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    LEAGUE GO

    VIETNAM T

    DESTINATION

    TRAVELERS GUIDE

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    HISTORYMalaysia has a rich historical

    background. Because of its

    strategic position between the

    Indian Ocean and the South

    China Sea, Malaysia has long

    been the meeting place for

    traders and travelers from West

    and East. Hence its history is oneof continual interaction with

    foreign powers and influences

    Hindu-Buddhist influence was

    strong in the centuries before the

    coming of Islam. By1400, when

    the Malacca Sultanate was at the

    height of its power, Islam had

    become a major influence. By

    1511, however, Malacca hadfallen to the Portuguese.

    Meanwhile the Dutch had been

    establishing their influence in

    Java. By 1641, the Dutch had also

    taken over Malacca but they in

    turn lost it to the British who had

    been slowly consolidating their

    hold on the Malay states

    following Francis Lights arrival

    in Penang in 1786. In 1815

    Malacca was in British hands and

    in 1819, Stamford Raffles

    founded Singapore. Thereafter,

    through treaties, relentless

    political pressure and diplomacy,

    the British slowly extended their

    control over all the states of the

    Malay Peninsula.

    Sarawak, once part of the Sultan

    of Bruneis Empire, was ruled by

    the British adventurer James

    Brooke and his descendants since

    1841. In 1888, Sarawak and

    North Borneo (Sabah) became

    British protectorates. By the

    1920s, all the states that

    eventually comprised Malaysia

    were under British control. The

    first stirrings of Malaysian

    nationalism were felt in the 193

    following the end of World War

    II, the momentum of nationalism

    picked up again, culminating in

    independence for the Federation

    of Malaya in 1957. In 1963,

    Malaysia was formed, bringing

    together the stats of Malaya,Singapore, Sabah and Sarawak.

    Singapore, however, left the

    federation in 1965.

    Today, Malaysia is a strong

    member of the six-member

    Association of South-East Asia

    Nations (ASEAN). The

    association, comprising Brunei

    Darussalam, Indonesia, MalaysThailand, the Philippines and

    Singapore, was formed to

    promote regional growth and

    cooperation among member

    nations.

    Malaysia is a melting pot of

    various races. Its population of

    million people, for all of its

    complex ethnic set-up, has been

    remarkably peaceful. Mutual

    respect for each others culture,

    traditions, religious beliefs and

    way of life has created a peacefu

    social environment, stable

    political climate and a strong

    economy for the nation.

    The government, headed by the

    Prime Minister and members of

    his cabinet, is an alliance of

    parties representing differentracial groups. The Supreme Hea

    of State is the Yang Di Pertuan

    Agog (King). He is a

    constitutional monarch elected

    for a term of 5 years by his fello

    rulers from the other states.

    POPULATIONMalaysia has a population of

    approximately 28.3 millionpeople, with the vast majority

    of them living in peninsular

    Malaysia. The rest live on the

    Malaysian portion of the island

    of Borneo.

    TIMELocal time is GMT +8 hours.

    VISASU.S. citizens do not need a visa for

    tourist or business travel to

    Malaysia for a stay up to 3 months

    but a valid U.S. Passport is

    required.

    INSURANCEMedical insurance is

    recommended. Travelers older

    than one year coming frominfected areas require a yellow

    fever vaccination certificate.

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    LANGUAGEBahasa Malaysia is the official language. Chinese dialects and

    Tamil are still widely used in their respective communities.

    English is widely spoken in the larger cities and in hotels, shops

    and most restaurants.

    COMMON BAHASA PHRASES

    Hello Halo or HeyHow are you? Apa kabar?

    Thank you Terima kasih

    Youre welcome Terma kasih kembali

    Goodbye Selamat tinggal

    Please Silakan

    Im sorry Maaf

    What is your name? Namamu saipa?

    My name is _________ Nama saya __________

    Yes Ya

    No Tidak

    Where is the toilet? Dimana toilet sialan?

    How do I get to __? Bafaimana saya bias ke ___?

    Water Air

    How much is? Berapa harganya?

    CURRENCYThe Malaysian Ringit (MYR), also referred to as the Malaysian

    Dollar, is divided into 100 sen. Malaysian banks charge in the

    region of US$2-3 for foreign exchange transactions.

