Malaysia is a fantastic kaleidoscope of colors and cultures, and with this Malaysia Travel Guide, I wish to take you on a journey of discovery, exploring every state and see what each has to offer. Come with me and together let's explore Malaysia!
Malaysia is a country in heart of Southeast Asia. It has a total area of 329,845 square kilometers (127,354 sq miles). The country is composed of two parts. West Malaysia, also known as Peninsular Malaysia, is on the peninsula connected to the rest of mainland Asia, while East Malaysia, comprising the states of Sabah and Sarawak, is on the island of Borneo. The capital, Kuala Lumpur, is a city of located 1.6 million people, is located near the centre of West Malaysia, surrounded by a metropolitan area, called the Klang Valley, with a total population of over 7 million.
Guide to Malaysia Hotels
It's never easy finding the hotel that's just right for your stay. Still, by taking a little time to do your research, you increase your chance of getting a good hotel at the best price. Go through the list of hotels in Malaysia which we've put together, arranged city by city, with full description, star rating, address, location map and evaluation. Pick the hotel of your choice and view the rates offered by different booking sites. Yes, we show you prices from different websites, so you don't have to visit them one by one.
Malaysia has a population of 29 million people (2011 estimate). It is one of the most culturally diverse countries in Asia. While the Malays form the majority in the country, forming 54% of the total population, Malaysians include a sizeable population of people from many other ethnic groups, many of whom are the descendents of immigrants who arrived in the country in the past five hundred years. The other major races in Malaysia include the Chinese, the Indians, and other indigenous groupd living in East Malaysia such as the Ibans, Kadazans, Bidayuh. There are also Orang Asli, or Native Malaysians, living mostly in the hinterland of West Malaysia.
Malaysia Travel Information
Time Zone: +8GMT Malaysia is 8 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time.
Currency: ringgit (RM)
Language: Malay, Chinese (Mandarin, Hokkien, Cantonese), Indian (Tamil), Iban, Kadazan-Dusun.
Electrical Outlet: Mostly three-prong sockets similar to United Kingdom.
Driving: On the left side of the road.
Malaysia has one of the best road network in Asia for a country of its size. The North South Expressway is the main artery that runs the length of West Malaysia from Bukit Kayu Hitam in the north to Gelang Patah in the South. The East-West Highway and the Karak Highway link the west coast to the east. Seventy percent of Malaysia's population is concentrated in West Malaysia, and seventy percent of that live in the west coast. Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Johore Bahru are the centre of the three most densely populated metropolitan areas in the country, whereas Perlis, Pahang, Sabah and Sarawak are relatively sparse.
Most of the visitors to Malaysia arrive in Kuala Lumpur. From there, they head north, to Penang, where the colonial architecture and heritage is still very much intact, or to Langkawi, which is heavily promoted as a recreational island. Those seeking more pristine surroundings head to the east coast, to islands such as Redang, Perhentian and Tioman. Malaysia is noted as a major diving destination in Asia, and islands such as Pulau Sipadan in Sabah is ranked as among the best.
Malaysia is home to some of the oldest rainforest in the world, as in Endau-Rompin. Visitors wishing to enjoy a natural experience may visit Taman Negara, Malaysia's first national park; Lake Chini, a river-floodplain of 12 interlocking lakes, and the many waterfalls in the country. The East Malaysia state of Sabah is where Mount Kinabalu, the highest peak in Malaysia, and one of the highest in Southeast Asia. Ascending it is entirely possible, if one is reasonably fit and prepared for the climb. Guides and potters are available for such an undertaking.
Most international visitors enter Malaysia through its airports at Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Kota Kinabalu. Airport tax at all airports in Malaysia is fixed at RM40 for international departures and RM5 for domestic departures. Airport tax at the Low Cost Carrier Terminal at KLIA is RM35 for international departures and RM6 for domestic departure.
From Singapore: You can reach Malaysia via the Causeway from Woodlands to Johor Bahru, or via the Second Link, from Tuas to Tanjung Kupang. Buses from Singapore leave Beach Road (outside Golden Mile Centre), Lavender Street and Queen Street. SBS Bus 170 goes to Johor Bahru.
From Thailand: From Hat Yai (@ Haadyai), you cross the Thai-Malaysian border at Padang Besar in Perlis or Bukit Kayu Hitam in Kedah or Rantau Panjang in Kelantan.
From Indonesia: Regular buses ply between the town of Pontianak in Kalimantan, in Indonesian Borneo, and Kuching, in Sarawak.
From Indonesia: Ferry services available between Medan, Sumatra and Penang; Dumai, Sumatra and Malacca; Tanjung Balai, Sumatra and Port Klang; and Tarakan, Kalimantan and Tawau, Sabah.
From Thailand: Ferry and longboat services available between Satun and Langkawi.
From Brunei: Ferry services available between Brunei and Labuan, Limbang and Lawas in Sarawak.
Malaysian Visa Requirement
Nationals of Afghanistan, Angola, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, China (PR), Congo (Rep), Congo (Dem Rep), Côte d'Ivoire, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, India, Liberia, Mali, Myanmar, Mozambique, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Rwanda, Sri Lanka, Taiwan and Western Sahara require a visa. Nationals of these countries may be granted visa relaxation for transit through Malaysia, for less than 5 days, via a Malaysian international airport, if in possession of confirmed onward airline tickets to a third country before arriving. British Overseas Citizens also require a visa.
Nationals of EU countries do not require a visa for stays of up to 3 months (except nationals of Ireland for stays of up to 2 months and Greece and Portugal for stays of up to 1 month)
Nationals of Commonwealth countries do not require a visa (except nationals of those countries mentioned above who do require a visa) for stays of up to 1 month; nationals of Australia, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa for up to 3 months.
Duty-free allowance (not applicable for domestic flights or those from Singapore) is 250g (1/2 lb) of tobacco, 50 cigars, 200 cigarettes, 1-litre bottle of liquor as well as personal cameras, watches, cosmetics, etc. Strictly prohibited are pornography and weapons. Exporting antiques require licence from the museum department.
Malaysia has excellent telecommunication services. Ever since the sector was privatized, Malaysians now enjoy telecommunication services provided by a number of operators.
The following are some telephone area codes in Malaysia. Off peak periods for interstate calls is between 7:00pm and 7:00am.
Malaysia uses the GSM system common everywhere outside North America. About receiving calls while in Malaysia, please note that you may be charged a very high rate for receiving calls from callers who are unaware you are abroad. Prepaid cards are easily available at kiosks in most cities.
Worldwide Mobile Phone Systems: http://www.kropla.com/mobilephones.htm
The Malaysian currency is called ringgit (RM). Ringgit banknotes are available in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 50 and 100. At the time of writing, US$1.00 = RM3.49. For the latest exchange rate, use the Oanda Currency
Preparing Money for your trip to Malaysia
The currency used in Malaysia is the Malaysian Ringgit (MYR). The following are the latest rates for Malaysian Ringgit in the last 24-hours.
Credit cards are widely accepted in most hotels, department stores, shops, restaurants, etc. You can also withdraw cash with your credit cards from most ATM machines.
Travellers' Cheques can be easily cashed at most banks in Malaysia. Be sure to bring along your passport when cashing your travellers' cheques.
Banks are open Mondays to Fridays from 10am to 4pm. Most banks no longer open on Saturdays.