Useful Information About Sabah

Useful Information About Sabah

Climate
Sabah lies in the equatorial/tropical belt and is generally hot and sunny all year round. Visitors should wear light, comfortable clothing. There may be scattered rains, so it’s advisable to always bring an umbrella.

Average Temperature
Lowlands (Kota Kinabalu, Kudat, Sandakan, Tawau) – 32 degrees Centigrade. Highlands (Ranau, Kundasang, Tambunan) – 21 degrees Centigrade. Bear in mind that Mount Kinabalu has its own climate and, above 3500 metres, temperature can drop to freezing level.

Currency
The local currency is Malaysian Ringgit (RM). Travelers’ cheques and foreign currencies can be changed at banks and hotels. There are also money changing kiosks at major shopping complexes and airports. Most major hotels charge a nominal fee for currency conversion.

Major Credit and Charge Cards
VISA, MasterCard, American Express, Diners Club and other major credit and charge cards are accepted in almost all departmental stores, supermarkets, petrol stations and restaurants.

Local Time
Standard Malaysian Time is 8 hours ahead of GMT (GMT+8)

Banking Hours
Mondays to Fridays, from 9.30am to 3pm

Normal Office Hours
Mondays to Fridays, from 8am – 1pm and 2pm – 5pm; Saturdays from 8am – 1pm

Shopping
Shopping centers, supermarkets, restaurants and mini markets are generally open daily from 10am to 10pm

Tipping
A 6 per cent (6%) service charge is usually applicable in major restaurants, bars, cafes and clubs, as well as hotels. Tipping is not obligatory in most places.

Electricity & Water
Electricity operates on the 240 Volts AC/ 50-Cycle system; treated piped water is available in most urban and suburban areas.

Languages
Bahasa Malaysia (national language) and English are widely spoken; Mandarin and some Chinese dialects are also widely used.

Communications
Mobile telecommunications cover many parts of Sabah with the exception of some remote areas. Public phones are available in most places.

Medical
Government hospitals, clinics and dispensaries are available in all towns. Private medical practitioners and pharmacies are listed in the local phone directory. If you have specific medical needs, please bring along a good supply of medications.

Common Customs
In Sabah, we welcome people by saying “Selamat Datang” and thank them with “Terima Kasih” and a smile. Due to religious reasons, some locals may prefer not to have physical contact with others. However, a handshake is generally acceptable by way of introduction. It is customary to remove one’s shoes before entering a mosque as well as homes. Visitors are required to dress modestly for places of worship. At public beaches, nude sunbathing is not allowed. Avoid pointing your index finger at others as this is considered rude in the local custom.