What to Wear in Malaysia – Essential Travel Necessities

A modern nation with a mixture of ethnic groups and culture, Malaysia imposes no particular laws of clothing for its tourists and visitors. However, with three-fifth of its population comprising of Muslims, Malaysia officially follows the Islamic religion and respects the rules of Islam. While many tourists worry about what to wear or what clothes to pack while travelling to Malaysia, it is important to note that, as a majority Muslim country, Malaysia follows certain cultural aspects and it is advisable to maintain the same level of respect and decency as a tourist. Get an insight into those minute codes of conduct and what exactly to pack for your next trip to Malaysia!

What to Wear in Malaysia

Malaysia has a tropical climate with a hot and humid temperature throughout the year with two rainy seasons – one from March to April and another between October and December. All that matters here is your personal comfort. Hence, it is advisable that you pack some light cotton or linen clothes which is also easy to dry during rainy weather. Malaysia accepts a casual and a cool clothing all-round the year, however, there are few basic etiquettes to be noted:

Women

1. Clothes

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Casual Wear: It is better to avoid revealing clothes like sleeveless tops and mini shorts. Rather, opt for T-shirts, denim, flowing skirts, or loose-fitting pants for your personal style and comfort.

Beach Wear: You don’t need to worry about beachwear when it comes to Malaysian laws, as they are completely accepted on the Malaysian beaches. If you are travelling to islands such as Langkawi, you can very well carry your sarongs or ponchos and kimonos. However, remember that sarongs and revealing clothes are not accepted anywhere outside the beach areas.

While Visiting Places:

  • If you are planning to go to religious sites, make sure to cover yourself up, with an Indian Kurtis that is available in the local shops, full skirts, maxis, or any other less revealing clothes for that matter.
  • If you plan to visit malls, shopping centres, or attend a date night, make sure to carry special clothes or smarter outfits with a pair of jackets as air-conditioners in some places might make you feel cold.

2. Accessories

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  • It is advisable to always carry a stole or shawl with you, in case you need to cover yourself up in any religious places.
  • Carry hats and sunglasses if you are planning to visit any open-ended historical spots or attractions such as forts and palaces to avoid the scorching heat.
  • When it comes to footwear, carry flip flops and sandals for an added comfort to match with your casuals and beachwear. Don’t go for high heels, rather opt for wedges instead as roads and pathways might be uneven.

Men

1. Clothes

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  • Considering the climate, it is preferred that you carry your basic denim, Khaki shorts, cargo pants or trousers.
  • Make sure you carry a versatile denim jacket with multiple pockets while traveling around Malaysia. This might make it easy for you while street shopping.
  • You can opt for swimwear, polo shirts or shorts for the perfect beachwear look.

2. Accessories

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  • Sunglasses and sun hats are a must while traveling in peak summer seasons.
  • Carry sweaters and thick jackets while traveling to highlands in Malaysia.
  • Carry decent shoes or sneakers for your casual dinner nights.

What Not to Wear in Malaysia

Though Malaysia has learned to show acceptance and has grown to become a beautiful forward-looking nation, there is a particular code of conduct that it strictly adheres to:

Avoid Offensive Prints

As Malaysia is a Muslim country, keep away from clothes that contain offensive animal prints such as those of pigs, as this might be an act of insult to some of the locals. Keep in mind the message that your cloth conveys to the others.

Avoid Provocative Clothes

  • Although there are no bans on short clothes or mid-thigh skirts, it is important to note that Malaysia follows the principle of modesty. Hence it is advisable to respect the country’s culture and avoid wearing too short clothes and miniskirts that are revealing.
  • In some non-tourist spots and interiors of Malaysia, people might be a bit conservative and hence it is advisable to wear loose-fitting clothes covering the arms and sleeves.
  • Avoid wearing tight-fitting clothes that might catch unwanted attention.

Malaysia Travel Essentials and Tips

  • As the weather is generally hot and humid, make sure you always carry sunscreen with you to avoid unnecessary tans and heat burns.
  • Carry walking or sports shoes as plenty of walking might be needed while visiting various attractions and tourist spots in and around Malaysia.
  • Always carry a pair of footwear along with you, if you are attending religious events or places in Malaysia as you might need to take off your shoes.
  • Don’t forget to pack a raincoat or a waterproof gear, along with an umbrella as Malaysia witnesses frequent rainfalls during monsoon.
  • On your way back home, don’t forget to buy souvenirs from Malaysia like the Batik printed stoles, beaded accessories, and some wooden carved home décor pieces!
More than anything, Malaysia is a welcoming place that accepts all sorts of fashion. For those who respect the culture and customs of Malaysia, it has more experiences to offer than what merely meets the eye!

This post was published by Gayathri Babu

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