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Ubudiah Mosque, Kuala Kangsar
Ubudiah Mosque, Kuala Kangsar, the most elegant mosque in Malaysia (31 January, 2006)
© Timothy Tye using this photo

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.

Jalur Gemilang, the Malaysian Flag
Jalur Gemilang, the Malaysian Flag (8 February 2006)
© Timothy Tye using this photo

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

  1. Time Zone: +8GMT Malaysia is 8 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time.
  2. Currency: ringgit (RM)
  3. Language: Malay, Chinese (Mandarin, Hokkien, Cantonese), Indian (Tamil), Iban, Kadazan-Dusun.
  4. International Dialing Code: 60
  5. Population: 21 million
  6. Religion: Islam, Buddhism/Taoism, Hinduism, Christianity
  7. Electricity: 220V 50Hz
  8. Electrical Outlet: Mostly three-prong sockets similar to United Kingdom.
  9. 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. Those visiting one of the more populated areas should consider searching online to book their Kuala Lumpur, Johor Bahru or Penang hotel and save themselves some time and money.

Scene at Siti Khadijah Market, Kota Bharu
Scene at Siti Khadijah Market, Kota Bharu (12 February 2006)
© Timothy Tye using this photo

Soot covered charcoal factory, Matang
Soot covered charcoal factory, Matang (1 July, 2007)
© Timothy Tye using this photo

Malaysia Tourist Destinations

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.

Kek Lok Si
Majestic Kek Lok Si Temple in Penang (28 January 2006)
© Timothy Tye using this photo

Languages of Malaysia

The official language of the country is Bahasa Malaysia, but many other languages are also spoken.
  1. Bahasa Malaysia
  2. Malaysian English
  3. Mandarin

Gua Kelam, Perlis
Gua Kelam, Perlis (30 April, 2005)
© Timothy Tye using this photo

Malaysia Entry Points

By Plane
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.

By Road
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.

Bright Lights, Big City
Bright Lights, Big City - Kuala Lumpur (28 December 2006)
© Timothy Tye using this photo

By Sea
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.

Sungai Sedim
Lush Sungai Sedim (2 May 2005)
© Timothy Tye using this photo

Malaysia Entry Requirements

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.

Travellers on transit to another country, for less than 5 days, with a confirmed ticket via a Malaysian airport, do not require a visa.

Pulau Rawa
Pulau Rawa (9 April 2004)
© Timothy Tye using this photo

Malaysia Customs

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. Area Codes
The following are some telephone area codes in Malaysia. Off peak periods for interstate calls is between 7:00pm and 7:00am.
  1. Kuala Lumpur: 03
  2. Penang: 04
  3. Johor: 07
  4. Kota Kinabalu: 088
  5. Kuching: 082
  6. Malacca: 06
  7. Miri: 085
  8. Labuan: 087
  9. Kelantan: 09
  10. Kedah: 04
  11. Perlis: 04
  12. Perak: 05
  13. Selangor: 03
  14. Terengganu: 09

Sungai Palas Tea Plantation
Sungai Palas Tea Plantation, Cameron Highlands (17 September 2005)
© Timothy Tye using this photo

Mobile Phones
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

Pantai Cenang, Langkawi
Picturesque Pantai Cenang, Langkawi (6 June 2005)
© Timothy Tye using this photo

Useful Numbers
The following numbers may prove useful during emergencies:
  • General Emergencies: 999
  • Police (called from land line): 991
  • Fire (called from land line): 994
  • Electrical breakdown: 15454
  • Directory Enquiries: 103
  • International Assisted Service: 108

Sri Muthu Mariamman Festival, Malacca
Sri Muthu Mariamman Festival, Malacca (3 May 2009)
© Timothy Tye using this photo

Public Holidays

Malaysia celebrates a plethora of public holidays that reflect its multi-cultural, multi-racial, multi-religion mix. Some public holidays are observed nation-wide while others are state-wide.
  • New Year Day: 1 January
  • Maal Hijrah (Awal Muharram)
  • Chinese New Year
  • Maulidur Rasul (Birthday of Prophet Muhammad S.A.W)
  • Eid Al-Adha (Hari Raya Qurban)
  • Thaipusam (only in Penang, Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Johor, Negri Sembilan and Perak)
  • Labour Day
  • Wesak Day
  • Birthday Celebration of SPB Yang di Pertuan Agong (King's Birthday)
  • National Day: 31st August
  • Eid Al-Fitr (Hari Raya Puasa)
  • Deepavali:
  • Eid Al-Adha (Hari Raya Qurban)
  • Christmas: 25th December

Batu Caves
Mammoth Batu Caves (28 December 2006)
© Timothy Tye using this photo

Foreign Exchange

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 Converter.

