Saturday, November 18, 2006

Foreign Embassies

Should any problems arise during your stay in Malaysia, your home embassy or high commission can act as liason and provide some help:

1) France Embassy
196, Jalan Ampang, 50450 KL
Tel: 03-2053 5500

2) China Embassy
229 Jalan Ampang,50450 KL
Tel: 03-2142 8495

3) British High Commission
185, Jalan Ampang, 50450 KL
Tel: 03-21702360

4) Japan Embassy
11 Persiaran Stonor, Off Jalan Tun Razak, 50450 KL
Tel: 03-2142 7044

5) USA
376 Jalan Tun Razak, 50400 KL
Tel: 03-2168 5000

6) Saudi Arabia
4th Floor, Wisma Chinese Chamber,
258 Jalan Ampang, 50450 KL
Tel: 03-4257 9433

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Cultural sensitivities

As a multiracial society, it will help your integration into it to recognise and respect certain cultural and religious customs:

1) Shoes are commonly left at the front door of houses and some other buildings. A collection of shoes at the door means you should probably remove your shoes.

2) Many Malaysian greet each other with less than firm handshake, and may then place their right hand over their heart after greeting you.

3) Presentation of business cards or name cards often follows an introduction as a sign of interest in keeping contact with you, either socially or for business purposes.

4) While eating and paying for a meal, or shaking hands, or any other transaction, use your right hands. The left hand (as it's used to clean oneself in the bathroom) is considered unclean.

5) Many Malaysian do not want to dissapoint foreigners so a "yes" may not actually be in the affarmative. If you need a definite answer, talk around a topic for a while until you determine if it is a real "yes" or a "no-yes".

Friday, November 03, 2006

Malaysia travel tips

For those decided to travel to Malaysia:

The unit of currency is the Malaysian Ringgit indicated as RM, which is equivalent to 100 cents. Coins are issued in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20, 50 sen and RM1. Currency notes are in RM1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100. Foreign currency and traveler's checks can be converted to Malaysian Ringgit at banks or authorized money changers throughout the country.

Airport Tax
An airport tax of RM5 and RM40 is charged upon departure for all domestic and international flight passengers respectively.

Local calls can be made from public phones, whether coin or card operated. International calls can be made from phone booths with card phone facilities or at any Telecom offices. Most hotels are equipped with IDD services with a minimal service charge. - Useful Phone Directory

Tourist Police
Visitors who encounter unforeseen problems and difficulties can seek the Malaysian Tourist Police Unit for assistance. They often patrol tourist spots and will render assistance, as well as safeguard tourists' security.

Business Hours
The country runs on a normal eight hours a day system with Saturday as half day and Sunday as a day of rest. In the states of Kelantan, Terengganu, and Kedah, Friday is a day of rest with Thursday as half days. Department Stores and supermarkets are open daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Tipping is not a way of life in Malaysia, but is fast becoming one.

What to Wear
Light, cool, and casual clothing is recommended all year round. For more formal occasions, men should wear jackets, ties, or long-sleeved batik shirts whereas women should wear dresses.

It is generally safe to drink water straight from the tap, but it is safer to drink boiled water or bottled beverages.

Medical Services
Medical services are available in most towns at government hospitals and private clinics. Non-prescription drugs are available at pharmacies, as well as supermarkets, hotels, and shopping centers.

Local Touch
Food hawkers selling traditional and local delicacies make up the everyday scenes in big or small towns throughout the country. One can try "teh tarik", a smoothened, creamed tea, and "roti canai", a fluffy pancake prepared by a local person of Indian Muslim ancestry. Spicy Malay food, such as "nasi lemak" and various kinds of Chinese noodles are also popular. People from all walks of life frequent these food stalls.

As Malaysia is a multi-religious country, various Muslim mosques, Buddhist temples, Hindu temples, and Christian churches can be found almost anywhere. Despite the many changes and developments in the cities and big towns, Malaysia has many "kampung" (villages), jungles, beaches, and rice fields. Many houses in the "kampung" are built on stilts. Batik cotton fashion is popular in Malaysia . It can be used for casual wear, as well as formal functions.

Drug traffickers are sentenced to death by Malaysian Law.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

KL's orientation

Founded only in 1857 as a tin mining outpost, Kuala Lumpur is fairly new as far as Malaysian cities go and lacks the rich history of George Town or Malacca. After rough early years marked by gang fighting, Kuala Lumpur started to prosper and was made capital of the Federated Malay States in 1896. Malaysia's independence was declared in 1957 in front of huge crowds at what was later named Stadium Merdeka (Independence Stadium), and Kuala Lumpur continued as the new nation's capital. The economic boom of the 1990s brought KL the standard trappings of a modern city, bristling with skyscrapers and modern transportation systems. Like most of Malaysia's big cities, about 55% of Kuala Lumpur's population is of Malaysian Chinese descent.

Kuala Lumpur is a fairly sprawling city for its size. For many visitors the center of the city lies in the Golden Triangle, between Jalan Sultan Ismail, Jalan Bukit Bintang (Where Ain Arabia located) Jalan Pudu, Jalan Tun Perak and Jalan Ampang: this is where most of the city's shopping malls, five-star hotels and trendiest nightspots are, and the Kuala Lumpur City Center (KLCC) development home to the famous Petronas Twin Towers is at the northern edge. But the traditional core of the city lies more to the south, where Merdeka Square has many of KL's best-preserved colonial buildings and Chinatown bustles with activity late into the night. Further south yet, the suburb of Bangsar is a popular restaurant and clubbing district

Sahara Tent

Malaysia's made ain arabia where you can find a mini market called Naab, a laundry and dry-cleaning service and most importantly, there is a restaurant called Sahara Tent, arguably the centre of Arab Street, which overlooks an Arabian-themed garden.

Sahara Tent has become a focal point of the tiny Arab community. The restaurant, with its Moorish arches and tinkling fountains, often draws Arab patrons (though the restaurant is also popular with the locals. Many can be seen dining in the restaurant's lush carpeted interior (with privacy booths for veiled women to dine in private) or smoking pipe outside.

The place become a beehive of activity in the peak season in June and July when Arab flock to Malaysia as it is their school holidays during those months. Many Arab tourists travel to Malaysia also to escape the scorching summer heat.