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VISIT MALAYSIA

General information

To know Malaysia is to love Malaysia. The country is a bubbling, bustling melting-pot of peoples and religions where Malays, Indians, Chinese and many other ethnic groups live together in peace and harmony. Multiculturalism has made the country a gastronomical paradise and home to hundreds of colourful festivals. It’s no wonder that locals love celebrating and socialising. As a people, Malaysians are very relaxed, warm and friendly

Geographically, Malaysia is almost as diverse as its culture. Eleven states and two federal territories (Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya) form Peninsular Malaysia which is separated by the South China Sea from East Malaysia, which includes two states (Sabah and Sarawak on the island of Borneo) and a third federal territory, the island of Labuan.

One of Malaysia’s key attractions is its extreme contrasts: towering skyscrapers look down on wooden houses built on stilts. Five-star hotels sit just metres away from ancient reefs. Rugged mountains reach dramatically for the sky while their rainforest-clad slopes sweep down to floodplains teeming with forest life. Cool highland hideaways roll down to warm, sandy beaches and rich, humid mangroves.

For the perfect holiday full of surprises, the time is now, the place is Malaysia.

To find out more about Malaysia, visit the Malaysian government’s official portal, www.malaysia.gov.my.

Malaysia in a Glance


  • Fast Facts
    Capital city: Kuala Lumpur
    Area: 329,758 square kilometres
    Population: 28 million
  • People and language
    Malays comprise 57% of the population, while Chinese, Indian and Bumiputeras, and other ethnicities make up the rest of the country’s population. Bahasa Malay is the national language and English is widely spoken. Islam is the official religion of the country, but other religions such as Buddhism and Christianity are widely and freely practiced.
  • Weather
    Malaysia enjoys tropical weather year-round. Temperatures range from 21°C (70°F) to 32°C (90°F). Higher elevations are much colder with temperatures between 15°C (59°F) to 25°C (77°F). Annual rainfall varies from 2,000 mm to 2,500 mm. However, the hill slopes of Sarawak’s inland areas receive a mean annual rainfall exceeding 5,000 mm.
  • Dressing up in Malaysia
    Malaysia is a predominantly Muslim country, and this fact should be taken into consideration when choosing which clothes to wear when exploring the country. It is advisable to wear conservative clothing, especially when planning to enter a mosque or other places of worship. Shorts, sleeveless shirts, and revealing clothes should be avoided. In general, shoulders should almost always be covered. However, these rules are more relaxed in in metropolitan areas such as Kuala Lumpur.

    Shoes and other footwear must be removed before entering a mosque or place of worship, and this practice is also followed in most Malaysian homes.
  • Time zone
    Kuala Lumpur operates on Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) +8 hours, or 16 hours ahead (+16) of U.S. Pacific Standard Time.
  • Electricity
    The voltage used is 220 – 240 volts AC at 50 cycles per second. Malaysia uses standard 3-pin square plugs and sockets, as used in the U.K., Ireland, Cyprus, Malta, Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong.
  • Currency
    The unit of currency is the Malaysian Ringgit, indicated as “RM” or MYR. The currency is decimal-based, where 100 sen make 1 Ringgit. Paper money is available in RM1, RM5, RM10, RM20, RM50, and RM100 denominations, while coins are issued in 5, 10, 20 and 50 sen (cent) denominations. Foreign currencies can be exchanged at banks and money changers.
  • Banking hours
    Banking hours are Monday to Friday, 9.00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
    Banks are closed on weekends and public holidays.
  • Goods & Services tax (GST)
    GST has been imposed to any eligible goods or services products effectively since 1st of April 2015. Tourists are allowed to claim a GST refund under the “Tourist Refund Scheme (TRS)” from an Approved Refund Agent at the airport upon leaving Malaysia via a flight from one of the eight international airports in the scope of the TRS.
  • Entry requirements
    Visitors to Malaysia must be in possession of a valid passport or travel document with a minimum validity of six months beyond the period of stay. Many nationalities do not require visas for social or business visits within certain period. For more information visit www.imi.gov.my/index.php/en.
  • Getting to Malaysia
    The main gateway to Malaysia is through the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) in Sepang. It is located about 50 km south of Kuala Lumpur. The new KLIA 2, situated about 1.5 km away from the main terminal of KLIA, is the world’s largest purpose-built terminal dedicated to low-cost carriers. Malaysia is also accessible by rail and road from Singapore and Thailand.
  • Getting around
    Malaysia has excellent domestic air links serviced by Malaysia Airlines as well as carriers such as AirAsia and Firefly. The country has a well-developed and efficient public transportation system served by buses, taxis as well as trains. GrabCar and Uber services are available in Malaysia. When taking a taxi, it is always best ask your driver about the rate before you commit to the taxi ride.

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