Practical information Malaysia

  • Malaysia
    Shirley Hu Xiao Fang / 123RF
  • Malaysia
    Roland Nagy / 123RF
Amy Adejokun
Amy Adejokun Expert destination Malaysia
Malaysia : the key figures

Area : 329750.0 km2

Population : 29240000 inhabitants

Malaysia : Travel Information before you go!


Approximately 16 hrs with a connection. Kuala Lumpur is 6,547 mi from London.


The Mega Kuala Lumpur International Airport of Sepang is roughly 37 miles from Kuala Lumpur. Its about 1h by bus (roughly RM 25), 40 minutes by taxi (between RM 15 and 25) and 25 minutes by train (about RM 15).


After the 12 October 2002 Bali attacks targeting western tourists, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs reminds tourists that risks of tourist attacks, though unknown to the country, should not be ruled out.
The State of Sabah on Borneo island, especially its eastern part is quite insecure owing to the political situation. On Pulau Sipadan island, along the Celebes Sea, about twenty tourists were held hostage... Sea hijacking is also very common on the China and Sulu Seas. Avoid pleasure boating in these areas and the straits of Malacca at night.
Do not also take drug transportation and consumption lightly. Any violation of the law could lead to a death sentence, even for tourists. Authorities do not distinguish between soft/hard drugs.


The official language is Malay but English is widely spoken. Chinese, Tamil and some local languages are spoken by a part of the population.

Required travel documents for

European citizens do not need a visa for stays of less than three months. A passport valid for three months after the return date is required. You will have to show a justification of your return date.


Over 50% of the population is Muslim. Followed by Buddhists (17%), Taoists (8%), Christians (8%) and Hindus (8%).


The currency is the Ringgit (MYR or RM), which consists of 100 Cents, but most residents call them Dollars. 1 Sterling = 4.97 MYR.

Most credit cards are accepted everywhere, although American Express and MasterCard are the preferred choice. ATM machines are located near banks, and travellers cheques are accepted just about everywhere, except for on the east coast. For the time being, the best option is to have them drawn up in US Dollars, as these are easier to exchange. Banks are open from Monday to Friday, from 10:00am to 3:00pm, and on Saturdays from 9:30am to 11:30am.

Local transportation

Plane. Malaysia Airlines shuttles between the major cities (a good means of saving time when you can afford it).
Train. The two main train lines serve the west coast, Thailand - Singapour , and the centre via Wakaf Bahru. Relatively comfortable and very affordable, trains are however somewhat slow and often late.
By bus. The bus line is much more concentrated and travels round the country in all directions several times a day at fares close to those of trains.
By taxi. Taxis cover some long distances but are more expensive. Moreover, seats must all be occupied for the car to take off, unless you pay more.
Car.Cars are more flexible and several people can rent one car. Roads are excellent, driving is on the left.
Beca. Rickshaws are known here as becas, pronounced " betcha ". These are beautifully-decorated two-wheeled passenger vehicles drawn by cyclists. You use it to move in town at almost nothing.
Types of accomodation: besides hotels, you can lodge in a youth hostel, bed-and-breakfast, cottages (sort of huts), bungalows and few camping areas. You are authorised to wild-camp in some grounds like the jungle, islands or private grounds provided you obtain an authorisation.


Noparticularvaccine is required, except for travellers coming from a country affected by yellow fever (some countries in South America and Southern Africa). In this case, a vaccine will be required.
Urban and coastal areas are not considered to be risky areas concerningmalaria. However, the other parts of the country are listed in zone 3. Thus be careful of mosquitoes in the countryside: jungle or Sabah coast. A preventive antimalaria treatment is advised.
At the moment there are a certain number ofdiseases in Malaysia: "Nipah" virus, cholera, Japanese encephalitis and dengue fever. Presence of "Haze" (polluting smokes) pollution.
The Malaysian authorities recently reported several cases ofavian flu(in the northern suburb of Kuala Lumpur). Avoid raw food, or food that has not been well-cooked. Wash and disinfect your hands regularly.
The State of Sarawak (east part of Malaysia) has reported numerous cases offoot-and-mouth disease. This disease, originally an animal disease, can sometimes be passed on to humans, and in particular to children. You must therefore check any showing sign of a fever, blister or canker sore.
In the country, favour drinking bottled water. To be reimbursed from medical expenses, you must get personal medical insurance.

Useful phone numbers:

In Kuala Lampur:
Malaysian Red Crescent: 42 57 81 22
Gleneagles Intan Hospital: 42 57 28 80
General Hospital: 26 92 10 44

Outside Kuala Lampur:
Sarawak General Hospital (Kutching/Sarawak): 22 57 555
Gleneagles Hospital (Penang): 22 76 111.


Voltage is 240 V. Electrical plugs are different. Adapters are needed and easily found in the country.

Tourist numbers

Taxes and tips

Service (10%) and governmental taxes (about 5%) are included in hotel and restaurant rates. Tipping is not common practice in Malaysia. However, you are welcome to tip someone for service that is particularly good.


To call Malaysia from the UK: 00 (international) + 60 (country code) + town code (Kuala Lumpur: 03; Penang: 04; Malacca: 06) + the number.
From Malaysia to the UK: 00 (international) + 44 (France country code) + the number.

Malaysia : Useful addresses in the country

Before leaving

Malaysia Embassy
45 Belgrave Square, London SW1X 8QT.
Telephone: 020 7235 8033.

Tourism Authority
57 Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 5DU.
Telephone: 020 7930 7932.


At the destination

British Embassy
185 Jalan Ampang

50450 Kuala Lumpur
Telephone: [603] 21 70 22 00.

Information on tourism in Kuala Lumpur
Lot 21, Tingkat 2, Balai Ketibaan Kuala Lumpur city Air Terminal.
Tel. 03-2261 3115

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