Danger lurks everywhere, even more so when you’re travelling in a foreign country. While we, the people and the authorities here in Malaysia, tries our best to ensure the safety and satisfaction of all, there’s no denying that trouble can still hit you when you least expect it. So, here are a few travel tips that you can follow to ensure that your trip here is safe, fun and trouble free!
During any holiday, you are bound to face some unfortunate situations that can range from medical emergencies, accidents, the lost of belongings or worse, travel documents.
Situations like these can cause pain, the lost of time and money, and not to mention a ruined holiday. A lot of us take these kinds of risk because we hope for the best when we leave for a holiday. We’ve ent on many holidays before, surely this one would also end with no problems what so ever.
No one can predict such situations. Never the less, we can lighten their impact by providing cover for ourselves and family in advance by purchasing travel insurance. If you’ve never bought travel insurance before, we advice you to consider it on your next holiday.
Here are some tips to help you with purchasing travel insurance.
Types of Coverage
If you’re planning on buying travel insurance and are not sure on what contingencies, here are some general ideas:
- Personal Accidents
- Medical Expenses
- Loss of Luggage & Personal Belongings, money and valuables
- Loss of Passport/Travel Documents
- Baggage Delay
- Travel Delay/cancellation
- Missed Departure
It is advisable for you to check out the exact details with your preferred travel insurance agents to get a complete picture.
A question that many would be vacationers will surely have! How much do you have to pay for travel insurance coverage?
The answer is that it depends on what kind of coverage you need. You can get insurance for a one-way journey, for return trips or if you’re a frequent traveller. You can even choose for an annual insurance policy which could save you a lot of money.Once you’ve gotten yourself a travel insurance, here are a few tips to help you decide which travel insurance to buy.
Do not leave out anything important when you’re filling up the application form. These would include booking details, invoice numbers and so on and so forth. Get assistance from your travel agent to help you through the process.
Read the policy agreement carefully and take note of what kind of coverage is excluded. Then, consider the exclusion carefully and decide whether you really need it or not. The point is that you have to read the agreement very carefully so that you don’t miss out anything important and get a travel insurance that would cover and fulfills all your needs. With the proper insurance coverage, you can go for your holiday with peace of mind.
Taxis are a convenient mode of transport for many travellers. Even more so when on vacation, wouldn’t it be better if a taxi were to transport you to an unknown location in the shortest time possible? But then, there is a downside. Especially when it comes to personal safety, fares and safety of personal belongings. With that in mind, here are some taxi safety and general tips to help you travel without a hitch.
Choose Your Route
Clearly inform the taxi driver of your preferred route, naturally the cabby would normally use the route he’s familiar with. If you suspect that the driver is purposely using a longer route, do not argue with him. Instead, once you get to your destination, request for the fare receipt and lodge a complaint with the taxi service company or operator for further action.
If you don’t have Malaysian Ringgit (MYR) on you, make sure to inform the taxi driver in advance. This way, he/she can bring you to a money changer where you can exchange your cash to the local currency on the way to your destination. Most taxi drivers would be glad to help.
Remember to always request a fare receipt at the end of your trip and keep it in case you need it for future reference. Your Right to Ride Solo. If you feel uncomfortable riding with strangers, you have the right to reject the driver’s request to pick up passengers along the way.
We encourage you to always book a cab via the taxi call center or their mobile app. You will have to pay an extra RM2 for this service but it almost often ensures that the driver uses the taxi meter. Also, you will get all the booking information – the driver’s name, taxi plate number and the driver’s contact number. This way, you can double check the taxi plate number before boarding it.
Check Your Belongings
Always check the belongings you have with you before boarding the taxi. Don’t bet on recovering your items from the taxi operator’s office unless you’re lucky enough to get an honest driver. If you find that your lost item is lodged at the taxi operator’s office, prepare to pay for the cost of transporting them to your preferred address. Otherwise, you would have to collect them in person.
Make sure that the cabby uses the taxi fare meter. If the driver refuses to use the meter (unless otherwise agreed to by the passenger), do not argue with the cabby. Make the payment and get a receipt (or any proof of payment). Let the taxi operator know after your trip for further action.
Confirm Driver’s Identity
Check whether your driver resembles the photo in the driver identification card displayed on the dashboard and whether the taxi number matches the one stated therein. If it doesn’t, just step out and wait for another taxi. We hope these taxi tips would come in handy the next time you decided to take a taxi ride. We wish your next taxi ride a safe and pleasant one.
Alternative to taxi, you can use Grab, a ride-hailing service here in Malaysia. Download the app on your mobile phone and you’re good to go.
Visitors to Malaysia must be in possession of valid passport/travel documents with a minimum validity of six months beyond the period of intended stay. In the case of a national passport not recognised by the Malaysian Government, the holder must be in possession of a document in lieu of passport obtainable at the nearest Malaysian Mission abroad. The national passport must also ensure his re-entry into the country of his citizenship.
