Before you travel

Anyone in full-time education Is entitled to an International Student Identity Care (ISIC).These are issued by student travel offices and travel agencies across the world and offer special rates on all forms of transport and other concessions and services The ISIC head office is: ISIC Association, Box 9048, 1000 Copenhagen, Denmark T45-33939303.

Duty-free allowance 200 cigarettes, 50 cigars or 250g of tobacco and one litre of liquor or wine. Cameras, watches, pens, lighters, cosmetics, perfumes, portable radio/cassette players are also duty-free in Malaysia. Visitors bringing in dutiable goods such as video equipment may have to pay a refundable deposit for temporary, importation. It is advisable to carry receipt of purchases to avoid this problem.

Export restrictions Export permits are required for arms, ammunition, explosives animals and plants, gold, platinum, precious stones and jewellery (except reasonable personal effects), poisons, drugs, motor vehicles. Unlike Singapore, export permits are also required for antiques (from the Director General of Museums, Muzium Negara Kuala Lumpur).

A certificate of vaccination for yellow fever is necessary for those coming from endemic zones except for children under one year of age.

What to take
Travellers usually take too much. Almost everything is available in the main towns and cities -and often at a lower price than in the West. Remoter areas are inevitably less well supplied.

Suitcases are not appropriate if you are intending to travel overland by bus A backpack, or even better a travel pack {where the straps can be zipped out of sight) recommended. Travel packs have the advantage of being hybrid backpacks-suitcase they can be carried on the back for easy porterage, but they can also be taken into hotels without the owner being labelled a 'hippy: NB For serious hikers, a backpack with an internal frame is stiff by far the best option for longer treks.

In terms of clothing, dress in Southeast Asia is relatively casual - even at formal functions. Suits are not necessary except in a few of the most expensive restaurant However, although formal attire may be the exception, dressing tidily is the norm. Women particularly should note that in many areas of Malaysia and Brunei, the should avoid offending Muslim sensibilities and dress 'demurely (ie keep shoulders covered and wear below-knee skirts or trousers). This is particularly true on the east coast of the Peninsula, especially in Kelantan, but does not generally apply in most beach resorts.

There is a tendency, rather than to take inappropriate articles of clothing, to ta. - too many of the same article. Laundry services are cheap, and the turn-around rapid.

Checklist Bumbag, earplugs, first aid kit, insect repellent and/or electric mosquito mats, coils, international driving licence, passports (valid for at least 6 month photocopies of essential documents, short-wave radio, spare passport photographs sun protection, sunglasses, Swiss Army knife, torch, umbrella, wet wipes, zip-lock bags.

Those intending to stay in budget accommodation might also include: cotton sheet sleeping bag, money belt, padlock (for hotel room and pack),soap, student car toilet paper, towel, travel wash.
For women travellers: a supply of tampons (although these are available in most towns), a wedding ring for single female travellers who might want to help ward off the attentions of amorous admirers.

Unlike Indonesia and Thailand, camping grounds do exist pretty widely in Malays - both in Peninsular Malaysia and in Sabah and Sarawak. lf intending to camp, then the usual equipment is necessary. a tent, stave, cooking utensils, sleeping bag etc

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