What time is it? Adventure time!
For a totally different cultural experience or just a great holiday destination try visiting Malaysia. There you’ll find everything from a relaxed resort-style getaway on one of the islands such as Sabah or Langkawi, to bargain shopping and sightseeing in the capital Kuala Lumpur, or perhaps a combination of both to let you experience the diversity of this amazing country.
If this is your first trip to Malaysia, there are a few tips that will make your vacation less stressful and more enjoyable, such as:
Check Health Warnings
Check on the CDC website or with your family doctor for health warnings for the areas you intend to visit. If you plan to hike or visit a rainforest, you will need to start taking malaria tablets around a week before your departure. Your family doctor will be able to prescribe the antimalarials and advise you of any other precautions or medications that you need.
You might also want to include some Immodium AD in your luggage, because after eating unfamiliar food for a few days, your stomach may become upset. This is not because the food is bad or because there’s any problem with it it’s just because your body isn’t used to it. Often, one dose of Immodium is enough to set you right for the rest of the trip.
By far the easiest and cheapest way to get into the capital from the airport is via the KLIA Express (airport express train). The train takes only about 35 minutes and affords you a comfortable ride into Kuala Lumpur with many modern amenities such as video screens showing points of interest and things to do in Malaysia. Using a bus or taxi transfer will normally take around one hour by comparison and cost a little more. An added convenience when using the KLIA Express to connect with a departing flight is the facility to book your luggage onto your flight from the central train station in Kuala Lumpur (providing you do this at least 2.5 hours before your flight).
Always ask how much the fare will be to get to your destination before getting into the taxi. For the most part, taxi fares in Malaysia are quite reasonable. However, a few bad apples try to take advantage of naive travelers, especially on a return trip from an outlying area. Ask for the cost of the fare beforehand, and if it seems too high, then look for another taxi and try again. On the other hand, do expect to pay more during peak hours in Kuala Lumpur, because of traffic delays. Your hotel concierge can advise you on what the busiest traffic times are likely to be. Planning your movements around the capital outside of these times will save you money if you’re on a tight budget.
Don’t drink the tap water
To reduce the chance of stomach problems, it’s safer not to drink the local tap water. You have more contact with tap water than you might think, keep the following in mind:
1) Clean your teeth and toothbrush with bottled water.
2) Remember to specify No Ice when ordering cocktails or mixed drinks. (Many of the more up-market resorts and hotels have ice that has been made using filtered or bottled water which is perfectly safe, however, if you wish to be extra cautious then it is safer to forgo the ice).
3) If you order water in a restaurant, make sure to specify that you want bottled water.
Buy personal items from a supermarket
If you forget to bring any personal care items (such as sunscreen, toothpaste or bottled water) with you and who doesn’t forget something? its cheaper to buy from a local supermarket instead of the resort or hotel where you are staying. You might not think the hotel prices are that high, but if you can find a supermarket or small convenience store somewhere close to the resort, you can often buy the same items for as little as a third of the price the hotel is asking. Would you rather spend that extra money on sunscreen or souvenirs?
Enjoy the wonderful scenery, delicious food, excellent shopping, and friendly people of Malaysia. By following the tips above, hopefully, you’ll have such a memorable time you’ll want to return to Malaysia again and again.