Time Zone: UTC +8 hours
Flying Time: 12 hours 30 minutes
Capital: Kuala Lumpur
The local currency is the Ringgit. Most ports of entry in the country have a 24-hour bank exchange counter immediately after customs and immigration. Access to ATMs may not be possible in some of the jungle areas and it is advisable to carry enough cash for these places.
There is no mandatory vaccination for Malaysia unless visiting from a Yellow Fever infected country (i.e., an African country). Vaccinations or medication is, however, advised for tetanus, hepatitis A and malaria. It is advisable to consult your doctor for these about 6 weeks prior to departure.
We recommend you carry with you a small supply of basic health care medication such as travel sickness tablets, anti-diarrhoea tablets, antacids for indigestion, insect repellent, sun creams and selected antibiotics after discussion with your doctor. Although most of these items are available in Malaysia, the security provided by brands one is used to, is reassuring.
We strongly recommend that all travellers be properly insured for the holiday. While taking insurance, please check that it includes repatriation costs.
Malaysia has a warm, tropical climate all year round with temperatures around 30ºC. During the day it is best to wear light, comfortable cottons with a pair of good ventilated walking shoes.
The monsoon season lasts from November to February with heavy but brief downpours. It is advised to carry rainwear/waterproofs. Rains also tend to bring out leeches in the tropical jungles, even during other months. It is advisable to carry leech socks.
Early morning and evening temperatures at higher altitudes like Mt Kinabalu can be quite chilly, adequate warm clothing is required.
For the sightseeing sessions and jungle walks you may find a good pair of sunglasses, binoculars and a sun-hat handy. For cave explorations and dense jungle walks it is advisable to wear full sleeves tops and long trousers to avoid insect bites and scratches from bushes.
Most hotels, including the more exclusive ones, do not insist on formal wear in restaurants and smart casuals are acceptable.
Malaysia is a premier shopping destination in South East Asia. From the antique and the exotic to modern electronic and audio-visual equipment, the constantly changing product range includes an extensive collection of designer labels from the fashion capitals of the world. The Malaysia Mega Sales Carnival, held thrice a year in the months of March, August and December is a mammoth nation-wide sale that offers everything from A to Z in shopping complexes, departmental stores, individual retailers and street shops.
When purchasing an expensive item, always check the level of duty payable in the UK on your import. Please remember Customs Duty and VAT is payable on all goods above the value of £340 per person, even if an item is exempt from other import duties.
The electric voltage in Malaysia is 220 volt AC. Most English electric appliances work well in Malaysia with similar English plug pin systems in use (universal adaptor is not needed).