Malaysia is an independent state in Southeastern Asia. It is divided into two parts by the South China Sea. West Malaysia or Malaya is situated on the southern end of the Malay Peninsula and neighboring islands. It borders Thailand and shares its sea borders with Indonesia and Singapore. Sabah or East Malaysia covers the northern part of the Kalimantan Island. It borders Indonesia and Brunei and shares its sea borders with the Philippines. The capital city of Malaysia is Kuala Lumpur. The climate in the country is equatorial.
The annual average temperature is around +27°C and in some regions, the temperature can reach +32°C. The tourists come to Malaysia at the end of the autumn and at the beginning of spring.
The official language is Malay. The people can also speak Chinese, English and Tamil. The majority of the population are the followers of the Sunni.
Those who prefer to spend time on the beach should go to the islands Langkawi and Penang. The beaches on the islands are very clear and the tourists can enjoy a unique natural landscape. Surfing is good on the islands Pangkor Laut and Kelantan. The period from November to May is the best for surfing in Malaysia. The island of Borneo is the main destination for diving, snorkeling, and underwater hunting. There, the travelers can go to the Jungle Safari.
Everyone who wants to get to know better the history and culture of Malaysia should stay in Kuala Lumpur, Penang, and Alor Setar. In these cities, one can find a lot of architectural monuments.
Many people come to Malaysia for a good shopping. And from August to September, there are Carnival sales in Malaysia.
There are no direct flights from CIS and EU countries to Malaysia. The tourists can take transit flights with a stop in Tashkent, Astana, Singapore, Dubai and Doha. Uzbekistan Airways, Air Astana, Singapore Airlines, Emirates Airlines and Qatar Airways also offer transit flights to Malaysia.
Regular trains run between Butterworth, Singapore and Bangkok.
There is a regular ferry route between the ports of Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia.
The travelers from Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and the citizens of the European Union do not need to obtain a visa for a short stay in Malaysia (30 days).
When entering the territory of Malaysia, the tourists must have:
- international passport valid for, at least, 6 months (obligatory);
- return tickets (rarely);
- confirmation of financial sufficiency (rarely). At least, 500 US dollars for the entire period of your stay in the country;
- first finger fingerprints (obligatory).
Pregnant women at a late stage can be not allowed to enter the country except transit passengers.
According to the Customs legislation of Malaysia, the travelers can bring in the following goods duty-free:
- alcohol, cigarettes and tobacco;
- cosmetics, perfume and gifts (the total cost must not exceed 200 MYR);
- video and audio gadgets (one per person).
The travelers who import the dutiable goods may be asked to pay a security deposit.
There are no restrictions concerning the currency but the travelers are allowed to export not more than 5.000 MYR.
It is prohibited to import:
- Israeli money in any amount;
- clothes and goods with Quran text;
- gold (more than 100g);
- radio transmitters and gadgets.
It is not allowed to export from Malaysia:
- animals and birds;
- plants, soil and seeds;
- military uniform;
- counterfeit products.
The staple food in Malaysia is rice. The Malaysians prefer to cook bland rice to show off the flavors of the main dish. Rice is boiled, fried with spices, cooked in coconut milk; the locals make rice noodles, crispy chips and pastry.
The Malaysians eat meat very seldom. But of you come to this country, do not miss a chance to try Rendang (meat and coconut water stew with spices), Murtabak (pancakes stuffed with meat), Satay Ayam (skewered chicken with sweet and sour sauce), Soto Ayam (chicken soup with rice noodles), and Curry Laksa (hot noodles with chicken and citrus sauce).
Fish and seafood are popular among the Malaysians. The local chefs make such famous dishes as Nasi Kandar (hot fish curry), anchovies Ikan Bilis (roasted anchovies with rice and sweet sauce), devilfish salad and soup with shark fins.
All the tourists should be aware that in Malaysia people observe Muslim traditions, so they do not produce alcoholic drinks. The tourists can buy alcohol in hotels.
The national currency is Malaysian Ringgit (MYR).
In tourist areas, you can pay with US dollars.
There are no problems in exchanging currency at banks, airports, in exchange offices and hotels. In large cities, the tourists can pay with American Express, Visa and MasterCard.
One can cash traveler’s checks at banks and in traveling agencies.
If your aim in Malaysia is shopping, be aware that you can refund VAT.
Details of interest
Sightseeing in Malaysia
Malaysia has many historical and cultural places which are worth visiting. Four places are inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage List:
- On the Borneo island in the State of Sarawak, anyone can visit the national parks Gunung Mulu and Kinabalu.
- The State of Perak is an ideal place for discovering archaeological monuments. Take an excursion to the Lenggong Valley and you will have an unforgettable experience.
- If you happen to stay on the shores of the Strait of Malacca, visit historic cities George Town and Melaka. In these places, there still preserved the colonial architecture.
Malaysia can boast of three UNESCO candidate sites. They are natural wonders:
- Taman Negara National Park of Peninsular Malaysia on the Malay Peninsula.
- Lanjak Entimau Wildlife Sanctuary on the Borneo island.
- The National Park Batang Ai in the Sabah in the state of Sarawak.
The tourists looking for good beaches and water entertainments (surfing, windsurfing, snorkeling,
and diving) should head right to the Lang Tengah Island which is located between the Redang Island and Perhentian Island. The Layang Layang Island, Mabul Island, and Pulau Kapas also offer everything you need for a good time. Here one can go sailing, fishing and canoe rowing.
All those who like cruises and yachts will be delighted by a boat trip along the Putrajaya lake. On the island Pulau Perhentian, which is very close to the Pulau Redang Marine Park, anyone can go sailing and visit other islands.
- Tin crafts (figurines, tableware and vases) are sold on the markets in Kuala Lumpur.
- In Mersing, one can buy beautiful Malaysian textile and clothes.
- The symbol of Kuala Lumpur, Petronas Twin Towers, can be bought in Port Dickson.
- Go to Terengganu for souvenir quivers and blow pipes.
- On the Redang Island, the tourists buy bright kites and framed exotic butterflies.