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Tips for travel to Malaysia

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Malaysia is a country that is not only diverse in culture, it also offer a diversity of holiday genre. Malaysia is a country consisting of 13 states and 3 federal territories. The country is separated into two regions, West Malaysia which is the main Malaysia Pennisula and East Malaysia which is connected to Brunei and Indonesia.

Kuala Lumpur is the capital city of Malaysia and it is also home to another twin tower called the Petronas Twin Tower. Most of us will remember the twin tower as a location shoot for the film “Entrapment”, where Sean Connery and Catherine Zeta Jones manoeuvre dangerously across the bridge. Kuala Lumpur is a vibrant and modern city with exciting night life and fantastic foods.   

Malaysia has lots to offer as a holiday destination. There are places that will satisfy different travel delights. Though it is relatively easy to get around in Malaysia, it is always good to look out for some useful information about the place before you begin your travel. Here are some useful travel tips for Malaysia:

Malaysia  Visas

To enter Malaysia, all travellers must possess a valid national Passport or internationally recognized Travel Document valid for travel to Malaysia. There is no Malaysia visa requirements for citizens of The Commonwealth countries (except Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Nigeria), and British protected persons or citizens of the Republic of Ireland and citizens of Switzerland, the Netherlands, San Marino and Liechtenstein. U.S.A. citizens visiting for social, business or academic purposes (except for local employment) do not require a Malaysian Visa to enter the country.  Foreign nationals who require a Visa to enter Malaysia must apply and obtain a Visa in advance at Malaysian Representative Office before entering the country. Visa which has been granted is not absolute guarantee that the holder will be allowed to enter Malaysia. The final decision lies with the Immigration Officer at the entry point.

More information about entry requirements to Malaysia can be obtain from the official website, http://www.imi.gov.my/eng/perkhidmatan/im_Permit.asp  

Weather in Malaysia 

The climate in Malaysia is generally equatorial and hence it is constantly warm with high humidity and plentiful rainfall. The average temperature stays around 20C to 30C throughout the year. Though there are no distinct seasons, November to January tends to be slightly cooler and May through to August is some of the hotter months.  

Car rental in Malaysia 

If you decide to rent a car in Malaysia, a national driving license or an International Driving Permit is required. Drivers must also be at least 23 years old. Malaysian drive on the left hand side of the road and seat belts must be put on at all times. The maximum speed limit in cities and towns is 60km/h and 110km/h for expressways.  

Electricity connection in Malaysia 

Visitors to Malaysia must check if their electrical appliances can handle the voltage of 220-240 volts AC, 50Hz. The power plugs used in Malaysia are of the three-pin, square-shaped type. If your electrical device does not accept the voltage and the appliance plug shape is different, you will need a voltage converter and a plug adapter.  

Customs requirements when entering Malaysia 

Visitors to Malaysia are allowed to bring in the following goods under the regulated limit set by the Malaysian Government. The items are Tobacco:Tobacco not more than 225 gram (equivalent to 200 cigarettes), Alcohol: Wine, spirit, malt liquor not more than 1 litre, Wearing apparels not more than 3 pieces., One pair of new footwear, Portable electrical or battery operated appliances for personal care and hygiene not exceeding 1 unit each. Food preparations to a value of not exceeding RM75 and all other goods including gifts and souvenirs valued at not more than RM400 (except for goods from Langkawi, Pulau Tioman and Labuan, the total amount valued at not more than RM500) Further information about the custom regulation can be obtained at http://www.customs.gov.my  

Malaysian currency 

The local currency in Malaysia is called Ringgit Malaysia (RM) and the currency code is MYR. Notes come in denominations of RM 1, 2, 5, 10, 50 and 100. Coins come in denominations of 5sen, 10sen, 20sen and 50 sen. All international credit cards such as Diners, American Express, MasterCard and Visa are accepted in hotels, shops and other commercial establishments. 

Cash dispensing machines in Malaysia 

Cash dispensing machines or Automatic Teller Machines are widely available in Malaysia. A surcharge may be levied when you draw cash from the cash machine. The fee varies between institutions.  

Foreign currency exchange in Malaysia 

Foreign currency exchange is widely available at licensed money changer, hotels and banks. Some of these exchange outlets levy a transaction charge. Shop around for the best exchange rate as there many foreign exchange outlets available for you to compare. 

Trading hours in Malaysia 

You can enjoy all day and all night shopping and dining in Malaysia. The common trading hours in Malaysia are from 10am to 10pm, from Monday to Sunday.  

Crime rate in Malaysia 

Overall the crime rate in Malaysia is low and violent crime involving tourists is relatively uncommon. Petty theft like purse snatching and pick pocket is the most common criminal activity directed against foreigners. Such incidents can happen in crowded places and snatch thieves are known to operate using motorcycles. It is advisable to be alert of your surrounding and be careful with your bags especially when walking on street. 

Tipping in Malaysia 

Tipping in Malaysia is not compulsory as a 10% service charge in addition to the 5% government tax will be included in the total figure of your restaurant bill.  

Emergency numbers in Malaysia 

There are several emergency call numbers in Malaysia. For police and medical assistance, the number to dial is 999. The fire department can be reached at 994 and if you have a mobile phone, just dial 112 and you will be connected straight to an emergency hotline. 

Languages in Malaysia 

The national language in Malaysia is Bahasa Melayu. Other major languages spoken include Mandarin, Cantonese and Tamil. English is a common language used in business. 

Smoking in Malaysia 

Smoking is not allowed in public places such as air conditioned shops, public transport, airport, public lifts and banks. A fine not exceeding RM1000 may be levied if caught. 

Visiting places of worship in Malaysia 

When visiting religious places in Malaysia, visitors are expected to be respectable dressed and behave. Visitors to mosque must be dress modestly, covering your body as much as possible and you are also required to take off your shoe before entering the mosque. 

 

 

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