However long your planned stay, it’s easy to feel there just isn’t enough time to explore the beautiful country of Malaysia. Make sure you make the most of your visit with these simple tips and tricks that will save you time, money and hassle!
Getting a taxi – In Malaysia, taxis aren’t metered. Make sure you agree a fare for your journey before you step into the cab to ensure you are not met with any nasty surprises.
Drinking alcohol – Where possible, avoid drinking alcohol in Malaysia. Due to the country being largely Muslim, drinking is frowned upon, although it does happen. With this mind, the authorities have hiked alcohol prices up so drinking here is very costly. If a boozy holiday is what you’re after, you are better suited to countries like Thailand where alcohol is more affordable.
Street food – If you’re looking for the best food in the country, don’t bother with the fancy restaurants, head to the street stalls a-plenty. The dishes on the street are delicious and extremely cheap, costing just a few RM per meal. You really shouldn’t leave Malaysia without trying some of this budget but exceptional grub.
Convert your currency inside the country – There are restrictions on bringing large amounts of Malaysia’s currency (Ringgit) into the country with you. So it’s best to wait and convert your currency whilst you are there to avoid any problems.
Experience Malaysia with the locals – For a Malaysian holiday that really gets to grips with the local culture, your best bet is to team up with local residents who will guide you through the highlights of the destination from their point of view. Tourist attractions are appealing for good reason, but the locals can take you to hidden gems that are free or low-cost and can be just as captivating. It’s also possible to book activities with the locals too, from explorations of the night markets to a home-cooked meal with a local family.
Respect local customs – It is always wise to respect the local customs of any country you visit. You should be aware that the head in Malaysia is consider the most sacred part of the human body and therefore touching or passing something over someone’s head is considered extremely rude.
Also, Malaysian monks must perform a full cleansing ritual and fast if they come into contact with a woman so females should never touch or hand something to them, and be careful not to accidentally brush past their robes if you are visiting a spiritual relic.
When entering a Buddhist temple, show your respect by removing your shoes and hat.
Another Malaysian custom worth remembering is the importance placed on the right hand. If you are shaking hands or giving/receiving an object it is always best to use your right hand rather than your left.
Dinner etiquette – You might be surprised to find that burping in Malaysia is considered an acceptable and complimentary activity during dinner.
Go where the locals go – As well as the street food, look out for restaurants and eateries that are frequent by locals as opposed to tourists. Prices are usually cheaper than tourist hot spots and offer better food too.
Eating safely – Only drink bottled water whilst on your stay in Malaysia, this can be bought in most shops. Make sure all meat and fish is well-cooked and that you thoroughly wash any fresh fruit with bottled water. Food that is prepared by street hawkers is generally safe to eat, but to be safe avoid if you are prone to stomach upsets.