Malaysia Travel Facts

By | May 8, 2022

Based on map by DigoPaul, Malaysia is considered a modern and largely safe travel destination. It borders Brunei, Indonesia and Thailand and consists of two parts – the island of Borneo and the Malay Peninsula.

Capital City Kuala Lumpur
Size 330.290 km²
Resident 32.382.300
Official Language Malaysian, English
Currency Ringgit
Time Zone UTC+8
Telephone Area Code +60

Fast facts to know

  • Malaysia consists of two separate parts, the Malay Peninsula in the west and the island of Borneo in the east.
  • No visa required for stays of up to 3 months, passport must be valid for 6 months.
  • Malaysia is one of the richest countries in Southeast Asia.
  • Tipping is not customary in Malaysia.
  • Malaysia is considered one of the safest countries in Southeast Asia and has a very well developed infrastructure.
  • Travel to eastern Sabah state and adjacent islands is not advised. There is a real risk of terrorist attacks in Malaysia. Information from the Foreign Office
  • The highest mountain is Gunung Kinabalu at 4,095 meters.
  • Buses in Malaysia are modern, punctual and inexpensive.
  • The largest population groups are Malays and Chinese.
  • In many accommodations, shops and restaurants it is customary to take off your shoes before entering.
  • English as a language is widespread.
  • As Malaysia is a Muslim country, alcohol is mostly forbidden.
  • Malaysia is the second largest producer of palm oil after Indonesia.
  • The most recognizable symbol of Malaysia is the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur.
  • Malaysia is a very modern country.
  • The people of Malaysia are very nice and helpful.
  • Gasoline is quite cheap in Malaysia, you pay before filling up.
  • Tap water is heavily chlorinated and should therefore not be drunk.
  • Malays like to bargain, try to get the price down to two-thirds of the starting price.
  • Snot and belch is part of everyday life in Malaysia.

Exciting cities in Malaysia

  • Kuala Lumpur
  • Malakka
  • George Town
  • Kota Kinabalu
  • Tioman Island
  • Ipoh

History of Malaysia

  • Around 800, Buddhism and Hinduism spread to the Malay Peninsula.
  • 1400 the first Malay kingdom of Malacca arises,
  • 15th century: Arab, Persian and Indian traders introduce Islam to the Malay Peninsula in 1414.
  • Conquest first by the Portuguese, then by the Dutch before Malaysia finally becomes a British colony.
  • After World War II, initially under Japanese rule, the Federation of Malaya was founded in 1948.
  • 1957 Introduction of women’s suffrage.
  • 1963 Formation of a new federation under the name of Malaysia.
  • 1986 Religious riots between Muslims and Christians in the state of Sabah.

Climate & travel weather in Malaysia

  • Temperatures & precipitation constant all year round.
  • Always humid, tropical rainforest climate.
  • Very high humidity.
  • Frequent rainfall all year round.
  • Dry and rainy seasons determined by monsoons.
  • Traveling difficult in the rainy season:
    • Westküste: Sep-Dec.
    • East: Oct-Jan.
    • Northeast Borneo: Oct-Feb.
    • Northwest Borneo: June-Nov.
  • Recommended travel time:
    • West of the Malay Peninsula: accessible all year round.
    • East Peninsular Malaysia: June – Aug.
    • Borneo: April – August.

Ideas for trips in Malaysia

  • Orangutans visit Borneo.
  • Overnight in the jungle.
  • Festungsanlage Netherlands City.
  • Fu-Lin-Gong-Tempel.
  • Kek Lok Si Tempel.
  • Snorkeling on the Perhentian Kecil
  • Penang Insel.
  • Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur.
  • Diving & Snorkeling.
  • Take a street food tour.
  • Perhentian Islands.
  • Discover the wonderful wildlife of Malaysia.
  • Take the cable car up Gunung Mat Cincang.

Food & Drink in Malaysia

  • Food plays an important role in Malaysia.
  • Chinese and Indian influences clearly noticeable.
  • Paradise for gourmets: there are restaurants on every street corner where you can get a wholesome, delicious lunch or dinner for the equivalent of 1 euro.
  • Malays traditionally eat with their right hand.
  • Rice and noodles are the basis of the diet.
  • Sambal (spicy) is part of every meal.
  • Dishes are usually well seasoned, e.g. with ginger, chili, garlic, turmeric.
  • Beef, chicken, goat, lamb and fish are often used in curries.
  • Diverse and varied regional cuisine:
    • Cantonese (dim sum, spring rolls, appetizers.
    • Szechuan (Chili, Knoblauch).
    • Shanghai cuisine (stews).
    • Beijing cuisine (noodle dishes).
    • Mrs (Exotische Salat, Laksa).
    • Tamil cuisine (great vegetarian dishes).
    • North Indian cuisine (flatbread, meat skewers).
  • Rich selection of seafood: fish, mussels, shrimp, crayfish and squid.
  • Wonderful selection of fresh fruits: watermelon, starfruit, pineapple, banana, papaya, apple, orange, mango, guava, pomelo, rambutan, lychee.
  • Coconut juice is often drunk as a thirst quencher.
  • Coffee and tea are popular, alcohol is almost only available in western restaurants.
  • Typical dishes:
    • Ikan panggang (river fish wrapped in banana leaves and grilled over charcoal).
    • Nasi Goreng (Fried Rice).
    • Char Kuey Teow (flat rice noodles, soy sauce, sprouts, vegetables, meat).
    • Rendang daging (beef cooked in coconut cream).
    • Samosa (pastry filled with vegetables or meat).
    • Pau (steamed yeast dumplings with various fillings).
    • Mee Goreng (fried noodles with vegetables and meat).
    • Curry Mee (hot curry soup with Mee noodles, shrimp, tofu, sambal, fresh mint leaves).
    • Korma (meat or vegetables in a mild, extremely aromatic curry sauce).
    • Satay (grilled meat skewers served with a peanut sauce and sweet and sour pickled cucumber, onion and chili wedges).
    • Laksa (soup made sour or with coconut milk, meat or fish and noodles).
    • Nasi lemak (rice cooked in coconut milk and served with fried anchovies, curried squid, hard boiled egg, cucumber slices and sambal).
    • Bak kut teh (clear soup with lots of herbs and pork ribs).
    • Ikan Bakar (Grilled Fish).
    • Hainan chicken rice (tender chicken on rice, garnished with spring onions, coriander, cucumber slices).
    • Nasi biryani (long grain rice with almond slivers, raisins, cinnamon sticks, turmeric, cardamom).
    • Ice kacang (freshly shaved ice cream with sweet syrup and marinated fruits).

Particularly scenic

  • Cameron Highlands.
  • Telaga Tujug waterfall.
  • Batu Caves.
  • Discover Malaysia’s dream beaches:
    • Pantai Cenang Strand
    • Ayer Batang Beach
    • Strand Salang
    • Pauh Bay
    • Turtel Sanctuary Beach
  • Explore beautiful national parks:
    • National Park
    • Gunung Stone State Park
    • Endau-Rompin-National Park
    • Semenggoh Naturreservat
    • Bako National Park
    • Lambir Hill National Park
    • Niah National Park

Malaysia Travel Facts