• Travel Guide

    Travel Guide | Malaysia

    Malaysia is a Southeast Asian country occupying parts of the Malay Peninsula and the island of Borneo. It’s known for its beaches, rainforests and mix of Malay, Chinese, Indian and European cultural influences.

    The capital, Kuala Lumpur, is home to colonial buildings, busy shopping districts such as Bukit Bintang. With skyscrapers such as the iconic, 451m-tall Petronas Twin Towers. Malaysia is a predominantly Muslim country so they have very strict rules on alcohol and no public affection.

    Basic info & culture

    CURRENCY

    In Malaysia they use their own currency which is Malaysian Ringgit. If you are going to use a credit card to withdraw money or to pay for things, I would definitely recommend looking into a card that doesn’t charge you for payments or withdrawals abroad. I use Monzo which is an app based bank account and contactless card (there are lots of similar ones to choose from though), it also alerts you once you’ve used the card and also gives you the current exchange rate on purchases too.

    Top Tip:
    Download the app “Currency Plus” to get currency conversions on the go. It updates daily and when connected to WiFi or Network to give you the latest conversion and you can have multiple currencies shown in one go.
    LANGUAGE

    In Malaysia they predominantly speak English but they also speak Malay. You often find that the elderly do not speak much English due to their education but the majority of the population speak very good English so you don’t have to worry about language barriers.

    • Hello/Good Morning – Selamat pagi (suh-lah-mat    pag-ee)
    • Good Afternoon – Selamat tengah hari (sul-lah-mat   teen-gah   har-ee)
    • Good Night – Selamat Malam (sul-lah-mat   mah-lahm)
    • Goodbye – Selamat tinggal
    • Thank you –Terima kasih
    • Thank you so much – Terima kasih banyak
    • Yes – Ya
    • No – Tidak
    • Please – Sila
    TIMEZONE

    Malaysia are 8 hours ahead of the UK. Their time zone is MYT (UTC +8:00).

    CUISINE

    Food and eating out in Malaysia is very continental. You can have everything from traditional dishes to Italian, Thai and Korean. There are plenty of places to eat out from your very budget friendly places to your more expensive rooftop bars and restaurants. I will write up a post on places you should eat at separately.

    Planning a trip to another Asian country, why not Singapore? Then make sure you check out my Travel Guide | Singapore for all the information you’ll need.


    Budget Tips

    Suggested Daily Budget – 50-60 EUR / 52-62 GBP (Note: This is a suggested budget assuming you’re staying in a hostel, eating out a little, cooking most of your meals, and using local transportation. Using the budget tips below, you can always lower this number. However, if you stay in fancier accommodation or eat out more often, expect this to be higher!) During my 4 days in Kuala Lumpur, I spent around £178.85 including food, excursions and general shopping. In Langkawi, I paid using notes so ran out of track how much I spent.

    01. Book during Monsoon season – If you don’t mind the weather being wet and thundery, booking during Monsoon season will be a lot cheaper. If not, it will be more expensive but the weather will be better.

    02. Eat in Hawker centres and street markets – The food in hawker centres and street markets is amazing and at ridiculously cheap prices. The atmosphere won’t be like a posh restaurant but the food is so cheap so you can eat more of it.

    03. Use public transport – The trains, tuk tuks and rickshaws will be so much cheaper than booking taxis and you won’t always be stuck in the road traffic. Uber or Grab as it’s called in Asia is so much cheaper than booking a metered taxi, but save them for longer journeys like to airports and further out of the city.

    04. Drink less alcohol – Malaysia is a Muslim country so drinking lots of alcohol is quite frowned upon and it will be a lot more expensive across Malaysia. So save your money without buying alcohol and spend it on something more valuable.


    Travel tips

    VISAS

    You do not need a visa to visit Malaysia from the UK but you do need to complete an immigration card. You may need a visa from other countries so be sure to check your countries government website to find out.

    INJECTIONS

    I didn’t need any injections to visit Malaysia as I had already had the boosters for the injections required. Be sure to check your medical history and countries government website.

    CAPITAL/CITY

    The capital of Malaysia is Kuala Lumpur.

    HOTELS

    Hotels were really good in Malaysia, we had two really nice little boutique hotels in Langkawi. Nicer resorts in Langkawi include Casa del Mar and Frangipani. There are a lots of hotels depending on your budget around Langkawi, including The Ritz-Carlton and The Four Seasons if you want a bit of luxury.

    We stayed in an apartment in Kuala Lumpur which was rather nice in a area of the city not far from the Petronas Towers and the KL Tower. It was the perfect sized apartment for the 3 of us in the few days we had in KL city. There was a supermarket not far from the apartment and lots of amenities we could use as well.


    malaysia

    EXPLORE MALAYSIA 
    Langkawi | Kuala Lumpur

    DRIVING

    We didn’t try driving in Malaysia but you can hire cars at the airport or through a car hire agency. We used public transport or walked during our time in Malaysia. It was a great way to see things you wouldn’t normally see.

    FLIGHTS

    Flights from London can take about 12 hours depending on the flight path and weather. You can easily book flights to Malaysia using many different search engines including SkyScanner. Lots of different airlines fly into Kuala Lumpur’s International airport or smaller airports across Malaysia from internal countries using AirAsia. We flew with AirAsia from Singapore to get to Langkawi and Langkawi to get to Kuala Lumpur.

    Top Tip:
    One amazing thing about Malaysia is that they use the same plug sockets we do in the UK, so you do not have to worry about adapters.

    Packing Tips

    WHAT TO WEAR

    You can wear pretty much anything in Malaysia depending on what weather you’ll have there. I went in February which it was very hot and humid and had a few odd showers but I didn’t pack my suitcase depending on the rain. You would have to cover up if you entered a place of worship though but that is easy to do with a sarong or kimono that isn’t too heavy or make you hot in the heat.

    WEATHER

    Weather can vary quite a lot in Malaysia. It can go from being very hot and humid and then have the odd rain shower which could last a few minutes or maybe even longer, they are also known for their thunderstorms. We had quite a few big downpours and thunderstorms during our time in Kuala Lumpur but they lasted about an hour and that was it. Their monsoon season is more around November – December time so getting rain in Feb was very unusual for them.

    MALAYSIA WEATHER


    Activities & things to see

    ACTIVITIES & THINGS TO SEE

    There is so much to do in Malaysia which I will write about in seperate posts. In Langkawi, I recommend doing the Sky Bridge, catching a ferry over to Koh Lipe to enjoy the beautiful beaches and sea, do the Mangrove tour to see the monkies and eagles. In Kuala Lumpur I recommend doing the Twin Towers, Chinatown, Batu Caves and checking out their massive shopping malls.

    HIGHLIGHTS OF MALAYSIA:
    • – Batu Caves, Kuala Lumpur
    • – Petronas Towers, Kuala Lumpur
    • – Bukit Bintage, Kuala Lumpur
    • – Kuala Kubu Bharu Jungle, Kuala Lumpur
    • – Mangrove Tour, Langkawi
    • – Sky Bridge, Langkawi

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    Travel Guide | Malaysia