Malaysia consists of two parts, Peninsular Malaysia and East Malaysia (Malaysian Borneo) divided by the South China Sea. The peninsula is made up of Malay, Indian and Chinese and is mountainous and sparsely populated in the north. It is covered in dense jungle and fringed with white, sandy beaches.
More than 50% of Malaysia comprises of Malaysian Borneo – the jungle-clad northern part of the island of Borneo which is home to remote tribes. It is a unique island with three countries – Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei – all responsible for its governance.
Malaysia is considered to be one of the 17 megadiverse countries in the world because of the biodiversity found here, which you can get up close and personal to through no end of outdoor adventures, including jungle treks, mountain climbing, caving and scuba diving.
Without doubt, Malaysia offers visitors an assortment of experiences - even the food is a mish-mash of cuisines, blendng together harmoniously to create the typical Malaysian style.
Part of the British Empire, Malaysia became independent in 1957, but the country’s governmental and legal structures remain based on the English systems. The religion is not, with Islam being the state religion, but with the Malaysian constitution guaranteeing freedom of religion for followers of other religions.
Even with its array of different landscapes, ethnicities, religions and cuisine, Malaysia has managed to remain one of the most stable and safest countries in Southeast Asia. Welcoming and assimilating diversity into its culture is part of Malaysia’s success, as it continues to be a multi-cultural and multi-ethnic society.
Malaysia is in southeast Asia, sharing a land border with Thailand to the north and maritime borders with Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam, Brunei and The Philippines.
Malaysia, like Thailand, is another forward-thinking southeast Asian country whose facilities are coveted by medical and dental tourists, and it is ranked as one of the world’s health tourism destinations. In fact, one of Malaysia's hospitals was ranked number 1 by one of the medical tourism associations in 2013.
Dentist training is extensive, and very competitive – with five years at dental school and then further years of training to become a specialist, such as an orthodontist (braces) or endodontist (root canals). The Malaysian Dental Council (MDC) is the regulatory body for the profession and every dental practitioner must be registered and are required to obtain an Annual Practicing Certificate in order to practice dentistry legally in the country.
Procedures that are widely available include root canals, dental implants, dental crowns, smile makeovers, dental veneers and dental bridges - all of which are available at a fraction of the cost that you would pay back home. And by booking your dental care in Malaysia, you can combine your treatment with a relaxing holiday abroad.
Malaysia is one of the top five destinations in the world for dental tourism. Boasting high-tech dental clinics, specialities include gum surgery, tooth re-shaping and bridges. The reason why most people consider travelling to Malaysia for their dental treatment is because of the savings that can be made compared to the cost of dental care back home. Take a look at the following price-comparisons to see how much you could save:
Hotel accommodation in Malaysia is available at a wide range of tariffs to suit all pockets. Dorm beds start from as little as AUD $10 a night, right up to five star hotel accommodation for around AUD $290 per night.
There are two peak tourist seasons to consider when booking your dental treatment in Malaysia. The first season runs during December and January, when a lot of tourists like to get away for Christmas and New Year. The second peak season falls between June and August, which coincides with the school holiday season in the Middle East. If you are planning to travel in August, it is recommended that you contact Tourism Malaysia to check when Hari Raya Puasa, the celebration of the end of Ramadan, is due to fall as this holiday varies from year to year.
Malaysia is a predominantly Muslim country, but is very multi-cultural. Sticking to mainland locations is advised but, as with anywhere in the world, there will always be inherent dangers. Vigilance is advised at all times, as is discretion. You should take the usual precautions that you would in any unfamiliar surroundings back home, such as avoiding openly displaying valuables whilst out in public.
The Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade advise that normal security precautions should be undertaken throughout Malaysia overall. However, travel to the coastal region of eastern Sabah should only be undertaken if absolutely essential as there is a high threat of kidnapping in this region, especially on the waterfront and after nightfall.
In 2014, over 570,000 Australian nationals visited Malaysia. Whilst most visits were trouble free, there were isolated reports of petty crime, especially with regards to bag snatching.
Before you travel, ensure that you have taken out comprehensive travel and medical insurance to cover all eventualities.
Many Australians are now choosing to go abroad for their dental care, with Malaysia becoming an increasingly popular destination. The training and qualifications of the dental surgeons here is at least equal to dentists back home. At Dental Departures, all our dentists’ qualifications have been checked, along with any professional memberships and previous experience, and we carry out site visits to ensure that all facilities are modern and fit for purpose.
