Packing for a Trip to Malaysia: What to bring and what to leave at home.
So you are putting together your packing list of things to bring on your trip to Malaysia but you’re not quite sure what needs to be brought and things which are better left at home? Yes, it can be a daunting task because bringing too many items on your trip to can add to extra weight. Also they will be difficult to carry around. Travellers in a survey said that 55% of the items they brought on a trip don’t even get used or opened.
Since I am a local and have lived in Malaysia nearly all my life, here are some tips for you. Hope you will find the information here useful in your trip to Malaysia. I know for sure you will enjoy our country!
When you are putting all your stuff together, think for a moment how will most of your travelling be done. Budget airlines – Air Asia, Firefly, Malindo etc have strict baggage rules.. any extra kilos will need to be paid. Whereas travelling between towns in the country using train or express buses there are virtually no baggage weight limits. Airport taxi services use many type of cars. If you were tight on budget and chose a budget taxi service at the KLIA airport their trunk space appearing large can be deceiving because they have a large NGV gas tank inside taking up nearly 1/3 of the space.
Wet wipes / Tissue / Toilet rolls
Good to have some packs in your backpack or purse. Public toilets in Malaysia do not have them ready. You can buy them at the entrance to the toilet but most often than not they are not manned.
In Malaysia, get them in any convenience store, supermarket, pharmacy such as Guardian, Caring or at the RM5 store – Daiso.
Our weather is warm and humid. Temperature is 32ºC – 34ºC.
Light clothing is sufficient. With that being said do dress decently after all it is a Muslim country. Especially for ladies, if you do not like to be stared at, err on a more conservative type of clothing if you are in a public area – streets, markets, etc. No skimpy shorts and tank tops and bikini top.
Send dirty clothes to laundry. If you ever run out of clean clothes, simple no brand t-shirts are cheap. You can get a t-shirts for as low as RM10.00 a piece and pants for around RM25.00 a pair. And if you don’t mind wearing pre-loved clothes you can get some from our “kedai bundle” – our used clothing store.
If you happen to stay somewhere there is a laundromat, use them. There are more self-serve laundromats now in towns because they are the latest thing to the locals. Drop by one to have your clothes cleaned. Set aside about RM8.00 for one cycle of wash and dry. It would take you about an hour to get your colthes all cleaned, dry and ready to go.
Comfortable walking shoes
Bring a pair of comfortable walking shoes. A broken in pair is better so you won’t get any chaffing from your long walks. Sandals and slippers are ok too but can be a bit yucky if you plan to tour some wet markets with their puddles of stinking dirty water on the floor.
Wear a pair that is easily removed because you will need to remove them when visiting mosques, temples and even our homes.
Shoes are cheap in Malaysia – comfortable canvas shoes are about RM35.00 a pair and you can get them from Bata or Jukebox in the city.
If you are planning some hikes or trekking while on your trip, get a pair of rubber shoes like those here. They are only about RM8.00 a pair. We conquer mountains peaks and walk in deep jungles in them.
Gadgets, and other paraphernalia
Like all travellers today there are plenty of gadgets to bring along – camera, ipad, charger, usb cables. It’s great to have them to capture the moment and remain in touch with friends wherever they may be. Simcard for data from providers like Celcom and Digi can cost about RM5 per day or RM30 per month. Most places have free wi-fi. Bring along an adapter to suit our 220v 3-pin socket.
Absolutely handy if you are going outdoors. If you are planning a visit our rainforests they are normally damp and wet. There may be rivers to wade. And if you are headed to our beaches or islands there will be sea spray, sand and sea water. Use the dry bag to put all your stuff – wallet, camera, gadgets and they will stay dry and won’t pick up dirt.
Unfortunately petty thefts and snatch thefts are rampant in the cities especially Kuala Lumpur. If you can do without your expensive jewelleries just leave them at home. You can even get some good knock-off watches at the street markets and costume jewellery at our crafts market if you need some.
Now Your True Test
Can you cart around your suitcase and personal items without the help of others? Imagine, if you will, doing it up stairs and down our uneven roads. If you can’t do it, it’s time to repack!
Thanks for reading. Hope you found the pointers here useful. If you have traveled in Malaysia before and have some of your own tips, do leave them in the remark/comment section below!