What to REALLY expect if you’re visiting Malaysia for the first time

Sepang Goldcoast will be opening pretty soon and we can expect scores of people from all walks of life visiting Malaysia. Doubtlessly, you will be adventurous – venturing the different parts of Malaysia.

Hopefully, this posting will help you understand about Malaysia. And what to expect from Malaysians in general — from the eyes of a true blue second generation Malaysian Chinese. I purposely placed Chinese after Malaysian as I am proud to be Malaysian first, and Chinese second!

1) LANGUAGE: Although Malay is the official language, most Malaysians in urban townships speak good English, thanks to our colonial masters of the past. Should you decide to venture into the less urbanized areas of Malaysia, it is best that you learn some basic Malay to get you by.

2) FOOD: We are a truly a fascinating bunch. We are indeed the United Nations of gastronomic delights. You name it, we have it. Malaysians generally delight in local food comprising of traditional Malay, contemporary Chinese and Indian food. Then there are western foods such as McDonald’s, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Burger King and so forth. There’s even Thai, German and foods from all over the world here too. Seek, and ye shall find!

Kosher food: If you are a vegan, vegetarian or prefer kosher food only — don’t worry. There are many such foods around. For kosher foods, just look for the “Halal” certification placed strategically in the shopfronts.

Look out for this HALAL logo if you want kosher food

3) LIQUOR: You can get liquor just about anywhere but Muslims in Malaysia are prohibited by religion from indulging in alcoholic beverages.

4) OUR MOST OUTSTANDING TRAITS: Helpfulness, willing to go that extra mile for you. If you are a foreigner and need road directions, chances are, your Malaysian friend you have just met will take you to your destination. If that’s expecting too much, he or she will give you proper directions so you can arrive at your destination squarely.

5) NUDITY: Nope. Don’t go overboard by waltzing on the sandy beaches in the nude or nude sunbathing. Go do it elsewhere please.

6) OUR MOST DISGUSTING TRAIT: It’s our Jekyll and Hyde attitude. Behold the gentle persona of the average Malaysian you meet on the streets. Once behind the steering wheel, the monster takes over. Michael Schumacher will find his match here on the streets, and on the highways. If you intend to self-drive, be forewarned about dangerous driving and cars weaving in and out. By the way – It’s right hand drive out here.

7) WEATHER: When it’s hot, it’s terribly hot. When it rains, it pours! Generally, from April onwards till about November, you can expect sunshine and it’s great if you want that dark tan. From November till March, don’t forget to take your brolleys and raincoats.

I know that’s not all. I shall think of more in my next post. Till then, SELAMAT DATANG KE MALAYSIA (Welcome to Malaysia).


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