What To Wear In Malaysia
To sum it up - Casual & relaxed but modest
- Kuala Lumpur is a cosmopolitan city where there is no particular dress code and where you will find all fashions.
- In keeping with many Muslim countries you will find that people in the capital city and other major towns are used to foreigners, and are therefore likely to be more tolerant and more liberal.
- However, away from the tourist areas the population are more traditional and rigid so please be sure to cover your shoulders, stomach, hips and bare legs.
- It is also hot and humid so we suggest that lightweight clothes in natural fibres (linen, silk or cotton) will be more comfortable.
- Rain is frequent, so lightweight clothes will also dry more quickly.
- T-shirts and shorts are perfectly acceptable, but avoid skimpy or revealing clothes or you will get unwanted attention.
- Hotels, restaurants and shopping malls are usually air conditioned and at times this can be pretty fierce so be sure to tuck a shawl or pashmina into your day pack.
- If staying in a smart Kuala Lumpur hotel you may prefer a smarter outfit for dinner if you want to fit in with your surroundings. And check the hotel facilities too - if there is a gym and/or pool you may want to take your fitness or swimming gear.
- Langkawi is casual all the way and flip flops with beachwear and a sarong is the norm. However, there are some smart restaurants worth dressing up for.
- The rainfall is greater from March to April and October - December, so be sure to pack a lightweight raincoat.
- If you plan on visiting religious sites please do cover up - absolutely no skimpy or revealing clothes, and cover your legs and shoulders - again your pashmina or a wrap can come in handy.
- If you are visiting on business, then trouser suits are acceptable for women.
- Don’t drink or even brush your teeth in tap water. Consider taking a waterstraw water purifier or safe water drinking bottle.
- Look after your mobile phone with a phone bunjee - this elasticated strap will secure it to your bag or pocket, so you don't need to worry about dropping it anywhere.
- Stay healthy on your trip - travellers' diarrhoea can affect as many as 50% of people travelling abroad. We've tried and recommend Bimuno Travel Aid pastilles to help support your digestive health. And WhatToWearOnHoliday readers can claim a great 10% discount on Bimuno using code WHBIMUA at their checkout.
From Our Shop
Great products to pack for a holiday in Malaysia:
See all shopping recommendations for Malaysia >
Super-light trolley rucksack for maximum carry on luggage more >