Malaysia: Destination Asia


Destination Asia is the Far East’s leading Diversified Travel Organisation with 27 offices in 11 Asia countries.

Destination Asia was formed in 1996 when experienced travel executives and managers saw a niche market opportunity for a travel firm that, being owned by its staff, could provide travel services solely responsive to the needs of the client and not the whims of any international corporate conglomerate.

Destination Asia Thailand and Destination Asia Vietnam were the first units of the Destination Asia group to be formed. From these two initial successes Destination Asia Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Myanmar and Laos have evolved, further strengthening our association within the region. In 2010 we opened in Singapore & Malaysia and in 2011 we launched our Japan operation.

We offer specialist services for all areas of the corporate Incentive, Meeting and Exhibition business, with particular expertise in the UK markets. Destination Asia prides itself in creating unique and cost effective programs, with the highest levels of professional operation and delivery, which has resulted in the Company providing services to many of the Fortune 500 companies using incentive travel as a core sales motivation device.


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Key Contacts
Malaysia: Sadie Yeoh, General Manager
Kuala Lumpur: Andrea Lee, Area Director
Penang & Langkawi: Anne Tan, Meetings & Incentive Manager
Borneo: Anna Marie Chai, Manager – Destination Services

Malaysia - Destination Factfile

• Time in Kuala Lumpur •

Flying time from the UK
London Heathrow (LHR) to Kuala Lumpur (KUL)- approx 13hrs 40mins

Internal Flying Times
Flying time from Kuala Lumpur KUL to Langkawi LGK - approx 1hr
Flying time from Kuala Lumpur KUL to Penang PEN - approx 50mins
Flying Time from Kuala Lumpur KUL to Kota Kinabalu BKI - approx 2hrs 25mins

Main Airports
Kuala Lumpur - Kuala Lumpur International Airport
Langkawi - Langkawi International Airport
Penang - Penang International Airport
Borneo/Kota Kinabalu – Kota Kinabalu International Airport (BKI)

Airport Transfer Times
Kuala Lumpur
Kuala Lumpur International Airport: 1hr to city hotels (Mandarin Oriental Hotel / Shangri-la Hotel)
Penang International Airport: 30-40mins to city hotels (E&O Hotel / Traders Hotel) 50mins - 1hr to beach resorts (Shangri-La’s Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa)
Langkawi International Airport: 30 mins to city hotels (Westin Langkawi Resort & Spa (Starwood hotels))
50mins to 1hr to beach resorts (Four Seasons Resort / Datai Langkawi / The Andaman Langkawi)
Kota Kinabalu
Kota Kinabalu International Airport: 15mins to city resorts – (Shangri-La’s Tanjung Aru Resort / Sutera Harbour Resort)
45 minutes to beach resorts (Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Resort)

Immigration All visitors must possess a valid passport or other internationally recognised document with a minimum validity period of 6 months beyond the period of intended stay.
British nationals don’t need a visa to visit Malaysia. You will normally be given permission to stay for 3 months on arrival. Visas for longer stays or for non-tourist purposes must be obtained from the nearest Malaysian diplomatic mission before you travel.
If you’re travelling between Peninsular Malaysia and East Malaysia (sometimes known as Malaysian Borneo and comprising the states of Sabah and Sarawak) you will need to carry your passport.

For further advice contact the Malaysian Embassy in the UK as follows:

Malaysian Embassy
45-46 Belgrave Square

Tel: 020 7235 8033 (switchboard) / Fax: 020 7235 5161
Malaysian Embassy (London) Website:

Business hours for all immigration and visa enquiries:-
Monday to Friday
9.00am - 12.00pm Tel: 0207 9190 263 / 287
12.00pm - 3.00pm Tel: 0207 9190 263 / 203 / 262
3.00pm - 5.00pm Tel: 0207 9190 263 / 262

For visa enquiries email

Currency Malaysian Ringgit (RM)
Coins: 5, 10, 20, 50 Sen
Banknotes: RM1, RM5, RM10, RM20, RM50, RM100

Travelers’ cheques and foreign currencies can be changed for Malaysian Ringgit at banks and hotels. However, there are also moneychanger kiosks available at major shopping complexes and airports. Most major hotels charge a nominal fee for currency conversion.

