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What clothes to pack

Chester, United...
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What clothes to pack

Hi,

My husband and I are going to Malayia for the first time in about four weeks. We are staying in KL 4 nights and Penang 10 nights.

Just wondered what sort of weather we can expect so I know what to pack. Have been watching weather forecasts and they all seem to say rain. Is this likely to be rain all day or just a quick downpour?

Also, we really want to visit some of the temples and mosques. I know that I will have to dress modestly (cover shoulders and no short skirts) but do I have to cover my hair also?

Thanks

Georgetown, Penang
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1. Re: What clothes to pack

donna,

I am sure you are going to enjoy Malaysia.

Weather reports nearly always say it could rain, but that is exactly what they mean - it COULD rain. If it does rain when you are there it is going to probably be the usual heavy shower for maybe half an hour or so, then it dries up and the sun comes out again. I would not worry about it, it will not spoil your trip.

There are some great places to visit in Georgetown, a god way to do this is by trishaw. You'll see these once you get into the town. They will take you on a tour, the charge should be about RM30 per hour. Its not bad value.

As for dress in the temples and mosques, you can wear a blouse with jeans or a skirt. They don't expect you to cover your hair.

Don't forget to leave your shoes outside.

There is one temple that is an absolute must - Kek Lok Si - you can take a taxi or a bus from Georgetown over to Air Itam, it is the bigest and maybe the best in Penang. The Burmese temple is also good, that one is in Georgetown.

Melaka, Malaysia
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2. Re: What clothes to pack

Hi Donna,

KL and Penang do not have obvious dry or rainny seasons. KL is more rainy as it is situated in a valley where the rain forrest in long mountain range (Titiwangsa Mountain Range) in the east of the city supplies the regular afternoon rain from vapour condensation. Hence, the name rain forest. Rain usually doesn't last longer than 1 hour. Drizzle may go on for a bit longer.

With the weather change around the world, it could rain daily on and off for an hour or two any time of the year.

Any how, day temperature in KL & Penang usually range between 25-33 celcius even when it is rainny. At night, it hardly will drop below 20 celcius.

So, in Malaysia, there is no need for sweater or long sleeve shirt. I live in London for 4 years plus and I know how concern some people are about what to wear for the day. Here, it is non issue.

Chinese and Indian temples are not particular about dress codes as locals like to go everywhere with T shirt (sleeveless or not) and short pants.

Mosque is a different story. You must take off the shoe (will be sign posted at entrance) and do not expose knees and shoulders. Usually, you can just admire the architecture from outside without entering. As you know, mosques do not have any statues or sculptures.

3. Re: What clothes to pack

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Removed on: 11:47 am, January 14, 2007
London, UK
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4. Re: What clothes to pack

Hi Donna,

From various comments, I think you probably get the idea about what to wear for general purposes.

Just one note, people in Penang (and Malaysia generally) are quite casual about what they wear when they are out eating. In England, a 'night out' would probably involve some smart dress and heels (for the ladies) or shirt and trousers (for the gentlemen). However in Penang, going out for dinner (be it 'coffee shops', hawker stalls or local restaurants) is still very casual. Shorts and t-shirts with light sandals are perfectly acceptable. Some restaurant might enforce some sort of dress code (e.g. hotel restaurants mainly). So generally speaking, jacket, suit, jumper, cardigan are mostly unneccesary.

The thing is, Penang is so famous for its food that nobody would really care what you wear. They only care about the FOOD.

Enjoy your stay in Malaysia. Don't forget to be a bit adventurous when it comes to food. Don't be shy. Just ask. Most people (even in hawker stalls) would know enough English to explain. If not, they would often just use sign language.

Chester, United...
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5. Re: What clothes to pack

Thank you all for your comments.

Some of you have said that dress is mostly casual in Malaysia. Is this the same for nightclubs in KL or should I take something to dress up for those? Would my husband be ok in jeans and trainers or do they have a dress code like a lot of places here in the uk?

London, UK
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6. Re: What clothes to pack

Hi Donna,

For nightclubs, it is probably rather similar to the UK. No strict rules, but generally 'trendy' attire. It is very difficult to define 'trendy', but I am sure you know what I mean. Obviously, don't wear beach sandals, you would look slightly out of place and it would not be comfortable to dance in.

Have fun !

ps : when are you going ?

Chester, United...
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7. Re: What clothes to pack

Going on 12th Feb until 27th Feb so should be in Penang for Chinese New Year.

Does anyone know what sort of celebrations will be going on that we can go along to?

London, UK
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8. Re: What clothes to pack

Hi Donna,

This is not about clothes anymore, but I guess you probably would be interested anyway. Hope TA allows this slight de-tour.

You will definitely have lots of fun in Penang for Chinese New Year. I am not 100% sure what sort of celebrations that are open to public & tourists but I am sure your hotel would be able to help. You are likely to see fireworks in the nights and dragon/lion dance in the days.

CNY this year is on the 18th of Feb. You might find that quite a lot of shops & restaurants might be shut early on the 17th, and remain so for a couple of days (as it is public holiday on the 18th & 19th). I suggest you utilise your hotel facilities on those days. Having said that, some restaurants would be open (mainly non-Chinese).

Something rather unique in Penang is the celebration of the Birthday of the God of Heaven (this is all according to my memory, so I might be slightly wrong). It falls on the 9th day of the CNY, but the celebration & praying ritual starts on the eve of the 8th (which is Sunday 25th Feb). Try, if you can, go to a residential area in that evening to observe the celebration. A good place to go is the Jetty or Weld Quay area. Be there just before midnight. Remember to take your camera. Lots of photo opportunities. Ask your hotel for more info when you are there.

Another celebration is on the 7th day of CNY. The place to be is Snake Temple (this is NOT a temple for the Snake God, but a temple happens to have snakes). This is not far from the Airport. I believe the celebration is the birthday of the God in Snake Temple (sorry, cannot remember the name of that God). Again, try to go there the evening before. There will be a Traditional Opera stage opposite the temple as well. It is free.

Just a tip about what to wear if you are invited to a local's home during CNY season. Don't wear Black. It's a no-no. Avoid dark colours (navy blue). Try bright colours. Red would be the best !

Have lots of fun there !

By the way, which hotel are you staying in Penang ?

Chester, United...
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9. Re: What clothes to pack

Am staying in the Holiday Inn Resort in Penang

Thanks very much for all of your advice and tips. Am really looking forward to my trip now!

Broomfield, Colorado
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10. Re: What clothes to pack

Seeing that you're from England, I will say it is very warm in Penang, and humid. I didn't bring any socks/shoes or long sleeves with me, only sandals and very light clothing, and still felt like I was in a sauna!

Of course made it all the more difficult to return to the Colorado snow!