this is just a quick list of things to know if you are planning a visit to malaysia. you can find much more in-depth information on various travel blogs and in guidebooks, but these are all things i collected before my trip, found interesting while i was there, or wish i had thought to find out.
malaysia is 2.5 hours ahead of india, 8 hours ahead of gmt, and 12 hours ahead of eastern standard time. malaysia does not do dst, so that changes over the winter.
1 usd is roughly equivalent to 4 malaysian ringgit, the national currency. malaysia in general is an affordable country to travel in if you are coming from the states or europe, but i found it a little expensive from the rupee perspective.
malaysia is home to traditional malay people as well as large populations from china and from india. many of the cities have areas designated as little india, and chinese clan associations are especially prevalent throughout the region of penang; these combined with the european influences make for an interesting mix of influences and architecture.
many countries enjoy visa-free travel to malaysia, including americans and europeans. it was so nice to breeze through immigration in under 5 minutes.
malaysia is known for its delicious food, and my personal favourite during my visit was the laksa. i tried a few different kinds, and they were all fantastic and tasty and all of those great things people say about amazing food. i could have happily eaten laksa every day of my trip and been perfectly satisfied. the chendol was also really good, along with the mee goreng and the satay.
uber has come to malaysia and is often cheaper than the local taxis. i took a pre-paid taxi from the penang airport to my hostel in george town and paid 44 ringgit for the ride; my return via uber, however, was only 15 ringgit for the exact same journey. my friend and i had a similar experience in kuala lumpur as well, so if you have data or access to wifi, use it to book an uber instead of haggling with local cab drivers.
while malaysia is a muslim country, it is quite relaxed. for ladies, it is fine to walk around in shorts or skirts, within reason. dress comfortably – it’s hot – but don’t go overboard.
malaysian outlets use a uk plug. make sure you’ve got the appropriate adapter for your electronics.
just as the british left india its extensive rail network, they left malaysia with beautiful roads. the highways are well-maintained, and drivers are generally good about following rules. i did not have the opportunity to travel by bus while in malaysia, but i imagine it would be a pleasant experience.
have you ever visited malaysia? did i leave anything off my list?