Country Information

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About country

Malaysia located in Southeast Asia has a total land mass of 329, 847 square kilometers.  The country is neighbors with Thailand, Singapore, Brunei, the Philippines and Indonesia. The country is among the fastest growing economies in Asia and is experiencing growth in many of its sectors.

The country experiences tropical climate much like its neighboring countries. Majority of the population are Malays but there are also many people with Chinese and Indian ethnicities in the country. The official language of the country is Malay and majority of its peoples have Islam faith.

 

Accommodation

In recent years, the boom in tourism and other industries in Malaysia have resulted in the increase of world-class accommodations in the country. There is sure to be a hotel, resort or inn to fill the needs of even the most discriminating traveler.  There accommodations range from 5-star hotels to affordable motels. There are luxurious resorts and there are also affordable, no-fuss inns. Whatever a traveler’s budgets or needs are, there is sure to be an accommodation perfect for him.

 

Airport Tax

The airport tax in Malaysia is at Malaysian Ringgit 40 for international flights and Malaysian Ringgit 5 for local flights. The tax is usually included on the cost of the airline ticket.

 

Arrival and Departure

Malaysia has five international airports. The following are the major airports in Malaysia: Kuala Lumpur International Airport and the Penang International Airport.  The Kuala Lumpur International Airport is Malaysia’s main international airport and is one of the busiest airports in Southeast Asia.

 

Currency

The national currency in Malaysia is the Malaysian Ringgit. US Dollars and other currencies can be easily exchanged to Malaysian currency in banks and other private money exchange agents.

 

Money Changers

US Dollars can be easily exchanged in banks, hotels and the airport although exchange rates are usually lower in these establishments.  The advantage with changing money in these establishments is the level of safety they provide the clients. There also plenty of money changing companies in Malaysia so travelers need not worry about having trouble exchanging their US dollars.

 

Banking

Banks are usually open between 9:30 am to 3:30 PM from Monday through Friday.  Some banks are open from 9:30- 11:30 AM on Saturdays except form the first and third Saturdays of the month when all banks are closed.  There are plenty of ATMs around the country that you can use to withdraw money from your ATM card.  These ATMs can also accept transactions of cash advances for MasterCard, Visa and American Express Banks.

 

Credit/ Charge Cards

Major credit cards (Visa, MasterCard and American Express) are widely accepted in commercial establishments in Malaysian cities. You can use your credit card to pay for accommodations, meals, and other expenses. When you are traveling to a remote town, it is best to do a cash advance from an ATM in the city so that you’ll have enough cash to spend just in case the town you visit does not have credit card networks or ATMs.

 

Food  

The foods in Malaysia are extremely diverse because the country is very multi-cultural.  If you’re a food enthusiast ready to take on any food adventures then Malaysia definitely won’t disappoint. There are plenty of restaurants offering various cuisines to patrons from Italian restaurants to authentic Malaysian dishes.  If you are traveling in major Malaysian cities there are also the familiar fast food joints such as McDonald’s to provide a fast and affordable meal.

 

Drinking Water

The water system in Malaysia is efficient and the tap water is safe for drinking in most cities. To avoid having any problems regarding drinking water, travelers should stick to drinking bottled water that can be easily purchased from convenience stores

 

Electricity

The electricity system in Malaysia is at 240 volts at 50 cycles per second. If you are traveling from the United States where the voltage is different, you will need a voltage converter for your electronic devices.  You may also need an adapter for the plug because the sockets in Malaysia are generally the two parallel flat pins with a round grounding pin.

 

What to Wear

When traveling for tourism (medical or otherwise) it is important to bring light and comfortable clothes. Casual clothes are acceptable except when visiting religious sites, attending business or formal events.  Check your itinerary to know what clothes you need to bring.  Most Malaysian cities are very cosmopolitan and people usually wear modern clothes.

 

Mobile Phones

It’s easy to purchase a prepaid SIM card in Malaysia to use on mobile phones. Incoming calls to a Malaysian SIM card are free and only outgoing calls are deducted from the prepaid account.

 

Payphone Services

There are abundant payphones in Malaysia so it shouldn’t be a problem for travelers when they want to make phone calls.  Travelers should only worry about public pay phones when they are visiting remote towns.  It is best to purchase a prepaid SIM card for cases like these so that a traveler can easily make phone calls using his mobile phone.

 

Postal Services

There are postal offices in almost every city and town in Malaysia.  The postal services in the country are usually fast and efficient. Big courier companies such as FedEx and DHL also operate in Malaysia.

Transport

It is very easy to get around Malaysia as the transport systems in the country are pretty efficient.   There are buses and taxi cabs to take you to various cities and towns.   There is also a railway system that is state-run. Some of the interior road ways are not as wide and well-made as major highways but traveling around Malaysia is still pretty easy compared to some countries.

 

Visa and Entry Facilities

Citizens of the United States visiting for tourist, business and academic purposes require no visa when entering Malaysia. There is also no visa requirements for citizens of The Commonwealth countries (except Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Nigeria), and British protected persons. Citizens of the Republic of Ireland and citizens of Switzerland, the Netherlands, San Marino and Liechtenstein are also likewise allowed to enter Malaysia even without visas.  Citizens of certain countries are allowed to enter Malaysia without any visa provided the stay does not exceed 90 days.

 

Country Code

The telephone country code for Malaysia is 60. Check the local telephone directory for the area codes for specific cities and towns.

 

Useful Telephone Numbers

Police & Ambulance               : 999

Fire Brigade                            : 994

Civil Defense                          :991

St.John’s Ambulance               : 03-9285-1576

Accidents / Natural Disasters   :991

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