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Top Malaysia Hotels

Malaysia Malaysia is one of Southeast Asia's most exotic yet most comfortable countries to visit. In many ways this diverse republic of 23 million people is unique, but also seems to be a composite of surrounding influences. Strongly Islamic since the 13th century, Malaysia grew to its present form under the British who left in 1957. The influx of Chinese and Indian radically altered the ethnic mix, and descendants of these communities now account for almost half of the population. Malaysia is basically divided into two regions. The busier peninsula dangles from the heels of Thailand, culminating at Johor Bahru next t o the city state of Singapore. Malaysia's larger buy relatively remoter section - made up of the states of Sarawak and Sabah - occupies roughly the top third of the island Borneo. The two regions differ substantially, and indeed where only united after World War II. You still need your passport when traveling from the peninsula to Borneo as Sarawak and Sabah still have a high degree of autonomy. For the tourist, Malaysia is one of the more beautiful and appealing destinations in the region. With rapid economic progress, good infrastructure and English widely spoken it has also become one of the most safe and accessible places to visit. The modern capital Kuala Lumpur has seen heavy investment and is emerging as a world-class city. Its dining and shopping can now compete alongside the likes of Singapore, Bangkok, and Hong Kong. Entertainment is picking up too, although it will probably never match the carefree nightlife of other Asian countries. And 'KL', as it is known, has staked a name for itself globally with the completion of the iconic Petronas Towers, at 452 metres the world's tallest buildings. No other Malaysian city is in the same league as the capital, as most are sleepy and quiet. One thing that might strike the visitor is a relative absence of visible historical landmarks. Unlike most of Asia which is bulging with temples and relics, Malaysia seems to be almost entirely new. This is largely due to the fact that the Malays have traditionally constructed with wood and earlier buildings decayed, but even colonial brick and mortar contributions are few. A glaring exception is in coastal Melaka which lies just a few hours south of the capital and huddles together a collection of Portuguese and Dutch architecture. Further north, approaching the Thai border, the island of Penang is the other main area of historical depth. The big pull in Malaysia's natural beauty. The country floats just north of the equator and straddles one of the world's great rainforest belts. The biodiversity is spectacular. Despite of the logging mania that has ripped through the forests, some amazing flora survives - such as the world's biggest flower, the Rafflesia. Fauna is truly exotic and includes lovable wonders like the placid orangutans. Sabah's 4,101-metre Mt Kinabalu near the beach resorts of Kota Kinabalu is the highest mountain between the Himalayas and New Guinea, but rises gently and steadily making it one of the easiest 'big' mountains to climb in the world. Offshore and a little to the north of Sipadan, one of many stunning sites for divers. With kilometres of tropical coast Malaysia has some great beaches that have developed more slowly than their popular counterparts in Thailand. Laid-back Langkawi Island has some fantastic white sandy stretches, far superior to those of Penang. The east coast has good ones too; Tioman, Redang and the backpacking Perhentian Islands supply equal beauty though the monsoon rains affect the winter seasons. Peninsular Malaysia's climate is tropical - sunny, hot and humid year-round with short bursts of torrential rain. The monsoon between October and April hits the east coast harder, while Borneo gets steady rainfall all year. The hill stations of the Cameron Highlands, Fraser Hill and the gambling centre of Genting, with their cool elevated tea plantations, offer a delightful escape from the oppressive heat. Hotel-wise Malaysia has the lot - from icons of days gone by such as the E&O in Penang to Langkawi's out-of-this-world-class Datai, from the highlands' Tudor replicas right down to quaint beachside lean-tos. More...


Visitors must have a passport valid for 6 months more than the maximum time allowed for their stay in Malaysia. Residents of most countries are granted visa free access for periods ranging from 7 days to 3 months.


Currency - There are no restrictions on the amount of foreign currency (except banknotes of India up to Rs270 and Indonesia up to Rp3000) which can be taken in and out of Malaysia.

The import and export of Ringgit is restricted to M$ 1,000 per person

Ringgit is currently a closed currency and can only be bought/sold in Malaysia

Visitors may take the following into Malaysia duty free:

  • Alcoholic beverages - not exceeding 1 litre
  • Tobacco - not exceeding 200 cigarettes, 50 cigars or 225g of tobacco

Penalties for carrying or trafficking illegal drugs are very severe, ranging from long prison sentences to the death penalty.


Malaysian time: GMT + 8 hours


  • Malaysian Ringgit (RM), also known as the Malaysian Dollar M$. Check current exchange rates.
  • 100 sen = 1RM
  • Notes issued - M$500, M$100, M$50, M$20, M$10, M$5, M$1
  • Coins issued - M$20, M$10, M$5, M$1, 100 sen, 50 sen, 20 sen, 10 sen, 5 sen, 1sen


Behasa Malayu (also known as Malay) is the official language of Malaysia. English is widely spoken and understood. Mandarin, Cantonese and Tamil are also spoken.


