Located in the heart of Southeast Asia, Malaysia enjoys a strategic location and a year-round tropical climate. With 13 states, three Federal Territories and a population that currently stands at more than 28 million, Malaysia is well known for its diverse cultural landscape, which includes three of Asia's oldest civilisations - Malay, Chinese and Indian, as well as Indigenous communities in Sabah and Sarawak. The country is known for its beaches and islands, rich tapestry of cultures and history, well-preserved heritage treasures, flora and fauna, and well-maintained nature reserves.
The national language of Malaysia is Bahasa Malaysia (Malay) but English is widely spoken. Malaysians also speak various languages and dialects.
CLIMATE AND WEATHER
Malaysia has a tropical climate and the weather is warm all year round. Temperatures range from 21°C to 32°C. In March, the weather in Kuala Lumpur is usually warm, with an average of 28°C. Rain is also likely.
The official religion of Malaysia is Islam, but all other religions are practised freely.
LOCAL LAWS AND CUSTOMS
Please be aware that you will be subject to local laws and customs in Malaysia that may differ from those in your country of residence. We recommend that you research local laws and/or consult the foreign travel advice issued by your government before you travel.
The unit of currency is the Malaysian Ringgit, which is denoted as RM. Foreign currencies can be converted at banks and money changers.
The standard Malaysian time is eight hours ahead of GMT and 16 hours ahead of the U.S. Pacific Standard Time.
The voltage used throughout Malaysia is 220 - 240 volts AC, at 50 cycles per second. Standard 3-pin square plugs and sockets are used.
Malaysia is linked nationally and internationally by telephone and internet. Most hotels provide International Direct Dial (IDD) telephone services and wi-fi Internet connection.
USEFUL LOCAL INFORMATION
Malaysia is a Muslim majority country and alcohol is not served at events hosted by the government. However, alcohol is served in some restaurants and may be purchased by non-Muslims.
The weather is generally warm with occasional torrential showers. Cotton clothes, rubber shoes and sun hats are the best.
When sitting on the floor, men sit cross-legged while women normally sit with their legs tucked to the side.
When pointing, it is preferable to use the thumb with the four fingers folded under, rather than the forefinger.
To give or receive something, try to use the right hand.
Be respectful when you are at public ceremonies.
When taking a taxi, it is always best to determine the rate beforehand.
Shoes must always be removed when entering homes or places of worship such as mosques and temples. Most mosques provide robes and scarves for ladies. Taking photographs at places of worship is usually permitted but it’s best to ask for permission first.