Malaysia

Capital City: Kuala Lumpur
Timezone: UTC+8
Country Calling Code: +60
Currency: MYR

1 CNY = 0.50 MYR

1 USD = 3.13 MYR

1 EUR = 3.85 MYR

1 GBP = 4.55 MYR

1 AUD = 3.13 MYR

These rates were valid at time of writing.
Please check www.xe.com for exact exchange rates.

Weather & When to Visit

 

With a temperature that fluctuates little throughout the year, travel in Malaysia is a pleasure with typically balmy and sunny days. Average temperature is between 21 and 32 degrees Celsius, a little cooler in hill country. Humidity and rainfall is common throughout the year though. Rainy season tends to occur between November to February on the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia, western Sarawak, and north-eastern Sabah. On the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia the rainy season is April to May and October to November. Although the rain seldom influences outdoor activities, it’s suggested the best time to visit for dry weather is June and July on the east coast, January and February on the west coast, April in Sabah and June to July in Sarawak.

Events & Festivals

 

The Rainforest World Music Festival is a 3 day festival held annually in July or August in the Sarawak Cultural Village, just 45 minutes from Kuching. This is one of the most popular music events in the region and features an international line-up of folk and world music bands. Generally creates a relaxed vibe amongst the concert-goers.

There are numerous celebrations in Malaysia based on Muslim, Hindu, and Chinese lunar calendars. Hari Raya Aidil Adha (January) is celebrated in the 12th month of the Muslim calendar and marks the end of the annual pilgrimage to Mecca. Thaipusam (February) is the day of penance and thanksgiving for Hindu devotees pay homage to Lord Maruga, celebrated on a big-scale in Selangor, Penang, Malacca, Johor and Perak. Deepavali (November) also known as “Festival of Lights” is usually celebrated in November and holds a great importance to the Indian community. Easter and Christmas are celebrated in Malaysia by Christians, whilst Chinese New Year (February) and Mid-Autumn Festival (September) are celebrated by the Chinese.

Visas

 

The majority of foreign visitors to Malaysia do not require a visa for stays of up to 1 month. USA, most European  and Commonwealth nationals can stay up to 3 months (except Irish - up to 2 months, Greek and Portuguese - up to 1 month). Visas are required at all times by nationals of the following countries: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China (PR), India, Myanmar, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Taiwan and Vietnam. Nationals of these countries, except Nigeria, may be granted entry without a visa if they will be in Malaysia for less than 72 hours and are in possession of a confirmed forwarding airline ticket to a third country before arriving. All visitors must have a valid passport with a validity of 6 months beyond the time of stay. As regulations may change from time to time, it is advisable to check with the nearest Malaysian Embassy before your departure. For more information you can also check: http://www.imi.gov.my/index.php/en/main-services/visa/visa-requirement-by-country

Airports

 

The majority of travelers to Malaysia will fly in or connect via Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KUL) located about 60km from the city center. It consists of 3 terminals.

  • The Main Terminal & Contact Pier is also called Terminal 1 and mainly serves domestic flights for Malaysia Airlines.
  • The Satellite Terminal handles most of the international flights.
  • The Low Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) caters for low cost airlines such as Air Asia, Indonesia Air Asia and Tiger Airways.

There is an Aerotrain for free transfers between the Main Terminal and the Satellite Building every three to five minutes, however transfering to and from the LCCT is more inconvenient as it is located 20km from the Main Terminal Building with no direct connection. Passengers will need to clear immigration, collect luggage, clear customs and take a shuttle bus or taxi to or from the LCCT to the Main Terminal building. Note, construction of a permanent low cost terminal next to KLIA is underway and expected to open some time in 2013.

 

Kuala Lumpur City Air Terminal (KL CAT) is an extension of KLIA located in town at KL Sentral Station and connected to the main airport by the KLIA Ekspres train service which takes 28 minutes. Similar to the Airport Express service in Hong Kong, passengers traveling with KLIA Ekspres tickets flying Malaysia Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Royal Brunei and Emirates are able to check-in at KL CAT in town and have luggage automatically transferred to their flight.

Travelers to other parts of Malaysia are also likely to use some of the major airports below:

  • For Langkawi Island: Langkawi International Airport (airport code: LGK)
  • For Penang or Cameron Islands: Penang International Airport (airport code: PEN) also called Bayan Lepas International Airport
  • For Redang Island: Kuala Terengganu (airport code TGG) also called Sultan Mahmud Airport
  • For Cherating: Kuantan (airport code KUA) also called Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah Airport
  • For Sabah, Borneo: Kota Kinabalu International Airport (airport code: BKI)
  • For Sarawak, Borneo: Kuching International Airport (airport code: KCH)

Things to Consider

 

  • English is spoken widely in Malaysia and road signs are written in both Bahasa Melayu and English throughout Malaysia.
  • Tipping is not obligatory in Malaysia, but is nonetheless practiced. The hotels and more expensive restaurants normally add a 10% service charge to the bill. Waiters, porters, drivers and guides are happy to receive a tip if good service is provided. 5MYR – 10MYR would be a suitable amount for day tours and 10MYR - 15MYR per day for private tours.
  • As Malaysia's climate is sunny almost year round, light clothing is ideal. It is advisable for ladies, when entering mosques and temples, to wear long sleeves and loose pants or long skirts. Some mosques provide robes and scarves for female visitors to cover arms and legs. It is also customary to remove shoes when entering places of worship such as mosques and temples and also a Malaysian home.
  • Taking photograph at places of worship is usually permitted, but always ask for permission.
  • When giving or receiving money gifts to/from a Malaysian, do so with your right hand.
  • It is generally safe to drink water straight from the tap, however if uncertain, bottled mineral water is cheap and easily available in shops and supermarkets.
  • If you need medical care, there are private clinics in most towns. It is a good idea to take out a medical insurance before you travel as Malaysia does not have reciprocal health service agreements with other nations. For over-the-counter prescriptions, there are pharmacies and 'Chinese medical halls'.

 

Whilst Classic Travel does our best to keep information updated, it is always advisable for you to double-check details for your specific trip as information can change without notice, particularly in regards to arrival & departure airport terminals, visa requirements and airport/port fees.