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Updated by Joanna James on Aug 13, 2018
Headline for 6 Things to Know Before Travelling to Malaysia - Prepare Yourself for the Wonders of Malaysia
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Joanna James Joanna James
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6 Things to Know Before Travelling to Malaysia - Prepare Yourself for the Wonders of Malaysia

It's always a good idea to learn a little bit about a country before you visit, and Malaysia has so much to offer - so here's 6 things to know before traveling to Malaysia.

1

The culture

Malaysia's culture is a diverse and colourful reflection of its three largest communities - native Malays, Indians and Chineses. The three groups are joined by a large array of indigenous tribes, most of whom can be found in the jungles and coastal regions of Malaysian Borneo. While each community has maintained its own unique traditions, festivals, language and cuisine, they have also managed to seamlessly blend together to create Malaysia's diverse heritage.

2

The Religions

Malaysia is officially a Muslim country - the government and its largest Malay community are all Muslims. However, other religious communities are allowed to practice their faiths, without restrictions. You will find plenty of mosques, Buddhist and Hindu temples, and churches of several dominions all over the cities. All the big festivals of each religion are public holidays here, and all are welcome to join in festivities. If you plan on visiting any religious locations, be mindful to cover your upper arms and legs. Most places will offer to provide a sarong, but it's always nicer to go prepared.

3

The language

The main language of Malaysia is Bahasa Malaysia, closely followed by English. Most people can speak English quite well, and everything from street signs to menus are generally printed in English too, so travelling around the cities is never a problem. However, if you're heading outside of the big cities, it's always good to learn a few Bahasa words to help you get around, plus the locals will definitely appreciate your effort.

4

The accommodation

Malaysia has plenty of clean, and affordable accommodation options for travellers. The larger cities are where you will find the most diverse accommodation choices including apartments, budget rooms and dorms, and more luxurious options like AVANI Sepang Goldcoast Resort, for example, a Sepang hotel. Camping facilities are available in several nature parks, or if you have your own tent, you are free to camp on public land as long as you clean up after yourself before you leave.

5

Borneo

While the peninsular is home to popular locations like Kuala Lumpur and Penang, the states that make up Malaysian Borneo should not be missed either. This region is a nature lover's paradise, and offers the best diving sites, the tallest mountain, and dense rain-forests. It is also the home of the world famous Orangutan rehabilitation centre, where injured or captured orangutans are treated.

6

Cuisine

Malaysian food, whether from a street food vendor, or a restaurant, is bursting with a fusion of flavours unique to this part of the Asia. You won't find pork on the menu often, but everything else will be. The city of Penang is regarded as the best place to dine in the country, so if you're a foodie, head to Penang.