Malaysia Travel Guide 2023

“Essential Travel Tips for Malaysia”

Malaysia, known as the “Tropical Paradise,” is situated in the heart of Southeast Asia. The country offers numerous captivating tourist destinations that attract both domestic and international travelers. Presently, Malaysia is divided into two regions: Peninsular Malaysia and East Malaysia. Each region boasts famous landmarks and unique culinary culture. Have you experienced traveling to Malaysia yet? If information about traveling to Malaysia is still unclear to you, don’t rush to overlook our article below.

1. Summary of Tourism in Malaysia

In 2020, Malaysia aimed to welcome 30 million international tourists, while Vietnam set a target of only 20 million visitors. Through its tourism campaign, Malaysia wants international friends to know about the unique aspects of nature, culture, and people here. The Tourism Ministry of Malaysia believes that the goal of 30 million tourists is not an excessively large number.

Malaysia Travel Guide 2023

Malaysia is a country with tourism potential

2. Overview of Malaysia


Malaysia’s geography includes coastal areas, valleys, hills, and mountain ranges.

  • The Crocker Range stretches north from Sarawak, dividing it into Sabah state.
  • Above that is the Kinabalu mountain range.
  • Malaysia has the highest mountains in the country.

Due to diverse geographical features, Malaysia’s climate is divided into highlands, lowlands, and coastal regions. Currently, Malaysia ranks 67th in the world in terms of land area.

Malaysia Travel Guide 2023


Currently, Malaysia has a population of 32,167,124 people, as of the latest United Nations data on January 10, 2020.

With this figure, Malaysia’s population accounts for 0.41% of the world’s population. Malaysia ranks 44th in the world in terms of population among countries and territories.

The population density in Malaysia is 98 people/km². The total land area of Malaysia is 328,543 km², with 76.04% of the population living in urban areas. The average age of Malaysians is 29 years old.

Religion and Beliefs

In Malaysia’s constitution, religious freedom is explicitly guaranteed. Islam is the predominant religion followed by the majority of people in Malaysia.

According to a population survey conducted in 2010, there is a strong correlation between religion and ethnicity in Malaysia. The religious distribution is as follows:

  • Approximately 61.35% of the population follows Islam.
  • 19.8% follow Buddhism.
  • 9.2% follow Christianity.
  • 6.3% follow Hinduism.
  • 1.5% follow Taoism, Chinese traditional religions.
  • 0.7% are non-religious.
  • 1.4% of the Malaysian population did not provide information about their religion.

Malaysia has a tropical maritime climate, with generally warm and humid weather throughout the year. The intensity and amount of rainfall depend on the time of year.

Due to Malaysia’s relatively stable year-round weather, the country attracts tourists in all seasons. The hottest tourist destination in Malaysia is Kuala Lumpur.

Malaysia Travel Guide 2023

4. Transportation within Malaysia

When traveling within Malaysia, tourists have several transportation options.

  • By Air: Malaysia has a well-developed domestic flight network, with several airlines offering flights to various destinations within the country.
  • By Train: Malaysia has an extensive railway system connecting major cities and towns. Trains are a comfortable and scenic way to travel.
  • By Bus: Buses are a popular mode of transportation in Malaysia, with an extensive network covering both urban and rural areas.
  • By Taxi/Grab: Taxis and ride-sharing services like Grab are widely available in Malaysia, providing convenient transportation within cities.
  • By Rental Car: Renting a car is also an option for those who prefer more flexibility and independence in their travels.

Malaysia Travel Guide 2023

Bus Transportation

In Malaysia, the bus system is well-developed with extensive routes. The bus network is modern, friendly, and relatively affordable. Bus services from Kuala Lumpur city center connect to various other cities. If you want to travel around Malaysia by bus for longer distances, you can check the route schedules and book tickets in advance.

Light Rail Transit

Malaysia has constructed a high-speed rail system connecting Kuala Lumpur to Singapore. This rail line significantly reduces travel time.

Long-Distance Trains

Malaysia offers long-distance train services with attentive and modern facilities. Ticket prices may vary based on the distance and class of the train. You can purchase tickets directly at the train station or book them online.