Tipping is not standard practice in Malaysia but is appreciated. Some hotels and restaurants add a 10% service charge. Tip porters and hotel staff M$5.

Banking Hours

  • Monday to Friday 9.30 am to 3.00 pm
  • Saturday 9.30 am to 11.30 am

Note: Banks in Sabah open at 8.00 am and take a lunch break from 12.00 pm - 2.00 pm


The international dialling code for Malaysia is 60

When calling overseas from Malaysia dial 00 + country code + area code + telephone number.

Malaysian Telephone codes

Kuala Lumpur, Selangor 03
Penang, Langkawi 04
Johor Bahru 05
Melaka, Port Dickson 06
Pulau Pangkor, Ipoh, Cameron Highlands, Maxwell Hill 05
Fraser's Hill, Tioman Islands, Perhentian Islands, Terengganu, Redang, Kuantan, Kota Bahru 09
Kuching 082
Kota Kinabalu 088
Miri 085


  • 220-240V AC 50 cycles per second.
  • 3 pin square plugs.


Tap water is safe to drink in main cities and major hotels. Bottled water is widely available.


Standards of health and hygiene are generally good in Malaysia. Visitors arriving from yellow fever endemic zones must present a yellow fever health certificate. The risk of catching malaria in Malaysia is slim; however it is wise to check the current situation and any vaccination requirements with your doctor when planning your trip.

International Airport

Kuala Lumpur - opened in 1998 in Sepang (some 60km from the city)

  • Penang
  • Johor Bahru
  • Kota Kinabalu
  • Kuching
  • Langkawi

International Airport Departure Tax


Domestic Airport

There are numerous domestic airports in Malaysia; these include those mentioned above plus the following:

  • Kuala Lumpur
  • Kuala Terengganu
  • Pulau Tioman
  • Pulau Perhentian
  • Pulau Pangkor
  • Taman Negara
  • Kuantan
  • Ipoh
  • Melaka
  • Pulau Langkawi

Domestic Airport Departure Tax


Etiquette/Dress Code

Malaysia is a mix of many religions but predominantly Muslim, so dress fairly modestly. Beachwear should be restricted to the beach and topless sunbathing is never acceptable. Away from the beach, clothes should not be too short and the shoulders should be covered. When visiting government offices be sure to dress smartly, as casual dress will be taken as an affront.

There is a large ethnic Chinese population in Malaysia; as with most Asian countries, situations should be avoided which would cause a loss of "face". Try to steer clear of confrontation as it is not appreciated and will only worsen rather than resolve any situation.

Diplomatic Missions

Most countries have representative offices and consulates in Kuala Lumpur and a limited number are also available in Penang.

Useful Sources of Information

For further information on Malaysian tourism.


Malaysia's position in the equatorial zone guarantees a classic tropical climate with relative humidity levels usually around 90%. Weather is fairly hot and humid all year round (with the exception of the cooler climes of the central highlands) averaging 30C in the daytime, with short intense showers almost daily. Malaysia's climate is dominated by the effect of two monsoons or "rainy seasons", which affect different parts of Malaysia to varying degrees.

The north-east monsoon blows between October and March and from May to September Malaysia is affected by the south-west monsoon. Heavier rainfall is experienced in spring and autumn when the monsoon changes direction, however this increased rainfall should not spoil a visit to west coast Malaysia or the hill stations. Mornings are usually hot and sunny with showers in the afternoon.

Try to avoid east coast destinations and Island Malaysia between November and January. Otherwise, Malaysia can be enjoyed at any time of year as the weather is generally hot, sunny and fairly uniform; it's rare to have a day without showers and unusual to have a day without sunshine. Take light summer clothes, carry an umbrella and an extra warm sweater if visiting the hill stations.

Note! Haze - In recent years Malaysia has suffered from the phenomena known in Asia simply as "Haze". Caused in part by forest fires and out of control "slash and burn" practices in both Malaysia and neighbouring Indonesia - late summer and early autumn sunny skies have been obscured for days and air quality has been known to be poor. Haze is difficult to predict, however efforts are being made to prevent the recurrence of the severe hazes of 1996 and 1997.

South West Coast

Season Average temperature Average rainfall
January - December 23 - 32°C 190mm

Kuala Lumpur, Johor Bahru, Melaka, Port Dickson

Hot and humid throughout the year, the west of Malaysia can be enjoyed at any time. With a tropical climate, showers occur almost daily and downpours during the rainy season are not much worse than the rest of the year.

