Malaysia

Intro

Malaysia is a wonderful country with a lush colourful nature and wildlife that has a lot to offer to the adventure seekers but also to those looking to immerse themselves in a rich and diverse culture.

From well preserved natural parks where you can give way to your passion for trekking and wildlife watching to white sand beaches and amazing less known diving sites such as Layang Layang where you could dive with hammer or whale sharks in colourful coral gardens, Malaysia will seduce even the most seasoned travellers.

Come with us to this magical country to trek in the jungle, to discover the amazing local wildlife on land and underwater while feasting on the tasty ethnically diverse dishes the Malaysian cuisine is reputed for.

Diving and culture tours

Sabah Islands and Jungle

Sabah Islands and Jungle

A tour leaving from Tawau that will take you to the Pom Pom Islands a place that very few people have visited where the marine life has been beautifully preserved with a possibility of seeing sea... Read More about Sabah Islands and Jungle

From: 1723 EUR | 12 days

 

Integral of Sabah

Integral of Sabah (Bornéo - Derawan - Sangalaki)

A unique tour to discover the wildlife of Borneo and go on mythical dives in Sipadan or Lankayan – the turtles island. Explore the Jungle and meet wild animals on the Kinabatangan River's shores.... Read More about Integral of Sabah

From: 1863 EUR | 16 days

 

Pom Pom Island and Sipadan tour

Pom Pom Island and Sipadan tour (Bornéo - Derawan - Sangalaki)

A new destination for nature and wildlife enthusiasts. The majority of tourists do not know the Pom Pom island, a wonderful place that lies in the middle of around twenty diving sites such as... Read More about Pom Pom Island and Sipadan tour

From: 1305 EUR | 11 days

 

Lankayan and Sepilok

Lankayan and Sepilok

Are you looking for paradise on earth? Here it is. A tiny secluded island with exceptional diving sites, a beautiful resort and a pleasant and attentive staff. Look at shoals of fish playing with... Read More about Lankayan and Sepilok

From: 1754 EUR | 12 days

 
Diving cruise

MV Celebes Explorer- Sipadan

MV Celebes Explorer- Sipadan (Sipadan and the Celebes Sea)

Would you like to discover Sipadan and the Celebes Sea islands on a cruise boat? Then come with us on board the MV Celebes Explorer, a 29m steel boat with 8 comfortable air-con fitted cabins and... Read More about MV Celebes Explorer- Sipadan

From: 0 EUR | 4 days

 

MV White Manta - Layang Layang

MV White Manta - Layang Layang (Layang Layang)

You may know the MV White Manta, the « New » MV White Manta is her bigger sister that has been launched in April 2011. It is a 36m steel yacht that cruises in Thailand from November to March and in... Read More about MV White Manta - Layang Layang

From: 1287 EUR | 7 days

 

Diving holiday in Layang Layang

Diving holiday in Layang Layang (Layang Layang)

Layang Layang is located 300 kms Northwest of Kota Kinabalu in Sabah, Malaysia. This small atoll is one of the most amazing diving spots in the world with an impressive sea depth of more than 2000... Read More about Diving holiday in Layang Layang

From: 0 EUR | 6 days

 
Honeymoon

Honeymoon on Sabah

Honeymoon on Sabah

Looking for a out of the ordinary honeymoon? Here it is. Dive in clear blue waters with amazing creatures in colourful coral gardens. Meet great apes, tiny monkeys and maybe even wild elephants in... Read More about Honeymoon on Sabah

From: 6772 EUR | 16 days

 
Info

Useful info | Dive info

Useful info

Time

Malaysia Standard time is GMT +7. Malaysia does not observe daylight savings.

Flying time

12 hours direct and from 15hours if you have a stop from London

Visas

Visitors must hold a full 10-year passport, with at least 6 months validity remaining at the point of return, for entry into Malaysia. Most visitors do not need a visa for a stay inferior to 3 months, a full list is available on the Kuala Lumpur airport’s website Visit airport website

Country

Malaysia is a Southeast Asian multi-ethnic and multi-cultural country split in two parts a peninsula of the Asian mainland that borders Thailand and the northern third of the island of Borneo. Despite having some very modern infrastructures in some parts of the country Malaysia is still a developing country, a mix that seduces most visitors.

With an impressive biodiversity and a variety of landscapes such as forested mountains, primary jungle and white sand beaches with clear blue waters, Malaysia is a very attractive tourist destination.

