Malaysia & Borneo

Malaysia is a bubbling, bustling melting pot of races and religions where Malays, Indians, Chinese, and many other ethnic groups live together in peace and harmony. Malaysian Borneo is home to the best wildlife and cultural experiences in Malaysia. Sabah is where you’ll find the awesome Mount Kinabalu. Sandakan is well known for the Sepilok Orang-utan Sanctuary, where the jungle has been set aside as a rehabilitation centre for the orang-utans. Trekking in Sarawak offers an extraordinary experience.
 

When to Visit

Borneo has an equatorial climate and temperatures rarely drop below 20 degrees. Malaysia's northeast monsoon months are from October to February, while Sabah's west coast gets most of it's rain from June to November.
 

Highlights

MOUNT KINABALU Mount Kinabalu is the most spectacular feature in Sabah. The mountain exudes a magical quality that is unbelievable; the granite peaks are constantly veiled in wisps of cloud.

TURTLE ISLAND Turtle Island Park, in the Sulu Sea just off Borneo, is all about rescuing the endangered turtles in the area. A visit to the island provides a wonderful insight into the world of sea turtles.

BELUM RAINFOREST Belum rainforest is the largest forest complex on peninsula Malaysia. It is believed to have been in existence for over 130 million years, making it older than the Amazon and the Congo.

MALAYSIAN CUISINE Malaysian cuisine is amongst the most diverse and flavoursome in the world. No visit to Malaysia is complete without trying Nasi Lemak and Beef Rendang or following the sweet aroma of satay, the delicious peanut sauce famous throughout the world.

PENINSULA MALAYSIA Modern Kuala Lumpur, Malacca’s stunning architecture, the wildlife in Taman Negara National Park and the stunning Cameron Highlands are just some of the wonders that await you on peninsula Malaysia.

TREKKING Trekking around Sandakan, along with Mulu and Niah National Parks in Sarawak, offers an extraordinary chance to get up close with the flora and fauna of the region.

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Useful Information

Health

The following information is intended as a guide only and in no way should it be used as a substitute for professional medical advice relative to a travellers individual needs and vaccination history. No guarantee is made as to its accuracy or thoroughness. For further information, please contact The Travel Doctor on (+64) 9 373 3531. Vaccination against Hepatitis A is recommended for travellers to Malaysia and vaccination against Typhoid should also be considered. Depending on a travellers itinerary and activities, vaccination against Hepatitis B, Rabies and Japanese Encephalitis may also be considered. Malaria (considered medium-risk) and Dengue Fever are present in Malaysia, as such insect avoidance measures should be taken and Antimalarial drugs may be required. All travellers should be up-to-date with their routine "background" vaccinations. These include vaccinations for Tetanus and Diphtheria (with a booster within the last 10 years), Whooping Cough (which is often combined with the Tetanus and Diphtheria vaccination), Polio (with a booster in adult life), Measles, Mumps and Rubella (two combination vaccinations through life), Chicken Pox and a recent annual Influenza vaccination. Please consult a medical practitioner or contact The Travel Doctor for your specific risk to these preventable diseases and the appropriate avoidance measures. New Zealanders travelling to Malaysia should also ensure that they have adequate travel insurance to cover the length of their stay.

Electricity

Electrical Plug: European and British Voltage: 220-240 volts (same as Australia) Modem Plug: USA and UK Source: Korjo Travel Products. Please view the Korjo adapter guide at www.korjo.com.au for further information on this matter.

Communications

Country Code for Malaysia: +60 Offical Travel Advice: Visit www.safetravel.govt.nz Emergency Services: Ambulance - 999 Police - 999 Fire - 994 These services may not always have English speaking staff. In this case, you should have a local call on your behalf or contact the New Zealand Embassy.

Shopping

Malaysia is a genuine shopper's paradise. Many popular international brands have their stores in one of the malls in Malaysia. Normal business hours In Malaysia are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays to Fridays, with many businesses and government agencies also open until noon on Saturdays.

Tipping

Tipping is not customary in Malaysia, although guests may pay a little more at their discretion, especially if the service has been particularly good. In established restaurants there is a mandatory 6% government tax and often an additional 10% service charge on receipts.

Getting around

Travelling around Malaysia is smooth-sailing as Malaysia is well-connected. Whether it is via air, road, rail and sea, you can fully utilize Malaysia’s vast public transportation network. For tourist convenience, there are Touch n Go (TnG) Concession Cards which provide discounted fares on RapidKL Bus, LRT and Monorail services.

Language

Bahasa Melayu (official), Chinese (various dialects), English and Tamil.

Customs

Greetings in a social context will depend upon the ethnicity of the person you are meeting. In general, most Malays are aware of Western ways so the handshake is normal. There may be slight differences though and a few things to bear in mind include: Malay women may not shake hands with men. Women can of course shake hands with women. Men may also not shake hands with women and may bow instead while placing their hand on their heart. The Chinese handshake is light and may be rather prolonged. Men and women may shake hands, although the woman must extend her hand first. Many older Chinese lower their eyes during the greeting as a sign of respect. Indians shake hands with members of the same sex. When being introduced to someone of the opposite sex, nodding the head and smiling is usually sufficient. Among all cultures, there is a general tendency to introduce: the most important person to the lower ranking person. the older person to the younger person. women to men.

Visa's

Official travel advice regarding visas is available by calling 04 439 8000 or visiting their website www.safetravel.govt.nz

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