GENERAL INFO
MALAYSIA(Peninsula),
Capital:Kuala Lumpur
Minimum Travel Costs/day US$12

US$1=RM 3.31, Oct, 2007

 English TOP | Malaysia TOP | Super Index | Mail


Travellers in SE Asia view Malaysia as more expensive, less exotic, less interesting than other countries such as Thailand and Indonesia and either skip Malaysia or stop off at a few towns while passing through. This is a shame as Malaysia has much to offer the visitor. - beaches (Perhentian & Tioman Islands) equal to those of Thailand, National Parks such as Taman Negara & Hill stations such as Cameron Highlands, ideal for jungle trekking. Historical & Cultural sites can be found in Penang & Melaka.
Travel in Malaysia is easy & comfortable - Many people speak English. The standard of food, services & hygiene is high. Transport is cheap & efficient and it's easy to make friends with locals.

Tourist Information: Tourism Info Line 1-300-88-5776
enquiries@tourism.gov.my www.tourismmalaysia.gov.my


Malaysia index page

Language
National: Bahasa Melayu, similar to Indonesian, Romanic alphabet is used
Foreign: Chinese/Indian dialects, English is widely understood.

Malaysia index page

Climate
Hot and humid throughout the year,except in high areas such as Cameron Highland where it is cool year round.
E.coast & Interior: Best season: Mar - Oct
Monsoon : Nov - Feb: the Perhentian & Tioman Islands are difficult to reach during this period.
W. coast: Best season: year round
Rainy Season: May-Sep but can still rain heavily in December.
High season: During Malaysian/Singaporean school & National holidays and European summer holidays, certain places become crowded. Transport and hotels may be difficult to book. Peak times are late Feb- early Mar, early Aug, early December, Christmas & New Year.


Malaysia index page

Basic Travel Costs
Prices in RM
Room (single): Penang-16, Meleka-15, KL-20
Food(rest)local 3.00+ Mineral Water1.5lt 2.00+
coffee instant 1.50+, real 3.00+ Starbucks Grande 7.00, refil 1.00
Big Mac 4.60, meal 6.70, S size to L size +0.90
Coke can 1.50 Beer 4.30+
breakfast(Cont.) 4.00+ breakfast(Ame.) 6+
breakfast(local) 2.00+ Ice Cream 1+
toothpaste 2.20 Mars bar 1.60
OB32 mini tampons 12.20 Toilet Paper 0.50
T-shirts - 5.00+ post cards 0.50
FilmASA100 @36 - ? FilmASA200 @36 - ?
Print 3R - ? Print 4R - ?

Malaysia index page

Banks/Exchange
Currency: Ringgit= RM. RM1=100sen.
Denominations : 1c,5c,10c,20c,50c,1,2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500, 1000?.
Exchange Rate $1= RM 3.31
Black market: It is expected but no sign of black market yet. Non licenced money changers were all closed.
Opening hours Bank: M-F 9/10:00-15/16:00 Sa9:30-11:30. !Attention Banks don't usually have exchange service on Sa.
Moneychangers are open longer hours. Some open on Sundays.
BANK/EXCHANGE : Any major CASH currency changeable in the main banks or moneychangers.
Banks charge commission of RM5-10 per T/C transaction, plus RM0.15 per T/C.
Moneychangers don't charge for T/C. Some does. Usually moneychangers offer better rates but this varies.
Bank rate is higher for T/C's than cash, it is the opposite at moneychangers. But some offer same rate.
Cash Advance: Visa, MC, is accepted in most banks without any additional charge.
Rates at Airport: Similar to those in town. check the charging policy - Maybank Cash no com. T/C com. RM10/check transaction + RM0.15 per T/C. Bank of Commerce charged RM2? per T/C, no transaction charge.
Credit Cards: Accepted in many hotels (mid-level+), high class restaurants, dept. stores, some transport booking offices.
ATM's Available in most cities. Maybank, Hong Kong Bank, main outlets. Visa, M/C, Cirrus.

Malaysia index page

Opening Hours
All Government Dept. are closed from 12:45-14:45 on Fridays.
In Moslem states, they are closed on Friday and Saturday. They may be open on Sunday.

Malaysia index page

Immigration/Visa
Visas are issued on arrival, 1, 2 or 3 months, depending on: nationality; how long you expect to stay; whether you arrive overland or by air.
Visa Extention possible up to 3 months at immigration offices in KL, Penang & Johor Bahru.
Warning Never attempt to smuggle drugs into this country, may face the death penalty if caught.



