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Malaysia

Malaysia

An intoxicating country bordering Thailand in the North and Singapore in the South, Malaysia has long been one of Southeast Asia's best-kept secrets. Journey through its vibrant streets and you'll witness eclectic cultures, gastronomical delights, and a fascinating blend of tradition and modernity. Gaze in awe at the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, explore the hidden charms of ancient Malacca and, most importantly, prepare to be surprised.

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Asia Series

Asia Series

Discover the exoticism and the diversity that Asia offers with our exciting itineraries at an incredible value.
  • Comfort - Maximum group size of 40 people
  • Value - Luxury hotels chosen for their central location and excellent service
  • Inclusions - Knowledgeable sightseeing guides, and more:
  • Travel insurance with trip interruption coverage (if paid in full 60 days prior to departure)
  • Tour manager to accompany you throughout (except in Hong Kong) with groups of 10 or more

MORE ON MALAYSIA
Climate

Since Malaysia is close to the equator, it experiences a hot, tropical climate with temperatures ranging from 70°F to 95°F. Temperatures are cooler in the highlands. Heavy rainstorms occur throughout the year, with the monsoon season starting from November until February. The Northeast monsoon (October to February) brings strong rains to the east coast, often causing floods. The milder Southwest monsoon (April to October) hits the southern parts of peninsular Malaysia, with showers usually being intense but brief.

 
Language

The official language of Malaysia is Malay. English is learned in all schools and is widely spoken in the major cities. Arabic is taught to those who attend Islamic religious schools. Mandarin is taught in most Chinese schools while Cantonese is commonly heard in the mass media. The most commonly spoken Indian language is Tamil.

 
National Holidays and Festivals

National Holidays:
January 1 – New Year’s Day
1st day of the 1st lunar month – Chinese Lunar New Year
May 1 – Labour Day
May or June – Wesak
June 1 or 2 – Gawai Dayak
Varies – Ramadan
August 31 – National Day
September 16 – Malaysia Day
October or November – Deepavali
December 25 – Christmas

National Festivals:
January or February – Thaipusam
End of May – Harvest Festival
Early June – Pesta Gawai
End of Ramadan - Eid ul-Fitr, known locally as Hari Raya Puasa or Aidilfitri
November - Deepavali or Diwali (Hindu Festival of Lights)
Varies - Eid ul-Adha, known locally as Hari Raya Haji or Aidiladha

 
Money

The official currency is the ringgit (MYR), informally known as the dollar. The subdivision is the sen (at 100 sen per ringgit). The exchange rate as of Feb 2010 is 3.4 ringgit to US$1.

Bring small denominations of cash with you wherever you go to avoid problems with changing larger denominations and credit card skimming, which can be a problem in some areas. Foreign currency, including the US dollar, is not generally accepted.

You will get the best rates when exchanging your money licensed money changers in major shopping malls. Rates displayed are negotiable, especially if exchanging large amounts, so make sure you ask for their best quote.

Bargaining is commonly practiced as prices are usually inflated, especially with street vendors and tourist areas.

Tipping is not necessary but is highly appreciated; however, tipping to tour guides, tour bus drivers, and porters are customary.

 
Electrical Requirements

230V/50Hz