Your Priorities to Prepare for a Malaysian Adventure

Some of you guys might remember my internship days in Malaysia way back 2012-2013. I've been specifically in Penang for the entire duration. I usually jalan-jalan or stroll in the streets of George Town on my days off. I've only been once in Kuala Lumpur and it was when I was on my way back to the Philippines. I would love to go back and explore  more what Malaysia has to offer.

Malaysia is one of the top destinations for any travelers who want to see Southeast Asia. It's a vibrant country, with diverse environments, cuisine, and people. The food in Malaysia is one of the main draws for a lot of people. The people of Malaysia include those with Malay, Chinese, indigenous Malaysian, and even Indian heritage - which makes for a great range of food to choose from. But there's a lot more to enjoy about Malaysia, from the hustle and bustle of Kuala Lumpur to the jungles and mountains of Borneo. If you're planning a trip to Malaysia, there are some things you should organize before you go.

Sort Out the Paperwork

The big question before you visit any country should be whether you need a visa. It's always best to assume you might need one. If you think you don't and it turns out you do, your travels could be ruined. Fortunately, Malaysia requires a visa for citizens from only a handful of countries before entering. You can check the Immigration Department of Malaysia website to make sure. Most people only need a passport valid for at least six months, and they will be given a 30 or 60-day visa when they arrive. If you arrive by air, you will generally get 60 days automatically.

Choose Your Destination and Best Time to Visit

Deciding where to go in Malaysia and the best time to visit are essential for the enjoyment of your trip. Summer is generally the best time to visit. High season is from December to February. Travel can increase between July and November too, but you might consider visiting in the low season to avoid the worst rains and too many tourists. It's also a good idea to choose your dates based on where you want to go. Any time of the year is fine for Kuala Lumpur, but May to September is best for Sarawak. Weather varies in different areas throughout the year, so it's best to check before you make your plans.


Be Safe and Healthy

Staying safe and looking after your health is important in any country. Before you leave for Malaysia, you should visit a doctor to discuss any vaccinations you might need or precautions you need to take. Your routine vaccinations should be up to date, and most travelers should be vaccinated against hepatitis A and typhoid. If you enter from some countries, you might need a Yellow Fever vaccination certificate. The risk of malaria varies throughout Malaysia but can be particularly high in Sabah. You can request malaria tablets from an online doctor once you know where you're going and what sort of tablets are recommended. You can take other precautions against mosquitoes, such as using a spray or a mosquito net if sleeping outside.

Brush Up on Your Malay

You don't need to be fluent in Malay to travel in Malaysia, but it's always a good idea to have a little of the local language under your belt. Locals appreciate it if you can manage a few words to be polite, even if they can speak English. You can learn to say hello and goodbye, as well as please and thank you. If you're visiting during a festival or holiday, you could also learn if there are any phrases typically said during this time. For example, "Selamat Tahun Baru" will be useful at New Year.

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Create a Sensible Budget

Knowing how much your trip is going to cost you is important if you want to make the most of your trip. Coming up with a budget that will work for you helps to ensure you don't run out of money. The currency in Malaysia is the Ringgit, and you get about 4.4 to the US dollar or 3.26 to the Canadian dollar. A double room in a mid-market hotel will cost around RM100-400, and about RM40-60 will get you a decent two-course meal. So you can live well for yourself, even if you want to step things up to luxury accommodation, which could cost you around RM450.

Things to Watch Out For

Every country has its unique quirks to be considerate of and take into account when you visit. Malaysia is no different, so it's wise to know a little about the culture and anything to watch out for. For example, women traveling to Malaysia should try to dress modestly when they can, particularly in areas with a strong Muslim population. There are some safety warnings to take into account too, e.g. the growing problem of credit card fraud in Malaysia. Do a little research before you go to remain safe and respectful during your trip.

Visiting the beautiful country of Malaysia is sure to be a memorable experience. Make your trip even better by being well-prepared before you go.


  1. The journey looks interesting and I want to go through it

  2. It surely is interesting :) You should go visit Malaysia!


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