Visitors to Malaysia must hold a valid passport or travel document with a minimum validity of six months beyond the intended visiting period.
Most nationalities do not require visas for social or business visits. For further information, please contact the nearest Malaysian diplomatic mission or Tourism Malaysia office.
Immigration and customs checkpoints are situated at all air, sea, road and rail entry points.
Visit the Malaysian Immigration Department or Ministry of Foreign Affairs for more info.
Getting Here and Around
Set in the heart of Southeast Asia, Malaysia is easily accessible from most parts of the world by air, surface and sea links.
Over 45 international airlines fly into the country while national carrier Malaysia Airlines has a global network that spans six continents and a national network that covers more than 36 local destinations.
AirAsia, Malaysia’s budget airline also services certain domestic and regional routes.
The main gateways to Malaysia are the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) at Sepang which is about 50Km south of the KL city center and the low cost carrier airport (Lapangan Terbang Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah) at Subang which is about 16km west of the city centre. From both of these the country is well serviced by 14 domestic airports including those in Sabah, Sarawak and the Federal Territory of Labuan in East Malaysia.
Low cost carrier airport
From KLIA, KL city is a 28-minute journey away on the comfortable KLIA Ekspres, a high-speed rail service. Car rental, bus, coach, taxi, and limousine into Kuala Lumpur and neighbouring towns are widely available at both airports.
Peninsular Malaysia and East Malaysia are easily accessible via sea ports. Port Klang, about 35km west of KL city center is Malaysia’s largest modern sea port where the Star Cruise Terminal – the largest cruise ship terminal in the Asia-Pacific region – is situated. Other major sea ports are located on the islands of Penang and Langkawi in the north of the Peninsular, at Johor to the south, at Kuantan on the East Coast and at Kota Kinabalu in Sabah.
‘Ferry Link’ operates a vehicle ferry service from Changi Point in Singapore to Tanjung Belungkor, the gateway to the popular southern peninsular beach resort of Desaru. For reservations call +602-545 3600 (Changi Point) or +607-252 7408 (Bandar Penawar, Johor).
By Road and Rail
Located 48km north of Alor Star in the northern state of Kedah, Bukit Kayu Hitam is the main entry point into Malaysia for visitors from Thailand. The North-South Expressway links Bukit Kayu Hitam to Kuala Lumpur – 490km away.
For more information, visit www.ktmb.com.my.
Situated on the main rail route with a daily train service from Bangkok, Padang Besar – in Malaysia’s northernmost state of Perlis – is another entry point. Keretapi Tanah Melayu (KTM) or Malayan Railway provides an international express from Butterworth to Haadyai in Thailand, and regular services from Padang Besar to Singapore (via Kuala Lumpur).
The exclusive Eastern and Oriental Express also romances the route from Bangkok to Singapore via Kuala Lumpur. Covering the entire length of the Peninsular – over 2,000 km, this two-day journey has frequent stops at scenic locations.
For more information, visit www.orient-express.com .
For visitors entering from Singapore the Causeway provides the main road and rail link to Johor Bahru from where the North-South Expressway links Johor Bahru with Kuala Lumpur – 220km to the north. A second bridge at Tuas links Singapore to Tanjung Kupang which is 30km south-west of Johor Bahru.
Health and Safety
Dehydration and Sunburn
The sun is strong throughout the year in the country. Proper care against sunburn must be constantly taken. Dehydration and loss of salt through perspiration are two other common problems for the unprepared traveller. Drink plenty of fluids and replace your salt loss and remember that alcoholic drinks make dehydration worse, not better . Make sure you pack clothing suitable for a warm humid climate.
Due to the constant humid climate, mosquitoes tend to be present throughout the year. The three most significant diseases transmitted by mosquitoes are Malaria, Dengue Fever and Japanese B Encephalitis. To repel mosquitoes, ticks and other arthropods, apply an insect repellent containing DEET to your skin or clothing.
