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Written by Aiswarya Giridharan on March 3, 2022 Share on

Malaysia reopens for tourism: What you need to know

After the pandemic caused a long pause in the tourism industry, countries around the world are finally starting to open up to international tourism — and Malaysia is no exception.

Thanks to a massive vaccine rollout (more than 75% of the population has been fully vaccinated) and improved health and safety conditions, Malaysia is set to reopen to international visitors

The country is already taking notes from other Asian countries that have already reopened, including Vietnam, the Philippines, and Thailand and crafting their own grand reopening plan.

Former Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, who chairs the council tasked with leading the country’s economic recovery program, noted that the tourism industry is recovering too slowly without foreigners. To that extent, the Malaysian government noted that tourism operators are almost ready to resume business after nearly two years of shutdown.

What should tourists expect when planning their trip to Malaysia? This article has everything you need to know, including the new entry requirements, what a post-pandemic trip will look like, and even the best places to visit in Malaysia. 

Entry conditions to Malaysia: the new requirements you need to know

Although the entry rules and the exact opening date of Malaysia have not yet been determined, some prerequisite information is already available. 

When Malaysia reopens, basic security measures against COVID-19, such as needing a negative test to enter the country, will remain in place. Those who are planning a trip to Malaysia will need to have a negative COVID-19 test before boarding their flight and may be required to test again upon arrival. 

In a move similar to other neighboring countries, Malaysia may also require all arrivals to have proper travel insurance in order to ensure a safe and healthy trip. 

Travelers who are already planning their holidays to Malaysia should keep an eye on the news, as it is reported that the country may open as early as March or April. This is just in time for peak tourist season, which runs from May through August. 

Malaysia’s reopening is an important step for rebuilding the country’s economy, as nearly 10% of its GDP is reliant on tourism. Many businesses, including hotels, restaurants, cafes, and tourist attractions are already getting ready to welcome back visitors and kickstart their recovery. 

The majority of tourists visiting Malaysia are from neighboring countries. The biggest amount of foreign arrivals come from Singapore, with more than 10 million tourists visiting Malaysia in 2019, followed by Indonesia, China, Thailand, Brunei, and India. A large chunk of tourism is also influenced by the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, and South Korea. 

Why visit Malaysia: What to see and do

Although a trip to Malaysia sounds like an exciting journey, many travelers may be stuck deciding on where to go, what to do, and what to see. Be sure to check out some of the following places and add them to your itinerary!

Malaysia has a huge range of things to do, and no matter what your interests are, you will definitely find something here. 

Fans of busy cities, technology, and modern infrastructure should start at the capital, Kuala Lumpur. In Kuala Lumpur, you can see the Petronas Twin Towers, which, at 452 meters in height, are the tallest twin buildings in the world! Be sure to stop by the observation deck to enjoy a panoramic view of the city.

Those who love to shop will also find themselves at home in Kuala Lumpur, as the city has hundreds of shopping malls, boutique stores, and pop-up shops. 

Not far from Kuala Lumpur’s city center are the Batu Caves, where you can learn more about magnificent Hindu art and hike up the colorful stairs. 

Those who seek incredible views of nature will surely fall in love with Malaysia. The country has plenty of epic waterfalls, jungles, national parks with orangutans and other tropical animals, and so much more. 

In fact, if you love animals, be sure to visit the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Center, where rescued and orphaned monkeys are rehabilitated and taken care of. Visitors can learn all about these sweet creatures and observe them in their natural habitats.

For those who need a beach holiday, Malaysia has over 800 islands to choose from. The archipelago in the Andaman Sea is one of the most beautiful sea destinations in the world and is a major draw for tourists who are looking for sun, sand, and surf. 

Last but certainly not least, thanks to the rich history and unique mixing of cultures, there is a huge selection of gastronomic delights up for grabs. Travelers can enjoy local Malay food, as well as Chinese, Indian, and European cuisines — a true delight for foodies!

Overall, Malaysia is known for its incredibly beautiful natural beauty, white-sand beaches, crystal clear waters, and lush rainforests, so it’s no wonder why many travelers are celebrating the country’s reopening.