All Malaysian cars are right hand drive and we follow the British system of Highway Code. Generally speaking, traffic is relatively well-disciplined but do watch out for the F1 wannabe cars, motorcycles, long distance bus (locally known as express bus) and the aging trucks/lorries. In big cities such as Kuala Lumpur, traffic congestion can be anuisance, do avoid hitting the road or expressway during peak hours, normally around 7-9am and 5-7pm. In certain big cities, tolls may be payable on expressway.

An international or full UK driving licence is required to drive in Malaysia. Generally the hirer and any additional driver must be over 23 years of age, with at least 1 year driving experience. If you are involved in a motor vehicle accident, you are obliged to lodge a report at the Police Station within 24 hours. This is very important, should you need to file insurance claims.


Malaysia's telephone system is reasonably simple to use. Making local calls from public payphones, whether coin or card operated, costs 10 cents for three minutes. Making international calls, inter-state calls or calls to mobile phones will cost more, depending on the location of the receiver. Coin phones permit calls within Malaysia only. Phone cards of RM5, RM10, RM20 and RM50 are easily available from airports, petrol kiosks, most 7-Eleven stores and many other outlets, and at Telecom offices. IDD call cards are also available which offer cheaper international call rates. There are also credit card operated phones at most tourist spots or you can use 'Home Country Direct' at selected Telecom service outlets (calls are charged to the receiver). To make an International Direct Dial (IDD) call, dial Malaysia's access code 00, followed by the country code, area code and telephone number. Most hotels provide IDD service, facsimile and internet service. Some places provide free wireless internet access (normally with a “Free WiFi” sticker). If you didn’t bring along your laptop or PDA, you can always go to the cyber café for using the internet, which is normally charged by hours.


Tipping is not customary in Malaysia. However, in international and large hotels, bellboys, room service staffs and porters do expect tips, say around RM5, depending on the service rendered. A service charge of 10% and government tax of 5% are normally levied on food, drinks and room rate in a hotel. Some restaurants also levy these charges.


Some airlines do not accept pregnant passenger who will be 28 or more weeks into pregnancy on the return date of travel unless she presents a letter of consent from the doctor. Please always check on the restriction with the relevant airline before making your bookings and as a precaution, obtain clearance to fly from your doctor.

Always be sure to carry your passport, air tickets and any other relevant travel documents with you and never pack them in your check-in baggage. Also be reminded to check your flight schedule on your air tickets, as these may be different from your original booking request. We recommend checking in at least 2-3 hours before take-off to avoid any last minute unforeseen circumstances.


We regret that we cannot obtain refunds on pre-booked meals and services not actually used, unless these are caused by delays to travel arrangements, whereby you have taken an alternative meal or arrangement in compensation.

When visiting Malaysia, visitors should observe local customs and practices. Some common courtesies and customs are as follows:-



Although handshakes generally suffice for both men and women, some Muslim ladies may acknowledge an introduction to a gentleman with a nod of her head and a smile. A handshake is only to be reciprocated if the lady offers her hand first. The traditional greeting or “salam” resembles a handshake with both hands but without the grasp. The Muslim man offers both hands, lightly touches his friend’s outstretched hands, and then brings his hands to his chest which means “I greet you from my heart”. The visitor should reciprocate the “salam”.


It is polite to call before visiting a home.


Shoes must always be removed when entering a Malaysian home.


Drinks are generally offered to guests. It would be polite to accept.


The 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 practice.


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 first.


Toasting is not a common practice in Malaysia.


The country’s large Muslim populations neither drink alcohol nor eat pork. Never offer them those.