The Malaysian culture has been influenced by the successive domination of the peninsula by other nations, India and China in ancient times when the main religions were Buddhism and Hinduism followed by the Langkasuka and Srivijaya (modern day Indonesia) empires. Islam started to spread in the 14th century but despite being mainly a Muslim country Hindu traditions and beliefs are still part of the Malay culture today.

The Melaka sultanate was founded in the 15th century by a prince of the Srivijaya empire it was however soon conquered by Portugal, the country then changed colonial hands and was first divided between the Dutch and the British before being ceded entirely to the latest by the Dutch in exchange for colonies in Sumatra.

Malaysia was formed on 16 September 1963 through a merging of the now independent Malaya and Singapore as well as the East Malaysian states of Sabah (known then as North Borneo) and Sarawak on the northern coast of Borneo. Singapore split from the federation in 1965 following racial riots.

Government

Malaysia is a constitutional monarchy, not dissimilar to England’s with a bicameral national parliament consisting of a lower house known as the Dewan Rakyat which members are directly elected by people and an upper house the Dewan Negara consisting of 26 members elected by the 13 state governments (each state elects 2 representatives). The Prime Minister is the party leader of the winning party in the lower house.

However the monarchy is not hereditary and the Paramount Ruler (the King) is elected by the 7 sultans for a 5 year term from among the 9 royal head of states of Malaysia. In practice the Prime Minister is the one holding much of the executive powers.

Population

There are approximately 28,5 million people living in Malaysia, the majority of whom are ethnically Malay (52%) but there is also a large Chinese community (27%) , Indian (9%), 13.5% of others such as Portuguese and finally 12% of indigenous Orang Asli people. This diversity is reflected in the religions and even if Islam is the main religion, Buddhism, Catholicism, Taoism, Hinduism and others are also present in the country.

Language

Malay is the official language with English remaining the language in use for some official purposes. Chinese and Indian dialects are also spoken as well as some indigenous languages such as Iban and Kadazan in East Malaysia.

Economics

The third largest economy in ASEAN, Malaysia is a newly industrialised market economy. This government-led industrialization has contributed to the constant economic growth in Malaysia these past decades. The economy of Malaysia relies a lot on exports so the government is trying to develop tourism and other sectors of the economy to try and change this dynamic.

Geography

Malaysia is the 67th largest country by total land area, with a land area of 329,847 km2 (127,355 sq mi). It has land borders with Thailand in West Malaysia, and Indonesia and Brunei in East Malaysia. It is linked to Singapore by a narrow causeway and a bridge.

The land borders are defined in large part by geological features such as the Perlis River, the Golok River and the Pagalayan Canal. Brunei forms what is almost an enclave in Malaysia with the state of Sarawak dividing it into two parts. Malaysia is the only country with territory on both the Asian mainland and the Malay archipelago.

East Malaysia, on the island of Borneo, has a coastline of 2,607 km (1,620 mi). It is divided between coastal regions, hills and valleys, and a mountainous interior with the highest mountain being the 4,095.2 m (13,436 ft) high Mount Kinabalu with the protected Kinabalu National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Weather

Throughout the year , the climate is tropical, hot and humid with a temperature of about 30 ° C , but it is cooler in the mountain regions. From November to February , the monsoon has on the east coast of Borneo and rainfall can be torrential . For its part, the west coast is traversed during the months of April, May and October by short rains , thunderstorms and sometimes accompanied by high winds .

Holidays

There are many festivities in multi-cultural Malaysia, the year is filled with colourful and joyous events such as the end of Ramadan, the Eid-iul-Fitr festival, the Harvest Festival at the end of May and the Pesta Gawai at the beginning of June as well as the Chinese New Year (around January/February) and the Hindu festival of lights Deepavali or Diwali.

Money

The currency of Malaysia is the ringgit, it comes in both coins and banknotes. There are coins of 5, 10, 20, and 50 sen as well as bills of RM1, 2 (rare), 5, 10,20, 50 and 100..

Foreign currencies are rarely accepted but they are easily exchangeable in most places even remote. Banks and airports are not the best places to exchange money if it is not urgent. Licensed money changers in major shopping malls often have the best rates - be sure to say the amount you wish to exchange and ask for the 'best quote' as rates displayed on the board are often negotiable, especially for larger amounts. You can check the actual exchange rate with your bank or on websites such as www.xe.com

ATMs are widely available in cities, but do stock up on cash if heading out into the smaller islands or the jungle. Credit cards can be used in most shops, restaurants and hotels, try not to use them in small outlets as fraud can be a problem.

