Malaysia is an attractive option for a potential expat. You can work in a vibrant culture, with the climate of the tropics plus all the flora and fauna that comes with it, right on the doorstep of a world-famous bustling city.

Malaysia is a small country that offers a lot to explore. It gives expats a slower pace of life, with low-stress business or job opportunities.

But there is more to getting there than you might think, and there are aspects of living there that need a little bit of forethought. If you have dreams of moving to Malaysia for that expat lifestyle, take a look at our guide to Malaysia so that you aren’t surprised.


The lifestyle

Malaysia is a small country, but it is brimming with opportunity. If you are someone who is bothered by the fact that you were born too late to discover new lands, but too early to discover new planets, you will love Malaysia. The abundance of natural beauty on the country is mostly untouched by man, leaving a lot of beautiful empty spaces to roam and call your own. If you aren’t headed to the bustling capital city of Kuala Lumpur, you could find yourself leaving a small business by the beach for a dip in the clear sea before you head back to your hut.

The locals are very welcoming to foreigners, and it is easy to integrate since the schools teach English as a second language. However, it is a second language, so it would be polite and useful to learn a few phrases Malay. Malay is a diverse language made up of influences of the countries around it, much like its food and culture.

The food

This diversity is reflected in the food of the country, which incorporates equal parts of what the westerners would recognize as “Chinese” and “Indian” spices and foods. But diversity is always a good thing for culinary purposes and allows for the creation of incredible meals like the curried noodles called Laska, Hainanese chicken rice and chili crabs, which are cooked in a gravy with a tomato and chili base. If you really want to try something new try an oyster omelet or even a barbecued stingray.

The practicalities

Malaysia isn’t strict on who they invite into their country, but they do have more jobs available to those with qualifications. Unlike its neighbor, Singapore, it’s a better idea to get a job once you’re there. You can visit on a traveling visa and look for a job while you are there. Malaysia’s unskilled and semi-skilled work is mostly taken up but they are appreciative of people with specialties like teaching, doctors, IT and other industries that could benefit from an Associate’s Degree. Aside from a degree, Malaysia only asks that you speak English, which, to a westerner, makes finding a job simple enough.

On the other hand, living in Malaysia can be very comfortable. The low cost of living means that you can live a good life with western money. It is recommended you rent out an apartment before buying a house, but these apartments in Kuala Lumpur can be serviced, with the price included in the rent, and often offer a range of facilities like gyms, swimming pools and barbecue areas. Search can non bumi buy bumi lot for more information on buying property in Malaysia.

The climate

If you are going to be staying in Malaysia for the business and finance industries, you might want to rethink your wardrobe. The country is one degree north of the equator and therefore has a tropical climate that can get very humid, with frequent rain. If you are used to dark slick suits you might want to swap them out for something lined, and therefore more breathable, with a lighter shade to it. It’s common to always have an umbrella nearby in case you need it, however some relief comes in the form of air conditioning that is set to high in most public settings.

The attractions

Malaysia offers a varied experience with a lot to see. Johar Bahru, Kota Kinabalu, and Melaka offer some of the most beautiful coastal beaches, with white fine sand and clear waters that you will hardly need goggles to explore.

Malaysia’s fusion of manmade and natural attractions come no more apt than the Batu Caves of Gombak, which you can spot by its entrance featuring a 727-step staircase with a 100 ft shining gold statue of Lord Murugan at the base.

In the city, it only makes sense that you visit the Petronas Twin Towers, which are the tallest pair of buildings in the world at 88 storeys high. Dare yourself to walk across the skywalk bridge to see the amazing view of the entire city and possibly beyond.