Federation of Malaysia
Malaysian Ringgit (MYR)
MST (UTC +8)
Malaysia boasts a tropical climate, temperatures usually range from 26°C to 32°C year-round. However, as many of the countries in the area, sunny days get interrupted by monsoon season that occurs between November and February in Borneo and the east coast.
Malaysia is a wonderfully diverse country. Malays make up 52% percent of the population, while Chinese are also abundant covering a 27% percent. Indians make up 9% and the rest is covered by indigenous people (Orang Asli) and the portuguese clan in Maleka.
Religion is incredibly varied as well. In Malaysia, you will find Islam, Buddhism, Christianity, Taoism, Hinduism and many other faiths scattered around.
Malaysia is an incredibly diverse country and so is its cuisine. With a blend of Malay, Chinese, Indian and even portuguese cuisine, there is at least a dish in the country that will suit even the pickiest palettes.
Malay Cuisine is characterized by its use of spices, ranging from cinnamon, coconut milk, star anise, fresh herbs and more. Malay dishes are mostly curries and stews. Staple dishes include Nasi lemak, a typical breakfast that consists of rice cooked in coconut milk or cream topped with peanuts, cucumber and chilli and Rendang, which is meat stewed in curry paste.
Peranakan or Nonya Cuisine
A blend created by Malay and Chinese communities. Some dishes to try are Ayam pongteh, which is chicken flavoured with soy bean paste, dark soy sauce and sugar. Another dish is chilli crab!
Flying is the only practical way of reaching Borneo from peninsular Malaysia and some of Borneo’s most remote regions. This come quite cheap if booked in advance, with budget carriers such as AirAsia (starting from RM9!) and Malaysia Airlines, which also offers competitive prices.
This is the most cost-effective way to travel, the most reliable companies are Transnasional and NICE, but there are many others available. Malaysia is criss-crossed by bus routes and every town, no matters its size, has at least one bus terminal.
Trains in Malaysia are often slow but they do provide a scenic route for those who have time to spare.
Operator Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad provides inexpensive services around Peninsular Malaysia. Most of the network runs quite slow and slightly uncomfortably. However, they do offer an express, air-conditioned and modern train between Kuala Lumpur to Ipoh. Moreover, its Premier Night Deluxe package offers very comfortable sleeper trains between Johor Bahru and Kuala Lumpur, with private shower and toilet. For those on a budget, their Superior Night cars are also a good option for those on a tighter budget from Johor Bahru to Kuala Lumpur, the carriages rattle but are comfortable and clean.
Jungle Railway is another option for those who like to stare a scenic jungles. It’s 3rd class only, with no air-con and stops every 15 minutes. It runs during the day between Tumpat and Gamas, making stops in every station along the way.
In East Malaysia, the only train line is run by Jabatan Kereta Api Negeri Sabah, and it runs from Tanjung Aru to Tenom.