1 Malaysia Today

Centuries ago, a prosperous sailor made a transit stop on the coast of Malaya. Could he have known at that moment, that he would fall in love with its sky, nature and its azure waters? He could hardly imagine that this beauty would captivate him forever and make him remain here until end of his days. 

 
If you have made up your mind to visit Malaysia, you have definitely made the right choice! This is one of the most developed countries in South-East Asia and the perfect place to travel at any time of the year. In addition, you do not need to burden yourself with a tiresome task of going to the embassy, applying for visa and waiting for the "approved or denied" answer. Malaysia is a visa-free country for most nations. Its also very accessible, as all major international airlines fly to Malaysia.
  

Once you step outside the airport doors, you will immediately feel the fragrance of Malaysia - the sweet smell of the equatorial jungle heat, tropical foliage and flowers, exotic fruits and Asian cuisine. That memory will stay with you for years.

Malaysia today is a country that attracts millions of visitors each year with its incredible blend of cultures and religions, the diversity of architecture and abundance of various exotic dishes. It is home to one of the tallest buildings in the world - the Petronas Twin Towers, and KL Tower - telecommunications tower, the largest indoor bird park, two wonderful aquariums - and these are just a part of a long list of endless accomplishments and records of Malaysia. Many people return to this tropical paradise each year just to re-experience the kindness and warm hospitality of its residents. Malaysia’s horizons are stretched from the rocky heights of Mount Kinabalu located in Borneo Island to the azure waters washing its fabulous coastlines, where promising diving opportunities constantly attract experienced divers from all around the world. Cool weather of Cameron Highlands has long been a popular place not only for Europeans but also for the visitors from the neighboring Asian countries. Malaysia always has something new and entertaining to offer to its visitors regardless of their age and interests. Visit Malaysia and experience it yourself!

Geographical position

 
Malaysia is conveniently located in the heart of Southeast Asia, between the second and seventh degrees north of the equator. The South China Sea divides Malaysia to the west (Peninsular) and East (Borneo Island) parts. Its total area is 329,750 square km. The Peninsular part of the country borders with Thailand in the north and Singapore in the south. States Sabah and Sarawak are located on along the Borneo border with Indonesia (Kalimantan), and Brunei.

Climate in Malaysia 

The country's territory stretches in the equatorial and subequatorial climatic zones. The average annual temperature here is 25-28C, and rainfall ranges from 1500 to 2500 mm a year. Daytime temperatures vary from 28-32°C, and is often even higher. Malaysia rarely presents undesirable climatic surprises to its guests who are generally pleased with the good weather. The rainy season is no different in abrupt changes of weather conditions, and is often expressed in short-lived tropical storms that will not prevent you from a comfortable rest in Malaysia.


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Population 

Population in Malaysia has reached 31 million. More than 4/5 of these people live in the peninsular part. Demographic growth is at an average of 2.5% and the average life expectancy is about 69 years for men and 74.5 for women.

 

Administrative division

Malaysia is a federal state consisting of 13 states and 3 federal territories. Nine of 11 states are headed by hereditary rulers.


Political system 
The political system in Malaysia represents a federal constitutional monarchy with an elected federal head of state Yang di-Pertuan Agong and the Prime Minister of Malaysia as a head of government. The monarch and his deputy are elected by the Board of hereditary rulers from among its members.

Religion
In Malaysia, all the religions peacefully coexist together, since the Constitution has allowed freedom to all confessions, but Islam is the official religion. 

Language
The state language of Malaysia is Malay, but periodicals come in four languages - Malay, English, Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese dialects) as well as Tamil, but the majority of the population freely speaks English. Chinese, Indians and other nationalities living here, also speak their native languages apart from Malay and English. 

Customs Clearance in Malaysia
Customs here is loyal to the guests and rarely checks baggages. Nevertheless, the country is rather strict in laws against the drug trade and trafficking for which death penalty is imposed. Allowed import: duty-free one liter of spirits, a liter of wine or liquor, 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 225 grams of tobacco, perfume and cosmetics in an amount not exceeding RM200, souvenirs - costing not more than RM200. The import of goods from Israel, coins or banknotes of Israel, garments with printed texts from Koran, and pornography is prohibited. In the case of exporting expensive antiques you must have an official permission. When purchasing coral or leather products, rare or protected animals it is kindly advised not to throw away the packaging in which they were acquired and keep the receipt from the store.

Visa
Depending on your citizenship you can get 15, 30 or 90 - day visa free stay in Malaysia upon arrival. However, Malaysia does not have diplomatic ties with some countries (e.g. Israel), and citizens of some countries need visa to enter Malaysia (e.g. Afghanistan). You can find detailed information by following this link to the immigration department in Kuala Lumpur International Airport: www.klia.com.my (search for Immigration Regulations).
 
Economy
Malaysia can be called as one of the most developed countries of the "young tigers" of Southeast Asia. Economic indicators show a steady growth of its economy for many years in a row. Industrial and agricultural economy of this state is focused on exports, the main items of which are palm oil, petroleum, rubber, tin and iron ore, natural gas, manufacture, wood (and products thereof), and pepper, tea and cocoa (in small amounts). 

