Malaysia Travel Tips
Malaysia is an exciting blend of culture with a mix of Malay, Chinese and Indian influences with diverse heritage. By remembering a few points of etiquette when visiting this country - you are ensured to have an enjoyable experience in Malaysia.
Malaysia is a predominantly Muslim country and people visiting this area should dress appropriately – particularly in rural areas. In the capital city Kuala Lumpur the dress code is more relaxed.
No public displays of affection
Hugging and kissing in public is considered offensive behaviour, especially in more rural areas.
It is considered rude to cross your legs
When you sit down in front of the host in a traditional home. It is also a no-no to point to a person with your feet.
There is a different gift giving etiquette in Malaysia
The Malays, Chinese and Indians have different customs when it comes to giving gifts. The things that each culture agrees on are – hand gifts with your right hand and also gifts are generally not opened when received.
If your tour guide holds their hand over their left breast
It means “I greet you from my heart.”
Remove footwear when entering a home or a place of worship
If you are entering a place of worship ensure you are dressed appropriately. Women are advised to wear long sleeves and also pants or long skirts.
Homosexuality is illegal in Malaysia
LGBT rights are largely unrecognized in Malaysia, and the government retains the colonial era penal code criminalizing sodomy. Social attitudes towards the LGBT community are also shaped by Islam, the official religion in Malaysia.
Eat with your right hand
As with many Muslim cultures, the left hand is seen as dirty as they believe the left hand is reserved for bathroom related tasks.
Belching is ok
If you are dining and let out a burp or belch- don’t be embarrassed, it is accepted in Malaysia and indicates you enjoyed the meal.
Keep your cool
By displaying anger or outrage in Malaysia you will be viewed with disdain as by nature Malaysians tend to remain calm and relaxed. Remain your composure and solve any problems with respect and a humble attitude.