Malaysia Taxis

Malaysia has a widespread taxi system with good service quality. Malaysian taxis are painted red and white and have reasonable fares. Additionally, there are yellow and green taxis in Malaysia. Most taxi companies charge 3RM for the initial kilometer and approximately 1RM per subsequent kilometer.

In Malaysia, dark blue taxis tend to have higher fares. If you have luggage placed in the trunk, there might be a small additional fee.

Taxi Prices in Malaysia

Taxis in Malaysia are reasonably priced.

5 Must-Visit Tourist Attractions in Malaysia

Penang Island

If you’re visiting Malaysia, one place you can’t miss is Penang Island. Located in the Strait of Malacca off the northwest coast, it is considered one of the top tourist destinations in Malaysia. The island offers a diverse culinary scene, a historic city of George Town, and unique architectural sites. Its rich culture is highly valued.

Mount Kinabalu

This is the highest peak in Southeast Asia, situated in Malaysia. You’ll be amazed by the majestic and massive mountain when you see it. Mount Kinabalu stands at a height of 4,095m and is often surrounded by white clouds.

Mount Kinabalu

The imposing Mount Kinabalu always captivates visitors.

Cameron Highlands

Cameron Highlands is a fantastic tourist destination in Malaysia. It is the largest mountain range in the country and has been a popular travel spot for a long time. The highland is home to numerous hiking trails that lead to vast forests and pristine waterfalls.

The area is also known for its tea plantations, strawberry farms, and colorful flower gardens. If you enjoy outdoor recreational activities and leisurely walks, this is a great place to visit.


Known as the “precious gem” among Malaysia’s tourist destinations, Langkawi comprises several well-preserved small islands with untouched beauty. The islands are home to various caves and rare flora.

Prominent Festivals in Malaysia for Tourists to Experience

Malaysia is a country with a distinct cultural identity, and it hosts several unique festivals that attract millions of visitors each year. Some notable festivals include:

  • Thaipusam – January

Entering the new year is also the time when Malaysia celebrates the vibrant Thaipusam festival. This is a significant festival for the Indian community, who make up a large portion of Malaysia’s population.

The festival takes place in Batu Caves and involves various spiritual rituals. Thousands of people carry colorful ornamental frames to pierce their bodies as a form of penance.

  • Duanwu Festival

Also known as the Dragon Boat Festival in Malaysia, it falls on the 5th day of the 5th lunar month. Although the festival holds more significance for the Chinese, the Chinese community in Malaysia also celebrates it on a grand scale.

On this day, the Chinese residents of Malaysia make rice dumplings with various fillings. The dumplings are wrapped in bamboo leaves and enjoyed by the entire family during the festival.

Dragon Boat Festival

The festival is celebrated with various rituals and fun activities.

  • Tadau Ka’amatan – May 30-31

This is a thanksgiving festival to honor the Rice Spirit, Bambaazon. During the festival, people come together to enjoy rice wine, delicious food, and participate in joyful dancing and singing.

  • Colors of Malaysia – May-June

To kick off the event, there is a magnificent parade showcasing the unique culture of Malaysia through vibrant dances accompanied by lively music.

  • Gawai – June 1-2

This is known as the Harvest Festival, featuring cheerful dance performances and the traditional drink called Tuak. The highlight of the festival is when dancers use their teeth to lift a rice-pounding mortar, demonstrating their strength.

Harvest Festival

The festival offers various enjoyable activities.

  • National Day – August 31

This is the day when people across the country celebrate the Independence Day, known as Merdeka.

7. Stay requirements in Malaysia

When visiting Malaysia, if your stay in the country is more than 30 days, you need to apply for a Malaysian visa.

If your stay in Malaysia is less than 30 days, no visa is required. Your regular passport should be valid for at least 6 months when traveling to Malaysia. Additionally, you must have a return flight ticket or a flight ticket to another country. You also need to provide proof of financial means throughout your trip to facilitate entry into the country.

