Malaysia Key Facts
For Malaysia travel insurance, select Asia Region
International Calling Codes
George town - Penang
61.3% Sunni Islam
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In Malaysia they drive on the left side of the road
When is the best time to visit?
While you can visit Malaysia all year-round due to the warm temperatures, the heavy rain season in the west is best avoided. The best months to visit Malaysia are from March until August.
Airports (8 international, 38 domestic ), highways, ports and harbours, railways, bus services.
World Heritage Sites
- Archaeological Heritage of the Lenggong Valley, which represent the most important archaeological site revealing traces of Malaysia's prehistory.
- Melaka and George Town, Historic Cities of the Straits of Malaka, which consists of two important trading posts that show a unique architectural and cultural heritage and landscape.
- Gunung Mulu National Park, a site known for being the most studied tropical karst area in the world and home to hundreds of underground caves.
- 4. Kinabalu Park, home to the highest mountain between Himalaya and New Guinea and an area rich in biodiversity.
Average Annual Temperature
Average Annual Rainfall
Malaysia as a typical equatorial climate consisting of high temperatures all year round and two pronounced rainy season. The months from April until October are the wet season for the west of the peninsula, and thunderstorms are not uncommon during this time of year. Due to high temperatures, this time of year if also very humid. The wet season in the east coast tends to be from November until February. It brings much more rain and many coastal resorts are closed during this time.
- January 3 - Prophet Muhammad's Birthday
- February 19 - Chinese New Year
- February 20 - Chinese New Year
- May 1 - Labor Day
- May 3 - Vesak Day
- June 6 - Angong's Birthday
- July 17,18 - Hari Raya Puasa
- August 31 - National Day
- September 16 - Malaysia Day
- September 24 - Hari Raya Haji
- October 14 - Awal Muharram
- November 10 - Deepavali
- December 24 - Prophet Muhammad's Birthday
- December 25 - Christmas
Why Visit Malaysia?
Malaysia is perfectly located within Asia for a quick shopping trip over the weekend or an extended beach vacation. With many culture and historic sites, as well as some of the best scuba diving in the area, Malaysia is a popular destination to visit.
Things To Do In Malaysia
- Walk, shop and party in Kuala Lumpur.
- Visit George Town and other UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
- Go scuba diving.
- Enjoy Malay cuisine.
Travel Tips For Malaysia
- If you are out and about at night, rather call a taxi. Many unlicensed taxis start operating at night and they can be dodgy.
- When entering someone's home, make sure to take off your shoes as sign of respect.
- The jungle railway in the area of Gua Musang offers some beautiful scenic rides in a very relaxed atmosphere.
Malaysia offers and excellent selection of native Malay, Chinese and Indian foods in one convenient location. Malay food is characterized by a heavy use of spices (though its rarely hot), the use of ginger and turmeric, coconut milk and fresh herbs. Malay food is all about comforting warmth, and most dishes tend to be stews or curries. Laksa is a local favorite which consists of a fragrant coconut based curry broth with noodles, and each region has their own favorite way of preparing it. Another must try dish is nasi lemak, which is a hearty breakfast dish consisting of rice cooked in coconut milk and topped with fried anchovies, peanuts, a slice of cucumber and some chili on the side - while not what most Westerners think of when thinking about breakfast, this is delicious!
The Nonya cuisine is a mix between Malay and Chinese cooking traditions and also offers some excellent dishes such as itek tim, a soup of duck, tomatoes, green peppers, salted vegetables and preserved sour plums, as well as Chili crab, which is absolutely delicious. As for desserts, they tend to consist of a combination of coconut, palm sugar and sometimes some rice or other starch thrown in. Famous examples are kuih, which are made of steamed rice and coconut milk and come in a variety of different shapes and colors. Other great desserts are ais kacang, made of shave dice and red adzuki beans making for a very refreshing dish, as well as Cendol, which consists of green pea noodles in a sweet broth.
Malaysia's Travel Safety and Warnings
- Theft and petty crime are common, especially in bigger cities.
- Make sure to keep an eye on your belongings at all times.
- Ensure you have travel insurance for Malaysia
- Avoid any public demonstrations or political gatherings
From the bustling city of Kuala Lumpur to impenetrable jungles of Borneo, from world class shopping to amazing scuba diving, Malaysia has been a popular destination for a wide range of travellers, from adventurers to high society shoppers. With approximately 7 million visitors a year, Malaysia is the 9th most visited destination in the world, and as their slogan says, Malaysia is truly Asia. Get your passport ready, make sure you have up-to-date travel insurance for Malaysia, and come visit this astounding location.
Peninsular Malaysia is usually referred to as the west coast, and is where you’ll find the nation's capital, Kuala Lumpur. The city is a joy to explore, just wander around at your leisure, that way you get to see out of the way places, tiny shops, and discover some excellent places to eat.
A must see in Kuala Lumpur are definitely the world-famous Petronas Towers, which have featured in more than one Hollywood blockbuster.
If you’re into architecture you’ll find an interesting mix between old, colonial style buildings, hyper modern architecture, and everything in between.
Make sure to also have a look at the small busy streets of Chinatown while you’re in the area. The street food in this area is very good, just make sure to have Malaysia travel insurance and choose busy food vendors!
The city is also home to some excellent museums dealing with Malay history and Arabic art. Head to the National Museum located in the city center to learn about Malaysia's rich history, or visit the amazing collection of the Islamic Arts Museum. Theatres are also gaining in popularity, and if you have the time, the National Theatre has some good performances. However, most travellers really come here to shop! With more than 66 shopping malls scattered all over town, there truly is a mall for everything, whether fashion, electronics, or jewelry.
In the north of the peninsula lies the charming island of Penang with its capital George Town. This island does offer beaches, but is really famous for its stunning cultural heritage and food.
George Town is probably one of the top tourist destinations in the country, and offers a spectacular mix of European, Chinese, Indian and Malay influences that can be seen on every street corner. The whole city forms part of one UNESCO World Heritage Site and is well worth the trip. For the best views, go up Penang Hill, especially around evening time when the lights come on
The Tropical Spice Garden is another fantastic place to visit. Not only are there beautifully landscaped gardens, the site also boasts a tropical plant collection from all over the world, as well as over 100 varieties of herb plants and tropical spices. The colors and smells in this place are intense, but definitely worth exploring. There’s also a nice Tropical Fruit Farm close by where you can pick some of the produce.
Penang is also home to many different festivals. Chinese New Year is celebrated here, as are the Hindu festival of Thaipusam and the Buddhist festival of Wesak. The most spectacular to see though is the famous Penang Dragon Boat Festival, which usually happens in June. Teams from all over the world come to compete in this race, making for a stunning site and great party.
The east coast of the Peninsula is generally less busy in tourism terms. Here you’ll find amazing unspoilt beaches, beautiful islands, and some of the world's best scuba diving.
Redang Island is famous as a destination for divers, and if you have a couple of days it’s well worth it to come here and do a full certification course.
You’ll also find the famous Jungle Railway in this area, which is a scenic railway through the hinterlands of Malaysia.
Malaysia is a safe place for travelling around, however, as a general precaution take out a travel insurance policy for peace of mind. Also, avoid any demonstrations, and be aware that drug offences here lead to hefty prison or death sentences.
With wonderful food, great attractions, fabulous shopping and access to some of the most pristine islands on the planet, Malaysia is a tourism destination of note in Southeast Asia, and one everyone should see at least once in their lifetime.
For more information on Malaysia, visit the Malaysia Tourism Website.