Practical Information

Climate and Clothing

Kuala Lumpur enjoys a tropical equatorial climate, hot and humid all year with temperatures between 22°C and 33°C (72°F -91ºF). Frequent downpours briefly punctuate humidity levels of around 90%. Rainfall in December is average, but mild flash flooding is possible. Due to the hot climate a variety of cotton clothing such as loose, cotton trousers, blouses, or other lightweight clothing is recommended. A sweater or cardigan is useful for when the temperature drops in the evening or in the hotel when the air conditioning might be strong. It is important to dress appropriately by avoiding wearing clothing that may be considered revealing. All types of beachwear including bikinis are acceptable but only on the beach or by the pool. Visit www.weather.com in order to have details on the current weather.

Communication

To make international calls to Kuala Lumpur use the international code +60 plus the city code (3) and the correspondent’s number.

Currency/Credit/Charge Cards/Banks

The unit of currency is the Malaysian Ringgit (MYR or RM). A currency calculator can be found online at www.xe.com. Major cards are widely accepted by establishments in Kuala Lumpur. Foreign currencies can be converted at banks and money changers. Please check the commission rate before exchanging money at currency exchange facilities not run by commercial banks. Generally, banks open from Monday to Friday, from 09:30 to 16:30. Some banks are opened on Saturday. Major credit cards are accepted in most establishments, but beware of illegal surcharges.

Electricity

In Kuala Lumpur, the electric current is 220-240 volts AC, 50 cycles per second (British BS-1363), and power plugs are three-pin, square-shaped. On request, most hotels will provide transformers to visitors with electrical appliances of a different voltage. However, it is advisable to bring an adaptor and transformer for your electrical or electronic equipment using different voltage.

Emergency

In case of an emergency - dial (the call is free within Kuala Lumpur):

Ambulance: 999
Police: 999
Fire:  994

Government Tax
As of 2011, Malaysia revised their government tax to 6% and will apply to most goods and services.

Gratuities

In Kuala Lumpur tipping is not necessary. The more expensive hotels and restaurants add a 10% service charge to their bills. While tipping is not expected, it is appreciated when there is no service charge, or where excellent service is encountered.

Language

Bahasa Melayu (Malay) is the national language. Other major languages spoken are Mandarin, Tamil and English. English is the language of business and administration, and is widely spoken and understood.

Pharmacies

Pharmacies are readily available at supermarkets, department stores, hotels and shopping centres. Prescription medicines can be purchased from registered pharmacists that generally work Monday to Saturday from 09:00 to 21:00. A 24-hour pharmacy service is provided on a rota basis. A surcharge is payable on medicine purchased outside normal opening hours (on-call pharmacies).

Religious Services

Though Islam is the official religion of the country, the wide acceptance and practice of a variety of other religions reflects a sense of multi-culturalism.

Safety

Personal safety and security are becoming critical concerns of international travelers. The situation in Kuala Lumpur is calm, stable and safe to visit. Enhanced security measures at key installations and other sensitive places ensure that Kuala Lumpur continues to remain safe. However, as in any city, be aware of your surroundings and belongings.

Smoking Restrictions

Smoking is not permitted in hospitals/clinics, airports, public lifts and toilets, air-conditioned restaurants, public transport, government premises, educational institutions, petrol stations, Internet cafes, shopping complexes and private office spaces with central air-conditioning.

Taxis

In Kuala Lumpur, taxis can be flagged down 24 hours a day on most roads or at taxi-stands. Be sure the driver will use the meter before getting in the taxi. You can also book in advance by calling or going online. Check the fixed rates depending on the zone. You can also pre-purchase tickets at taxi stands to get the best rates. Visit www.klia-taxi.com/index.html for more information. 

Time

Kuala Lumpur is UTC/GMT + 8.

Visa and Letter of Attestation

Participants are strongly advised to make sure they fulfill all legal requirements to enter Malaysia. Besides a valid passport, an entry visa may also be required. Please visit the official website of the Immigration Department of Malaysia http://www.imi.gov.my/index.php/en/main-services/visa to find out whether, depending on your citizenship, country of long-term residence, and the duration and reasons for your stay, you need a visa to enter Malaysia.

It is highly recommended to start the process a minimum of 2 ½ months prior to your arrival. Please contact your nearest Malaysian consulate or embassy in your country of residence for further information.

Attestation letters to assist in visa formalities are designed to help overcome administrative difficulties in certain countries. It must be understood that such letters do not imply any financial support or hosting arrangement from IOF, nor a guarantee of a visa being issued. The attestation letter to assist in visa formalities will only be sent on request and only to participants who have paid their registration fees in full.

Should you wish to receive a letter, please note that your request must be registered as early as possible by filling in the appropriate fields in the on-line registration form before October 1, 2012 in case it has not been requested at the time of registration.

Tourist Information

Kuala Lumpur, this vibrant capital of Malaysia is just waiting to be explored by inquisitive visitors. For more information on the city’s attractions, please visit the Kuala Lumpur On-Line Guide or the Malaysia Tourism Website:
www.myceb.com.my
http://www.tourism.gov.my/intl_en/places/state_list/kl