Blessed with both natural and man-made wonders, diverse cultures and cuisines, Malaysia is an extraordinary country with something to offer for everyone.
A melting pot of different ethnic groups and religions, your experience for something unique starts in Malaysia. Half of the country is at mainland Asia, which is home to the tallest twin towers in the world, large shopping malls, and some of the most beautiful mosques you will find. The other half, Borneo Malaysia, is known for its diverse wildlife, rainforests, mountains, and marine ecosystems.
Located between the northern and southern hemisphere of the globe, Malaysia is easily reachable from almost anywhere in the world. Most major airlines fly to Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), an award-winning world-class airport. You can also enter the country over land, through its border with Thailand or even by ferries from neighbouring countries. Arrive by air, land, or sea, the choice is yours.
The local currency is the Ringgit and foreign currencies are usually not accepted. There are many shops that provide money exchange services in most cities and you can exchange all major currencies including Chinese Yuan, Thai Baht, and Indian Rupee. There are also a number of ATM machines in urban areas that accept Visa, Mastercard, and even UnionPay for Chinese tourists. Although many restaurants and big stores take credit cards, you should always have some cash on you. Small local businesses only accept payment in Ringgit and credit card machines do not always work.
The official language in Malaysia is Malay or locally called “bahasa.” English is the official second language and you can easily find someone who speaks fluent English in urban areas. However, locals might speak with a thick accent which could take some time to get used to. The Chinese community makes up about a quarter of the country’s population and most Malaysian Chinese speak Mandarin. The third largest racial group in Malaysia, the Malaysian Indians, can communicate in Tamil.
Being a tropical country, it is summer all year round in Malaysia. The West and East coasts have rainy seasons that fall on different months. However, be prepared for tropical rainstorms throughout the year and bring your rain gear.
Malaysia has a very strong food culture and it is not uncommon to see someone travel for more than an hour solely for a good meal. More than just a variety of cuisines from different ethnic groups, you can also find mouth-watering fusion food that gives you the best of both worlds. From Malay-Chinese nyonya cuisines to Muslim-Indian mamaks that are open 24 hours a day, you will never go hungry in this country.
Traveling in Malaysia
Malaysia has something to offer for travelers from all walks of life, young or old, experienced or amateur. You will truly be spoilt for choice here. Peninsular Malaysia boasts some amazing architectures and high-rises with many shopping opportunities. A railway or highway system connects every state. Across the South China Sea, Sabah, and Sarawak offer amazing wildlife experiences, cave explorations, mountain hikes, and underwater adventures. Getting around in this part of the country can be more challenging but it will certainly be well worth the effort.
With such remarkable mixture of culture, Malaysia is the heartbeat of Asia. Whether you are a nature enthusiast, shopping addict, hungry foodie, culture lover, or you just want a taste of everything, Malaysia will surely have something for you.