Malaysia is one of the most beautiful countries in Southeast Asia, which is famous for its sea beaches, architectural monuments, ancient history and delightful landscapes. It is a country that attracts millions of tourists. People of different nationalities live here, but all of them are very open, friendly and independent. Welcome to Malaysia, the country is looking forward to you!

Malaysia on the map

Malaysia on the map

Geographical location of the country

Malaysia is located in Southeast Asia and is geographically divided into two parts – East Island and West Mainland. West Malaysia occupies the southern tip of the Malacca Peninsula and borders Thailand in the north and Singapore and Indonesia in the south by sea. East Malaysia occupies the north of the island of Kalimantan and borders Indonesia and the Sultanate of Brunei.

Both parts of the country are separated by the South China Sea of the Pacific Ocean and differ slightly in climatic conditions.

The Titiwangsa mountain range runs through the central part of West Malaysia. Its highest point is Mount Gunung Tahan (2187 metres). Along the coast, there are lowlands with numerous full-flowing rivers, often overflowing after heavy rains.

East Malaysia also has a high mountain range, the Kroker. There is the highest peak of the whole country – Mount Kinabalu (4095 metres).

More than half of the country’s territory is covered with dense equatorial forests, which are home to a huge variety of animals.

Safety for tourists

In the global index of peacefulness, which takes into account the calmness of the environment, attitude to tourists and many other factors, Malaysia is in 25th place, which provides a comfortable and safe holiday environment.

Nevertheless, you should not forget about your own safety. In major cities of the country, and especially in the centre of the capital, there are often cases of theft of money from tourists, fraudulent actions. However, this situation is common for all countries of the region.

In Malaysia, possession, use and sale of drugs are strictly punished, because it is a Muslim country.

Filipino terrorist groups operate in Borneo, especially in its eastern part, so there is a risk to be held hostage or become a victim of a terrorist act.

Traffic in the country is left-handed, quite calm and unhurried, but at the same time chaotic and hectic. Nobody strictly observes the rules, but traffic participants try to be polite towards each other.

Other dangers of Malaysia are typical for South-East Asia: bad water, danger of infections and fever, hot sun. In the sea, tourists may encounter poisonous sea urchins and jellyfish, sharp coral fragments, underwater currents. On land in the jungle there are tigers and leopards, poisonous snakes and plants, insects that can become carriers of dangerous diseases.

Be careful and prudent, follow the rules of hygiene, and your holiday in Malaysia will be pleasant and memorable only from the good side.


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The inhabitants of Malaysia are very fond of holidays. There are a great number of them in the country, both official and religious. The country is considered multinational and here you can participate in religious celebrations of Muslim, Hindu and Chinese communities.

The federal authorities of the country respect all faiths, although Islam is accepted as the state religion. Therefore, the Muslim birthdays of Prophet Muhammad and Hari Raya, Chinese New Year, Buddhist Vesak, Hindu Deepavali and Christian Christmas are considered federal holidays.

Labour Day and Independence Day are celebrated at the state level.

The country is also very fond of colourful festivals and processions. For example, in January they celebrate Ponggol or harvest festival, in December – Dragon Boat Festival, which attracts teams from all Asian countries and even from Australia.

There are also local folk festivals in Malaysia, characteristic of a particular territory or ethnic group.

What fun things to do in Malaysia

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From beach holidays and visiting architectural and historical sights, to shopping and clubbing, Malaysia has plenty of activities to suit every taste and wallet.

  1. Beach holidays. The best beaches in the country can be found on the islands of Penang and Langkawi. There are all conditions for holidays with children, a lot of entertainment for every taste.
  2. Diving. The islands of Malaysia give an excellent opportunity to enjoy the wonders of the underwater world. There are a lot of corals, exotic fish and strange plants. There are underwater caves and predatory barracudas.
  3. Surfing. This type of water activity is also popular in Malaysia. At any resort there are surfing schools for beginners, and experienced fans of catching a wave go to the beaches of Borneo.
  4. Ecotourism. Malaysia still has many virgin corners of nature, almost untouched by the influence of civilisation. There are especially many of them in Borneo, with its impenetrable jungles and settlements of local aborigines.
  5. Rafting. For lovers of rafting on turbulent rivers in the country, there is a lot of room for rafting. There are a lot of mountains and rivers, rafting on which will bring inexpressible impressions. There are such tours both in central Malaysia and Borneo.
  6. Trekking and hiking. The country has many national parks with trails of varying difficulty. Not far from the capital there is Templer Park, which is suitable for beginners, and on the heights of Cameron there are routes of increased complexity. They pass through forests and tea plantations, among rocks and waterfalls.
  7. Amusement Parks. There are water parks and oceanariums in popular resorts, but if you want a truly adventurous experience, the Genting Highlands Park in the mountains near Kuala Lumpur is a must-see.
  8. Sightseeing. Malaysia is a country rich in history. Here you can admire ancient temples and mosques, but also see architectural marvels of modern civilisation, such as the Petronas Towers, which are as famous as the Burj Khalifa in the Emirates.
  9. Gastrotours. Malaysia is famous for its cuisine, which combines Chinese, Indian, Thai traditions. The city of Penang with its numerous shops and markets is considered the real culinary capital of the country.
  10. Shopping. The best shopping in Malaysia is in Kuala Lumpur. There are plenty of both brand name boutiques and local shops. Many shops are open all night.