Malaysia index page

Border Crossings: Mainland Malaysia
AIR

Airport: Kuala Lumpur: KLIA, Penang: Bayen Lepas Airport
Departure tax : International RM40, Domestic RM5 Usually included to the tickets.

KLIA: KL Int'l Airport:
New KL International Airport was opened on July 98. Located very far from the center of KL, 1.5 hrs by public transport. There are very few public facilities around it.
Transport to town
1)
KLIA-your hotel: "Airport Coach" RM 25 , 1hour , every 30 min between 05:30 and 22:15 from KL; 06:45-00:30 from KLIA-via Hentian Duta (Duta Bus Stn)
2) Express Coach. Catch it at "Chan Sow Lin" stn on "STAR" LRT line. (4 stops after Masjid Jamek stn, approx 2RM). From Chan Sow Lin coach to airport 10 RM ow 18 RM RT. once an hour between 06:30-20:30
3)
KLIA to Nilai Train Station by city bus, RM2.00, 30min. Then change to Komuter Train to KL Main Station, RM4.5, 1hr. All buses/trains run every 30 min.
The last bus from KLIA leaves at 22:30.
Last train from KL Train Station leaves around 20:00. Last bus from Nilai KTM leaves 21:30 for KL Main stn

LAND : BUS
Many buses travel from Singapore and the cities in Thailand. Visas are automatically issued to most nationalities at border.
From Singapore: Singapore-Johor Bahru(M), Take a A/C bus #170 from Queen Street bus station S$1.20, or Causeway Link($2.4, 25 mins) to Singapore Immigration. Get off with your luggage. After getting the exit stamp, take a same type of the bus you took. Then get off at Malaysia Immigration and get Malaysia stamp. After going out from the imigration building, many people are waiting for buses to Larkin Bus station. Take the same type of bus again to Larkin Bus station.
To go to the train station or the town center, take a underground passway. They are within walking distance.
From Thailand: Keroh (Th) - Grik (M), Sungai Kolok(Th) - Rantau Panjang(M)-Kota Bharu(M) and more
LAND: TRAIN
International trains connect Malaysian cities to Thailand & Singapore.
From Thailand: Visas issued at border.
From Singapore: Visas issued at Singapore Train St. Singapore - Kuala Lumpur 3 times a day A/C express, 1st class -RM68/S$68, 2nd- RM34/S$34 3rd-S$19 .......approx 6 hours
From Thailand: Bangkok(th)-Butterworth(m) Daily express 1st Cl. -RM$91, 2nd Cl. -RM$41 takes ?h
This train connects with Kuala Lumpur (1st Cl.-
RM55, 2nd Cl.-RM24)
SEA: BOAT
Services to/from: Singapore, Thailand & Indonesia.
From Singapore: Singapore(Changi Ferry point)-Pengerang (Johor State, Malaysia) Many S$8, 1 hr
?(Singapore-Pulau Tioman (M) once a day from Tioman dep 08:30 from Singapore dep 13:00-14:30 (Berjaya Jetty) dur.: 4.5hr ow from S$90 RT from S$148 depends on travel days. Does NOT operate during monsoon. From Tioman to Singapore approx 200RM ow)?
From Indonesia: Medan (Belawan port,Sumatra, I)-Penang (M) Departs Penang M-Sa 8:30-9:00, Arrives Belawan 14-17:00 Class B, O/W RM150. Embarkation fee RM6 The Fare includes transfer from Belawan port to Medan town. From Belawan every Tu-Su 10:00
Dumai (Sumatra, I) > Melaka (M) Departs Melaka 10:00 (check in 2hrs before), arrives in Dumai at 15:00, costs O/W RM80
from Thailand: Satun (T)- Langkawi island (M)
couple of boats daily ow RM18