Every visitor to Malaysia has to fill in a Disembarkation Card (IMM. 26). The card has to be handed over to the Immigration Officer on arrival together with the national passport or other internationally recognized travel document endorsed for travel into Malaysia. A passport/travel document is also necessary for travel between Sabah and Sarawak.
Visitor passes issued for entry into Peninsular Malaysia are not valid for entry into Sarawak. Fresh visit passes must be obtained on arrival at the point of entry in Sarawak. However, subject to conditions stipulated, visit passes issued by the Immigration Authorities in Sabah and Sarawak are valid for any part of Malaysia.
- Commonwealth Citizens (except Bangladesh/India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka), British Protected Persons or Citizens of the Republic of Ireland and Citizens of Switzerland, Netherlands, San Marino and Liechtenstein do not need a visa to enter Malaysia.
- Citizens of Albania, Austria, Algeria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Republic of Slovakia, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Japan, South Korea, Luxembourg, Norway, Sweden, Italy, United States of America, Bahrin, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Egypt, Morocco, North Yemen, Oman, Saudi Arabia,Qatar United Arab Emirates, Turkey and Tunisia do not require a visa for a Social and Business visit not exceeding three months.
- Nationals of ASEAN Countries do not require a visa for a Social and Business visit not exceeding one month.
- Citizens of Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Syria, South Yemen do not require visa for a Social and Business visit not exceeding 14 days.
- Citizens of Bulgaria, Romania and Russia do not require a visa for a Social and Business visit not exceeding one week.
- Nationals of the Republic of China, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cuba, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, North Korea, Nepal, Myanmar, Taiwan, Vietnam and all Certificate of Identity (CI) holders must obtain a visa before entering Malaysia.
- Citizens of nations other than those stated above (except Serbia Montenegro and Israel) are allowed to enter Malaysia for a Social and Business visit not exceeding one month without having a Visa.
- A visitor intending to visit any part of Malaysia is required to be in possession of only one visa to travel direct from one part of the nation to another.
- Visas are issued by Malaysian Diplomatic Missions abroad or British Consulates which act for Malaysia in countries where no diplomatic representation of Malaysia is established. All visitors to Malaysia should inquire at the nearest Malaysian Diplomatic.
Lost your way? Need help? Look for a tourist police officer. Tourist police officers can be recognized by their checkered hat bands, dark blue shirts and trousers, and the letter “I” (for information) on a red and blue badge on their chest pocket.
Holidays in Malaysia
With its multi-ethnic population, it is not surprising that almost every month sees a different festival. Some of these are declared as Public Holidays. As festivals vary from year to year, it is best to check the dates with the nearest Tourism Malaysia Office before you plan your trip.
There are five term breaks in the year for schools throughout Malaysia. The term breaks vary slightly from state to state. However, they fall roughly during the later part of the months of January (1 week), March (2 week), May (3 weeks), August (1 week), October (4 weeks).
It is generally safe to drink water straight from the tap. Bottled mineral water, however, is easily available in shops and supermarkets.
Electric supply is on a 240-volt 50-cycle system.
English Language newspapers are available i.e. The New Straits Times, The Star, Business Times, Malay Mail, Daily Express, Sabah Daily News and Sarawak Tribune. International newspapers can be obtained at most bookshops and newsstands. Several dailies in other languages include Utusan Melayu, Berita Harian, Nanyang Siang Pan, Sin Chew Wit Poh and Tamil Nesan. There are also weeklies, such as the Leader and Straits Shipper.
Radio services are in Bahasa Melayu, English, Chinese, and Tamil.
There are 4 television stations with TV 1 and TV 2 being government networks while the other two are privately run.
In the event you need medical care, there are private clinics in most towns. It is a good idea to take out a medical insurance before you travel as Malaysia does not have reciprocal health service agreements with other nations. For over-the-counter prescriptions, there are pharmacies and ‘Chinese medical halls’.
No vaccination is required for cholera and smallpox.
With a temperature that fluctuates little throughout the year, travel in Malaysia is a pleasure. Average temperature is between 21 C and 32 C. Humidity is high. Rain tends to occur between November to February on the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia, on western Sarawak, and north-eastern Sabah. On the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia the rainy season is April to May and October to November.
As Malaysia’s climate is sunny almost year round, light clothing is ideal. It is advisable for ladies, when entering mosques and temples, to wear long sleeves and loose pants or long skirts.
Malaysia is 8 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and 16 hours ahead of United States Pacific Standard Time.
To avoid “cultural offenses,” here are some tips:
- Remove shoes when entering homes and places of worship.
- Dress neatly in a suitable attire which covers arms and legs when visiting places of worship.
- Handle food with your right hand.
- Do not point your foot at someone.
- When giving or receiving money gifts to/from a Malaysian, do so with your right hand.