Malaysia

Essential Travel Information

Entry/Exit Requirements

U.S. citizens seeking entry as tourists or visitors are required to present a valid passport that will remain valid for 6 months past your period of intended stay in order to travel to Malaysia. Visas are not required for tourists staying fewer than 90 days. Upon arrival, immigration officials will place an entry stamp in your passport to specify the number of days you can stay. When arriving by air, travelers to Malaysia are electronically fingerprinted upon arrival and again on departure. Make sure that you have enough empty pages for entry and exit stamps in your passport to ensure your entry and exit. Travelers should be careful not to stay beyond the date permitted in order to avoid difficulties when departing the country.

For more updated and other information please visit: http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/country/malaysia.html.

Please note:  Each traveler is fully responsible for bringing and acquiring travel documents (e-tickets, hotel and travel vouchers, etc.) necessary for his or her itinerary. If you are not a citizen of the United States, your entry requirements may vary—please contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the country or countries to be visited and obtain the specific requirements for entry.

Arrival Information

A GLOBOTOURS local representative or driver will meet you at the arrival hall after customs and immigrations, holding a placard with a Globotours signboard and your name. If in the event that you are unable to locate our representative, please call the local contact number as specified on your voucher or confirmation itinerary.

Traditional Long House 1024

Map of Malaysia

Country Information

 

Capital: Kuala Lumpur

Population: 30,487,000

Location: South East Asia

Largest Cities: Kuala Lumpur, Johor Bahru, Ipoh

Religion: 61.3% of the population practice Islam, 19.8% practice Buddhism, 9.2% Christianity, 6.3% Hinduism and 1.3% practice Confucianism, Taoism and other traditional Chinese religions. 0.7% declared no religion and the remaining 1.4% practised other religions

System of Government: Federal Parliamentary, Constitutional Monarchy, Elective Monarchy

Time zone

 

Malaysia operates on Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), plus 8 hours.

 

At 9:00 am anywhere in Malaysia, it is:

• 8:00 pm the previous day in New York – Eastern Standard Time (EST)

• 7:00 pm the previous day in Chicago and Houston – Central Standard Time (CST)

• 5:00 pm the previous day in Los Angeles and San Francisco – Pacific Standard Time (PST)

• 3:00 pm the previous day in Hawaii – Hawaii-Aleutian Standard Time (HAST)

 

*Note: Add one hour to local time during Daylight Savings Time.

Practical Information

A good source of health information for travelers is the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website.

 

You should be up to date on routine vaccinations while traveling to any destination. Please be advised that high-standard medical care is not available in Malaysia. Sightseeing may require, at minimum, the ability to walk at a moderate pace for a mile or two, and the balance and agility necessary to climb stairs, enter and exit buses and boats, and navigate uneven or cobble-stoned streets. Some sightseeing stops do not have elevators or wheelchair access. Bring medications in their original, clearly labeled, containers. A signed and dated letter from your physician describing your med­ical conditions and medications, including generic names, is also a good idea. If carrying syringes or needles be sure to have a physician’s letter documenting their medical necessity. When on vacation, it is always wise to watch what you eat and drink, but please do not drink the tap water while traveling in Malaysia. Most hotels will provide complimentary bottled water and additional bottled water can be purchased throughout your trip.

Malaysia’s unit of currency is the Malaysian Ringgit (RM) available in the following denominations: Banknotes: 1,000, 500, 100, 50, 20, 10, 5, 2, 1 RM; Coins: 50, 20, 10, 5, 1 sen, and 1 RM. Foreign currency and traveler’s checks can be exchanged only at authorized agencies such as banks, exchange offices, and hotels. Major credit cards such as American Express, Master Card, Visa, and Diners Club are accepted, but expect to pay in cash at most family owned restaurants and small shops. The exchange rate is constantly fluctuating, but it can be found to be approximately 1 USD = 3.1 MYR. For the most updated exchange rate, please check http://www.xe.com.

Electrical service in Malaysia is supplied at 240 volts and 50 Hertz. Bringing an adaptor is a good idea if you are planning on using electronics (i.e. cell phones, laptops, cameras, etc.) during your trip.