Malaysia index page

National Transport
Transport is efficient and reasonably priced.
AIR
Departure Tax: International = 40RM, Domestic = 5RM
Domestic Airlines Malaysia Airlines(MAS) & Pelangi Air operate throughout Malaysia.
"Discover Malaysia Pass" Flight pass issued by MAS, US$99 for 21 days up to 5 flights, covers only peninsula, Sabah & Sarawak.
US$199 for 21days max 5 flights, covers entire Malaysia Conditions: You must fly into Malaysia with MAS and must either buy the pass abroad OR within 14 days of arrival.
TRAIN
2 routes, 1 along the West coast from Thailand to Singapore, The other through Central Malaysia to the NE coast. Connects with Thai & Singapore Railways. Equipped with A/C(very cold).
Rail pass: 5-day($35), 10-day($55) & 15-day($70), 30-day($120) For students with ID under 30 years old 7-day($38), 14-day($50), 21-day($60) available at major train stations incl. Singapore station. This pass allows unlimited travel between Singapore and Bangkok. Train Schedule
BUS
An extensive, efficient service throughout Malaysia. Class varies from non A/C up to SVIP. A/C buses are very cold. Many tourist buses are also available.
Warning Complaints about condition of minibuses and standard of driving on the Hat Yai (Thailand) - Penang route. !!!At the border Thai immigration officers collect 10-20 Baht/person from the minivans crossing to Malaysia- except from the first minivan that leaves Hat Yai at 09:30. This must be illegal as no ticket given for the collected fee, nor explanation for what reason should you pay.!
TAXI (shared)
Usually have stands near bus stations. Leave when full. Quicker than buses. Usually cost twice the bus fare.
BOAT
Boat & ferry services are available. see local info.



Malaysia index page

Local Transport
Bus In cities like KL & Penang,there are several different bus companies operating different charging policies. ie. Some charge fixed rates, some charge according to distance. Some give change, some don't give change.
Taxi Metered taxis operate in KL. Check if meter is working. Non-metered in Penang.
Trishaws 3-wheel bicycle taxi. Everywhere in Malaysia except the business district in KL. Bargain before you get in.
Bicycle Rental bicycles are available from guesthouses & shops in most towns.
Warning Traffic in town centers is very busy.


Malaysia index page

Mail/Telephone
MAIL:
POST OFFICE
General hours: M-Sa 8:30-18:00- check local info. Poste Restante available at GPO's in main towns.
Unit RM Europe USA Japan  AZ/NZ Singapore
Post Card 0.50 0.50 0.50  0.50 0.30
Letter 0.90 1.10 0.60  0.60 0.40
Parcel air 250g/add 250g 39.5/8.6 22.8/12.5 41.2/5.2 29.1/4.1 ?
Parcel 20kg (sea) 116.60 200.20 97.60 82.20 ?

TELEPHONE:
Telephone services are very good in Malaysia. Telephone Office opening hours: - check local info.
Coin phones: everywhere. Generally domestic calls only but there are a few exceptions.
Cardphone:- 10/20RM units. Several different systems operating - Uniphone, Telekom, Kadfon, Citifon Cards are not interchangeable. (Warning Citifon operates in limited cities only).
Local Call: 3 min RM0.10
Domestic long-distance call:
Discont hours 19:00-7:00 a harlf rate.
International call: possible from most cardphones. I
Direct Dialing: 00 + country code + number.
Int'l operator : 108
International Access Code: 00 (for Singapore 02)
Discount hours:
33% off. during Sa 18:00-M6:00 plus Asia/oceana 21-7:00, America 3-21:00, Europe middle-east, Africa 0-21:00
Collect call & charge: ?
AT & T USA Direct Call:
800-0011 (from any phone) to call USA & 70 other countries. For cardholders only.
Charges: RM Europe USA UK Japan
3 min. 13.5 9 9.6 9.9
Reduced Rate: 10.8 6.9 7.5 8.7

Malaysia index page

Accommodation
Accommodation in Malaysia is cheaper than Singapore, more expensive than Thailand. Traveler friendly hostel style accommodation is abundant in most popular destinations. Standards are very high except for those in Kuala Lumpur. Shared bath facilities are usual. Dorms charge from RM10, Single/Double rooms from RM15/30.
If staying in accommodation located near Mosques you may be woken up early by religious "broadcasts" over loudspeakers.
IYH: KL,Melaka and Port Dickson. dr RM10-20 Non member pay RM5 extra. membership RM34 for a year.


