Malaysia is located in Southeast Asia and basically consists of two parts, one on the narrow peninsula of the mainland and one on the island of Borneo. It is a fascinating mix of a developing nation and ultra-modern technology and buildings. For tourists Malaysia is a fairly easy place to travel to and around. The infrastructure is excellent in general and prices are affordable. People are friendly and the population is multicultural.

The residents of the vast majority of countries can enter Malaysia without a visa. Whether you can stay 90, 30 or 14 days depends on the country you live in. More information can be found on the website of the Immigration Department of Malaysia.

You should time your visit based on weather patterns and any events you want to either attend or avoid (due to increased crowds) – See the official tourism website for what’s on.

Once you have arrived in Malaysia there several things you can do. Because of the fact that large parts of the country are covered in dense rain rainforest, this is an ideal place for jungle treks, hikes or expeditions. Various types of treks are on offer. Whether you choose to go on short day hikes in the area around your hotel or want to immerse yourself in the jungle for weeks, there will be something available to you. Your decision should be based on what you want to do and are up for, but also should be made after browsing around for deals. Do not book the first thing you come across. If you are a nature love, a visit to the Sepilok Orang-Utan Rehabilitation Centre is highly recommended. Located near Sandakan on Borneo, it is one of four orangutan sanctuaries in the world and there your chances of seeing a wild orangutan are highest.

While the inner regions are covered in jungle the coast has pristine sandy beaches. The best scuba diving spots are located near the islands on the east coast of the Asian peninsula. The dive season there is April through September. Sipadan, at eastern Malaysian Borneo, is the most well-known diving site.
The capital city Kuala Lumpur is something completely different. This is city of stark contrast, where ancient temples, Islamic mosques and some of the world’s tallest skyscrapers stand next to each other. The city started off as a tiny tin-mining village, but has grown into an enormous metropolis. Highlights here include seeing the Petronas Twin Towers, shopping and a bustling nightlife.

Since Malaysia has a lot of diversity it makes sense to try to see more than one aspect of it during a trip e.g., not just cities, or not just beaches. Our favorite destination in Malaysia is the Perhentian islands which is all independent with no package tourism, except for perhaps Perhentian Island Resort, which isn’t worth the price. Redang is also nice. Packages and room rates don’t differ much in price for Redang so a package is probably the way to go.

When visiting Malaysia, don’t stick to traditional Western foods. Because of its multicultural population, Malaysian cuisine is a successful mix of Indian, European, Chinese and Malay influences. Do not hesitate to go up to one of the many street food stalls and order something you have never eaten before.

Being a Southeast Asian country, the habits and customs in Malaysia may differ from our familiar Western ones. Therefore it is always recommended to dress appropriately, taking off your shoes when entering a religious building, don’t eat with your left hand and don’t point with your index finger. Swastikas are an old eternity symbol in Buddhist and Hindu cultures and don’t have the same negative ideas attached to it as in our culture.

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