Malaysian food is influenced by many different cultures throughout the world. Malaysia’s style of cuisine is most commonly said to be a mixture of Chinese, Indian, and Thai, but due to its geographical location, it also carries influences from Indonesian, Vietnamese, and Arabian cuisines, making it very unique and exotic. Malaysia’s staple foods are rice, noodles, bread, poultry, beef, pork, mutton, seafood, fruits, and vegetables.

Malay food is often pungent, spicy, and aromatic, blending together the rich tastes of the many herbs and spices commonly found in other Southeast Asian dishes. Fresh herbs and spices such as lemon grass, lime leaves, basil, nutmeg, turmeric, cumin, and coriander are often used when cooking dishes. Most meals in Malaysia are eaten by using your fingers, as the use of eating utensils are kept to a minimum.

Malay is the official language in Malaysia, but it is not the only language spoken. Chinese, Tamil, Javanese, and English are other languages often spoken on a daily basis in Malaysia. You will find that most Malaysians, especially in large cities, can speak and understand English quite well.

Weather

Situated between one and six degrees north of the equator, Malaysia experiences little variation in temperature throughout the year. The country’s tropical climate means that they undergo high temperatures, high humidity, relatively light winds, and abundant rainfall throughout the year. Temperatures in Malaysia are quite high no matter what time of the year you visit. Humidity is also very extreme, ranging from 70-90%, and varying more throughout the day than it does annually.

Average Temperatures


All temperatures in Fahrenheit (°F)

Month/CityJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Kota Kinabalu797780818281808080808079
Kuala Lumpur798080818181808080797979
Kuching787879808080808078797878
Langkawi828383848383818281818282
Penang808182828281808080808080
Sipadan808080818079807980808080
(Mabul Island)
Sukau797988818281818181818180

Other Information

This will be contingent on your own personal preference and the time of year you are traveling. Generally, we suggest that travelers pack lightly and to bring comfortable, casual clothes in natural, “breathable” fabrics because of the humidity. Choose versatile styles that can be layered. A lightweight (preferably non-plastic) raincoat or poncho is a good idea, especially during the rainy season, as well as a sweater or lightweight jacket for when the weather cools down or in air-conditioned buildings. A sturdy, comfortable pair of walking shoes is a must, as sandals may not be comfortable for some sightseeing activities. Some hotels have pools, so you may want to pack your swimming suit. Do not forget to bring sun block, sunglasses, insect repellent, pocket packs of tissues, a sunhat, an umbrella (for both the sun and rain), and any medications you may need. Most hotels offer reliable laundry and dry cleaning services.

Always wear what you are most comfortable traveling in, but a reasonable amount of modesty ought to be exercised. In most areas, comfortable, casual clothes such as short sleeved shirts, polo shorts, long skirts, etc., are great for sightseeing. Remember that temperatures are likely to be hot and humid so wearing light, loose fitting fabrics is a good idea.

Although the dress code when visiting temples in Malaysia is not as strict as in the Middle East, these temples are still considered a place of worship, so one should dress politely in modest and conservative clothing as they would at any other religious place. It is always wise to exhibit a sense of respect for Buddhist and Hindu temples in this predominantly Muslim country. Clothing such as short sleeved shirts, polo shirts, and bottoms or skirts that cover the knees are acceptable. Socks are also a good idea since you must remove your shoes before entering the temples. Usually a sarong or scarf will be available for those with inappropriate clothing attire, but it may be a good idea to bring your own as they are constantly being reused.

Hotels may impose a hefty charge on international calls. Check your hotel’s policy before placing any calls. To avoid hotel markups you can use a calling card from your local long-distance carrier. A number of United States cell phones manufactured today have the ability to operate overseas on the GSM (Global System for Mobile) standard. We recommend that you contact your cell phone service provider to determine if your phone operates on the GSM and what, if any, activation may be required. In Malaysia, reception on any cell phone can be unreliable and unpredictable. In some locations, transmission is not possible at all. If access to e-mail is of critical importance during your trip, please check availability in advanced. Most hotels have business centers or in room WI-FI service, surcharges may apply.

The nationwide emergency phone numbers are:

Ambulance: 999

Fire: 999
Police: 999

From Mobile Network: 112

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