This article is written by Jennifer Dawson.
Every year, over 25 million tourists arrive in Malaysia and this number is expected to rise to 36 million by 2020. Malaysia is home to some wonderful campgrounds, including Mossy Forest and Cameron Highlands, as well as truly amazing hiking trails, such as Kanching Falls and Taman Nagara. Tourists who want to explore this beautiful Southeast Asian locale should keep their personal safety in mind while preparing for camping and hiking adventures. These tips will help tourists to stay safe and enjoy the natural splendor of Malaysia to the fullest.
Get maps from tourism authorities
If hiking is on the agenda, be sure to visit a tourism authority for a map of your intended hiking area, before you ever set foot on the trail. Park offices are also good places to find these types of maps. When you visit a tourism authority or park office, let a staff member know when you plan to go hiking and when your anticipated return time will be. You should also let the desk clerk at your guest house or hotel know that you’re going on an outdoor adventure.
Letting people know where you’re going and when you expect to return, will give them the capacity to alert the authorities if you don’t return when you’re supposed to. While smart phones and GPS systems are amazing in terms of boosting safety –and you should bring these devices along–technology and connectivity aren’t foolproof. Talk to the right people face-to-face, before your hike. If you’re traveling with others who won’t be hiking with you, let them know the details of your hike, too.
Keep local wildlife in mind
Southeast Asia has its share of snakes and some of them are poisonous. Be alert for these slithery creatures while camping and hiking. For the typical hiker or camper who spends time out in nature in Malaysia, mosquitoes are actually a bigger safety threat. Mosquitoes may carry malaria or Dengue fever. The insects that are malaria carriers tend to bite human beings in the evening, but those that carry Dengue fever bite people during the daytime, which is typical hiking time. Dengue is a greater threat than malaria in Malaysia and all through Asia. Since there isn’t a widely-used Dengue vaccination, you must try to prevent mosquito bites. Even when it’s hot, cover your skin with clothing. Use a lot of insect repellent.
Protect your skin from the sun
The sun in Southeast Asia can be brutal, due to proximity to the Equator. Protect your skin from sunburn by carrying a sunscreen with a high SPF level along with you on the trail and at the campground. Prepare to apply sunscreen frequently, as the sun is very strong in the region. Wearing sunglasses to protect your eyes and donning a hat will also be smart ways to avoid sun damage. Bring your own sunscreen from your home country if airline rules permit. Sunscreen sold in Malaysia isn’t always the real thing and it’s often overpriced.
Prepare for the adventure of a lifetime
Malaysia is the perfect place for a camping and hiking getaway. Preparing in advance, by packing smart and knowing what to expect, will be a great way to boost the odds of a safe vacation. When you plan to let the right people know where you’ll be camping and/or hiking, consider local wildlife and re-apply genuine sunscreen frequently, you’ll cover all the bases. Proper preparation will also boost your peace of mind.