Credit Card
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
Travellers' Cheques can be easily cashed at most banks in Malaysia. Be sure to bring along your passport when cashing your travellers' cheques.

Banking Hours
Banks are open Mondays to Fridays from 10am to 4pm. Most banks no longer open on Saturdays.

Perak Museum in Taiping
Perak Museum in Taiping (4 February 2006)
© Timothy Tye using this photo

States of Malaysia

  1. Federal Territory of Malaysia
  2. Johor
  3. Kedah
  4. Kelantan
  5. Malacca
  6. Negri Sembilan
  7. Pahang
  8. Penang
  9. Perak
  10. Perlis
  11. Sabah
  12. Sarawak
  13. Selangor
  14. Terengganu

Towns and Cities of Malaysia

  1. Kuala Lumpur - capital
  2. Alor Setar
  3. Alor Gajah
  4. Ayer Hitam
  5. Ayer Keroh
  6. Bachok
  7. Bagan Jermal
  8. Bagan Serai
  9. Bahau
  10. Balik Pulau
  11. Baling
  12. Banda Kaba
  13. Bandar Hilir
  14. Bandar Permaisuri
  15. Bangi
  16. Banting
  17. Batang Berjuntai
  18. Batang Kali
  19. Batang Melaka
  20. Batu Berenddam
  21. Batu Ferringhi
  22. Batu Gajah
  23. Batu Maung
  24. Batu Pahat
  25. Batu Uban
  26. Bayan Baru
  27. Bayan Lepas
  28. Beaufort
  29. Belaga
  30. Bentong
  31. Bidor
  32. Bintangor
  33. Bintulu
  34. Brinchang
  35. Bukit Kayu Hitam
  36. Bukit Lanjan
  37. Butterworth
  38. Cameron Highlands
  39. Changlun
  40. Cheras
  41. Chukai
  42. Cyberjaya
  43. Damansara
  44. Desaru
  45. Dungun
  46. Durian Tunggal
  47. Endau
  48. Gelugor
  49. Gemas
  50. George Town
  51. Gerik
  52. Gopeng
  53. Gua Musang
  54. Gurun
  55. Ipoh
  56. Jelapang
  57. Jeli
  58. Jelutong
  59. Jerantut
  60. Jerteh
  61. Jitra
  62. Johor Bahru
  63. Johor Lama
  64. Kajang
  65. Kampar
  66. Kamunting
  67. Kampung Morten
  68. Kangar
  69. Kapit
  70. Karak
  71. Kelana Jaya
  72. Kempas
  73. Kerteh
  74. Kijal
  75. Klang
  76. Klebang
  77. Kluang
  78. Kodiang
  79. Kota Belud
  80. Kota Bharu
  81. Kota Kinabalu
  82. Kota Samarahan
  83. Kota Tinggi
  84. Kuah
  85. Kuala Berang
  86. Kuala Besur
  87. Kuala Kangsar
  88. Kuala Ketil
  89. Kuala Krai
  90. Kuala Kurau
  91. Kuala Lipis
  92. Kuala Muda
  93. Kuala Perlis
  94. Kuala Pilah
  95. Kuala Selangor
  96. Kuala Terengganu
  97. Kuantan
  98. Kuching
  99. Kulai
  100. Kulim
  101. Labis
  102. Labuan
  103. Lahad Datu
  104. Langgar
  105. Langkawi
  106. Larkin
  107. Limbang
  108. Lukut
  109. Lumut
  110. Lunas
  111. Machang
  112. Marang
  113. Masai
  114. Menglembu
  115. Mentakab
  116. Merang
  117. Mersing
  118. Miri
  119. Muar
  120. Nilai
  121. Nusajaya
  122. Padang Besar
  123. Paka
  124. Paloh
  125. Pangkor
  126. Papan
  127. Parit
  128. Parit Buntar
  129. Pasir Mas
  130. Pasir Puteh
  131. Pasir Salak
  132. Paya Terubong
  133. Pedas
  134. Pekan
  135. Pekan Nanas
  136. Pengkalan Chepa
  137. Pengkalan Hulu
  138. Pengkalan Kubor
  139. Pengkalan Pasir
  140. Permatang Damar Laut
  141. Petaling Jaya
  142. Plentong
  143. Pontian
  144. Port Dickson
  145. Port Klang
  146. Proton City
  147. Puchong
  148. Pulai
  149. Pulau Tikus
  150. Putrajaya
  151. Rantau Panjang
  152. Raub
  153. Rawang
  154. Redang
  155. Relau
  156. Rembau
  157. Sabak Bernam
  158. Sandakan
  159. Sarikei
  160. Segamat
  161. Semporna
  162. Sepang
  163. Seremban
  164. Seri Kembangan
  165. Seri Menanti
  166. Shah Alam
  167. Sibu
  168. Sitiawan
  169. Skudai
  170. Slim River
  171. Subang
  172. Sungai Buloh
  173. Sungai Petani
  174. Sungai Siput
  175. Sungkai
  176. Taiping
  177. Tampin
  178. Tampoi
  179. Tanah Merah
  180. Tanjung Aru
  181. Tanjung Bidara
  182. Tanjung Bungah
  183. Tanjung Dawai
  184. Tanjung Karang
  185. Tanjung Kupang
  186. Tanjung Malim
  187. Tanjung Rambutan
  188. Tanjung Tualang
  189. Tapah
  190. Tawau
  191. Teluk Bahang
  192. Teluk Intan
  193. Temerloh
  194. Tronoh
  195. Wang Kelian
  196. Yong Peng

