Here’s some exciting news coming from Malaysia! Weeks after Thailand and Sri Lanka, Malaysia is all set to grant a 30-day visa-free entry for Indian and Chinese citizens from December 1, 2023. The visa-free entry has a window of 30 days. The move is expected to promote tourism in the country. So, it’s a good idea to plan your winter vacation here!
However, the visa exemption was subject to top security screening. If somebody has a criminal record then they will be denied entry into the country. The 30-day visa-free entry is also currently enjoyed by eight Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries. This has been granted for the purpose of social visits, tourism, and business.
Presently, 19 countries around the world are offering visa-free entry to Indians. At least 26 countries require visa-on-arrival. Last month. Thailand had granted a visa waiver to tourists from India and Taiwan for 6 months. This facility has been extended from 19 November 2023 to 10 May 2024. Similarly, Sri Lanka had announced the visa-free entry till 31 March 2024.
Trade Ties between Malaysia & India
India has good trade relations with Malaysia. India is Malaysia’s fifth-largest trading partner. In fact, the number of tourists from Malaysia visiting India has increased steadily. There are 158 weekly flights between the two countries.
India remains to be among the top countries to contribute tourist arrivals to Malaysia. In the first quarter of 2023, Malaysia received as many as 1,64,566 Indian tourists compared to 13,370 in the same period last year, according to data from Tourism Malaysia. The relations between Malaysia and India have been traditionally good and the Malaysian Prime Minister is expected to visit India next year.
Indian Diaspora in Malaysia
The Indian community is present in substantial numbers in Malaysia. Most of the Indians speak Tamil in Malaysia but there are Indians from other states like Punjab, Odisha, and Gujarat. The Indian diaspora in Malaysia holds a significant cultural and historical presence, tracing back centuries.
Indians are mainly from Tamil, Telugu, and Malayalee communities. They are a vibrant part of Malaysia’s multicultural society. Although contributing to Malaysia’s diversity, Malaysian Indians have preserved their traditions through festivals, dance, and cuisine. This is especially true of the Diwali festival which is widely celebrated. Little India neighborhoods in Malaysia showcase their cultural ethos at festivals.
The Indian community has also made significant contributions to business, education, and politics. It has become a core of Malaysia’s social fabric with its cultural heritage, thus becoming an inseparable part of the nation’s narrative of unity in diversity.
Best Places to Visit in Malaysia
Malaysia is a vibrant Southeast Asian nation. It has a rich culture, beautiful landscapes, and ultramodern attractions too! Here are five must-visit places with some really exciting things to do:
1. Kuala Lumpur
Kuala Lumpur is a bustling capital known for its exquisite Petronas Towers. It’s a good idea to visit the towers for scenic views and explore the vibrant street culture of Bukit Bintang. Tourists can also pay obeisance at the Batu Caves. It is a Hindu shrine set in limestone caves. The Islamic Arts Museum is also impressive for its modern architecture.
This island is a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is well-known for its historic architecture and vibrant street art. Travelers can visit George Town to explore majestic colonial buildings, and street markets, and enjoy scrumptious street food. If nature appeals to you, it’s a good idea to climb Penang Hill for breathtaking views. You can also relax on the sandy shores of Batu Ferringhi.
Langkawi is a tropical paradise, an archipelago of 99 islands. You can easily relax on white scenic beaches or take a cable car ride for panoramic island views. Don’t forget to explore the SkyBridge. Avid nature lovers can also visit Kilim Karst Geoforest Park for mangrove tours and eagle watching.
Malacca is a UNESCO World Heritage city. It has Dutch, Portuguese, and British influences on its vibrant culture. You can stroll through Jonker Street for some antique shopping. If forts and museums are your thing, visit the Famosa fortress, and explore the Baba Nyonya Heritage Museum. Tourists can also enjoy a river cruise to admire the city’s architecture.
If lush green rainforests and amazing wildlife interest you, Sabah in Malaysian Borneo is a must-visit. You can also trek to Mount Kinabalu, Southeast Asia’s highest peak. Try and explore Kinabalu Park’s biodiversity. Tourists will also appreciate Malaysia’s efforts at conservation by visiting the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre.
Now that Malaysia has come up with a visa waiver for Indians, you can definitely plan your winter vacation in Malaysia. From bustling cities to scenic natural wonders, Malaysia won’t disappoint you. So, whether you are interested in cultural ethos, adventure, or relaxation, Malaysia offers a diverse range of experiences for everyone.
No, Indians do not need a visa to travel to Malaysia according to the latest foreign policy announcement by the Malaysian government. This visa waiver is only applicable from 1 December 2023 for 30 days.
The best time to visit Malaysia is between February and September.
90 days is the duration if you want to stay in Malaysia without a visa.
The total cost range for a budget traveler who wants a 2-night, 3-day trip to Malaysia can be between $100 to $255. This includes accommodation, transport, food, and some sightseeing activities.
Air is the best way to reach Malaysia. The Malaysian airlines offer a low-cost flight to Kuala Lumpur for the budget traveler. There are three important airports in Malaysia– Senai International Airport, Kota Kinabalu International Airport, and Kuala Lumpur International Airport.