Malaysia is a land of wonders and, most importantly, it is a memorable and safe place to visit. However, there are a few not-so-fun experiences you’ll want to avoid in order to have the best time in Malaysia.
Like every nation, there are customs and traditions to follow in Malaysia once you arrive and a few things you will want to avoid to keep your trip on track. There are also several local laws you won’t want to get caught breaking unintentionally.
If you’re planning on having the best time in Malaysia that you can possibly have, here’s a list of eight things that all tourists should avoid during their visit.
How to Have the Best Time in Malaysia
Don’t Forget Your Visa
This should be travel 101 for most of you but it’s worth reiterating that you may need a visa before you travel to Malaysia. Of course, it depends on your citizenship, but you need to know that in advance. The good news is that it’s easy to get this taken care of before you leave by applying through Malaysia online visa.
Whether you need a visa or not, you must make sure you have at least six months of validity left on your passport after your departure date. Check the full details here on who needs and who doesn’t need a visa and what requirements travelers must meet to enter Malaysia.
Don’t Be Seen Anywhere Near Drugs
Malaysia, like a lot of Southeast Asian countries, has a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to drugs. Smuggling drugs into the country or being caught possessing narcotics comes with steep penalties that could land you in jail or worse.
The best course of action is to avoid drugs at all costs on your vacation. They could lead to you spending a lot longer in the country than you intended.
Don’t Forget Your Wet Weather Gear
You have to prepare for the weather before you arrive in Malaysia. The country is in the tropics and that means you should be ready for rain at any moment.
Heavy rainstorms can come on fast here and getting caught without a coat or umbrella could slow down your exploration of the country. Make sure to have something light and waterproof on hand if you get caught in a sudden downpour.
Don’t Get Caught Naked or Underdressed
One of the biggest cultural differences you’ll come across in Malaysia is the dress code. Luckily the rules aren’t too strict but it is important to dress respectfully, especially if you’re attending one of the many religious temples or sacred sites found around the country.
More importantly, you can’t walk around in a bikini top or just in your swim shorts on the street as you might in Europe or Australia. Doing this in Malaysia can offend the locals and potentially get you into trouble.
Also, getting naked is a no-no. You’ve probably heard about the tourists who got into legal trouble for posing for a naked photo in Borneo. The authorities weren’t accepting of that behavior then and they’re even less likely to be accepting of anyone trying it now.
Don’t Get in an Unmetered Taxi
Unmetered taxis are a common problem across Asia, and Malaysia is no different. If you want to avoid getting ripped off, it’s usually better and safer to use a ride-hailing service like Uber or Grab.
If you do need to pick up a cab on the street for any reason, it’s best to agree on a price before setting off. That way there’ll be no unpleasant surprises once you arrive at your destination.
Don’t Wear Shoes in Your Host’s Home
If you are staying with a local or are being hosted in an Airbnb, leave your shoes at the door. This is because it’s customary in Malaysia to remove outdoor footwear before stepping inside.
Homeowners are eager to keep their floors clean and bringing in dirt from the street is likely to upset even the most accommodating of hosts. If in doubt, always ask first before entering with your shoes on.
Don’t Show the Soles of Your Feet
Malaysian locals can be fussy when it comes to feet. Feet are considered to be the dirtiest part of the body by the locals. As a result, pointing the soles of your feet at someone, or worse, at one of the many Buddha statues around the country is considered an insult. In other words, it’s a bad idea if you want to stay in the local’s good graces.
Don’t Bring Durians Into Your Hotel
Malaysian hotels and airports have some pretty strict rules when it comes to durians. The strong-smelling fruit is a popular part of the cuisine in the country but the lingering scent can cause major headaches for hosts and cleaning staff.
While it’s best to focus on what you want to do in Malaysia, it’s also wise to have a clear idea of some of the things you don’t want to do on your visit. By avoiding the eight things listed above, you’re sure to have the best time in Malaysia!