Businesses by City

  1. Businesses in Alor Setar
  2. Businesses in Ipoh
  3. Businesses in Penang
  4. Businesses in Taiping

Businesses by Type

  1. Bakeries

UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Malaysia

  1. Gunung Mulu National Park
  2. Kinabalu National Park
  3. Melaka UNESCO World Heritage Site
  4. George Town UNESCO World Heritage Site

Expressways in Malaysia

  1. Expressways of Penang
  2. Central Link Expressway @ ELITE Highway (E6)
  3. Guthrie Corridor Expressway (E35)
  4. Kajang Dispersal Link Expressway @ SILK Highway (E18)
  5. North-South Expressway Northern Route @ PLUS Highway (E1)
  6. North-South Expressway Southern Route @ PLUS Highway (E2)
  7. New Klang Valley Expressway @ NKVE, (E1)
  8. Shah Alam Expressway @ KESAS,(E5)
  9. South Klang Valley Expressway @ SKVE (E26)

All About Malaysia

  1. History of Malaysia
  2. Traditional Costumes, Attires and Accessories
  3. Festivals
  4. Malaysian Cuisine
  5. Malaysian Fruits
  6. Malaysian Handicrafts
  7. Musical Instruments of Malaysia
  8. Performing Arts of Malaysia
  9. Traditional Games of Malaysia
  10. Marine Parks of Malaysia
  11. National Parks of Malaysia
  12. Theme Parks in Malaysia
  13. Zoos in Malaysia
  14. Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC)

Malaysia Highways & Expressways

  1. Expressways and Highways in Malaysia
  2. North-South Expressway (E1 & E2)
  3. New Klang Valley Expressway (E1)
  4. ELITE Highway (E6)
  5. Karak Highway/East Coast Expressway (E8)
  6. Penang Bridge (E36)
  7. Jelutong Expressway (3113)
  8. Pan Borneo Highway

Famous Malaysians

  1. Jimmy Choo
  2. Lat
  3. Mahathir Mohamad
  4. Michelle Yeoh
  5. Nicol David
  6. P. Ramlee

Malaysian Legendary Personalities

The following are people whose existence could be both historical as well as legendary, that have become part of the fabric of the history of the country.
  1. Mahsuri
  2. Hang Tuah
  3. Puteri Gunung Ledang
  4. Hang Li Po
  5. Mat Salleh

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