North West Coast

Season Average temperature Average rainfall
January - December 23 - 31°C 204mm

Penang, Langkawi, Pulau Pangkor, Ipoh

Typically tropical, hot, sunny and humid with light showers - a beach holiday can be enjoyed at any time of year in this part of Malaysia.

More rain falls in September and October but even during the rainy season on the west coast it is still possible to enjoy a week's holiday with little more than the occasional short tropical downpour.

East Coast

Season Average temperature Average rainfall
February - October 23 - 32°C 189mm
Rainy Season (November - January) 22 - 29°C 407mm

Kuantan, Tioman Island, Perhentian Islands, Terangganu, Redang, Kota Bharu

Hot and sunny with South China Sea breezes moderating the humidity somewhat - excellent beach weather for most of the year. Try to avoid the rainy season on the east coast which strikes between November and January and can disrupt boat crossings to the islands. The rainy season is most pronounced on this side of the peninsula but once over, east coast destinations are slightly drier than the rest of Malaysia.

Hill Stations

Season Average temperature Average rainfall
January - December 15 - 22°C 211mm

Cameron Highlands, Fraser's Hill, Maxwell Hill

Located at an altitude of 1,524m above sea level, the highlands have a distinctly different climate to the rest of Malaysia. Temperatures average a very pleasant 22C in the daytime and a comparatively cool 15C at night - excellent for growing tea and for visitors, a pleasant contrast to the more humid lowland areas. Clear blue skies in the morning, showery afternoons and chilly nights. Rainfall is heaviest from September through to early December. Pack an extra-warm sweater for evenings and light rain gear when venturing up-country at any time of year.

Sabah & Sarawak

Malaysia's two states on the island of Borneo have hot humid climates with temperatures rarely dipping below 30C in the daytime.

Season Average temperature Average rainfall
April - September 23 - 32°C 236mm
Rainy Season (October - March) 23 - 31°C 446mm

Kuching, Miri, Sarawak

Sarawak experiences heavy rain all year, although less marked between April and September. Take note of the haze situation when you plan to travel.

Season Average temperature Average rainfall
December - April 23 - 31°C 126mm
Rainy Season (May - November) 24 - 31°C 287mm

Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

Due to its more north-easterly location, Sabah is drier than Sarawak. The north-east coast suffers higher precipitation from December to January, whereas heavy rainfall occurs May to November on the west coast. If you decide to trek up the 4,101m peak of Mount Kinabalu or in and around the foothills, you must obtain accurate local advice at the time of your trip.

Featured Malaysia Hotels

3 stars
per night (USD)
Swiss Inn Kuala Lumpur - An International HIP Hotel

Swiss Inn Kuala Lumpur - An International HIP Hotel

Chinatown, Malaysia

Location Located at 62 Jalan Sultan, Swiss Inn is less than a kilometre from Jalan... More...

4 stars
per night (USD)
The Royale Bintang Hotel Kuala Lumpur

The Royale Bintang Hotel Kuala Lumpur

Bukit Bintang, Malaysia

Location Located along the Jalan Bukit Bintang in Kuala Lumpur, The Royale Bintang... More...

4 stars
per night (USD)
Mahkota Hotel Melaka

Mahkota Hotel Melaka

City, Malaysia

Location Nestled on the waterfront, this property is adjacent to the Mahkota Parade... More...

2 stars
per night (USD)
Bintang Warisan Hotel Kuala Lumpur

Bintang Warisan Hotel Kuala Lumpur

Bukit Bintang, Malaysia

Location Centrally located in the Golden Triangle in Kuala Lumpur fronting the... More...

4 stars
per night (USD)
The Frangipani Langkawi Resort & Spa

The Frangipani Langkawi Resort & Spa

Pantai Tengah Beach, Malaysia

Location Frangipani Resort & Spa is on the southwest part of Langkawi, five and a... More...

4 stars
per night (USD)
Swiss-Garden Hotel Kuala Lumpur

Swiss-Garden Hotel Kuala Lumpur

Golden Triangle, Malaysia

Location Swiss-Garden Hotel Kuala Lumpur is situated on Jalan Pudu. Guests can visit... More...

3 stars
per night (USD)
Hotel Capitol Kuala Lumpur

Hotel Capitol Kuala Lumpur

Bukit Bintang, Malaysia

Location Capitol Hotel is set in the Golden Triangle area right in the central... More...

5 stars
per night (USD)
JW Marriott Hotel Kuala Lumpur

JW Marriott Hotel Kuala Lumpur

City, Malaysia

Location Marriott KL is located on Jalan Bukit Bintang, Golden Triangle. It's... More...

