Region: South East Asia
Although Malays are almost all Muslim, the diversity of the population is reflected in the variety of religions. The Chinese practice a combination of Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism, while some are Christians. Hinduism has been practiced in Malaysia for over 1,500 years, and most of today's Indian population are of the same school.
The official language is Bahasa Malaysian.
Area (sq. km):
329,750 square meters
Malaysia has a typical tropical climate with high temperatures, heavy rainfall during the two monsoon seasons and extreme humidity. The period from June to September brings the southwest monsoon to the west coast of the Peninsula while the period from November to February brings heavy rains and strong winds to the East Coast.
All year round in Malaysia tends to be humid and with rainy periods, so there is no good or bad time to visit. The rain is not a bad thing, as it tends to cool things down.
Penang’s Bayan Lepas International Airport is located 18 kilometres south of Georgetown. There is a coupon system for taxis from the airport and the fare into Georgetown should cost around RM23. It is about a 45 minute journey.
The international dialling code for Malaysia is +60.
If you are bringing along any plug-in appliances you should take an international adapter with you. Round two-pin plugs are the most common types in the region.Voltage is 220V/50 cycles.
There is a wide range of food to be sampled throughout Malaysia. The country's diverse ethnic background has influenced its food enormously. Chinese and Indian meals are found in most places, and rich, spicy Malaysian delicacies are a ‘must’ to try.
There are excellent local handicrafts to buy at bargain prices. Some of these have a distinctly Malay/Indonesian flavour with batiks being widely available. And don't miss out on the fabulous pewter-ware, silverware and pottery.
The below nationalities do not need a visa to travel to Malaysia, if you are travelling as a tourist for up to three moths. Other nationalities will need to check with their closest Malaysian embassy or consulate.
Australia, Belgium, Canada, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, New Zealand, South Africa, Switzerland, UK and USA.
The above information has been put together as a guide. We endeavour to update this information as much as possible, but it’s also important that you check for yourself as visas are the responsibility of the traveller.
Malaysia & Borneo Lonely Planet Malaysia, Singapore & Brunei-Lonely Planet A History of Malaysia-Barbara Andaya The Jungle is Neutral-F.S. Chapman Kampong Boy-Straits Times Culture Shock Malaysia-Jo Ann Craig Into the Heart of Borneo-Richard O'Hanlon A stroll through Borneo-James Barclay Culture Shock Borneo-Heidi Munan