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Driving In Malaysia
by: Sophia

Some people might say that if you can survive driving in Kuala Lumpur, you can survive driving anywhere in the world. You might find that statement a little intimidating but SD is here to give you some tips about driving in Malaysia.

 

First off, it is advisable to make sure you have a valid driving license. Malaysia recognizes licenses from most countries around the world but it is best to check with your embassy for more detailed information. The International Driver’s License is also recognized but do make sure that it is not dated 1999. For visitors who plan to stay indefinitely, it is wise to just take the test for the local license. It is not that difficult to pass but word to the wise, when in Malaysia, do as the Malaysians do.

 

There is an extensive network of highways and byways that connects all the major cities to each other. These roads are of relatively good quality, convenient and generally easy to use. Driving outside the city is pretty simple as traffic is at a minimum and the roads are straight forward. It is driving in the city that is frustrating. Kuala Lumpur is plagued with traffic jams pretty much the entire day so you might be caught in one jam after another. Then there’s the problem of getting lost. There are so many roads in Kuala Lumpur that they just seem to overlap and go over and under each other. In addition, the road signs aren’t much help so its best to get a map if you intend to navigate your way through town without getting lost. One wrong turn and you might end up stuck in another traffic jam and before you know it, its night time.

 

Malaysia adopts the British right hand drive system. So for Americans who aren’t used to this system, the most important thing to remember is to keep on the left side of the road at all times. The traffic lights are similar with most countries around the world. Red to stop, green to go and yellow to prepare to stop. Recently, many of the traffic lights around the city have been upgraded and if you see a green blinking light, it just means that yellow is to follow soon so its best to slow down (or in some cases, speed up to beat the light). Blinking orange lights signify that the traffic light isn’t functioning and it is something that you will see pretty often.

 

Drivers in the city are somewhat aggressive. It is probably because of the stress and frustration of the traffic jams. The best form of driving would be to be on the defensive. Be prepared for other drivers to cut into your lane or conveniently forget to signal when turning. Car horns are used widely here and sometimes a little too loosely. So don’t worry if you’re being beeped at. Just keep calm and show a gesture of apology and you’ll be fine.

 

Being a Malaysian, I would also have to admit that it is somewhat of a challenge to drive in Malaysia, especially in Kuala Lumpur. The roads are always packed with cars and there are a lot of inconsiderate drivers out there. The one thing that you have to remember is to keep calm and collected. Just drive according to the rules and there will be no reason for you to worry. Ask the locals for advice on what to do when you are stop by the police for an offence. They are experienced enough to give you tips on how to handle such a situation. Lastly, when in Malaysia, do as the Malaysians do.



 
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About The Author

Sophia, Writer for Malaysia
Sophia writes for Streetdirectory Malaysia. Robert J. Steiner manages Streetdirectory.net.my & FlowerAdvisor.com.my. FlowerAdvisor.com.my is an online gifts and flower site in Malaysia. Sophia is a music graduate from Trinity College London. In between classes, she still finds time to write movie and music reviews for various online and print publications. Now venturing into travel writing, she is able to blend both her passion for wordplay with her passion for travel. 

For more information on KL Guide, pls visit KL Hotels, KL Shopping Centres, KL Hospitals, KL Banks and KL Embassies.

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