The official language is the Bahasa Malaysia. English is however widely used in business. The locals speak their own dialects
Valid passports are required for entry into Sabah even if you are travelling from Peninsula Malaysia or Sarawak.
Only citizens of Commonwealth countries, ASEAN, Ireland, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Lichtenstein do not need a visa to enter Sabah. Nationals of the following countries are also exempted for a visit not exceeding 3 months: Austria, Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Japan, Luxembough, Norway, South Korea, Sweden, Tunisia and USA. Citizens of Bulgaria, Rumania, Russia and Yugoslavia are allowed a 7-day visa free visit.
The ringgit, also known as the Malaysian dollar, is the Malaysian currency. 1 Ringgit equals 100 cents. Money and travelers checks can be exchanged at banks and moneychangers. Credit cards are accepted in hotels and department stores. Cash however, is required in the rural areas.
Use the Currency Converter to check the exchange rate that corresponds to your local currency. Money changers are dotted in all shopping complexes and it is easily accessible.
The complete range of souvenirs, handicrafts and gift items are found at the big shopping complexes in Kota Kinabalu and even in the resort's Hotel Shop. Items to look for are antiques, basketware, beads, mats, dastar, pottery, sabah tea, mushrooms, weavings and handicrafts.
The Government tax is 5% and service tax is 10%.
Banks and Government offices:
Banks are open 9:30 a.m. to 12 noon/2 p.m. Monday to Friday, and some are open 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday
Most government offices are open from 8 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. Monday through Friday and some are open from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays. Commercial offices and businesses are open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays.
Shops (Hours vary):
Shops open 9/10 a.m. to 9/10 p.m. Monday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.
Lightweight clothing is ideal with sweaters for the high land areas. A shirt, jacket and tie is normal office attire and is appropriate for business. Shorts, miniskirts, sleeveless garments for women are not advisable, especially in the rural areas. It is advisable for ladies when entering mosques and temples or local village to wear long sleeves and loose pants or long skirts.