Women travelling to KL Malaysia

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Aug 22nd, 2007, 08:28 AM
  #1
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Women travelling to KL Malaysia

I havent done much research into the implications of travelling as a women to KL. I will be with my husband though. I will not blend in with the locals. I am 30, Jewish with long blonde hair. Any thoughts or experiences?
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Aug 22nd, 2007, 08:54 AM
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No, you won't blend in, but not many of us do. KL is a large cosmopolitan city. I really can't think of any particular issues ofr you. As in all of Asia modest dress is appreciated.
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Aug 22nd, 2007, 11:36 AM
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Is there something in particular you are worried about?
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Aug 22nd, 2007, 03:35 PM
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I guess I am worried about being in an Islamic country and being a woman there too.
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Aug 22nd, 2007, 04:03 PM
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You'll find that the non-Muslim sweet young things in KL/Penang etc do bare their shoulders and legs. There's quite a significant non-Muslim population (about 25 to 30%) especially along the west coast. The east coast is more Muslim in flavour but even then there shouldn't be a problem even if you're dressed in a t and shorts (not too short). The country is very different from Muslim countries in the ME. You shouldn't have any problems even if you're travelling alone.
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Aug 22nd, 2007, 04:24 PM
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Well, I certainly wouldn't wear shorts and a tank top out of respect. Cover your shoulders and knees, especially if you head to the northeast, and take a headscarf if you're thinking of visiting mosques. But I loved KL and certainly didn't feel unsafe traveling there as a solo woman. I don't blend in anywhere in Asia, and don't expect to. I doubt anyone can tell you're Jewish rather than generic western by looking at you, and doubt Malaysians would mostly care.
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Aug 22nd, 2007, 05:07 PM
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I'm sorry to say that anti-Muslim propaganda has caused people to worry about visiting Muslim countries. There are a broad range of Muslim beliefs, and not all Muslim women cover their hair, let alone wear long sleeves and long skirts. While there are some pockets of conservative Muslims in Malaysia, the type of Muslims in Malalysia (and Indonesia) are very, very different from mid-east Muslims in say, Suadi Arabia. The breadth of beliefs of Muslims is as broad as the breadth of beliefs of other religions, notably Christian and Jewish people. People in other countries may read of the bombing of Family Planning clinics by "Christians" in the US. The bombers are no more represenative of Christians in general than the Taliban are of Muslims in general.
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Aug 22nd, 2007, 07:04 PM
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A friend and I had absolutely no problems in KL and we stuck out like a sore thumb. Happy Travels!
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Aug 23rd, 2007, 12:32 AM
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You will have no issue in KL. It's a very modern city and no one will give you second glance unless you really dressed up or in a revealing outfit.
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Aug 23rd, 2007, 12:43 AM
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Well said, Kathie. It's sort of sad that people can even think that Islamic = problem, without considering the bigger picture.

I've travelled or wandered alone at times in Turkey, Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, Syria, Iran, Pakistan, Malaysia. I've never had a problem.

It is a good idea to dress conservatively, covering shoulders and wearing loose pants or a modest skirt.

I would, however, never go to Saudi Arabia.

Enjoy KL - many interests things and places to see.

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Aug 23rd, 2007, 02:43 AM
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Hi

I went to KL twice last year...one time on vacation and one work trip. KL is a nice city that can offer shopping, sights, great food etc. Check out my trip report with pictures and links on my homepage http://gardkarlsen.com/malaysia_kuala_lumpur.htm Maybe that can give you an impression of what to expect. I didn't blend in either but I don't see the problem with that Yes, Malaysia is an Islamic country but in my experience this is not a problem when you are there as a tourist. And the country is a mix of different races and religions and it seems to be pretty calm.

Regards
Gard
http://gardkarlsen.com - trip reports and pictures
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Aug 23rd, 2007, 04:44 AM
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Some of the nicest people I ever met were in KL. I was travelling with my friend (we are two women). And we stayed at a guesthouse owned by Muslim family. It was one of the best experiences I ever had! It's too bad some of the misconceptions people have about Muslims and Islamic countries. But by travcelling there you are opening yourself up to learning.

KL is very modern, and we wore tank tops sometimes (when we weren't visiting mosques or religious buildings) because it was so hot. I didn't feel like we stuck out too much. We also were in KL during Ramadan. It was an excellent learning experience for us.

Have fun and have no worries. KL is awesome!
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Aug 23rd, 2007, 07:24 AM
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It basically comes down to dressing respecfully. I've traveled all over the world and solo for over 3 decades and have had few problems. However, friends of mine who live in Scandinavia would come back from trips saying what problems they had had. I would explain to them that you can't dress in Islamic countries the way you dress at home...in other words don't walk around in shorts and halter tops and then wonder what the problem is. I looked to see how women in the countries I was traveling to were dressed and then I'd follow THEIR example. I was an American living summers in Scandinavia back in those days so I'd hear all of the stories from my Scandinavian female friends. We had different experiences although we both stuck out like a sore thumb in some of the common places we had traveled to. Happy Travels!
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Aug 23rd, 2007, 07:31 AM
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And the best way to stay cool is to wear cotton or silk, with either a big hat or an umbrella used as a sunshade. Also I don't like to wear sunscreen or insect repellent, so I don't want to give dengue (daytime) mosquitoes too much area to attack.
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