Information on Malaysia

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Malaysia Travel Tips
What to take
It is not advisable to use suitcases if your itinerary involves traveling overland by bus. A backpack or, preferably, a travel pack is highly recommended.

For clothing, do take note that Malaysia is relatively casual. Where, formal attire may be the exception, tidy dressing is acceptable. Women should observe that in many areas of the country there are unwritten 'dress codes' such as keeping shoulders covered and wear knee-length skirts or trousers. This is particularly true in the east coast states of Kelantan and Terengganu, but does not generally apply at most beach resorts

Waist pouch, earplugs, first aid kit, insect repellent and/or electric mosquito mats, coils, international driving licence, passports (valid for at least six months), photocopies of essential documents, short wave radio, spare passport photos, sunglasses, sun block, Swiss Army knife, umbrella, wet wipes, zip lock bags.

If you intend to stay in budget accommodation, do include cotton sheets sleeping bag, money belt, padlock for hotel room and pack), soap, student card, toilet paper, towel travel wash.

For women travelers: a supply of feminine towels (although you can buy this almost everywhere). There are camping grounds in Malaysia. If you intend to camp, all the usual equipment is necessary

Although inoculations are not required for entry into Malaysia the immigration authorities may want to check for yellow-fever vaccination that you may have had within the last 10 years if you arrive from a region that has a long history of the disease. All the same, most visitors want that extra assurance by going for hepatitis A, tetanus, typhoid and polio vaccinations

You are well advised to take out an insurance policy to safeguard against any eventualities while travelling in Malaysia. Usually such a policy may get you covered for loss of baggage, tickets (up to a certain amount), money or traveller's cheques, including journey cancellations. Be mindful that if you plan to participate in any risky sports in Malaysia such as diving, jungle trekking or mountaineering, the policy may not have you covered. So, to avert such inconvenience thoroughly enquire what is included as some underwriters may go that extra mile to provide a reasonably comprehensive insurance protection.

If you include medical insurance, find out whether you will be paid upon returning to your country or during treatment or whether there is a round-the-clock contact number.

Should anything untoward happen, ensure that you are able to produce the receipts for your purchase and a report from the police

Medical Problems
Generally, Malaysia has a very high standard of hygiene and medical care. The emergency and outpatient departments of Government hospitals will see foreigners and the charges are very affordable even for a budget traveller. So, you may not have to worry much in this area. However, if you were arriving from a region with a different climate, it would be advisable to give serious thought to personal hygiene as the humid tropical climate may take its toll in other forms, through sweating for example. Incidentally, it is also for this reason that Malaysians wash themselves at least twice daily.

The Heat
Under the sometimes-sweltering tropical heat of Malaysia there may be instances of dehydration and sunburn among those not used to the conditions. So, be warned! Don't be reckless if you're new to the tropics. Among precautions you can take include using sunscreens with high Sun Protection Factor (SPF),wear shades for your eyes and a hat, although despite the searing afternoon heat most Malaysians prefer to go bareheaded. Also, drink lots of water and should you be dehydrated, observe regular intake of fluids supplemented with oral rehydration preparations.

The Stomach
The reason for the occasional occurrence of upset stomach among visitors to Malaysia, especially those from non-Asian regions is the unfamiliarity with local foods and not lack of hygiene. Although very enticing and mouth-watering, Malaysian foods may be very spicy and hot at times - too much for the unfamiliar stomach to accept. Our advice: introduce yourself to the cuisine gradually and allow your body t time to get used to it

Do's and Don'ts
When visiting Malaysia, the visitor 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 with a gentleman with a nod of her head and 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 man offers both hands, lightly touches his friend's outstretched hands, then brings his hands to his chest to mean, 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 I generally offered to guests. It would be polite to accept

  • The right hand is always used when eating with one's hand or when giving and receiving objects

  • The right forefinger is not used to point at places, objects or persons. Instead, the thumb of the right hand with the four fingers, folded under is the preferred usage

  • 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 population does not drink alcoholic beverages.

The above material are taken from All Travel Malaysia Tourism


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