Malaysia ... The Heart of Southeast Asia

Located strategically at the heart of Southeast Asia, Malaysia never fails to fascinate. With a social core consisting of the Malays, Chinese and Indians as well as the many indigenous communities of Sabah and Sarawak, Malaysia is a unique and inspiring blend of cultures.


Malaysia, a land of ready smiles and incredible contrasts beckons the visitor with a rich diversity of experiences. A charming, fascinating land of warm, friendly people, here you get a taste of all of Asia in a single destination. The country?s social, political and economic stability have ensured a well structured development. Malaysia today is a cosmopolitan, progressive nation of great opportunity which has managed to retain its rich heritage of culture and traditions despite modernisation.


The country's rich character unfolds from the moment the visitor arrives at the state-of-the-art KL International Airport (KLIA) in Sepang. He will soon discover that Malaysia is a fascinating kaleidoscope of interesting and colourful places, peoples, customs, festivals, art and delightful cuisine. The country is also endowed with verdant rainforests, beautiful dive sites and marine parks containing fascinating animal life and a diversity of flora and fauna unique to this part of the world. In Malaysia, you can choose to city-hop to experience the incredible variety of shopping opportunities, entertainment and accommodation or lie back blissfully on white sandy beaches as you gaze upon the rustic charms of the countryside.


Or take an eco-holiday and climb Kinabalu, one of the region?s highest mountains, visit the orang-utans in Sepilok, or go diving in Sipadan. Malaysia has something for everyone, the historian, the businessman, the backpacker, the eco-tourist, city-hopper or beachcomber. Bring the family along for the Malaysian holiday adventure is a well-rounded experience. In the words of British novelist and playwright, Somerset Maugham, ?If you haven?t seen this place, you haven?t seen the world?.



Malaysia's other destinations such as Melaka, Penang, Langkawi, Kuching and Kota Kinabalu each has its own unique charms. Some of them are recipients of UNESCO awards ? UNESCO World Heritage City of George Town, UNESCO World Heritage City of Melaka, UNESCO World Heritage Site of Kinabalu Park, UNESCO World Heritage Site of Gunung Mulu National Park and Langkawi?s UNESCO Global Geopark.


Malaysia's lush and well-preserved natural landscape is perfect for a wide range of eco-adventures. Malaysia's rainforests such as Taman Negara, one of the world's oldest tropical rainforests - possess an impressive biodiversity and are home to some rare and endemic species.


Malaysia?s stunning islands and beaches provide the ideal sun, sea and sand getaways. Some of these islands, particularly along the coasts of Terengganu and Sabah, are world-class dive sites with breathtaking underwater landscapes. The magical island of Sipadan has been rated by diving professionals as one of the world?s top diving destinations.


Malaysia has more to offer such as enchanting parks and gardens, thrilling theme parks, picturesque hill resorts, international-standard golf courses, luxurious spa retreats and endless shopping choices. The country is also known for its colourful festivals and exciting events held throughout the year such as Formula One Grand Prix, Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition (LIMA), the 1Malaysia Year End Sale (M-YES), the 1Malaysia GP Sale and the 1Malaysia Mega Sale Carnival.


Whatever the reason for your visit - a romantic escapade, a fun-filled family holiday, an all-out shopping spree or a quiet retreat at the heart of nature - Malaysia has it all. So come, let Malaysia work its charm on you!


Why Malaysia


10 reasons why you should make Malaysia your next holiday destination:

  1. A myriad of Asian cultures and more - all in one place.

  2. Political stability, racial harmony and genuinely warm people.

  3. A wealth of natural beauty.

  4. Limitless shopping options and duty-free offerings.

  5. Home to some of the world?s best dive sites.

  6. A mild, tropical weather all the year round.

  7. Historical and modern buildings standing side-by-side.

  8. An enormous range of gastronomical delights at affordable prices.

  9. A wide range of accommodation options, from homestays to five-star hotels.

  10. A whole host of activities to indulge in - golfing, fishing, angling, sailing, mountain-climbing, rafting, birdwatching - the sky is the limit.


Fast Fact About Malaysia


Tropical climate with warm weather all year round with temperatures ranging from 21c to 32c. Annual rainfall varies from 2,000 mm to 25,500mm.



Islam is the official religion but other religion are practiced freely. Muslim (primarily Malays), Buddhism (Chinese), Hindu (Indian), Christianity, Taoism and tribal religions.



Bahasa Melayu (Malay) is the national language but English is widely spoken. The ethnic groups also speak various languages and dialects including Cantonese, Hokkien, Mandarin, Tamil and Hindi.



