Flying to an exotic city is overwhelming with ideas like what to do, where to stay, what to explore and what not to do. A little research beforehand and equipping oneself with the local culture can avoid an embarrassing and problematic situation. Staying on the track, this is the article on Malaysia’s don’ts!
Malaysia is a city of assorted culture, vibrant colour, friendly community, delectable cuisine and unique customs. When you apply for Malaysia Visa, you are in to see the wildlife-packed jungles, fun-induced activities and palm-sprinkled islands. It surely boasts a laidback vibe, but the mixture of traditions and rules could be trickling for first-time visitors.
The concoction of Malay, Indian and Chinese leaves the newcomers confused on what customs to follow and what exactly is this country about.
So, blessing your holiday, here is the list of 12 things that you should never do in Malaysia-
1. Showing inappropriate gestures
Now, a gesture which is appropriate in a country could be obscene for the other nation. Talking about Malaysia, here are a few gestures that you should forget doing here, even if it’s your habit-
- You must have heard several times that head is considered as a sacred part in the body as it lies on the top. Following this ideology, Malaysians do not like touching an adult’s head or transferring an object overhead.
- Often while showing a direction or pointing at someone, you might take out a finger and point towards someone. This gesture is unacceptable here, so instead, get into the habit of using a fist with the thumb put over the fingers. Or you could find people giving directions with an open palm.
- Many locals get offended with the gesture of pounding your fist into the other hand.
- Do not eat with your left hands as it is related with bathroom behaviours.
2. Carrying drugs
The most serious of all is carrying drugs into the country. Passing the drugs through international borders in here is a non-negotiable offence. Even if you are not consuming it, simply keeping in your personal belongings could land you in jail or slap you with a hefty fine or treat you with merciless penalty.
3. Public display of affection
Excessive affection in public like kissing and hugging is an indecorous act. Signs and boards are put around telling to refrain from all such intimate make-out sessions, even if you are in trains, buses or taxis. Locals, especially conservative ones would give you an eye if you do not take the gender-based considerations into account, which also includes not shaking hands with the opposite gender unless they offer to do so. And thus, the best way to address the opposite sex is to smile and greet with hands on the side.
4. Hiring an unmetered taxi
The taxis are the budget transfer options in Malaysia, however, you may encounter certain cabbies who are unwilling to turn on the metre. Make sure they turn it on before you sit inside the taxi and are ready to travel. If they resist, drop the idea of travelling with them. As a choice, you can make the process easier with buying the taxi coupons at counters within Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), KL Sentral station and bus terminals or else installing a taxi app.
5. Criticising the local cuisine
Malaysians are proud of their food. From the quintessential dish of rice, prawn, eggs, cucumber Nasi lemak to mountain-like dessert Ais Kacang, the country has a vast array of cuisine. There is a lot of dedication that goes behind in the kitchen in cooking these rich dishes. And when it comes to giving feedback on the taste and flavours, do not be harsh. Because they love their food and an insult to it would hurt the national pride.
6. Travelling alone at night
The country is safe, except in cases where you are careless and could be an easy target for muggers. Beware of the pickpockets during shopping or strolling in markets. Especially at night, get yourself a company of family, friends or trusted one. Choose well-lit and crowded paths. And instead of walking, prefer to ride.
7. Sightseeing without an umbrella
Thanks to the tropical location of the country, the rains come short, sudden and heavy. So, if you are a traveller who is on foot, exploring the cities and trying hands on different food, an umbrella could save you from the wrath of monsoon.
8. Talking about religion or race
Malaysia is comprised of three main races; Malays, Chinese and Indians. It is their beauty that all of them blend and live harmoniously without any differences. They do not discuss the variance and thus religion is somewhere a sensitive topic. So, do not put yourself into the spotlight by bringing out religion and stirring up racial tension.
9. Speaking ill of the government
This is another concern when you are in Malaysia and that is to not question the Prime Miniter/ the government, There are several incidences in the past where you can witness how people have to face charges and punishments for expressing sad opinions on the government. Even a few popular websites are blocked in the nation for dissenting the local politics. You can surely discuss amongst yourselves but don’t be too vocal in public.
10. Taking durian to hotels
This tropical oval fruit is banned at hotels and airports of Malaysia because of its strong pungent and lingering smell. The stench stays on for a longer time and on everything, it comes in contact with. But if you are fond of these, grab a Durian dish like pancakes which have a decent scent and good as a souvenir.
11. Getting into houses with shoes on
Drop your shoes outside the doors; this is an etiquette which is followed around households or place of worship. People find it rude to wear shoes inside and carry the dirt on fresh mats. Contact the Airbnb owner for any such implications if they have in their homes.
12. Underestimating the time on the road
It might look that with such widespread and efficient transport, you can reach airports in the wee of time. But that’s not the case. At peak hours, Malaysia is infamous for its congested roads. So, to avoid delays like missed flights, we would suggest taking a cab hours before, calculating the traffic time.
While you ignore certain habits and abide by few rules, Malaysia promises a holiday of adventure and excitement. So, pack your bags and enjoy this gorgeous land filled with high-spirited energy.