General tourist information Malaysia, including all the things to know before departure, for a trip or vacation in this state of Southeast Asia.
Malaysia in a nutshell
- Capital: Kuala Lumpur
- Area in sq km: 329,747
- Population: 27,467,837 (2009)
- Religion: Islamic majority, the remainder is made up of Buddhists, Hindus and Christians.
Where is it
Malaysia is a federal state of Southeast Asia made up of two distinct parts separated by the South China Sea, 650 km apart.
Western or Peninsular Malaysia corresponding to the southern end of the Malacca Peninsula, bordered by Thailand to the north, Singapore to the south, is washed to the east by the South China Sea and to the west by the Malacca Straits.
Eastern Malaysia formed by the states of Sabah and Sarawak located on the northern coast of the island of Borneo, bordered to the south with Indonesia, to the west with the South China Sea, to the north-east with the Sulu Sea, to the east with the Sea of Celebes.
In eastern Malaysia, the state of Sarawak surrounds the enclave of the state of Brunei. Peninsular Malaysia is occupied by mountainous reliefs, the most developed being the central chain, which from the north west runs discontinuously towards the south-east, sloping towards the coasts.
The highest peaks are located in the east, they rise up to 2,190 meters above sea level. with Mount Gunong Tahan. A wide plain extends on the west coast, and a smaller plain on the east coast.
Eastern Malaysia formed by the territories of Sarawak in the west and Sabah in the east, consists of the slope facing the South China Sea, of the chain that forms the central framework of the island of Borneo.
The territories of Sarawak and Sabah are separated by a coastal chain called the Crocker Range, where Mount Kinabalu is located, which with its 4,101 meters above sea level. altitude is the highest peak in Malaysia.
The plains are located along the coast in Sarawak and in the eastern part of Sabah.
The rainforest rich in plant and animal species covers the slopes of the mountains, both in peninsular Malaysia and in the territories of Borneo.
In peninsular Malaysia, the largest river on the eastern side is known by different names depending on the section it crosses, Telon at the beginning, Jelai in the middle section and Pahang in the final section.Recommended readings
- Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia): what to see in the capital
- Malaysia: useful information
On the western side, the main river is the Perak, while the Johore River flows in the southern part of the Peninsula, which flows into the island of Singapore.
The major rivers of eastern Malaysia are the Rajang and Kinabatangan.
Malaysia has an equatorial climate with high temperatures throughout the year, with weak thermal excursion.
The rains are abundant and are distributed according to the influence of monsoons.
In the southwestern and western area of Peninsular Malaysia, the southwest monsoon causes the increase in rainfall between April and October, while in the eastern part of Peninsular Malaysia and Borneo, the increase in precipitation is linked to the northern monsoon -est, blowing between October and February.
Malaysia's population is made up of various ethnic groups, the main ones being Malaysians, Chinese and Indians.
In Malaysia, the time difference is 7 hours ahead of Italy, 6 hours ahead when daylight saving time is in effect in Italy.
The official language of Malaysia is Malay.
The ethnic Chinese population speaks Mandarin, in addition to other Chinese dialects, the Indian ethnic population mainly speaks Tamil, while English is spoken by everyone, especially in the cities.
In recent decades, Malaysia's economy has changed from an economy based mainly on the production and export of raw materials, to a typically industrial economy, characterized by an important production of electronic components.
This change has also been beneficial for the services, finance and tourism sectors.
The country is one of the world's largest producers of rubber and tin.
Also important is the exploitation of oil fields, which are located in the territories of Sabah and Sarawak.
In agriculture, the main crop is rice, followed by corn, cassava, sweet potatoes, tropical fruits, oil palms, coconut palms and various spices.
Due to the inequality in the distribution of wealth, agriculture remains the only source of subsistence for many peasants and indigenous people in Malaysia.
When to go
To visit Malaysia it is preferable to choose the least rainy period, which varies from area to area.
For western peninsular Malaysia the period is better than from November to March, while for eastern peninsular Malaysia the period from March to September is preferable.
In Borneo it often rains, with short torrential showers followed by the sun immediately.
To enter Malaysia an Italian citizen needs a passport with a residual validity of at least 6 months, beyond the date of exit from the country.
A visa is not necessary for stays of less than 90 days.
- The international code to call from Italy to Malaysia is: 0060
- The international dialing code for calling from Malaysia to Italy is: 0039
In Malaysia dual-band GSM 900/1800 cell phones work, so you can use your Italian cell phone, but you should inquire about the costs of roaming.
Otherwise you can buy a prepaid SIM card with a local telephone number, to receive calls from abroad without paying for roaming and making local calls.
The electric current in Malaysia is 240 V 50 Hz.
The sockets are English type, therefore an adapter is required.
The official currency of Malaysia is the Malaysian Ringgit.
It is better to exchange Euros in Malaysia directly at the exchange offices or banks, it is also possible to withdraw cash at the ATMs of the most important cities.
The main credit cards are accepted in hotels, restaurants and high-end shops.
How to get
The airline Malaysia Airlines flies three times a week from Rome Fiumicino to Kuala Lumpur.
The main airport, which is located about 50 km south of Kuala Lumpur, is K.L. International Airport of Sepang (KLIA).
From the airport you can quickly reach the city center with a special KLIA Express train.
Mandatory vaccinations are not required to enter Malaysia, however vaccinations against hepatitis A and B are recommended.
In Peninsular Malaysia there is no risk of malaria, except in Borneo where, for those who go to the jungle for long excursions, antimalarial prophylaxis is recommended.
It is appropriate to follow some hygienic measures, including drinking only bottled water without adding ice, eating meat and vegetables only if cooked, and consuming fruit only if peeled personally.
Before departure, the stipulation of a health insurance is recommended, which covers any medical expenses and those necessary for a possible repatriation.