May 01, 2015

Fundamental Tips for Traveling to Malaysia

When it comes to travel destinations, Malaysia is perhaps the most underrated Asian country. While hoards of people flock to Thailand, Vietnam and Japan, this southeast destination is often forgotten. This is a huge shame, as Malaysia is a fantastic holiday destination with many things to discover. There are tropical jungles, ancient monuments, delicious cuisine, amazing wildlife, many different cultures, beautiful beaches and enormous sky scrapers. Whether travel for you is all about relaxing or a soul enriching experience, Malaysia can offer something for every kind of explorer.

 

To make sure you have the best time, here are some fundamental things you should know when visiting Malaysia.

Etiquette and Customs
As a country with many religious groups, you will tend to find that the cuisine here is Halal, meaning there is a very limited supply of pork. In addition, etiquette in Malaysia is very different from European and American customs. It is considered impolite to point your feet in the direction of a sacred monument, or to use your index finger. Out of respect, use your right hand to eat and exchange money, and cover up when you visit religious sites.
Personal Hygiene
Just like many other countries with tropical climates, there are common illnesses and diseases that you risk catching as a traveller. However, there are easy precautions you can take. Use hand sanitizer before consuming food and use a good quality insect repellent to avoid mosquito bites.
Festivals Galore
With such an ethnically and culturally diverse population, Malaysia has festivals nearly every month of the year. There are celebrations to marked the end of Ramadan (the Muslim fast), the Hindu festival of light, as well as the king's birthday and an independence day. Visit the Malaysian's government tourism website to find out dates before you plan your travel.
Tourist Police
Malaysia has a police unit that specializes in assisting tourists with information about local culture, customs and attractions. You will find them everywhere and their uniform makes them easy to recognize – dark blue, with a peaked hat and a badge with the letter 'I' (an international code meaning information).
Avoid Taxis
Taxis in Kuala Lumpur are known as some of the world's most expensive. The cheapest way to travel here is by using local bus services. However, if you do travel by taxi, make sure that the driver uses a meter or haggle the price down to an agreeable rate.