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The reason for the occasional occurrence of upset stomach among visitors to Malaysia, especially those from non-Asian regions is the unfamiliarity with local foods and not lack of hygiene. Although very enticing and mouth-watering, Malaysian foods may be very spicy and hot at times - too much for the unfamiliar stomach to accept. Introduce yourself to the cuisine gradually and allow your body some time to get used to it.

It is generally safe to drink water straight from the tap. Bottled mineral water, however, is easily available in shops and supermarkets.

Health Services
In the event you need medical care, there are private clinics in most towns. It is a good idea to take out a medical insurance before you travel as Malaysia does not have reciprocal health service agreements with other nations. For over-the-counter prescriptions, there are pharmacies and 'Chinese medical halls'.

Under the sometimes-sweltering tropical heat of Malaysia there may be instances of dehydration and sunburn among those not used to the conditions. Don't be reckless if you're new to the tropics. Among precautions you can take include using sunscreens with high Sun Protection Factor (SPF), wear shades for your eyes and a hat, although despite the searing afternoon heat most Malaysians prefer to go bareheaded. Also, drink lots of water and should you be dehydrated, observe regular intake of fluids supplemented with oral dehydration preparations.

Health Regulations
No vaccination is required for cholera and smallpox.

With a temperature that fluctuates little throughout the year, travel in Malaysia is a pleasure. Average temperature is between 21 C and 32 C. Humidity is high. Rain tends to occur between November to February on the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia, on western Sarawak, and north-eastern Sabah. On the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia the rainy season is April to May and October to November.

To avoid "cultural offenses", here are some tips:-
Remove shoes when entering homes and places of worship.
Dress neatly in a suitable attire which covers arms and legs when visiting places of worship.
Handle food with your right hand.
Do not point your foot at someone.
When giving or receiving money gifts to/from a Malaysian, do so with your right hand.
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