Fast Facts: Malaysia

Below are some of the most common questions from our travelers.

Do I need a passport? What is required for entry?

U.S. citizens must have a passport, which should contain at least 2 blank pages and be valid for at least six months after your return date. Passports expiring before then should be renewed as soon as possible.

Many countries also require a travel visa for entry. Some countries issue visas upon arrival, but in most cases, you need to obtain visas prior to travel. Airlines and cruises may deny boarding and your tour may be disrupted if your visa is not in order.

For U.S. citizens booked on a tour or package with Scheduled Dates, we will send you complete visa instructions and application forms after you book.

If you hold a passport from another country, or are not booked on a tour with Scheduled Dates, you are responsible for obtaining your own visa and meeting all entry requirements. If a visa is required, we recommend using a fee-based visa service, such as our preferred provider VisaHQ.

What is the weather like?

Malaysia is hot and humid, with Borneo being a little hotter and more humid than the rest of the country. November thru February is the rainy season on the east coast, but is considered an ideal time for visiting the west coast, which remains dry during those months. If you plan to visit higher elevations, be sure to take a sweater.

Check out the current weather conditions in Malaysia.

Are there any health precautions I should take?

Malaria is present in Sabah and Sarawak. Check with your physician about malaria suppressants, and possible typhoid and hepatitis vaccinations. Remember to take along plenty of insect repellant. If you're planning to visit any pig farms, be extremely careful. The Nipah virus is spread through pig urine, although the risk for non- farmers is very low.

Center for Disease Control
World Health Organization

What is the currency?

In Malaysia, the currency is the ringgit. Please review the current exchange rate for the ringgit.

Are tips & service charges customary?

Tipping is not customary in Malaysia, though tips are always appreciated. A 10% service charge is often added to restaurant and hotel bills, so you do not need to tip above the service charge. Taxi and rickshaw drivers are very appreciative of a small tip.

What are the best things to shop for?

Shop for batiks, silverwork, pewter, brass, gold and silver brocades, local handicrafts, kites and carvings. Be sure not to purchase anything made from pangolin, an endangered anteater. It will be confiscated by customs.

What is the voltage?

240 volts. Plug G. You will need a voltage converter and plug adapter in order to use U.S. appliances. We recommend getting a universal adapter and converter kit. View more information about electrical standards around the world.

Can I take my cell phone?

See our blog post on using your cell phone abroad.

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