To help you select the right dentist for your treatment, we have made this information available on our website free of charge, along with useful articles and patient reviews so that you can make an informed decision.
Every clinic on our website has their own warranties and guarantees that cover any work, including lab work on crowns, dentures etc, that is carried out by their dental surgeons.
When you book your treatment through Dental Departures, you get the assurance of knowing that your treatment will be carried out by a quality-checked dentist. In the unlikely event that you should experience any problems during the process, you have the peace of mind to know that we will be on-hand to rectify the issue.
Unfortunately, there is no 100% guarantee of success with any medical or dental procedure, but you can give yourself a good chance of success by ensuring your dentist has the right credentials.
The official, or national, language in Malaysia is Malay, but as the country was part of the British Empire English is widely spoken. English is a compulsory subject in all schools and is the main language spoken in most universities and private colleges. Therefore, English is widely understood by most locals, especially those within professional or service industries.
The official currency in Malaysia is the Ringgit. There are many FOREX booths where you can exchange your home currency into Ringgits. There are generally NO fees or charges for this service. It is therefore recommended that you do not purchase any Malaysian currency until you arrive, as the exchange rate will generally be more favourable in Malaysia than back at home.
Try to ensure that any bank notes you bring with you are in good overall condition as FOREX booths may not accept bank notes that are damaged. You also do not have to present any ID when exchanging currency.
Debit and credit cards are widely accepted, but you may be subjected to a small handling fee, usually 3-4%. Travellers cheques are also acceptable although you may find using an ATM more convenient, providing your home bank do not charge high fees.
(Image by: Bjorn Christian Torrissen)
You should check with your insurance provider to ensure that they will reimburse you before you book any appointments. If they are willing to reimburse you, ensure that you ascertain what documents and paperwork are required as your dentist in Malaysia will need to sign the documentation.
Although not an insurance issue, It is worth considering that you may be eligible to claim medical expenses tax deductions for your dental treatment abroad, potentially saving you even more money.
Although we have treatments available all year round, you may want to schedule your visit based on local weather conditions.The Malaysian climate is tropical, and between October and February the north-east monsoon deluges the east coast in rain, often resulting in flooding. The west coast is generally unaffected by this, but the milder south-west monsoon, from April to October, does affect the west coast. Kuala Lumpur is affected by both monsoons, but the showers tend to be brief although somewhat intense.
Situated close to the equator, warm weather is guaranteed in Malaysia. The temperature generally ranges from 32°C/89.6 ºF at noon, to about 26°C/78.8 ºF at midnight. During the monsoon season, night temperatures could drop to about 23°C/73.4 ºF on rainy days.Highland locations tend to be cooler again, with temperatures ranging from about 17°C/62.6 ºF at night to about 25°C/77 ºF in the day.
The Persons with Disabilities Act (PWDA) was passed by parliament in 2008. The Act is designed to ensure access for disabled people to public facilities, transport and recreation, leisure and sport services. Building by-laws were also amended at this time. It is now compulsory for buildings to provide access and facilities for disabled people. All existing buildings were granted a three year period to complete any necessary modifications.
Navigating around Malaysia can be difficult for someone with disabilities as cracked sidewalks, drain covers and potholes are commonplace on the roads. Pavements are also used as sitting areas, which can cause obstructions for wheelchair users. Some wheelchair accessible buses have been introduced, but many are old and have not been upgraded and are unsuitable for wheelchairs. People with limited mobility may also find that many of the bus and train stations are also not fully accessible.
Disabled travellers may find that the easiest way to get around in Malaysia is by taxi. Some drivers, however, may make an additional charge for accommodating a wheelchair and providing assistance.
For travellers that take regular medication, you are advised to carry a doctors note verifying your medication as Malaysia has very strict anti-narcotic laws. You should also keep your medication in its original packaging.
Crime tends to be limited to offences such as bag snatching and pick-pocketing. Assaults are uncommon but, by avoiding deserted areas, you should be safe.
There are, however, Scratch and Win Scams all over Malaysia. In some cases, victims are told they have won a prize and are asked for an advance payment in order to claim their prize. Quite often the victim will discover that the prizes never existed or were of lower value than they were led to believe..Some crimes in Malaysia are punished with caning. Rape, bribery, vandalism, illegal entry, overstaying your visa, and various other crimes can result in a caning.