The risk of malaria for most tourists visiting Peninsular Malaysia is extremely small. There is insignificant risk in Kuala Lumpur, Penang and other major cities. However, in East Malaysia, the risk of malaria is present throughout the year. Even in these regions, the risk is mainly off the coastal plains and towards the border areas. Generally, prophylaxis is recommended for those visiting Sabah or Sarawak.
Generally, the level of food hygiene throughout the country is high. However, make sure your food and drinking water are safe. Food from street vendors should be treated with care. Drink only bottled or boiled water, or carbonated (bubbly) drinks in cans or bottles. If possible, avoid tap water, fountain drinks, and ice cubes. Bring along iodine tablets and portable water filters to purify water if bottled water is not available. Also, wash your hands often with soap and water. As an extra precaution, bring along anti-diarrhoea medication and an antibiotic prescribed by your doctor to self-treat moderate to severe diarrhoea.
Recommended vaccines:Poliomyelitis (childhood booster), Tetanus (childhood booster), Typhoid (food & water borne diseases), Hepatitis A (food & water borne diseases).
For those venturing outside cities and towns, further recommended vaccines are Hepatitis B, Rabies, Japanese B Encephalitis, Tuberculosis and Meningitis. For those visiting Sabah and Sarawak, Malaria prophylaxis is strongly recommended.
If you are coming from, or have recently travelled in, South America or sub-Saharan Africa you must present a certificate of vaccination against Yellow Fever upon arrival in Malaysia.
Do’s and Don’ts
Malaysia is generally a laid back and relaxed place. However, we do have our own customs and visitors should try to observe these practices when they arrive. Some common courtesies and customs are as follows:
Although handshakes are generally acceptable for both men and women, some Muslim ladies may acknowledge introductions to gentlemen by merely nodding and smiling. A handshake should only be initiated by ladies. The traditional greeting or salam resembles a handshake with both hands but without the grasp. The man offers both hands, lightly touches his friend’s outstretched hands, and then brings his hands to his chest to mean, “I greet you from my heart”. The visitor should reciprocate the salam .
It is polite to call before visiting a home.
Shoes must always be removed when entering a Malaysian home.
Drinks are generally offered to guests. It is polite to accept.
The right hand is always used when eating with one’s hand or giving and receiving objects.
The right forefinger is not used to point at places, objects or persons. Instead, the thumb of the right hand with four fingers folded under is the preferred usage.
Shoes must be removed when entering places of worship such as mosques and temples. Some mosques provide robes and scarves for female visitors. Taking photographs at places of worship is usually permitted but always ask permission beforehand.
Toasting is not a common practice in Malaysia. The country’s large Muslim population does not drink alcohol.
Say it in Malay
|Greetings||Pronouns and Titles||Directions|
|How do you do?||Apa khabar?||I||Saya||Go up||Naik|
|Good morning||Selamat pagi||You||Anda/Awak||Go down||Turun|
|Good afternoon||Selamat tengahari||We||Kita/Kami||Turn||Belok|
|Bon voyage||Selamat jalan||They||Mereka||Left||Kiri|
|Good night||Selamat malam||North||Utara|
|Useful Words and Expressions||Common||Questions|
|A little||Sedikit||Male||Lelaki||Can you help me?||Bolehkah anda tolong saya?|
|A lot||Banyak||Meat||Daging||How do I get there?||Bagaimana hendak ke sana?|
|Beach||Pantai||Mutton||Daging kambing||How far?||Berapa jauh?|
|Beef||Daging lembu||No||Tidak||How long will it take?||Berapa lama?|
|Chicken||Ayam||Please||Tolong/Sila||How much (price) does it cost?||Berapa harganya?|
|Cold||Sejuk||Pork||Daging babi||What is this/that?||Apa ini/itu?|
|Crab||Ketam||Prawn||Udang||What is your name?||Apakah nama anda?|
|Do not have||Tiada||Shop||Kedai||Where?||Di mana?|
|Excuse me||Maafkan saya||Thank you||Terima kasih|
|I am sorry||Saya minta maaf|