Climate Malaysia enjoys a tropical climate with plenty of sunshine throughout the year. Temperatures typically range from 70 to 90°F (22°C to 33°C) throughout and cooler in the highlands. Humidity is high throughout the year.
Kuala Lumpur has two seasons, the dry season is between May to September and the wet season is between mid-November to March.
Langkawi has the heaviest rainfall between September – mid-November, during which time on average, there are approx two hours of rain per day.
Penang has an equatorial climate. For clear blue skies and less rain, the months of December, January, February and March are usually the best.
Borneo has the heaviest rainfall between November – February. The driest months are between March and October. Much of the rainfall occurs in the late afternoon and even during the rainy season; the mornings are usually filled with sunshine. By their very nature, rainforest areas have a wet climate and it is hot and humid for most of the year.

Local Time GMT +8 hours (Standard Malaysian time)

Electricity The power supply is 240 Volts AC / 50 Hz - power sockets are 3 pin square UK style outlets.

Official Holidays
The actual dates of holidays vary each year because in addition to the universal western calendar, Malaysia also refers to the religious events calendar (dates depending on the religion).

National Holidays
1 Jan - New Year’s Day
Jan or Feb - Chinese New Year
1 May – Labour Day
7 Jun – Agong’s Birthday
Jul – Hari Raya Aidilfitri
31 Aug - National Day
16 Sep – Malaysia Day
Oct - Hari Raya Haji
Oct - Awal Muharram
Early Nov - Deepavali (Festival Of Lights)
25 Dec - Christmas

Religious / State Holidays
14 Jan - Prophet Muhammad's Birthday
17 Jan – Thaipusam
1 Feb – Federal Territory day (KUL, Labuan & Putrajaya)
13 May - Wesak Day
7 Jul – George Town World Heritage City Day (Penang)
15 Jul – Nuzul Al-Quran (Penang)
30 & 31 May – Harvest Festival (State Borneo Holiday)
First Saturday in October – Governor’s Birthday (State Borneo Holiday)

Language Bahasa Malaysia is the national language, although English is widely spoken. Other languages used are Cantonese, Mandarin and Hokkien (Chinese) and Tamil.

Social Customs In Malaysia, people greet each other by saying “selamat datang” (welcome) and by placing their right palm on their left chest, a symbol replacing the handshake. Traditionally, there is no physical contact between Muslim men and women. It is perfectly acceptable for a woman to simply nod upon an introduction rather than offering her hand.

It is also customary to remove shoes before entering a mosque as well as homes. In places of worship, visitors are required to dress modestly. Nude sunbathing is not allowed and is very frowned upon.

Avoid pointing your index finger at others, as this is considered rude in the local custom.

Dress Light and cool comfortable clothing is worn during the day. A jacket is suitable for evening dining in air-conditioned restaurants.

Banking Hours Monday to Friday 9.30am to 3.00pm
Major credit and charge cards (VISA, MasterCard, American Express, Diners Club)are widely accepted in almost all departmental stores, supermarkets, petrol stations and restaurants.

Shopping Shopping centers, supermarkets, restaurants and mini-markets are generally open daily from 10am to 10pm.

Business Hours Monday to Friday from 8am – 1pm and 2pm – 5pm; Saturday from 8am – 1pm

Taxes, Service Charges & Tipping
Currently the Malaysian Government levies taxes on accommodation, beverages, car rental and other services. In Malaysia, the current service charge is 10% and government tax is 6%.

A Goods and Services Tax (GST) will soon be implemented in Malaysia.

Most hotels and restaurants impose a 10% service charge in their bills - food and beverages in cafes, clubs, etc also include service, so tipping is generally not necessary.

Communications Mobile telecommunications cover many parts of Malaysia with the exception of some remote areas.

Dialling codes from United Kingdom
UK to Kuala Lumpur 00 60 3 + local number
UK to Penang 00 60 4 + local number
UK to Kota Kinabalu 00 60 8 + local number

Emergency Numbers
Police / Ambulance Tel: 999 / 112 from a mobile telephone
Fire and Rescue Department (known as Bomba) Tel: 994 / 112 from a mobile telephone
Civil Defence Tel: 991
Tourist Police Hotline Tel: 03 2149 6590
Enquiries Tel: 03 2149 6593
National Poison Centre (University Sains Malaysia, 11800 Penang)
Tel: 04 657 0099 (Monday to Friday 08:00-10:00 and 17:00-22-00)
After hours Tel: 012 430 9499
Toll free: 1 800 888 099

Health & Medical Government hospitals, clinics and dispensaries are available in all town and cities. Information on private medical practitioners and pharmacies is available in the local phone directory. However, people with specific medical needs are advised to carry a good supply of medication.

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