Malaysia is a nation characterised by intriguing contrasts. It is a complex combination of various cultures, diverse landscapes and architectural styles.

Chinese joss houses, Hindu temples and gold-domed mosques exist alongside state-of-the-art skyscrapers and contemporary business complexes.

The land itself is divided into two parts by the South China Sea. Peninsula Malaysia (West Malaysia) boasts vast bustling cities, stately colonial architecture, misty tea plantations and tranquil islands. Malaysian Borneo (East Malaysia) features lush jungles brimming with exotic animal and plant life, towering granite peaks and even some remote indigenous tribes.

Outdoor enthusiasts can indulge in a range of adventurous activities including hiking through some of the world’s oldest tropical rainforests, scuba diving in some of the world’s most renowned dive sites, or white water rafting in one of the nation’s numerous exquisite national parks.

Alternatively spend your days exploring the supercharged capital, Kuala Lumpur, with its pockets of rainforest interspersed between towering high rise buildings or simply relax under palm tree-lined beached.

Banking and Currency


Local currency: Malaysian Ringgit 
Symbol: RM 
ISO code: MYR 
Subunit: Sen 
Banknotes: 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 ringgit 
Coins: 5, 10, 20, 50 sen 


Card Transactions: Yes 
ATMs: Yes 
Mastercard: Yes 
Visa: Yes 
American Express: Yes 
Diner’s club: Limited 

Banking Hours: 
Weekdays: 9 AM - 4 PM 
Weekends: Limited hours in some locations 
Public Holidays: Yes (limited hours) 
Foreign exchange services: Yes 

*Check the specific hours of local banks for the most accurate information. 

Travel, Transport and Getting Around

Main airlines: Malaysia Airlines, AirAsia 
International Airports: Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KUL) 
Domestic Airports: Yes 

Driving on the: Left 
Tar roads: Yes 
Gravel roads: Limited 
Valid International Driver's License needed: No 
Car hire available: Yes 
Taxis: Yes 
E-hailing services: Yes 

Inter-city bus services: Yes 
Local city bus networks: Yes 

Railway system: Yes 
Subway System: Limited 

Ferries: Yes 
Water taxis: Yes 
Leisure cruises: Yes 

Food, Drink and Cuisine Advice

Food and water safety: 
Can you drink the tap water: No 
Fresh fruit and veg: Yes 
Ice: Yes 
Meat: Yes 
Street food: Yes 

Local cuisine: Malaysian cuisine is diverse and influenced by Malay, Chinese, Indian, Thai, Javanese, and Sumatran cultures. Signature dishes include Nasi Lemak (coconut milk rice with anchovies, peanuts, cucumber, and sambal), Satay (grilled skewered meat served with peanut sauce), and Laksa (spicy noodle soup). 

Drinks: Teh Tarik (pulled tea), Kopi O (strong black coffee), and Air Bandung (rose-flavored milk drink). 

Tipping: Tipping is not mandatory but appreciated, typically 10% in restaurants. 

Climate and Weather

Annual rainfall: Varies 
Average temperature: 27°C 

Average highs: 32°C 
Average lows: 23°C 

Average highs: 31°C 
Average lows: 22°C 

Best time to visit: The best time to visit Malaysia is from March to October when the weather is dry and sunny on the west coast and in the highlands. However, the east coast experiences heavy rainfall from November to February. 

Clothing and Dress Recommendations

Spring and Summer 
Cool, light, breathable and comfortable: Yes 
Lightweight warm clothes: No 

Winter and Autumn 
Jerseys, cardigans, sweaters, jackets: Recommended 
Heavyweight clothing and boots: No 

Umbrella and raincoat: Yes 
Warm gloves, hat and scarf: No 
Swimming costume (bathing suit): Yes 
Hat, sunglasses and sunblock: Yes 
Walking shoes: Yes 
Casual: Yes 
Smart-casual attire: Yes 

Internet Availability

Internet cafes: Yes 
Accommodation options: Yes 
Restaurants: Yes 
Cafes: Yes 
Shopping malls: Yes 
Public parks: Yes 
Libraries: Yes 

Electricity and Plug Standards

Plug Type: Type G 
Voltage (V): 240 
Frequency Hertz (Hz): 50 

*Travel plug adapter and voltage converter might be necessary depending on your appliances. 

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