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Malaysia Facts: good to know

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Malaysia is quite a relaxed nation with mostly laid-back people, ideal for a holiday filled with fun, adventure, sea, beach and relaxation. However, there are some customs that we encourage visitors try to observe when in Malaysia. Have a look at some examples below:

Although handshakes are generally acceptable for both men and women, some more traditional ladies may acknowledge gentlemen they're being introduced to by merely nodding and smiling slightly. Try not to force a handshake upon ladies when meeting people. A good rule of thumb for men is to let the woman you're being introduced take the handshake initiative. If she doesn't reach out her hand, then best leave it at that - a nod and a polite smile.

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We'll recommend a few resorts for you

Amongst men, the traditional greeting, or "salam", resembles a regular handshake. How do you salaam? Just shake each other's right hands lightly and then follow this by bringing this hand to your chest area. This traditional Malay greeting signifies "I greet you from my heart". It's best to reciprocate. However, you'll find that the regular western-type handshake is more and more in use too.

It is polite to call before visiting a home.

Footwear must always be removed when entering a Malaysian home and mosques or temples.

Women visitors to mosques or temples must always cover all bare skin. Note that some mosques provide robes and scarves.

Best ask for permission before taking photographs of people or places of worship.

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The right hand is always used when eating with one's hand or giving and receiving objects. Do not use the left hand to touch people or give or receive objects.

The forefinger (also called index finger) is not used to point at places, objects or persons. Instead, the thumb of the right hand with four fingers folded under is the preferred usage.

Non-alcoholic drinks are usually offered to guests. It is polite to accept. Toasting is not a common practice in Malaysia. The country's Muslim population does not drink alcohol.

Note to all sun-worshippers: Female topless sun-bathing is strongy discouraged and, in fact, against the law. There are no official topless or naturalist beaches on Tioman, so please keep all bits and pieces covered.

Book your resort and ferry ticket as far as possible in advance, especially when travelling over weekends, public holidays and Singaporean and Malaysian school holidays. You'll find that these are extremely busy periods. Given the record-breaking sales at recent holiday fairs and the international "Visit Malaysia Year" campaign, the 2024 season will be no exception.

Visitors to Malaysia must be in possession of a valid passport or travel document with a minimum validity of six months beyond the intended visiting period. Most visitors do not require visas for social or business visits.

The only vaccination requirements For West Malaysia are yellow fever for infected areas. Cholera, smallpox and malaria have largely been eliminated. That said, if you're going jungle trekking in remote areas, then it makes sense to bring malaria pills.

Visitors to Malaysia who wish to drive need an international driving licence. Driving is on the left-hand side of the road. Please note that it's advisable to observe the speed limits, 50km/h in the city or residential areas and 80km/h and 110km/h on the highway and expressway, respectively.

Selamat Datang ke Malaysia!

Mersing Harbour Centre

This is where you collect the ferry tickets you booked online. The complex also has a great food and drinks section, as well as a decent number of cool shops for some last-minute retail therapy, before hopping onto your ferry. Find out more...

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Pulau Tioman offers several Spa and Wellness Centres that you should give a try. You can select the type of treatment you want from this website, as it lists each of Tioman's resorts and hotels that feature Spa therapies. Find out more...

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Tying the knot in the not too distant future and looking for an exotic paradise to immerse in newlywed bliss? Take a look at this site. It presents each of Tioman Island's resorts that offer delectable honeymoon packages. Find out more...

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