Before visiting Malaysia, do not forget that we live in Kuala-Lumpur so give us a shout, and we will be glad to meet you. While traveling in Southeast Asia, Malaysia is often overlooked by travelers, while in fact, it has so much to offer. Malaysia is a beautiful and diverse country where you will not only find lively cities but also stunning rainforests, beaches and, beautiful architecture.
It doesn’t matter if you are a culture seeker, nature lover, or simply travel to find the most delicious food across this globe. Malaysia truly Asia has it all. In addition, we haven’t talked about the people yet, friendly, multicultural and, ready to help you.
Do we really need to give you any more reasons to book a flight to Malaysia? Nonetheless, before you do, there are a couple of things you should know before visiting Malaysia. So to fully help you organize your trip here are 10 things you need to know before visiting Malaysia.
While getting sick on the road cannot be prevented, there are a couple of things you can do the minimize the risk. Depending on what regions you have traveled to before and your home country, you might need vaccinations before coming to Malaysia. (Especially with the Covid-19). We would strongly advise you to visit your nearest clinic for at least six months before traveling to Malaysia or any country.
2. Visa requirement
Malaysia has an easy immigration process for travelers compared to most countries in Southeast Asia. In January 2020, 63 nationalities were able to enter Malaysia visa-free for 90 days. On top of that, there are another 97 nationalities who can enter Malaysia visa-free for 30 days. However, 30 nationalities are still required to obtain a visa in advance before entering the country. With that in mind and to avoid any issues at the immigration it is best to check in advance which policy applies to you. Check here
3. Internet & Wifi are widely available
If there is one thing that you will not have to worry about here is finding the internet. It is available everywhere. Hostels, hotels, cafes, shopping malls, and airports offer pretty good connection. However, if you don’t want to rely on WiFi networks to find an internet connection, you can also use a prepaid sim card. They are affordable and cost around 20-50 MYR depend on the plan you pick.
If you plan on using WiFi connection on your trip, it might be smart to get a VPN with you.
4. Malaysia consists of two regions.
Malaysia split into two parts: Peninsular Malaysia and Malaysian Borneo. The two are not connected and are very different from each other. You will find the main cities located in Peninsular Malaysia, while most of the natural sights are located on Malaysian Borneo.
Visit Peninsular Malaysia to awe at Petronas Towers in Malaysia’s capital, to see some of the most beautiful temples, and enjoy some of Malaysia’s most delicious foods (Must try beef rendang). Or go to Malaysian Borneo to go diving at Sipadan, see the orangutans, or climbing Mount Kinabalu,(On my bucket list) Borneo truly is an adventure paradise.
The reality is that it is possible to visit both parts during your vacation. The easiest way to get between the two locations is to fly, and luckily flights are pretty cheap and frequent. If you are looking for the best deals, be sure to check out Skyscanner for the most affordable flights!
5. Don not forget to pack the essentials.
Before you head to Malaysia, we thought we would share some of our travel essentials, that you should not forget before visiting the country. So besides that guide book, camera to document your travels and your clothes make sure to pack these items as well:
- Power Bank – With a power bank, you will never have to worry about running out of battery anymore. This way, we always have enough power to find our way around town and to watch movies on our phones during those long bus rides.
- Travel Adaptor – Having an international travel adaptor means that wherever you go, you can charge your electronics. Some have multiple USB ports, this way even if you have only one plug you will still be able to charge multiple devices.
- Money Belt – There is nothing worse than being robbed or losing your documents during your travels, and for that reason, we always recommend to travel with a money belt.
- Quick Dry Towel – Not only do these towels dry fast, but they are also extremely compact, light and, taking up barely any space in your backpack. We use quick-dry towels as gym towels, pool towels and, beach towels and, honestly would not travel without them anymore.
6. Malaysia is very affordable.
Traveling in Malaysia does not have to be expensive and, it is a great destination for backpackers who are traveling on a budget. Back in 2008, I was traveling on $15 a day which included transportation, accommodation, food, and sightseeing. However, if you are planning on going diving, do jungle trekking and, stay in more luxury accommodation then be prepared to budget a bit more.
7. English is widely spoken all over the country
The official language of Malaysia is Malay, also known as Bahasa. However, Malaysia is very multicultural and, it is not uncommon to hear other languages such as Tamil, Mandarin, and, of course, English. You will notice that signs, information stands, ticket machines, food menus are almost always available in English. I have now been living in Malaysia since 2018, and I have never had any issues getting around by just speaking English and, my wife is Malaysian so it helps a lot.
8. Dress Appropriately
Malaysia has multiples cultures also translates into many beautiful religious sights that you can visit. However, don’t forget that these religious and cultural sights often have a strict dress code. Depending on the religion you will be asked to cover your knees and shoulders, take your shoes off before entering, and, perhaps, as a woman, cover your hair with a scarf. So be sure to pack some conservative clothing with you and to dress appropriately for the occasion. I always like packing a light scarf in my day pack that I use either to cover my shoulders or even my hair if necessary.
9. Public transport is the way to go.
When it comes to traveling around Malaysia public transport is the way to go. Public transports are widely available in Malaysia, affordable and, very easy to use. From monorails to buses and trains, you will have no issue getting around. If you plan on moving around the country, we recommend you to book your bus in advance using 12Go Asia it will allow you to save time and money. If you plan on visiting Malaysian Borneo and Peninsular Malaysia, I would suggest using Jetsatar to find the best flight deals.
10. Use AIRBNB to save money
AirBnB must be one of our favorite travel apps to use to book accommodation on the road. We have used it in New Zealand, Australia, Vietnam, and now Malaysia and have never been disappointed.
You can find great accommodation, in any price range, and sometimes cheaper than booking a hotel. Depending on your needs (kitchen included, no kitchen, washing machine, parking space for example) there is something for everyone. And to make it even better if you sign up here now for AirBnB you will get up to 30$ credit that you can use for a future booking! We have booked almost all our accommodation in Malaysia through Airbnb as it often allowed us to save tens if not hundreds of dollars.
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