4 stars
per night (USD)
Hotel Royal Kuala Lumpur

Hotel Royal Kuala Lumpur

City, Malaysia

Location Hotel Royal is positioned on Jalan Walter Grenier in Kuala Lumpur. From the... More...

5 stars
per night (USD)
Hotel Equatorial Kuala Lumpur

Hotel Equatorial Kuala Lumpur

City, Malaysia

Location Hotel Equatorial is surrounded by commercial centres, shopping areas and... More...


Malaysia Travellers Tales

nelson rivera

City tour (1/2 day) very informative. Batu Caves are OK, but if you''ve been to India and seem the real thing, then this won''t phase you at all. Daytrip to Melacca was good. Line for Petronas tickets was outrageous, go to Menera (KL tower) instead, which is in Bukit Nanas is a bit of a walk uphill, you can take a taxi if you like. You get a better view than from Petronas. Chinatown Petaling street was hectic...only visit there if you are serious about shopping imitation stuff. For food, walk around Jalan Sultan..for some cheap stuff (or Jalan Alor, if you are in Golden Triangle area). The walk on Jalan Pudu from Chinatown to Bukit Bintang was interesting, it goes past the large bus station, but what is better is that you get a real cross section of homey Kuala Lumpur, without the luxuries, you just see people on the street, small stores, restaurants, etc...very local...non touristy scene, for a different perspective. Also, visit Mederka square, so you can see where the British lived, and also you can take a look at the former Petronas Building (before the twin towers were built) The local transport in KL is very good, with the monorail, the trains, the buses, you should have no problem getting around.

caren tang

Perfect location, accessible to any main shopping center eg Starhill, Lot 10, Sungai Wang Plaza, PP plaza. It''s just 5 mins walking distance to the Monorail station. Nightlife is very happening around the hotel. Many foot massage services operate until late night.

martin glaeser

Worth visiting: Iban Longhouses, Bau caves, Jungle walk. Use the inhouse travel agency. They provide good consulting. Or use one of the many free agencies along Riverfront. And don''t forget to see the official Tourist Info Office! They have more catalogues available, and they sell these beautiful, colorful vintage posters "Visit Borneo", 4 pieces, 20 Ringgit.

gregory crosling

Penang Hill, the beach resorts, the Komitar, Gurney Plaza, China town and Little India along with the hawker stalls are all a must. There are plenty of restaurants if you like spicy food, temples to visit and the trishaw rides are fantastic. A great place to visit!

andrew gyure

I only had 4 days to spend in Malaysia and had to pick only one destination to visit, and I was advised by trusted friends in Singapore to make it Penang. The city is known for its intriguing variety of Malaysian food. I am in the hotel/catering business, so this was a big attraction for me. My advice is to forgo the sit-down restaurants and take every meal at the local kopitiams (coffee shops) or food hawker markets. Don''t worry, the food is fresh and safe to eat at these establishments and you get to rub elbows with the locals at the same time. Besides all that, prices are dirt cheap. Be sure to try some of the local signature dishes: assam laksa, char kway teow, rojak to name a few. Do visit the merry old white colonial E&O hotel and have a frosty, tall ale in their Farquhar''s Bar while looking out at the sea or an iced coffee and scone in their charming European bakery cafe.

joan kent

We spent a month in Malaysia. 12 days on the East Coast and the remainder spread between Ferringi Beach, Penang, Langkawi and then the 5 nights in Georgetown. We just loved Georgetown and will definitely return. People friendly, shopping great (I enjoyed it better than KL), food FABULOUS, and the lovely old buildings some restored, lent to a great Asian atmosphere. The Colonial atmosphere, plus the Chinese, Malay and Indian architecture made it all so enjoyable. We will definitely return to Georgetown.


Try Genting Highlands. The place is about 45 mins away from bukit bintang. There is available bus rides on certain hours.

michael nielaender

The location allows not to walk to town, but taxi is with 10 RM not too high (ask for Sani as taxi driver). Nearby is a turtle station (20 min. walk at the lovely beach) but beware of the next resort (Club Med) as the let you not enter the resort. We aked to have some water for the children but the guards forced us back in a very unpleasent way. We recommend to watch rather the turtles than the frogs.

liow teck piaw

We visited A Farmosa, Christ Church, Mahkota Shopping Centre and Jonkers Street. Jonkers Street is full of great bargains! A very unique night market with many interesting shophouses too!

azeanni yasni

For those looking for an excellent location of a hotel, Bintang Warisan is the answer. Major shopping malls are at the door steps...Times Square is less than 10 minutes away should you decide to catch a midnight movie like I did. Overall, I''m really satisfied with my stay at the hotel and will patronize the hotel again in the near future.

See all reviews for Malaysia


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