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A trip to Malaysia has to be a fun and relaxing experience for you. However, to make it perfect, you need to plan it well. And to do that, you need to know a few tricks that will help you avoid possible issues and disappointments.
6 Malaysia Travel Tips Everyone Needs to Know
1. Dress light, but be conservative
No matter when you come to Malaysia, it’s bound to be hot and humid here. Therefore, wearing light clothes made from breathable fabrics, like cotton, is an essential requirement.
However, the most important things to consider about your clothes when packing for Malaysia is the design. Malaysia is a rather conservative country, to the point that its government tried to introduce a dress code for Muslim women only last year (Reuters). Today, there isn’t a defined dress code for tourists coming to the country. However, you should go for conservative cuts and outfits that cover most of your skin in order to blend into the local society better and avoid any unpleasantness from less open-minded locals.
2. Visit during the dry season if you want to enjoy diving
Diving is one of the most popular activities for tourists in Malaysia. The country has a lot to offer for those who love to admire the beauty under the water. The main attraction is definitely Sipadan, one of the most diverse marine habitats in the world.
It’s open all year round, but if you want to make the most out of your experience, you need to arrive during the best time to dive in Sipadan, which is the dry season. In Malaysia, it lasts from late March to October. During this time, the visibility in Sipadan and other popular dive sites of Malaysia is the highest.
3. If on a budget, stick to street food
There are a few countries in Asia where eating street food is inviting trouble. Malaysia isn’t one of those countries. Here you definitely should enjoy the offerings of street vendors, especially the ones most popular with the locals.
Street food is very popular in the country because it’s very cheap. For a budget traveler, it’s the best option as it might cost less than actually buying fresh ingredients and cooking. If you aren’t on a budget, try some street food anyway. It’s the best way to discover true local flavors.
4. Learn some language
Many people in Malaysia, especially the more remote areas, which are attractive because they are less crowded, don’t speak English. Therefore, in order to enjoy a comfortable vacation here, you’ll need to know at least some basic phrases.
Look up some easy lessons on YouTube and make a few printouts to have the list of most common phrases with you at all times. Remember that translator apps might not work without a Wi-Fi connection. In case Malay is completely beyond you, try your luck with some basic Chinese. It will be easier to find people who understand it here.
5. Don’t pack anything that can even remotely resemble drugs
Not taking drugs to Malaysia (or anywhere at all ever) is an obvious legal requirement. However, as this country is very serious about fighting drug trafficking, you also need to avoid anything that can be misconstrued as a questionable substance.
Bear in mind that being caught in possession of drugs in Malaysia carries heavy penalties, including jail time. Malaysian prisons are a stuff of horrors, and so is the local judicial system. Therefore, you should never take any risks with this.
6. Use public transport
Public transport and infrastructure are well-developed in all big cities. It’s also affordable and rather safe, Therefore, if you need to go somewhere, hop on a bus or train. Taxis are good for tourists as they can take you to a precise location. However, they don’t have meters, so you’ll need to negotiate the price and haggle.