5 Tips for Living in Malaysia for a Year

Living overseas is a great experience. It is a chance to explore a new culture, learn a new language, and step outside your comfort zone by trying new things. Asia is one place where a lot of ex-pats end up. There are many reasons for this, but the culture is so different is key.

If you are thinking of making Malaysia your home for the next 12 months, read for some useful tips.

Why Live in Malaysia?

Malaysia is one of the less densely populated countries in Asia. It also has a substantial infrastructure, and the people are warm and welcoming. In addition, the weather in Malaysia isn’t as hot as in some other countries, and the cost of living is relatively low.

And then we come to the natural scenery. Malaysia is blessed with tropical rainforests, unspoiled beaches, and idyllic islands. It is a beautiful country, and if you like the idea of leaving the city behind, you won’t be disappointed by what you find.

Finally, Malaysia has a low crime rate, and health services are first-class and low-cost.

Finding Somewhere to Live

Unless you have a job lined up already, start thinking about where you want to live, as finding a suitable temporary home may take some time. Most people elect to rent a home if they only stay in Malaysia for 12 months or less. PropertyGuru can help you search for a rental property. The site also has useful property guides to make relocating to Malaysia easier.

Do some research into the different parts of Malaysia. Kuala Lumpur is the capital and the largest city. It is a thriving, vibrant city with restaurants, shopping malls, and leisure facilities. If you want to be in the thick of it, renting an apartment in Kuala Lumpur will be exciting.

For a slower pace of life, consider Penang Island. There are still plenty of amenities for ex-pats here, but life is more relaxed on the island compared to Kuala Lumpur. The capital, Georgetown, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and there is plenty to do in Penang, such as hiking and laying on a beach.

Malacca is half the size of Kuala Lumpur, and a strong ex-pat community is already established. Finding bars and restaurants owned and run by westerners will be easy if you feel lonely or want some advice. There are also plenty of cultural highlights, with many historical buildings to explore.

Learn How to Get Around Easily

The center of Kuala Lumpur has a rail network, so it is easy to travel from A to B. Everywhere else, a car is the most reliable form of transport. Ride-sharing apps have made it easy to get around in Malaysia. Download Uber or the local ride-share app, Grab. Use these to call a cab when you need to go somewhere.

Buy Suitable Clothing

Malaysia has a tropical climate. The average temperature doesn’t vary much throughout the year, but April to June are the hottest months. Most of the year, it is somewhere between 20 and 30 degrees Celsius, but the high humidity can make it feel uncomfortable. On the coast, a nice sea breeze will take the edge off the humidity, but wearing the right clothing is a must.

Look for garments made with cotton or linen. Such fabrics are cooler in hot, humid weather and won’t trap the heat like manmade textiles. Cotton and linen are great at wicking the heat and moisture away from the skin. Technical fabrics are good too.

Pack clothing that is lightweight and loose. Consider buying clothes once you arrive, as cotton garments are affordable in Malaysia.

Protect Yourself from the Sun

As already mentioned, the climate in Malaysia is sub-tropical, which means it is close to the equator. As such, the sun is more powerful than Northern Europe and the upper states of the US. If you want to spend time outside without a thick layer of sun cream, early morning is the best time, as the sun isn’t so strong. You can top up your vitamin D levels without burning too quickly.

The rest of the time, it’s vital to use sun protection, especially on more sensitive areas like the face. Buy sun cream with a high SPF and reapply it regularly, especially if you are sweating heavily or caught in one of the frequent tropical storms. You may find a hat and an umbrella come in very handy!

Hydrate Well

One of the downsides of living in a tropical climate is that it’s normal to sweat a lot. Try and keep a bottle of drinking water with you at all times and rehydrate regularly.

Lastly, make an effort to learn some of the local languages. Malaysians mostly speak excellent English, but locals will love it if you try to use a few phrases when communicating with them.

One thought on “5 Tips for Living in Malaysia for a Year

  1. Nick Barron says:

    Surely when it comes to foreign tourism, it is impossible not to mention Myanmar. I have a plan to travel blockpost here and I am glad that you have recommended tips to have the best travel experience.

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