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People of Malaysia

The malaysian people is normally quite shy and withdrawn. They will normally let you go about your business without interferring. (That includes no salesmen trying to sell you something you dont want on the streets, not many trying to persuade you to eat dinner at their restaurants etc)

You need to remember that pointing with your index finger is rude. The malaysians use their knuckle and thumb to point.

Greeting the malaysians is a handshake and then you put your hand over your heart.2015-02-12 13.02.12

Kids will wave and say ”Hello” to you as you walk by. They learn english in school and want to practice talking if you give them time to do so.

Langkawi 1408 080

They might sit down by your table when you eat at a restaurant and that is a very normal thing to do. If you talk, or dont, it doesnt matter really.

The malaysian people are curious and they will ask you questions. Who you are, where you come from and what you think of their country. The really want to know. If you stay a longer time you will experience that they have no issue with asking personal questions. If they dont speak english they will ask your company (if they speak malay) in front of you (I actually find this a bit rude.) This is just their curiousity and they do not consider it rude at all.

You can on the other hand feel free to ask them about their culture, heritage and religion without prejudice. They will answer to their knowledge and very openly.

If you ask them something they dont know (or if the answer is no) they will shrug and simply not answer, maybe even walk away, hoping you will ask someone else.

They will probably call you boss, it is generally easier than to remember your name. This is normal and nothing specifically for tourists (Masale) but they do it to fellow malaysians too.

If you want to insult a malaysian you tell them that their food sucks. Malaysians love their food and are proud of it. They think, dream and enjoy food. They can take a road trip just to enjoy that special nasi lemak that was so good. But why would you willingly insult a malaysian? (Or anybody.)

When saying thank you (terima kasih) it really means ”from my heart”. Correct response issama-sama”.


If you have a complaint always take it up with a supervisor or management. To be scolded in public is a the ultimate humiliation for malaysians.

Always take off your shoes before entering someones house.

The Malaysian people are friendly and welcoming and I like them a lot!

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    The 14 weeks trip we did together 2011 -2012 inspired one of us to start living in Langkawi, Malaysia. Now this blog is filled with tips ans tricks on whet to do & see & eat in SE asia. It grows as I travel. Of course the focus lies in Langkawi and the endless activities that lays befor a visitor here. I have lived here for a year, please contact me if you want further information on Langkawi.
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