About Malaysia and KL
A Truly Asian Welcome
More than any other place in the world, Malaysia offers an eclectic mix of cultures, wonders and attractions. Home to centuries of rich cultural history spanning multiple nationalities and religions, this diversity extends to the landscape.
Feel the rhythm of vivacious cities and serene countryside. Marvel at centuries-old rainforests and caves, idyllic beaches and colorful reefs. Savor mouth-watering culinary specialties, from spicy to sweet to exotic. Bask in the fragrance of stunning flora and pure, invigorating air. Enjoy the warm hospitality of the friendly and engaging Malaysians.
Kuala Lumpur brings together Malaysia's past and present, as characterized by the sight of the evocative British colonial buildings in the midst of the city’s bustling streets and its shining, modern office towers. One of Southeast Asia’s most impressive and energetic capitals, the city has grown over the course of the last century from a sleepy tin mining colony to a glittering global cosmopolitan, symbolized by the iconic thrust of the ultra-tall Petronas Twin Towers.
Home to some of Southeast Asia’s biggest and most prestigious shopping malls, it is a popular shopping destination for locals and international visitors alike. Kuala Lumpur is a city full of wonderful sights, lively neighborhoods, magnificent architecture and rich culture. Radiant with color and throbbing with life, the Malaysian people invite participants and visitors for the 2014 Toastmasters International Convention to partake in an incomparable Asian feast for the senses.
History of Kuala Lumpur
Kuala Lumpur came into existence in 1857, when a group of Chinese prospectors arrived in search of tin. They set up camp at the meeting point of the Klang and Gombak rivers — and named that spot Kuala Lumpur, meaning “muddy confluence.” It soon emerged as a tin-mining boomtown.
Kuala Lumpur became the federal capital of Malaysia in 1948. Malaysia gained its independence from Britain in 1957. The city officially became the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur in 1974.
KL has endured civic adversity over the years, but the people are known for their determination to overcome hardship. The city now flourishes as a popular tourist destination. Most of Kuala Lumpur’s economic prosperity comes from international trade and commerce.
Malaysia is divided into 13 states and 3 federal territories, separated by the South China Sea with 11 states and 2 federal territories (Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya) in Peninsular Malaysia and two states and 1federal territory (Labuan) in East Malaysia. The capital city of Malaysia is Kuala Lumpur. Bahasa Malaysia (Malay) is the national language but English is widely spoken. Malaysians also speak various languages and dialects.
Malaysia has a tropical climate and the weather is warm all year around. Temperatures range from 21'C (70'F) to 32'C (90'F) and the annual rainfall varies from 2,000mm to 2,500mm.
Islam is the official religion but other religions are practiced freely. Shoes must be removed when entering places of worship such as mosques and temples. Some mosques provide robes and scarves for female visitors. Taking photographs at places of worship is usually permitted but request for permission first.
Entering the Country
Visitors to Malaysia must be in possession of a valid passport or travel document with a minimum validity of six months beyond the period of stay. Citizens of most countries do not require visas for social or business visits.
Immigration and Visa Information
To find out if you need to apply for a visa please review the following links: Visa requirements by country: Immigration Department of Malaysia. If you require a visa, applications must be made at your nearest Malaysian Representative Office Abroad.
The unit of currency is the Malaysian Ringgit, which is indicated as RM. Foreign currencies can be converted at banks and money changers. Travellers are advised to bring a combination of traveller's cheques, cash and credit cards. Credit cards are widely used in larger shopping establishments and hotels. Smaller establishments accept transactions in cash only. Those embarking on an island trip are advised to make prior financial arrangements on the mainland. Foreign currency can be exchanged in banks, airports and money changers around the country. Banking hours are from 9:30 am to 4 pm on weekdays. Banks in the states of Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu operate from 9:30 am to 4 pm from Saturdays to Wednesdays.
Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) is Malaysia’s main International. It is about 37 miles/46 kilometers, or about a 45 minute drive to the Kuala Lumpur city center. Detailed information regarding airport ground transportation will be available soon so please check www.toastmasters.org/convention for updated information.
We are excited to be partnering with oneworld®, the official airline alliance the Toastmasters International Convention! The oneworld® alliance includes some of the world's leading airlines and around 30 affiliated carriers. Click here to book your airline ticket or visit https://events.oneworld.com and select Attendee and enter event code OW72A13.
Detailed information regarding Hotel Reservations will be available in mid-February. Please check www.toastmasters.org/convention for updated information.
Bahasa Malaysia (Malay) is the national language but English is widely spoken.
Health Information for Travelers
For questions about vaccinations and traveling to Malaysia, please visit wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/malaysia.
The voltage used throughout Malaysia is 220-240 volts A/C, at 50 cycles per second. Standard 3-pin square plugs and sockets are used.
Weights and Measures
In Malaysia, the Metric system is used in weights and measures.
Malaysia is linked nationally and internationally by telephone, facsimile, telegraph, telex and via the Internet. Most hotels provide International Direct Dial (IDD) telephone services. In cities and towns, public phones are available at high-traffic areas, such as bus stations, shopping complexes and office buildings, using coins or phone cards.
Most hotels and restaurants levy a 10% service charge and 6% government sales tax on bills. Therefore, tipping is not customary. However, should you want to show your appreciation for good services, a small tip will do.