    Moneychangers are generally quicker to deal with and do notcharge commission; their rates however are variable. Pounds or

    dollars are the easiest to exchange. Travelers cheques can be

    exchanged at banks and some hotels. All major credit cards are

    accepted at up market hotels, shops and restaurants. ATMs are

    widely available.

    CLIMATEMalaysia has a tropical, humid climate with temperatures

    averaging 86F (30C), though it is cooler in the highland areas.The major change in seasons is marked by the arrival of the

    monsoons that bring heavy downpours on the east coast of

    Peninsula Malaysia, the northeastern part of Sabah and the

    western end of Sarawak (from November to February). Boat trips

    to the islands do not run during the height of the monsoon season.

    The best time to visit Malaysia is between April and October.

    CREDIT CARDSCredit cards are widely accecpted.

    TIPPINGService charges of 10% are added to

    in most leading hotels and restauran

    Where it is not included, a tip of 10-

    of the bill would be appropriate.

    Airport porter/hotel bellboy:

    $1.00 - $ 2.00 US per bag.

    Your tour guide:

    $10.00 - $ 12.00 US per person per d

    Driver/assistants:

    $ 6.00 - $ 7.00 US per person per day

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    HEALTHSome tropical illnesses are prevalent in Malaysia

    and travelers should seek medical advice regarding

    any recommended vaccinations before traveling.

    Hepatitis A and B are common, as is dengue fever,

    which has no vaccination or immunization. There

    has been an increase in cases of dengue fever since

    January 2005. Malaria risks are isolated to the

    inland regions; the exception is Sabah, where there

    is an all-year risk.

    Dysentery and travelers' diarrhea afflict travelers in

    Malaysia so it is advisable to drink only bottled or

    boiled water and avoid uncooked meat, fish andvegetables, unpeeled fruit, ice and salads. A further

    health hazard in Malaysia is smoke haze and air

    pollution, particularly in Kuala Lumpur, which has

    the worst air quality in Asia with very high Benzene

    pollution levels. This could aggravate cardiac or

    respiratory problems. There have been outbreaks of

    bird flu, but no human infections have been

    reported, and in September 2007 Malaysia's

    Agriculture Minister declared the country free of

    the deadly form of avian influenza. Travelersshould still avoid contact with domestic, caged or

    wild birds and ensure that poultry and egg dishes

    are well cooked as a precaution. The hospitals in

    Kuala Lumpur and other cities are of a high

    standard.

    ETIQUETTEMalaysians tend to be fairly conservative in their

    approach to social interactions. It is not uncommon

    to see younger people bowing their heads as a sign

    of respect when passing by an older person.

    Challenging a figure of authority in public would be

    regarded as completely improper etiquette.

    Generally, any open display of anger or outrage,

    however deserved in your eyes would be met with

    disdain.

    When entering a Malaysian house, you should be

    expected that you are to remove your shoes, and you

    should greet your host with a handshake, followed

    by placing your right hand over your heart. Malaysia

    is largely Muslim and therefore Islamic customs

    should be respected, especially during the month ofRamadan when eating, drinking and smoking in

    public should be avoided, as it is forbidden by

    Islamic law. Dress, particularly for women, should

    be conservative, and arms and legs should be

    covered when visiting places of worship. It is

    customary to remove shoes before entering homes

    and places of worship. When eating or exchanging

    money, the right hand is used and do not point your

    foot at someone, it is considered very rude.

    PHOTOGRAPHSIt is polite to ask permission before taking

    photographs, Some people may take offense.

    DRUGSIn Malaysia, the answer is simple dont. Drug

    trafficking caries a mandatory death penalty.

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    PEOPLESelamat Datang is the traditional Malaysian

    greeting that welcomes visitors to this vibrant and

    exotic country. Ethnically diverse cultures share the

    same lush landscape and create a fusion of cultural

    styles, cooking and religions that is distinctly

    Malaysian. Festivals throughout the year mark the

    Malay, Chinese and Indian holidays, as well as

    those of the indigenous Orang Asli and the tribes of

    Sabah and Sarawak.

    Malaysia's multi-racial society contains many

    ethnic groups. Malays comprise a majority of just

    over 50%. By constitutional definition, all Malays

    are Muslim. About a qu