Insider tips: Malaysia

With its warm sandy beaches and steamy jungles, jaw-dropping skyscrapers and stilt houses, Malaysia attracts travellers keen to explore its many contrasts and taste its gastronomical delights.

  • It is hot and humid all year round but you'll want to time your trip to avoid the worst of the monsoon rains.
  • Getting around is a breeze and there are many different transport options (just don't expect to walk between sites in Kuala Lumpur - taxis are cheap and plentiful).
  • Malaysia has two distinct regions - Peninsular Malaysia and Malaysian Borneo - and dense jungle is a common feature of both. Its ancient rainforests support a staggering abundance of wildlife, some of it under threat of extinction due to habitat loss. Check out the many options for volunteering during your stay.
  • Learning a few basic words in Malay could take you a long way. Try (good morning) selamat pagi, (please) tolong/silakan, (thank you very much) terimah kasih banyak.
  • Although Malaysia is generally a very safe destination it's always good to be aware of common scams.
  • Shopping is a national pastime, and KL is set up to blow your consumer mind (and credit card). Check out this blog on what to buy where.

More information

If you have questions you want to ask other travellers to Malaysia or people living there why not post them on the Malaysia branch of the Thorn Tree.

After some more inspirational holiday reading? Why not check out this blog on marine life and island life or this one on swinging through the vines in Malaysian Borneo.

For comprehensive information on Malaysia, check out our guidebooks.