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Malaysia and Cambodia


This is about my upcoming trip to Malaysia and Cambodia. The first part is pre-trip - information about flights, itineraries, accommodation and all the things that you need to do to plan an overseas holiday. This is my first trip to Asia and I hope it may help others. