How to plan a trip to Malaysia


It is less popular than neighboring Thailand and some say it lacks the sophistication of Singapore. But don't let these facts fool you: Malaysia is a great option for tourists interested in exploring Southeast Asia. From the cosmopolitan and modern Kuala Lumpur, the country's capital, to the paradisiacal beaches and islands, which are unlike any other destination in the region, everything in Malaysia is fascinating. Want to choose a different place for your next vacation? In this post you will see everything you need to start planning your trip to Malaysia.


Malay is the official language. The Chinese and Indians living in the country brought several dialects, including Mandarin and Hindi, which are widely spoken. Are you a normal person and don't speak any of these languages? No problem! As Malaysia was colonized by the British, it is very easy to find someone who speaks English.

Petrona Towers - KLCC


The national currency is the ringgit. Each ringgit is worth around R$1.8. The cost of living there is much lower than in Brazil, which makes the trip quite economical.


Brazilians do not need a visa to stay up to 90 days in the country. Just arrive at the airport and get your passport stamped. As in much of Asia, it is necessary to have a passport with another six months of validity to enter the country.


It is mandatory to prove that you have been vaccinated against yellow fever. And remember: only international proof, provided by Anvisa, is accepted, so no trying to go through immigration with that crumpled piece of cardboard that health centers call a wallet. Take this national proof to an Anvisa office to obtain an international card. The vaccine, which is valid for ten years, needs to be taken at least 10 days before entering Malaysia. Anyone who does not comply with this rule runs the risk of not passing through immigration and being forced to quarantine at the airport – and pay the costs of forced accommodation, of course.

Batu Caves - Kuala Lumpur

When to go

The dreaded monsoons are not such a big problem in Malaysia, although it is advisable to avoid the rainy season, which runs from October to April. We disregarded this rule and got there in March, but it was still beachy. If you intend to go to the east coast of the Malaysian peninsula, things change – the rains, which are heavier in this region, can hinder the trip.

Who walks the route

Several airlines operate the Brazil – Kuala Lumpur route. The South African Airways flight leaves from Guarulhos and makes stops in Johannesburg and Singapore. The Qatar Airways flight has a stop in Doha. Another option is the Emirates flight, with a stopover in Dubai.

Transport in Malaysia

Malaysia is a country divided into two parts: one, where the capital and most important cities are located, is on the Malay Peninsula and borders Thailand. The other is on the island of Borneo. Traveling between the two parts can only be done by plane and Air Asia has great promotions for that. Malaysia also has a good rail system, great highways and very comfortable buses.

Beach in Langkawi

Langkawi: beautiful beaches are not exclusive to Thailand.


Do you have 30 days of vacation? So take the opportunity to also visit Singapore and Thailand. It is possible to arrive in one of the countries by plane and travel to the others by land – transport is simple and efficient.

Precautions in Malaysia

The Brazilian Embassy in Kuala Lumpur reminds that tourists should be careful with their belongings. Malaysia prides itself on being a modern country and its peaceful people, but robberies do happen and tourists are a favorite target. A very common case is that of a motorcyclist who tries to snatch a bag or cell phone from someone who is distracted on the sidewalk – something very similar to what happens in Brazil. The embassy's warning is not meaningless: it almost happened to us, but fortunately the biker was not successful.

Malaysian caves

How much do you expect to spend

First, it's worth remembering that all 360meridianos travel budgets are designed for backpackers – travelers who hope to get the most out of a country without overspending. If you fit this description, expect to spend US$30 per day, including food, accommodation, transport, etc., but the really cheap ones can do it for less. In the next post we will detail how it is possible to close this budget.

Basic itinerary around Malaysia

Start with the capital. Two or three nights in Kuala Lumpur are enough. From there it is possible to take a day trip to Malacca, the former capital of the kingdom of Malaysia and which to this day retains some of the country's most important monuments. Then it all comes down to the beach: some people go to Penang, which is a two-hour drive from Kuala Lumpur. We chose Langkawi, an island close to Thailand that has beautiful beaches and everything is tax-free.

I love Kuala Lumpur

Accommodation in Malaysia

Accommodation is very cheap in Malaysia, especially if we compare it to the standard in Europe or even Brazil. In Langkwai we pay very little to stay in simpler hotels, but facing the beach. They were Cenang Rest House and Zackry Guest House (click on the links to read our reviews). The rest of our time in the country we did Couchsurfing, so we can't recommend accommodation. Anyway, you can search for your hotel on by clicking here.


The international telephone code is +60.

Time zone

That's 11 hours more than official Brasília time.

Are you going to travel? Travel insurance is mandatory in dozens of countries and essential on vacation. Don't be left unprotected in Malaysia. See how to get insurance with the best cost/benefit for the country – and with a discount coupon.

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