The Malaysian currency is normally referred to as Ringgit or RM or MYR. It is pegged at RM3.80 to US$1. The RM comes in dominations of RM1, RM2, RM5, RM10, RM50 and RM100. Coins are denoted as sen (cent). These include 1 sen, 5 sen, 10 sen, 20 sen and 50 sen.



All states (with the exception of Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu) observe Saturdays as a half-day and Sunday as a public holiday. Kedah & Kelantan observe Fridays as as public holidays and Saturday as a half-day. Terengganu observe Friday & Saturday as public holidays.



Most states: Mon ? Fri: 9.30am ? 4.00pmSat: 9.30am ? 11.30am (closed 1st & 3rd Sat of each month) Sun: closed Kedah, Kelantan & Terengganu: Sat ? Wed: 9.30am ? 4.00pm, Thurs: 9.30am ? 11.30am, Fri & Sat: closed.



Open from 8.00am to 5.00pm daily except Sundays and public holidays. In Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu post offices are closed on Fridays & Sat and public holidays.



Eight hours ahead of GMT and 16 hours ahead of U.S. Pacific Standard Time.



Local calls can be made from public phones using coins or pre-paid cards. International calls can be made from public phones with card phone facilities or at any Telekom offices.



Voltage is 220 - 240 volts A/C at 50 cycles per second. Standard 3-pin plugs and sockets.



Malaysia follows the metric system in weights and measures.



Parliamentary democracy with a bicameral legislative system. The Head of States is the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and the Head of Government is the Prime Minister.



Most hotels and restaurants levy a 10% service charge and 50% government sales tax on bills. However, should you want to show your appreciation for good services, a small tip will do.



Malaysia has a combined population of over 20 million people. Because of its location between the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea, Malaysia has traditionally been a meeting place for traders and travelers from the East and West.   As a result, Malaysia has a multicultural and multiracial population consisting of Malays, Chinese, Indians and numerous indigenous peoples. Although Malay is the official language, English is widely spoken, especially in business, and the English language is a compulsory subject in all schools. With such a diverse ethnic composition, it is not surprising that many religions are practiced in Malaysia. The official religion is Islam, but its people are free to observe any religion of their choice. At any place in Malaysia, it is common to see temples, mosques and churches located in close proximity.



59% Malay and other indigenous race, 32% Chinese and 9% Indian.



The sun is strong throughout the year in the country. Proper care against sunburn must be constantly taken. Dehydration and loss of salt through perspiration are two other common problems for the unprepared traveler. Drink plenty of fluids and replace your salt loss. Make sure you pack clothing suitable for a warm humid climate.



Very casual, light cotton clothing like t-shirts, short, etc... is the order of the day. No formality is expected in the restaurants. Tourist are recommended to be properly attired when visiting villages and towns. Nudity, hugging and kissing in public is prohibited.



Visitors to Malaysia must be possession of valid passport or travel document with a minimum validity of six months beyond the period of stay. Most nationalities do not required visas for social or business visits. Trafficking in illegal drugs is a serious offence and importing large amounts of foreign currencies requires a declaration. To find out more, please click here.


Do's & Don'ts

When visiting Malaysia, visitors should observe local customs and practices. Some common courtesies and customs are as follows:

  • Although handshakes are generally acceptable for both men and women, some Muslim ladies may acknowledge introductions to gentlemen by merely nodding and smiling. A handshake should only be initiated by ladies. The traditional greeting or salam resembles a handshake with both hands but without the grasp. The man offers both hands, lightly touches his friends outstretched hands, and then brings his hands to his chest to mean, "I greet you from my heart". The visitor should reciprocate the salam.

  • It is polite to call before visiting a home.

  • Shoes must always be removed when entering a Malaysian home.

  • Drinks are generally offered to guests. It is polite to accept.

  • The right hand is always used when eating with one's hand or giving and receiving objects.

  • The right forefinger is not used to point at places, objects or persons. Instead, the thumb of the right hand with four fingers folded under is the preferred usage.

  • Shoes must be removed when entering places of worship such as mosques and temples. Some mosques provide robes and scarves for female visitors.

  • Taking photographs at places of worship is usually permitted but always ask permission beforehand.

  • Toasting is not a common practice in Malaysia. The country's large Muslim population does not drink alcohol.

  • If you have a cell phone, please bring it along with you. When you arrive in Malaysia, we suggest that you buy a cell phone prepaid card (only MYR8.00 for starter pack). This is very useful if you have emergency or if you want more details about specific location or others. Please save the phone number for your travel agent, police station, embassy, etc..