To avoid credit card fraud only use your card in reputable shops.
If you are an active, outdoor individual, Malaysia offers many water sport opportunities for you. Scuba diving is popular on the islands off the East Coast of peninsular Malaysia, although the most famous dive site is Sipadan, just off the easternmost tip of Malaysian Borneo. The diving season runs from April to September, and there are also numerous whitewater rafting opportunities available in Malaysia’s many national parks.
There is also a plethora of world class golf courses, such as the Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club and the Mines Resort and Golf Club, both of which have hosted the PGA sanctioned CIMB Classic.
Tours and expeditions are available, ranging from a few days to up to 2 weeks or longer. Depending on how adventurous you’re feeling, you can take a tour that keeps you within safe distance of your hotel, or go on a jungle trek with just yourself and a guide! Alternatively, you can escape from the tropical heat by heading up to the cooler highlands of West Malaysia or Mount Kinabalu.
If you are holidaying with the children then you may want to visit one of the many zoos that can be found throughout Malaysia, the most famous being Taiping Zoo and Kuala Lumpur’s Zoo Negara. If you prefer the urban atmosphere, Kuala Lumpur boasts a modern skyline which includes the Petronas Twin Towers, or Ipoh might be your preference if you want to experience colonial-era buildings dating back up to 100 years.
There is a fusion of cuisine throughout Malaysia with Indian, Chinese and Malay influences evident wherever you look. There are a whole host of regional specialities to be explored, with many towns and villages having their own signature dishes. And of course, for the less adventurous, there are an abundance of food courts located in shopping malls that provide both local delicacies as well the more recognisable franchised food chains such as Pizza Hut, KFC and McDonalds!
(Image by: Wikimedia Commons)
The majority of international flights land at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA). However, some low cost airlines land 20km away from the main KLIA terminal, at Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (KLIA@2), and a road transfer is required to reach the main terminal.
Budget carrier AirAsia operate a wide range of affordable flight deals as the only practical means of traveling between Malaysia and Borneo is by air. There are many local airports that benefit from this service, including Penang, Subang, Pangkor, Redang and Tioman.
State operator Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (KTMB) provide a cheap and dependable service around Peninsular Malaysia. Butterworth (near Penang), Ipoh, Kuala Lumpur and Johor Bahru are connected by the main western line, whilst Gua Musang and the Taman Negara National Park to Kota Bharu near the Thai border and the Perhentian Islands, are connected by the eastern line.
You will be eligible to drive in Malaysia providing you possess a full driver’s licence that is valid in your home country. There is an excellent highway network in Malaysia, although tolls are payable on expressways. The West coast highways are more developed than the East coast, and travel is therefore quicker along the West coast. Outside of towns, cars and motorcycles are the most effective method of getting around, with motorcycle and scooter hire available for as little as AUD $9 per day.
There are taxis readily available in all large towns and cities, but you may have to agree a fee before you commence your journey. In Kuala Lumpur, there are budget taxis that can be flagged down. These are either Red and White or Yellow and are metered. They are not licenced to travel outside of the city. There are also Blue taxis available at taxi stands all over Kuala Lumpur, including the major hotels & malls. These tend to be larger saloon vehicles and are more luxurious than the city cabs, hence why they cost 25-30% more than the budget taxis.
This is the cheapest way to navigate around Malaysia, with all towns having a bus terminus offering connections to other parts of the country. The two largest operators are Transnasional and NICE/Plusliner. If travelling long-distance, we recommend booking in advance on a 24-seater "luxury" bus with air-conditioning.
Nationals of the United States, Canada, the UK, Australia and New Zealand are allowed to stay in Malaysia for up to 90 days with no visa.
New York, 9433 miles, 20 hoursLos Angeles, 8800 miles, 17.5 hoursMontreal, 9100, 28.75 hoursSydney, 4090, 8.25 hoursAuckland, 5425, 11 hoursLondon, 6590, 13.75 hours
To book your appointment with one of our dentists in Malaysia call our Toll-Free number now or, alternatively, book online. Check out our website to find the right dentist for you. Read our patient reviews online and view clinics with virtual tours and high resolution photos. For high-quality dental care in Malaysia at low prices - book with Dental Departures now.
(Main Image by: Nick Labushko)