Malaysia is a truly multicultural country with a population of over 20 million comprising Malays, Chinese, Indians and a host of other ethnic groups. Bahasa Malaysia is the national language although English is very widely spoken.
CLIMATE & CLOTHING
Malaysia has an equatorial climate with relatively uniform temperatures throughout the year ranging from 32oC during the day to 22oC during the night. It is slightly cooler in the hill country areas and rainfall is common throughout the year. Light comfortable clothing is the norm with lightweight woolens required for visits to highland areas.
Standard Malaysian time is GMT +8.
The Ringgit Malaysia (RM) is the official currency. Visitors entering the country have to take note of the currency regulations for restricting the import and export of the Ringgit Malaysia and other foreign currency out of and into Malaysia. Under these regulations, all travelers must fill in the Travelers Declaration Form (TDF) upon arrival and before departure at the airport.
The US Dollar is officially pegged at RM4.10 to US$1.00.
Visitors to Malaysia must be in possession of a valid passport or travel document with a minimum validity of six months beyond the intended visited period. Most nationalities do not require visas for social or business visits.
For further information, please check with the nearest Malaysian Diplomatic Mission or Tourism Malaysia Office.
TRAVELER'S HEALTHCARE ADVISES AVOIDING SEASICKNESS
Symptoms: Nausea, Stomach cramps and Vomiting
(1) Transderm Scopolaminie (a patch applied behind the ear). Available only by prescription
(2) Benadryl pills
(3) Strap on a sea-band wristband the minute you embark
To further guard against seasickness, eat very lightly before embark. Drinking ginger ale or taking ginger capsules is a favorite all natural way to ease seasickness.
SUN CARE TIPS
Here are several important sun care facts to keep in mind on your next cruise. A serious sunburn can spoil a great vacation.
Select a sunscreen that blocks enough UV rays to adequately protect your skin type.
Follow product directions carefully. Apply sun protection products generously and evenly 15 minutes prior to sun exposure. Reapply occasionally and after swimming, excessive perspiration, or toweling.
Avoid sun exposure during the peak hours between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. You can cut down on the overall exposure received by spending intermittent periods of time in the shade.
Surfaces such as water, sand, snow, and pavement all reflect and intensify exposure. Because of this you can still get burned even when wearing a hat or sitting in the shade.
Many medications, including certain antibiotics, heart and blood pressure medicines, antihistimines and antidepressants, can cause photosensitive reactions when the user is exposed to sunlight. This can result in an unusual "sunburn", or a rash or other allergic-type reaction to the skin. Individual sensitivities vary widely and may not happen to every user, every time. Consult your physician or pharmacist before sun exposure when using ANY medication.
Some fragrances can also cause photosensitive reactions wherever they are applied to the skin. Examples of these are bergamot, citron, lavender, sandalwood, and musk.
Teach children about the importance of sun protection. 80% of all sun damage to the skin occurs before the age of 18.