Malaysia index page

Food
Food in Malaysia is delicious and cheap.
There are many types - Malay, Chinese, Indian, Nonya(mixture of Malay & Chinese, influenced by neighboring countries, varies locally) as well as Western fast-food standards like McDonald's.
MALAY CUISINE: Nasi campur Rice with a variety of small dishes Nasi goreng (fried rice),Nasi lemak (breakfast dish, rice + many other goodies) Nasi putih Nasi dagang rojak mixed vegetable salad with coconut sauce.apam steamed rice cake pulut inti, nonya kueh
CHINESE CUISINE: Many different types of Chinese available. Claypot dishes are excellent, so is Haianese chicken - Sesame flavored chicken and rice. Sweet & savory Chinese steamed-buns are filling, make a cheap breakfast.
INDIAN CUISINE: roti canai pancake served with curry, one of the tastiest, cheapest breakfast options RM1.50, murtabak
NONYA CUISINE: Nonya kapitan, otak-otak,laksa noodle, served in very hot coconut-based soup or sauce with a garnish . assam laska
DESERTS: shaved ice with syrup and your favorite toppings there's a wide selection
DRINKS: Many different fruit juices available. They are usually served with ice.
coffee very sweet & strong.kopi kosong black coffee kurang manis less sugar.


Malaysia index page

Customs
Toilet Squat toilets are the norm but western style is increasing. Toilet paper is rare - cleaning by left hand is normal. Flush with hand bucket.
Bathing Most Guest Houses have showers.
Left hand Do not touch others with your left hand as it is considered dirty - see above for explanation.
Touching head It is quite insulting to touch a persons head. Don't do it
Tipping Not customary. Except porters, and at high class hotels & restaurants.
Dress Casual dress is generally acceptable, women should consider modest casual dress. However religious sites require that arms and legs be covered. Women should also cover their head when entering Mosque areas. Many Malay women wear orthodox Muslim dress.
Indoor footwear Footwear should be removed before entering some houses and temples. Try to observe local behavior.
Bargaining Common practice in markets, street stalls, non-metered taxis, don't get aggressive, keep calm.
Sunbathing No nude/topless bathing is allowed in Malaysia.


Malaysia index page

Health
No one on our staff has any medical background therefore what follows is just a general guide.
Medical standards are high throughout the Peninsular. Also many of the Local Chinese practices (Green cross sign) offer consultations, charging as little as RM7.
Health Regulations: Yellow fever vaccinations are required for travelers arriving from infected areas.
Vaccinations Not required in most of the peninsula. Cholera, Typhoid, Polio - if visiting rural areas.
Warning There was an outbreak of Cholera in Kuala Lumpur during late 1997. No cases occurred in tourist areas.
Health Hazards:
Malaria: Carried by mosquitoes. Not a problem, though Malaria tablets are recommended if traveling in the jungle areas of E. Malaysia.
Hepatitis A: Contracted through contaminated water and food, More likely in areas with poor sanitation.
Diarrhea: Contracted through contaminated water and food.
Japanese Encephalitis: Carried by mosquitoes, found mainly in rural areas during rainy season.
Aids: Contracted primarily through sexual intercourse and injection with contaminated needles.
Sunstroke/Dehydration: The sun is extremely strong in this region. Precautions are recommended.
Rabies: Carried by dogs, monkeys, bats. DO NOT approach these animals
Drinking Water: The city water is supposed to be drinkable but many locals boil or buy bottled water. In rural areas definitely stick to bottled water.
Ice: Generally OK. but be cautious.
Food: Food hygiene is generally good - even at street stalls.


Malaysia index page

Shopping
General opening hours: M-Sa 8/9:00-19/20:00.
Moslem-owned shops may close early on F
Credit cards are not common in the smaller style shops, but are often accepted in higher class shops and department stores.
Alcohol is available however it is limited and expensive. Beer around 4RM a bottle, Bottles of spirits from some supermarkets.
Souvenir: No special ones. T-Shirt RM4+,
Postcard RM0.50. Lots of copy goods in market.

Malaysia index page

Other
Voltage: Plug type 220-240v 50 cycles, 3 pin, English style plug. Multi-adapter available from some electrical stalls, RM4
Photo Developing: Film available everywhere. Developing quality is generally good. Cost of Development is about RM3-4, +RM0.3/3R print, RM0.4/4R print. Usually takes from 1hour - 1 day.
English Newspapers: The New Straits Times, The Sun, The Star RM1-120.