Shopping

Kuala Lumpur is a shopper’s paradise for clothes, electronics, watches, computer goods and much more, with very competitive prices by any standard. Traditional Malaysian fabrics (batik) are a popular souvenir. The cheapest place to easily buy ethnic souvenirs (especially wood-based) is in Kuching, East Malaysia, and the most expensive place is in the major, posh Kuala Lumpur shopping centres.

In general shops are open from 10.30AM-9.30PM (or 10PM) in the large cities. They open and close for business earlier in the smaller towns and rural areas.

Do not pack too much before coming if you plan on shopping as you will need space later.

Health

Medical services

There are very good public and private health services in Malaysia. In case of emergency, patients or injured people will be taken to relevant hospital.

Vaccinations and health regulations

There are no required vaccines to enter Malaysia except for people travelling from epidemic areas. A Yellow fever vaccine is compulsory for people travelling from the following countries: Angola, Bolivia, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Colombia, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Mauritania, Mali, Nigeria, Soudan, Zaïre.

We recommend that you check before departure if any new health regulation comes in place. We also strongly advised that you check with your DOCTOR if you require any vaccine before leaving.

Medicines

You will find everything you need in Malaysia and at a cheaper price. If you like you can however bring some essentials with you such as bio sun screen, anti-diarrhea medication, aspirin, ect…

Water

Do not drink tap water while travelling in South East Asia, bottled water is readily available everywhere. Keep in mind that you are in a tropical climate and that you should thus drink about 2 to 3 litres more than usual.

Turista

Most travellers will experience it during their holiday, a change of climate, of food and water is enough to catch it however most of the time it will just go after a few trips to the toilet. You can take some anti-diarrheic tablets. Don’t forget to drink a lot if this happens to prevent dehydration.

Mosquitos

There are unfortunately part of any holiday in a hot country. To best protect yourself, it is advised to wear lose and covering clothes or to use mosquito sprays. You can buy mosquito repellents back home but there are some very good natural ones available in Malaysia. Eating the local food rich in garlic and chillies will also help.

At night sleep under a mosquito net if the place where you stay is not protected enough, a fan over your bed will also keep them at bay.

Peninsular Malaysia is largely malaria-free, but there is a significant risk in Borneo especially in inland and rural areas. Dengue fever occurs throughout Malaysia in both urban and rural areas, and can be avoided only by preventing mosquito bites.

Safety

Malaysia is a pretty safe country but be sure to watch your valuables when in crowded places as petty theft can be a problem.

Be careful: Malaysia treats drug offences extremely severily and homosexuality is unlawful so when travelling as a gay couple do not show any signs of affection in public.

Other useful information

Telephone and Internet

The Malaysian phone system is both modern and widespread, with comprehensive coverage for cell phones and reliable pay phones found throughout the kingdom. The country code is 60. Wifi is available in most places except from very remote areas.

Post Office

The Pos Malaysia is very reliable and provides postal services to most countries in the world. Postage rates in Malaysia are cheap. Much much cheaper than Thailand ,Singapore or Vietnam, and surface post is available as well.

When posting, do not seal the box. This is to allow for inspection in case illegal items are posted this way.

Electricity

Electrical outlets in Malaysia are charged to 220v at 50 cycles per second, which is compatible with appliances from the U.K. but not those from the US and many other nations. Consider getting an adaptator.

Dive info

The best time for diving in Malaysia will depend on which of the islands you go. You can dive all year in Sabah (with a preference between May and October because less humid) but Layang Layang is better between April anf September .

The water temperature ranges from 25 ° C average for the cold season and 31 ° C during hot weather. Visibility rarely goes below 30 and up to 60m ( rare happiness !).

Diving in Malaysia are on average open to all levels of divers except the region of Sidapan (deep spots) where an Advance or Level 2  is required.

There is also some great snorkelling to be done for non-divers.

General information

We will ask for your diving certificate upon arrival in the diving centres. Please don’t forget it! For the PADI certified divers, It should be possible to check your certification online with your name and date of birth.

Diving and Health

Diving requires to be in good health so please consult your GP before leaving. If needed, numerous decompression chambers are available in Thailand.

Insurance

You need an insurance to practice diving, we recommend that you take a diving insurance before your departure such as Divers Alert Network or Dive Master Insurance.

Equipment

For obvious baggage weight issues, we recommend that you do not travel with your own weights or bottles. The equipment we provide is of good quality and is regularly checked. We use Scubapro, Aqualungs, Apex. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you need any further information.

Due to the comfortable water temperature, it is not necessary for you to take a wetsuit thicker than 3mm unless you practice TEC diving.

Most international airlines give you a 20 to 23 kilos baggage allowance + 8 kilos in cabin and will charge for overweight and sport equipment.

 

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