What’s important to know about Malaysia

If you are planning to visit Malaysia, here are some of the most important things to know:


The country’s official language is Malay, although English was used in Malaysia during the long years of British domination. Even now, it is considered the second official language and is used in business communication and education.

The third most widely spoken language is Chinese, and the fourth is Tamil.

Of the indigenous languages, the most widespread is Ibani – it is spoken by about 600 thousand inhabitants.


Currently, the country is home to just over 28 million people, with the majority (78 per cent) living in West Malaysia. The highest population density is recorded in the capital and along the Indian Ocean coast. The lowest – in the interior of the island of Kalimantan.

Malaysia is a multi-ethnic country. About half of the population are ethnic Malays, another 11 per cent are indigenous peoples living mainly in Kalimantan. About 22 per cent of the population are Chinese, who prefer to settle in big cities. There are also many Indians, mostly of Tamil origin. They are about 9 per cent.

More facts about the Malays, their character and local colour can be found in this article.


The national currency of the country is the Malaysian ringgit, which is divided into 100 sen. There are currently banknotes of 1, 2, 5, 5, 10, 50 and 100 ringgit in circulation, as well as coins of 5, 10, 20 and 50 sen. The front of the banknote features a portrait of the first king of Malaysia and a hibiscus flower.

Foreign currencies do not have circulation in the country, so tourists have to exchange money for local ringgit. The easiest way to exchange dollars, euros and yuan. Moreover, the exchange rate at private exchange offices is often higher than the official one. For one dollar, they give about 4.5 ringgit.


Most of the country’s population is Muslim, which distinguishes Malaysia from its northern neighbour Thailand, where Buddhism reigns supreme. In Malaysia, Islam has been elevated to the rank of state religion, although foreigners are guaranteed freedom of religion. A total of 61 per cent of Muslims are in the country.

The second most popular religion in the country is Buddhism. Its followers here are 19%. Christianity (9%) and Hinduism (6%) are also represented in the country. There are almost no atheists in the country, only 0.7% of the population declared their agnostic views at the last census.


The country is characterised by an equatorial type of climate with slight temperature fluctuations throughout the year. There is no division into dry and rainy seasons, it is equally humid and hot all year round. The coldest month in the country is November, when the average temperature is only +26 degrees centigrade. The hottest months are March and May, when the thermometer stands at +32 degrees Celsius. During the rest of the time the average temperature ranges from +29 to +30 degrees.

Monsoons, seasonal winds that change their direction twice a year, have a great influence on the climate. In April comes the south-west monsoon, which brings precipitation from the Indian Ocean to the south and west coasts. In October, it changes to a north-east monsoon, blowing from the drier areas of mainland China and the Pacific Ocean. At this time, heavy rainfall occurs in the east of the country.

The coastal regions of the country are hotter and more humid, but the mountainous areas are slightly cooler and drier.

Seawater temperature

The average temperature of seawater in different parts of Malaysia, on different coasts, practically does not differ, because they are all similarly located in the equatorial climate zone. Therefore, the beach season in the country lasts all year round, and the water temperature always remains consistently high.

  • Water temperature in winter, December-January: from +27 to +28 degrees Celsius.
  • Water temperature in spring, March-May: from +28 to +30 degrees Celsius.
  • Water temperature in summer, June-July: from +29 to +30 degrees Celsius. The highest water temperature is in August.
  • Water temperature in autumn, September-November: from +27 to +28 degrees in November.

Natural disasters

Floods are the main natural disaster on both island and mainland parts of the country. The average annual rainfall in the region exceeds 2000 millimetres, making the country one of the wettest in the world. Numerous rivers and reservoirs overflow their banks during torrential downpours, causing huge material damage every year and often resulting in loss of life. For example, the cycle of severe floods in 2006-2007 caused 18 deaths and millions of dollars in damage.

The seismic situation in Malaysia is rather calm, strong earthquakes almost never occur here. But the country constantly feels the echoes of tremors occurring on the islands of Indonesia and the Philippines.

Tropical cyclones also do not cause much concern to the inhabitants of Malaysia, because storms from the Pacific Ocean are delayed by the Philippines, and hurricanes from the Indian Ocean – by the islands of Sumatra and Java.

Forest fires are not typical for Malaysia because of the humid climate, and there are no volcanic eruptions.

You can read about the most devastating disasters in the history of Malaysia in this article.

