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Located in Southeast Asia, Malaysia is composed of two regions that are separated by the South China Sea: Peninsular Malaysia (West Malaysia) that occupies the southern half of the Malay Peninsula and East Malaysia, which is situated on the island of Borneo. The country is known as one of the gems of Southeast Asia. The tourism sector of the nation has continued to exhibit positive growth each year. In 2019, around 20 million international visitors came to the country. Its relaxed and friendly people, diverse culture, gorgeous scenery, and ultra-modern cities have made it one of the most attractive holiday destinations in Asia.
In the last few years, Malaysia has also become an appealing destination for expats around the world. Many expats relocate to this country due to its earning opportunities, cost of living, strong economy, highly developed infrastructure, and amazing weather.
Malaysia consists of thirteen states and three federal territories. The federal territory of Kuala Lumpur (often referred to as KL) is the capital of the country. It ranks as the sixth most-visited city in the world, welcoming approximately 13.79 million people in 2018. It is easy to see why KL is very popular among international visitors. A big part of the city’s allure is its cultural diversity, which makes it a unique and interesting city to visit. Its mix of Malay, Chinese, and Indian influence also means that the city is the perfect destination for culinary exploration. Besides its diverse culture, there are also numerous interesting sights in Kuala Lumpur that visitors can enjoy, such as the Petronas Twin Towers, Menara KL Tower, and the Perdana Botanical Garden.
Penang is another popular destination in Malaysia. It houses the colonial city of Georgetown, which is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It also has excellent museums, historic buildings, a seaside fort, and delicious street food. In fact, Penang is considered as one of the best places in Southeast Asia to try delicious street food.
Those who want to enjoy Malaysia’s beaches usually go to Perhentian Islands. These islands have fine-sand beaches, excellent diving, and snorkeling spots, as well as a vibrant nightlife. For visitors who are curious about Malaysia’s rainforests and wildlife, the Malaysian part of Borneo is unmissable. This part of the country is divided into two states: Sabah in the north and Sarawak in the south.
Apartments in Malaysia are defined as moderate quality multi-storied residential property that provides basic communal amenities, such as swimming pools, playgrounds, gyms, landscaping, and multi-level parking. Apartments in the country are also gated and guarded by security.
In terms of unit types, renters have the choice between a studio room, one- to three-bedroom, and, in some of the more upscale apartments, penthouses. The average apartment unit in Malaysia has two to three bedrooms, with 2 bathrooms, and a designated parking space. Studio rooms come with only one room that acts as the bedroom, kitchen/dining room, and living room, while penthouses are the biggest unit type, offering more space and luxurious features.
There are also serviced apartments in the country. These are usually more luxurious than regular apartments. They come with housekeeping facilities, bellboy services, room service, and many more services, just like a hotel.
Like most other countries in Southeast Asia, Malaysia offers a low cost of living. Foreigners can benefit from affordable accommodation and a reasonable cost of transportation and food. The cost of living is approximately 40% lower than in the United States. With around 10,000 MYR (about 2,500 USD), most foreigners can live comfortably.
Malaysian Ringgit is the official currency of Malaysia, and 1 USD will get you around 4.22 MYR. ATMs that accept international cards are widespread, and credit and debit cards are accepted in most established hotels and restaurants.
Most foreigners do not have any problem adjusting to the local culture and blending in with the local people because of the country’s variety of cultures, and the welcoming nature of its people. While there are 137 languages spoken in the country, Malaysian Malay is the official language and English is widely spoken in the country, particularly in the service industries. Besides Malay and English, Chinese and Tamil are also widely spoken in Malaysia.
Islam is the largest and official religion of Malaysia, with more than 61% of the population adhere to this religion. However, the Malaysian Constitution protects freedom of religion for its people. The second-largest religion in the country is Buddhism, followed by Christianity, Hinduism, and Chinese Religions.
Due to Malaysia’s geographical location and its proximity to the equator, those who live in the country can enjoy tropical weather. This means that it is warm and humid all year round, with an average temperature of 20°C to 30°C. Malaysia experiences two seasons: dry and wet season. From April to October, the west coast experience wet season and the east coast experience the dry season. From November to February, the east coast experience the wet season and the west coast experience the dry season.
There are many visa options for foreigners to live in Malaysia for an extended period of time. The options are MM2H (Malaysia My 2nd Home), Multiple Entry Visa, or Permanent Residency Permit. Each of these visa types has different requirements.