What should I wear when travelling in Malaysia?

Malaysia has a whole range of ethnicities living in one place and as a rule it’s better to dress conservatively. We suggest to cover your shoulders and wear long shorts/trousers, especially when visiting religious sites. When you’re lazing on the beaches of Langkawi, just be mindful of others around you and keep the bikini on!

Local market vendors

What kind of food will I expect to find?

As there is a melting pot of different cultures in Malaysia the cuisine is influenced by this. There are many local variations of dishes and specialities. You should expect a lot of rice, vegetables and meat, along with peanuts, egg and chilli. Traditionally, breakfast is Nasi Lemak; rice steamed in coconut milk, wrapped in a banana leaf, served with spicy curry, peanuts and a boiled egg.

Malaysia smiling customer riding behind man on moped

How much should I be tipping?

Tipping isn’t necessary after a meal but we always suggest rounding the bill up to give a little extra. This is fairly customary in South East Asia but is completely discretionary.

If you have had a guide or driver with you for part of your trip, we recommend tipping around 10 MYR (around £2) per person per day. If you have particularly enjoyed their company then it’s always nice to give more.

Customer smiling drinking tea green fields

Can I buy alcohol in Malaysia?

As Malaysia is a predominantly Muslim country, alcohol can be more expensive than other countries in South East Asia. In Kuala Lumpur a can of beer can set you back £2 and isn’t widely available throughout the country. We suggest you buy a bottle of wine or spirits from duty free on your way in and by soft drinks locally. There is always a fridge in your room to keep things cold.

People boarding a plane in Malaysia

What should I definitely take with me?

When packing keep in mind what for however long you are away, there are always laundry services at the hotels so don’t pack too much. You should definitely bring loose fitting, modest, cotton clothes with you as these are perfect in the heat. A sarong or scarf are also useful when travelling as you can cover your shoulders with these when visiting religious sites.

towers in kuala lumpur malaysia
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