- Prepare a travel medical insurance.
- Make the necessary vaccinations according to your country: Yellow-fever (Africa, South America), Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Tetanus, Polio .. Ask your doctor first especially if you are going to the jungles.
- Get informed about the hotel conditions. Read reviews and guests complains.
- Take DEET sprays and the essential medications like Painkillers.
- The Malaysian food is spicy. Take medications for stomach ache, just in case.
- Avoid public toilets.
The clinics, pharmacies and hospitals offer excellent services in Kuala Lumpur.
Food and drinks:
- Do not drink tap water.
- If you will buy food or drinks from street vendors, make sure they are clean and fresh.
- It’s better to avoid ice and juice from street vendors or small restaurants.
- The sun is strong, use a sunscreen, put a hat, sunglasses and don’t stay under the sun for long hours.
- Drink a lot of water to avoid dehydration.
- Make sure the hotel or hostel you’re staying in do controls and cleaning procedures to prevent mosquitos, bed bugs and insects.
- Pack your own towels and covers.
- Sometimes, the air is polluted in the city. You should leave the city center or stay in indoor areas.
General safety precautions:
- Check if the area of your hotel is safe and near from facilities (supermarket, transport stations .. )
- Make a copy of all important documents: Passport, Visa, Flight tickets, credit cards…
- Register all emergency numbers and important numbers (bank account, credit card companies, hotel number) in your phone and in a separate paper.
- Do not take any unnecessary documents or cards with you: Eg the driving licence if you don’t need it.
- Do not trust the hotel cleaning staff and don’t leave your valuables at the hotel room. Keep it in the room safe instead.
- Stay vigilant all the time: Don’t walk alone at night and don’t go to quiet streets.
- Don’t keep your bag unattended in a restaurant, a cafe, the hotel reception, the airport.. Even for a moment.
- Do not put all your cash in one place. Split it over many purses.
- Be careful from strangers and don’t accept any invitations from them.
- Be attentive when crossing the street. Some drivers don’t respect the traffic rules.
Although taking a taxi is the best way to get around Kuala Lumpur, the taxi service in the city is one of the worst in Southeast Asia:
- You should know that there are two types of taxis: The budget taxis in white and red or red and blue which start the meter at 3RM and cost you 1RM for each km and bright blue or yellow taxis that start the meter at 6RM then cost 2RM for each km.
- The budget taxis drivers can refuse to use the meter to charge you more. You should insist to put the meter or negotiate a fixed price in advance.
- There are drivers who take longer routes. You should use apps or maps to know the distance to your destination and calculate the estimate fare.
- Use taxi apps: Uber, Myteksi, EasyTaxi .. they offer great services and fair deals.
- Be careful in crowded tourist areas (chinatown, shopping areas), public transport and bus stations.
- Take only the necessary amount of money, don’t expose your phone and camera and don’t wear fancy clothes.
- Pickpockets work individually or in groups. So try do not get distracted by anything in busy areas.
Purse snatching is a common crime in Kuala Lumpur. Either by thieves on foot or moto riders. They can grab your bag, phone, expensive jewellery ..
- Don’t wear any attractive bags or jewellery.
- Don’t walk on the roadside and try to walk in the opposite direction of the traffic.
- Keep your bag close to your body and put it on the other side of the road.
- If this happened to you, do not hold your bag. You may get injured. Let him go and call the police immediately.
- You can encounter fake monks or NGO representatives who ask for donations. They will show you their ID and can give you a receipt or a gold token for your donation. But don’t believe them, they are scammers. You should excuse politely and refuse to take anything from them.
- You will encounter many homeless, drug addicts and beggars. They are generally not dangerous or aggressive but they may ask you for money. Ignore them in silence or give them few coins if you want just to get by.
- When you withdraw cash, don’t do it at night or in quiet place or in a too busy street.
- You better chose a well located machine or go to a bank for extra safety.
- Make sure nobody is watching your back when entering the PIN code or following you after withdrawing the money.
- Withdraw small amounts of money.
- Do not park your car in an isolated area and don’t keep your bag or anything in the car.
- Always lock the doors of the car when you’re driving.
- Avoid anyone pretending to show you the city or offering any kind of service. They say that they only want to help but then they will take money from you.
- Malaysia is primary a Muslim country. Some places or hotels have dress code for their visitors and do not accept revealing clothes.
- It’s better to not wear skimpy clothes to avoid stares and sexual harassment.
Here are more information about health and safety in Malaysia.
- Police / Ambulance: 999 or 112
- Fire and Rescue: 994 / 112 from a mobile telephone
- Tourist Police: 03 2149 6590
- Tourist Information MTC 03-2164-3929
- Tourist enquiries: 03 2149 6593