Malaysia is a country in Southeast Asia, partially on an Asian mainland peninsula and largely on the Borneo Island’s northern portion.
The western side of Malaysia bordering Thailand is linked by a carriageway and a bridge to Singapore, and has coastlines on the South China Sea and Malacca Straits, while the eastern side of Malaysia (Borneo) borders on Brunei and Indonesia.
With its investments in high technology and oil resources, Malaysia has grown into one of the wealthiest nations in Southeast Asia, and since that is the case, it has become a hotspot for many tourists: It is not a third world country but a developed country where everything fits well with high-tech technology, and its prices are more than fair relative to other developed countries in its vicinity, such as Singapore.
So while it crawls with tourists and has a reputation for being a safe place, there are certainly risks that are essential to avoid.
Some taxis do not have metres, so make sure you negotiate the price before entering the vehicle. Still, if you take a taxi late at night, never hail them down the street, instead call the taxi service, as you can get ripped off. Road conditions in Peninsular Malaysia are mostly good but conditions are bad in East Malaysia and there have been reports of crashes and accidents occurring along the roads at night.
There is a high risk of pickpockets. You’re definitely not supposed to let your guard down in this country. Don’t carry your belongings with you, and if you do, don’t carry anything in your pocket or your purse. You must NEVER carry a large amount of cash. Pickpockets can tell the kind of tourists that carry so much money.
Risk of Scams
A variety of scams happen in Malaysia, primarily to distract you from your belongings or take advantage of you in a different way. Many taxis have no meters so make sure to deal with the cost before entering the vehicle and don’t use your credit card except at the buildings and businesses that are established.
Risks of Women Travelling
In general, Malaysia is safe for women to travel. But of course, there is a catch. Petty thieves or scammers tend to target female travellers that have a gullible vibe to them. Aim to avoid dark alleys, walking alone through the dark, poorly lit or abandoned areas, or find yourself late in the evening in areas full of bars and clubs, because you might be given some unwanted attention. In addition, use your common sense and other necessary precautions.
Be vigilant about food hygiene and sanitation
Malaysian street food is common and delicious, but be careful with strict sanitation procedures as not all hawker food is prepared. If you buy fruit, it is easier to buy the whole fruit rather than cut fruit. Take your own bottled water so you can refill it in the daytime; in Malaysia, tap water is not potable. Having antacids or other stomach drugs is also a good idea particularly if you’re prone to foreign or spicy foods. Clean your hands well with soap and water whenever possible, to keep germs and bacteria from spreading. Pack tissue everywhere you go, since public toilets aren’t easy to find, and may not have toilet paper when you find one.
Conservative wear at religious places
Especially women should dress in a conservative manner. In Malaysia it is not only culturally appropriate to wear light clothing that covers the shoulders and legs, it will also protect you from sunburn because it has a dry, tropical climate.
Though this is not applicable to any area. In general, especially if you intend on visiting a religious site you have to dress accordingly.
Consistently use insect repellent
The humid climate in Malaysia means the mosquitoes are present throughout the year. Some forms of mosquitoes spread dengue and malaria, so make sure to diligently apply insect repellent at all times. Though the risk of malaria is relatively small in most areas of Peninsular Malaysia, the risk is higher when visiting East Malaysia and the coastal plains.
Roads are not always up to the mark in Malaysia as roads back home, and they can be dangerous in areas. Traffic is also a problem in the cities and it is important to note that in Malaysia, cars are driving on the left, rather than on the right side of the lane. It can make it difficult for American travelers, so you may be better off pursuing alternate transportation methods around the world. And if that wasn’t enough, people usually drive recklessly during the night having no consideration to pedestrians.
Rabies In Dogs
This has been a problem in Sarawak and Sabah but that does not mean that most strays are infected with rabies. Causes are usually a result of what conditions they live in and the sanitation of that certain area. Again, just be careful with stray dogs that show signs of aggression in particular foaming around the mouth.
Do not feed the monkeys
Sure monkeys are cute, but they can still act mischievous around people. Give them food and they might just come up to you again to steal something. Still, you can’t scold them because well, they are called monkeys for that reason. The Hindu Temple of Batu Caves is the perfect example of naughty monkeys.
All in all, watch out for yourself when you’re travelling. One of the best ways to enjoy travelling is to travel safely!
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