Arriving in Malaysia

Malaysia covers an area of about 336,700 square kilometres. There are 13 different states, namely Perlis, Kedah, Penang, Perak, Selangor, Negri Sembilan, Melaka, Johor, Pahang, Terengganu, Kelantan, Sarawak and Sabah on the island of Borneo, and three Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Labuan. Malaysia has many seaports and international airports. It is situated in South East Asia; its neighbours are Brunei, Thailand, the Philippines, Singapore and Indonesia. The country’s time is eight hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and 16 hours ahead of United States Pacific Standard Time.

Arrival by Air

The main international point of entry into Malaysia is the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) in Sepang. For those using the low cost airlines; your point of entry may be the KLIA2 the low cost carrier terminal, situated just next to KLIA. Malaysia Airlines is our National Carrier which have connection to many major cities around the world and AirAsia is Malaysia's low-cost alternative for local and regional destination.

Immigration Control

All passengers arriving at a Malaysian port of entry are checked through Immigration Control. Please make sure that you have the proper documents at the check point. For international students who wish to study in Malaysia, they need to have a valid student's Visa - Visa application is available at the Malaysian Embassy, Consulate or High Commission in the country of origin. For the location of the Malaysian foreign mission please visit the Ministry of Foriegn Affairs

Customs & Excise

When you arrive in Malaysia you will pass through Customs. You will have to pay charges on any items which exceed the Customs Allowances. If you have more than the Customs Allowances, you must declare them to a customs officer. Do not try to hide goods; anything which is not properly declared may be confiscated and severe penalties can be imposed on anyone breaking Customs regulations. Customs officers may stop travelers to carry out random checks. Prohibited and Restricted Goods that may not be imported into Malaysia include controlled drugs (such as opium, heroin, morphine, cocaine, cannabis, amphetamines, barbiturates and LSD); firearms, ammunition and explosives; counterfeit coins and bank notes; indecent and obscene books, magazines, films and other articles; radio transmitters.

Do not attempt to smuggle drugs or any animal into Malaysia. Never carry bags through Customs for someone else. Be warned that Malaysia has very severe punishment for drugs trafficking which carries a mandatory death sentence.

Vaccination Requirements

A valid yellow fever vaccination certificate is required from travellers over 1 year of age who are coming from a yellow fever endemic country or have visited a yellow fever endemic country during the past six months. The period of validity is 10 years beginning 10 days after vaccination. Travellers without a valid yellow fever vaccination certificate will be quarantined upon arrival in Malaysia.


There is no limit to the amount of money you may bring into the country. Malaysian currency is denominated in ringgit and sen. If there is difficulty to change money before entering Malaysia, bringing travellers cheques, credit cards, and some US dollars will ensure that money will not be a problem upon arrival in Malaysia. Credit cards are widely accepted among department stores, hotels, restaurants, and travel agencies. Coins exist to the value of 1 sen, 5 sen, 10 sen, 20 sen, and 50 sen (the 1 ringgit coin has been removed from circulation; do not accept it as a legal tender). Notes are to the value of RM1 (Ringgit Malaysia), RM2, RM5, RM10, RM 50 and RM100, (we used to have RM500 and RM1000 which have also been removed from circulation). They are in different colours and sizes for easy identification.

Travel from the Airports

When you are flying in by airlines other than low-cost carrier, you will most likely fly into the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) and arriving at the KLIA2 for those of you who are flying in via some low cost carrier. KLIA2 is located just next to KLIA.

From the airport, the least expensive way to KL is to use the SkyBus, which will take you to KL Sentral Station for less than RM10.00. The easiest but not the least expensive way to Kuala Lumpur is to use a taxi. Purchase a fixed rate taxi coupon in the Terminal and board the taxi at the designated taxi area. Avoid touts who may be present to tempt you to use their ‘cheaper’ taxis.

The Express Rail Link (ERL) provides the fastest service which will take you 28 minutes from KLIA to the KL Sentral Station in the city. Current charges is RM35.00 one-way for adults.

About Malaysia

  1. Introduction
  2. Culture Shock
  3. Preparation
  4. Arriving in Malaysia
  5. Staying in Malaysia
  6. Life on campus
  7. Life in Malaysia
  8. Things to Do
  9. Bahasa Malaysia


The Occupational Medicine Clinic is a referral clinic for occupational diseases and is open on every Friday in University Malaya Medical Centre.