Capital of Malaysia
Kuala Lumpur is a capital of Malaysia. It was founded in 1857. On February 1, 1972 it received the status of the city and since 1974 - the status of the federal territory.
In 1999 Putrajaya was declared a new administrative and government center of Malaysia, but does not carry the status of capital.

3d86d75a22c5ca5ed5842c92d4c5663f Currency Exchange 
The monetary unit of Malaysia is Malaysian ringgit. The country has free access to currency exchange and accepts the bills of all nominations of the most common currencies. It is advised to change money at the money changers of Kuala Lumpur. They usually offer best rates in the country compared to islands and smaller cities. Banks are opened from Monday through Friday from 9:30 to 16:00, and the ATM machines work from 6:00 to 00:00.
Time
Malaysian time is the same for East and West territories and is GMT +8 hours. 

Telephone communication 
Roaming services are offered here by five main mobile phone operators: Maxis, Celcom and Digi, TuneTalk and U-mobile . Local SIM card can be purchased in almost every store selling mobile phones, and it will cost no more than $5. The balance can be easily topped up at the same stores. IDD-cards for international calls from Malaysian phones are also widely spread.

Electricity
Mains voltage is 220V. Ground pins outlets are used in the majority of the country. This problem can be easily solved by asking for an adapter from the attendants in the hotel.

Water
Quality of drinking water in the country is not bad in general, but we recommend drinking either boiled or filtered water.

Tipping
Tipping in Malaysia is not so common. In most restaurants, and cafes tipping is already included in the bill as a "10% Service Charge", but if you enjoyed the service, you can leave 5-10RM as a compliment. Taxi drivers and porters will be thankful to you if you give them a small tip.

Transportation

Airlines
Several dozens of world airlines take regular flights to international airports in Malaysia: Kuala Lumpur, Langkawi, Kota Kinabalu, Penang, Johor Bahru and Kuching. The most popular Malaysian Airline can be regarded as a national carrier Malaysia Airlines and a low-cost airline AirAsia. They actively compete with each other in the market, offering affordable fares and several flights daily in each direction domestic and abroad.

Taxi
Taxis here are distinguished by color and scallops on the roof. This is a fairly inexpensive form of transport which is preferred by most tourists. In Kuala Lumpur, taxi drivers are obliged to comply with the taxi meter. At airports and some other places taxi coupons are offered. There is also a midnight surcharge of 50% from 00:00 to 06:00am. Prices on islands and in small towns are negotiable, but taxi drivers are honest enough and stick to conventional prices. Virtually every shopping mall has Taxi stands, where the customers are often asked to buy a ticket at a special counter at a fixed price.
Uber, GrabCar and My Taxi mobile applications are used most frequently.

Public transport 
There are fairly good public transport links between the cities on the mainland. With regard to inland transport in the cities, we still recommend a taxi. In Kuala Lumpur, we recommend you to take a ride on the monorail around the city center, which can offer beautiful views of the city. 

Motor transport
If you do decide to rent a car, you can enjoy the beautiful roads of Malaysia, with total length of more than 28000 km. Best country roads are chargeable, yet there is always a free alternative to any chargeable road. The maximum permissible speed on freeways is 110 km / hour. Medium class car rental is about $40 per day.

Rail links
Connecting major cities of west Malaysia, the rail network stretches from neighboring Singapore in the south to Thailand in the north. Passenger trains of the first and second class have air-conditioned compartments for one or two persons. Commuter train (KTM Komuter ) goes from Port Klang to Seremban (Negeri-Sembilan state) via several satellite cities around Kuala Lumpur.

Sea Link 
Ferry service connects the most famous islands with the mainland. Despite the modern, highly developed road infrastructure (length of Pinang bridge is 13.5 km ), the ferry service between the town of Butterworth and Penang island is very popular. Centralized extensive line of marine shipping and ferry service between sea and river ports provides a quick and timely delivery of goods and passengers to almost anywhere in the mainland and islands. 

img_trudstud Malaysian Flora and Fauna 
Almost three-fifths of the country's territory is covered with tropical forests and jungles, which are among the most ancient and endemic on the planet. These tropical forests are home to many species of exotic animals and plants. Several thousand species of orchids and about 8000 other species of flowering plants, 200 species of palm trees and 500 species of ferns can be found here. These tropical forests are home to many endangered animal species such as orangutans, several species of gibbons, macaques and Laurie. The richness of the avifauna of Malaysia is astonishing, numbering about 600 species belonging to 70 families of birds with the most outstanding representatives, like peacocks, lane, pheasants and divinely beautiful hornbills. 

Local Etiquette 

Majority of Malaysians are tolerant towards tourists, but we suggest respecting the local hospitality by following a few simple rules:

- Do not shake hands with women practicing Islam.

- When entering Malaysian homes, as well as mosques and temples, you must take your shoes off.

- It is considered impolite to show people or things with forefinger. Instead, Malaysians are using the thumb with other fingers bent.

- Keep in mind that Malaysia is a Muslim state, and it is not recommended to wear overly revealing clothing and swim or sunbathe topless.


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