Things You Wish You Knew Before Visiting Malaysia

Being a frequent traveler, I often wish to know the “safety precautions” of a country that I’m planning to visit. Not just it helps to ensure I have a pleasant journey, but also to plan my expectation. As a Malaysian, I think it would be interesting to write up a blog post about tips that backpackers/travelers should know before visiting Malaysia.

KTM Station Signage in Kuala Lumpur

1. Communication. Most Malaysian speaks English, unless you plan to escape tourist trail and to visit rural areas (experience the simple life of rural Malaysian; staying at homestay, etc), you may try your luck but a simple pocket English-Malay translation guide is advisable. If you have an iPod Touch / iPhone, you should try this language guide.

2. Commuting within the city like Kuala Lumpur (KL) is convenient with Light Railway Transport (LRT) or public buses like RapidKL. Unless you want to travel to places which are not reachable by LRT, taking taxi is the fastest and most convenient way. However, be sure that the taxi you are hopping in uses a meter, or simply read this blog post. If you plan to travel around the country, express bus or inter-city coach services are available at Puduraya Bus Terminal (assuming you are at KL); make sure you only buy ticket at designated sales counter to avoid paying extra to ticket touts. An alternate way is to travel via low cost airlines like Air Asia or FireFly.

Look for this sign and hop in a metered taxi

3. Emergency Number. In case of emergency, you can dial 999 from any public phone; the worldwide emergency number for GSM mobile phones, 112 will be redirected to the 999 call center.

4. Personal Hygiene. Malaysia is a tropical country where diseases like Influenza and Dengue Fever are common but preventive. To prevent flu, make sure you keep your hands clean by having a hand sanitizer with you at all time. To avoid dengue fever, avoid being bitten by infected mosquito, or simply read this article.

5. Wear modest attire and keep away your Gucci and LV bags. You don’t want to portray that you are rich, and say “Come Rob Me!”. Not to say that Malaysia is not safe, but it’s better to be cautious with personal belongings. Check if you need a travel insurance too. Generally, Malaysians are friendly.

Rainy season in Malaysia

6. Weather in Malaysia is fairly hot and humid (sometimes wet) throughout the year. Temperature ranges from 21┬░ to 34┬░ Celsius. If it’s rainy season, make sure you have an umbrella (or raincoat) with you. Sometimes there will be heavy downpours with thunder and lightning.

7. Drug offences in Malaysia can be severe: trafficking (defined here as the possession of a certain quantity of drugs) incurs a mandatory death penalty; possession incurs a custodial sentence and possible whipping.

8. Ethnic Malay group are Muslim and hence they only eat Halal foods (i.e. NO pork and NO alcohol). During the holy month of Ramadan, Muslims are expected to fast during daytime.

KLIMS 2010 – When Girls Meet Cars

This is the sequel of my previous post. I intentionally separate the post so that one is showing only the cars, and another is showing only the models (or simply the babes). I always wonder why exhibitors hiring models standing beside their cars? It wouldn’t be just because of attracting guys (typical car buyer) in some way, but I’m sure you wouldn’t have considered purchasing a car just because there’s a pretty lady promoting that car?!

Season Greeting 2010

This time of the year marks the anniversary of my website. I would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas with lots of blessing! As usual, I went out to took some Christmas decorative and try out different angle and composition. This time around was at Mid Valley Shopping Mall. With my favourite 50mm Prime Lens taken handheld, that’s not much of an issue. Most of my shots are taken fairly close to the subject, or it has been cropped during post-processing.

KL International Motor Show 2010

This is the first time I went to a motor show, thought it would be very exciting to see a lot of futuristic automobiles, conceptual vehicles, hybrid cars, etc. Not forget the beautiful models posing around exhibit cars by various manufacturers. Nevertheless, I think the main highlight of the show was none other than the renowned “Bumblebee” character from Transformer! …and of course it’s real form, the Chevrolet Camaro. However, the “Batmobile” was a lame junk, ended up I didn’t took any photos of it. Enjoy the show…