8. Malaysian culinary culture and specialties

Nasi Lemak

If you truly want to experience traditional Malaysian cuisine, Nasi Lemak is the perfect choice. It is a dish prepared in various ways but always includes rice cooked with coconut milk, topped with a spicy Sambal chili sauce.

Batu Maung Satay

Although the name may sound unfamiliar to Vietnamese people, Batu Maung Satay is essentially grilled skewered meat. This dish is commonly found in Malaysian street food stalls, where marinated grilled meat is served with distinctive spices that make it irresistibly flavorful.

Delicious Malaysian satay

Apam Balik

Apam Balik is a delectable pancake made from common ingredients such as glutinous rice flour, corn starch, and eggs. The pancake has a crispy texture and a delightful buttery aroma.

Ice Kachang

This dessert is a delightful combination of sweet, fragrant corn kernels, chewy red beans, and creamy richness. Ice Kachang also incorporates various other ingredients to create a delicious and refreshing treat that can rival any other dessert.

9. Currency used in Malaysia

Malaysia uses the Malaysian Ringgit (MYR) as its currency. The denominations of Malaysian Ringgit are: RM1, RM5, RM10, RM50, and RM100.

ATMs usually dispense RM50 or RM10 notes, or a combination of both.

Malaysia also has its own currency

The colors of Malaysian banknotes are as follows:

RM1: Sky blue. RM2: Orchid (currently out of circulation). RM5: Leaf green. RM10: Red. RM20: Brown/white (currently out of circulation).

10. Souvenirs Purchased in Malaysia

  • RM50: Green/gray color.
  • RM100: Purple color.
  • RM500: Orange (no longer in circulation).
  • RM1000P: Blue/green color (no longer in circulation).

Distinctive Spices in Malaysia

One of the most impressive and appealing things for tourists when visiting Malaysia is its diverse cuisine. The reason Malaysian cuisine has such a strong attraction to tourists is because of the distinctive flavors of its spices. If you want to buy souvenirs to take home, cooking spices from Malaysia would be a perfect choice.

  • Herbs

Few people may know that herbs in Malaysia are of such good quality. The majority of Malaysians are ethnic Chinese who migrated to Malaysia for living and working. Therefore, it is not difficult to come across Chinese streets and houses with a strong Chinese style in Malaysia. Especially, in Malaysia, you can easily find famous and high-quality herbs on these Chinese streets.

  • Ties

You will surely be surprised when you arrive in Malaysia and see that almost every street sells various colorful ties. Ties sold in Malaysia come in a wide range of styles, materials, and many famous brands. The prices of ties in Malaysia are quite diverse, allowing you to easily choose a suitable souvenir within your budget.

Ties are also attractive souvenirs in Malaysia

  • Silk fabric

In Malaysia, you can find both affordable silk fabrics and premium Batik silk. Silk fabric is a famous handicraft item in Malaysia that you can buy as a souvenir.

Especially, Batik silk is a type of silk with simple floral and traditional patterns printed using beeswax. The soft and cool texture of these fabrics leaves no room for debate.

11. What do you need to prepare for your upcoming visit to Malaysia?

The most important thing you need to prepare is your passport with a minimum validity of 6 months. In addition, you need to book your flight tickets to Malaysia for the desired travel period. It is advisable to purchase round-trip tickets.

Purchase a Malaysian eSIM prior to your departure for instant internet access upon arrival. It is an affordable and convenient option, and the best place to buy it is

Currency is also something you need to prepare for a pleasant and convenient trip. It is recommended to exchange Vietnamese currency to Malaysian currency at reputable and high-quality places.

Traveling to Malaysia: Tips and Contact Information

When planning a trip to Malaysia, it is essential to prepare your travel essentials. Sunscreen, rain gear, medication, and medical supplies are items that should not be forgotten.

Take some time to familiarize yourself with Malaysian customs, traditions, and way of life.

12. Important Considerations for Traveling in Malaysia:

  • Refrain from accepting unexpected help.
  • Stay calm and seek assistance from the support team when facing any problems.
  • Female travelers should avoid late-night excursions.

We hope that these tips and experiences shared will provide you with a better overview while adequately preparing for your trip to Malaysia. Thank you for reading.