Political structure

Malaysia is a federal parliamentary monarchy. Administratively, the country is divided into 13 states and 3 territories. Each state has a high degree of autonomy, is a monarchy and is headed by either a sultan or a raja.

The functions of federal government are performed by the Parliament and the Cabinet of Ministers. Executive power is vested in the Prime Minister.

The capital of Malaysia is Kuala Lumpur.

The major cities and resorts

Kuala Lumpur is the capital of the country and its largest city. It is home to more than 1.8 million people. The city was founded in 1857 by the British, but quickly became the capital. It is now one of the most beautiful cities in Asia, especially famous for its Petronas skyscraper towers and amazing shopping.

Langkawi is a popular resort occupying a small archipelago in the Strait of Malacca, which separates Malaysia from Sumatra. Families with children love to come here, it has soft white sand, warm calm sea and picturesque cliffs.

Penang is another popular island-resort in the Strait of Malacca. Here you can immerse yourself in the real Asian flavour, taste delicious food, swim in the warm sea. Many natives of China and India live here, which gives the island its own flavour.

Kota Kinabalu is the capital of Sabah state in Borneo and a popular resort. The population of the city is a little less than 600 thousand people, it has several architectural sights. But tourists come here for the beautiful beaches, picturesque islands and, of course, dangerous and rugged jungle, for which the second-largest island of the planet is so famous.

Symbols of Malaysia

Hibiscus is a symbol of peace and happiness. The red colour of its petals symbolises courage, prosperity and life. It is even found on banknotes and coins of the country.

The tiger is a symbol of courage and strength. Two tigers are placed on the national emblem of Malaysia.

Wau Bulan – a kite of unusual, very complex design, an indispensable attribute of any holiday.

Batik is a folk painting on fabric. The typical pattern is leaves and patterns, because in the Islamic country it is forbidden to depict people.

How to get to Malaysia

You can get to Malaysia by almost any form of transport, but most tourists arrive in the country through airports. There are 6 international airports in the country, the busiest of which is the capital Kuala Lumpur. It is one of the largest airports in Asia, handling over 40 million passengers annually.

The country’s second-busiest airport is located on the island of Kalimantan (Borneo). It is Kota Kinabalu Airport, which receives about 8 million tourists annually.

Travellers from Thailand and Singapore arrive in Malaysia by rail. Malaysia is also connected with these countries by road, in particular, dozens of tourist buses from Kuala Lumpur go to Singapore every day.

Another way to get to the country is by water. Maritime international ferries connect Malaysia with Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and even India. Ferry services also link mainland and East Malaysia.

How much money to take with you

Prices for holidays in Malaysia can fluctuate quite widely depending on the season and resort. The cost of tours to the country starts from 2000 dollars for 7 days when you check into a three-star hotel, and can exceed 3-4 thousand.

In the country itself, the following costs await tourists:

  • Food: prices for food in Malaysia are quite low, as in any other country in the region. An ordinary breakfast can cost 5–10 dollars, and lunch – in 20-30. Of course, there are luxury restaurants in the country, where prices are much higher, but we will proceed from the minimum amount. For two people in a week, it comes out to 200–300 dollars.
  • Sightseeing: some attractions in the country are free, but you will have to pay for entry to others. Visiting various temples and mosques is usually free, but you will have to pay to enter museums. The price of entrance ticket is not big – 1–3 dollars. Excursions should be considered separately. Their cost is from 100 to 200 dollars per person. At least 2–3 excursions per week should be planned. Thus, this item of expenditure can be from 700 to 1000 dollars.
  • Water parks, entertainment: beach holidays in Malaysia are in the stage of active development, because there are all conditions for it. There is an amazing clean sea, warm sand, colourful sunsets. You can ride on a yacht, sunbathe, scuba dive and so on. The same diving costs from $30, and a visit to the water park will cost $ 40-50. In total, you can put aside $200-400 for such a holiday.
  • Souvenirs: as in neighbouring Thailand, the most profitable shopping in Malaysia is possible in the capital, Kuala Lumpur. There are a lot of markets, shopping centres, boutiques with branded goods at very nice prices. Especially if you get to the sale. From the country they bring clothes, including local batik, jewellery, cosmetics and medicines, electronics. You can spend 100 dollars on souvenirs, and you can buy a couple of thousands.
  • Transport: in large cities it is more profitable and faster to travel by taxi, in small cities – to use a bus. Prices for this will be of the same order – about 2 dollars per trip per person. The cost of transfer to the hotel from the airport or on excursions is usually included in the price of the service. Therefore, you can set aside $100 per week for transport.

Thus, taking into account the reserve amount for unforeseen expenses, a holiday in Malaysia for two will cost from 1200 to 3000 thousand euros for 7 days. And of course, the maximum amount of the holiday can be much higher.


If you have already visited this country, please share your impressions in the comments. Please write a few words, what you liked most of all in the country, what moments remained in your memory forever, and what you would recommend to other tourists. We will be very grateful for your recommendations!

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