Things to know before your trip to Malaysia

The beauty of Malaysia’s cultural diversity is only matched by its stunning landscapes. All of this diversity means unique opportunities for an unforgettable vacation! However, there are some facts about Malaysia that you should be aware of, before packing your luggage and traveling here.

You cannot find fair taxi fares

Taxis in Kuala Lumpur are often listed on the world’s worst lists. This even came on the lips of a minister, who said that taxi drivers’ attitudes were “worse than our filthy public toilets.” (The comment was later withdrawn with an apology). Clever visitors insist on using meter usage, or if they have time, they use local public transport instead.

There are a couple of new taxi apps which might prove helpful: Easy Taxi and My Teksi

Malaysia and Milo

Between 1950 and today, Malaysia has become the world’s largest consumer of cocoa. The country also has the largest Milo factory in the world. It is sold everywhere from Kentucky restaurants to McDonald’s restaurants, and even mamak kiosks. You can enjoy it hot, iced, or topped with ice cream.

Halal compliant foods

For the third year in a row, Malaysia topped the list of the most popular vacation destinations for Muslim families in the world, according to the world’s largest travel advisory firm. One of the criteria used in the survey was access to halal-compliant foods.

You will find pork in the country only in Chinese restaurants, and especially in destinations like Penang, but overall, it’s very hard to find pork meat in Malaysia.

Duty free islands

Fortunately for some, islands such as Langkawi, Tioman and Labuan are all tax-free zones. You can grab some quality booze and smokes here, for great prices. Government tariffs are also waived on selected hotels and retail outlets.

Plants and animals in Malaysia

Malaysia is one of only a few countries considered “megadiverse”, housing large animal populations. It is said that Malaysia is home to house 20% of the world’s animal species. This natural biodiversity puts it in comparison with Brazil, especially when we talk about the giant Amazon forests. In Malaysia there is the Taman Negara forests, the oldest in the world. Elephants and wild tigers still roam freely here in national reserves and parks, despite the decline in their numbers.

The world’s largest flower, the rare Rafflesia arnoldii, can be found on the Malaysian Borneo.

Visit during Ramadan

Since more than half of the population is Muslim, Ramadan is of great interest in Malaysia. But unlike the more conservative destinations like Dubai , non-Muslim visitors and Malaysians are not expected to refrain from eating, drinking or smoking in public places during the fasting month. However, it is a polite gesture of visitors not to wear some eye-catching clothes, or freely eat and drink in the streets. You can still get food from restaurants run by non-Muslims, which usually remain open as usual.

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