Malaysia index page

Festivals/holidays 2005 PH: public holiday
Very complicated in Malaysia because of it's multi-cultural/religious society, Malay/Chinese/Indian -Moslem/Hindu/ Buddhist/Christian. Each town/state has its own holidays celebrating their governor/sultans` birthday. See local info.
Jan 1 PH New Year's Day
Jan 21* PH Thaipusam, Honoring the Hindu god, Lord Subramanian, Many followers pierce parts of their bodies such as their tongues. The most famous ceremony is held at Batu Cave, S from Kuala Lumpur.
Feb 9-10* PH Chinese New Year 15-days of festivities are held in Chinese communities. Shops close for 3-5 days.
Feb 10* PH Hari Raya Haji(Qurban)? Islam cerebration for the people who finish Haji, visiting Mecca
Feb 27-28? PH Birthday of Sultan of Kelantan (Kelantan State only)
Feb 22* PH Awal Muharram(Maal Hijrah) (Terengganu only)
Apr 8 PH Birthday of Sultan of Johor (Johor only)
Apr 15 PH Proclamation Day of Malacca (Malacca only)
Apr 18* PH Good Friday (Sabah and Sarawak only)
Apr 19 PH Birthday of Sultan of Perak (Perak only)
May 1 PH Labour Day(Hari Pekerja)
May 7 PH Hari Hol State of Pahang (Pahang only)
April 21 PH Birthday of Prophit Muhamad
May 22* PH Wesak Day The most important day for Buddhist communities. Celebration of Buddha's Birth/Enlightenment/Death
May 17 PH Birthday of Tuanku Raja Perlis (Perlis only)
May 30-31 PH Ka' Amatan(Harvest)Festival (Sabah & Labuan only)
June? PH Maal Hijrah Muslim festival to celebrate Muhammad's return to Mecca.
June 1-2* PH Gawai Festival (Sarawak only)
June 07* PH Hari Keputeraan SPB Yang di-pertuan Agong (Agong`s Birthday)
July 12 PH Birthday of Yang-Di Pertua (Negeri Pulau Pinang)
July 19 PH Birthday of Yang-Di Pertuan (Negeri Sembilan)
July 20 PH Birthday of Sultan of Terengganu (Terengganu only)
Aug 31 PH National Day Independence day (1957). Biggest celebrations take place in KL.
Aug 13? Hungry Ghost festival Chinese festival involves the offering of food to spirits, visiting ghosts
Sep 3 PH Hari Hol Almarhum Sultan Johor (Johor only)
Sep 12? Moon cake Festival Chinese festival to celebrate the defeat of the Mongols. The moon cake is symbols because, according to legend, they were used to smuggle war secrets in.
Sep 14 PH Birthday of Yang-Di Pertuan Negeri Sarawak (Sarawak only)
Sep 16 PH Malaysia Day & Birthday of Yang-Di Pertuan (Saba only)
Sep 24 PH Israk and Mikraj (Kedah, Negeri, Sembilan and Perlis only)
Oct 11 PH Birthday of Yang-Di Pertuan Negeri Malacca (Malacca only)
Oct ? Nine Emperor Gods' festival Celebration of the return to earth of '9 emperor spirits'.
Nov 1* PH Hari Deepavali Hindu festival of light.
Oct 24 PH Birthday of Sultan of Pahang (Pahang only)
Oct 27 PH Awal Ramadhan (Johor, Kedah, Malacca only)
Nov 12 PH Nuzul Al-Quran (Kelantan, Pahang, Perak, Perlis, Penang, Selangor only)
Nov 3-4* PH Hari Raya Aidilfitri(Puasa )the End of Ramadan
Dec 13 PH Birthday of Sultan of Selangor (Selangor only)
Dec 25 PH Christmas Day


Malaysia index page

Safety Information
Warning: Gambling scams in operation. Particularly in KL. The standard con is 'friendly locals' invite you out, eventually they get around to showing you "how to win at gambling,........." then, of course you lose. Stupid as it sounds many people have been taken in and lost large sums of money.

Malaysia index page

Information for Japanese
Cheap Japanese-style food is available, usually in Shopping Malls.
Meidi Ya - Japanese style bakery & cafe has several branches in Kuala Lumpur.
Yaohan Japanese supermarket, also has several branches in Kuala Lumpur.
Shopping centers with branches of Japanese Department stores such as Sogo, Isetan, etc, often have Japanese restaurants & supermarkets, stocking imported Japanese foods.


Malaysia index page

@ Internet/e-Mail @
Malaysia is a country where internet is growing in popularity. You can find facilities in most of the major tourist areas. Often there are internet "cafes" in big Shopping Malls. Average fee 5RM/hr

English Top | Travel Info | BBS| New BBS | Hot Info | Memories | Photos | Super Index | Mail