Malaysia — Visas and Vaccinations
Citizens of the US and most other Western nations receive a 90-day visa upon arrival, but nationals of some countries are only permitted a 30-day or 14-day visa. Tourists have to have at least six months’ validity and space on their passport to be granted entry. Further information on visas for travelers to Malaysia can be found here: http://travel.state.gov/travel/cispatw/cis/cis_960.html.
Health and Safety
Malaysia’s crime rate is higher than other areas in the region, although most of the offenses are non-violent theft and burglary. In tourist-heavy districts, it is not uncommon for visitors to be the victim of purse-snatching or pick-pocketing. Credit card fraud can also occur, so try to keep purchases with plastic limited to reputable hotels, restaurants and shops.
Stay away from recreational drugs when in Malaysia altogether. Sentences of canings and prison are frequently handed down to drug offenders and it’s not unheard of for travelers to even receive the death penalty if you’re found smuggling illegal substances into the country.
The climate remains relatively hot and humid all year round due to Malaysia’s location on the equator. Stay hydrated when traveling, as the area can be deceptively draining, leading to bouts of heat exhaustion. Even though tap water is consumed by locals, tourists are advised to buy bottled water for drinking as your stomach may not be used to the taste. These are cheap, and are a much safer option for rehydrating.
Despite some cases being reported on the island of Borneo, Malaysia is not a malaria-prone nation. However, dengue fever is common throughout the country. The best way to prevent the disease is by trying to avoid mosquito bites. Always carry and apply insect repellent.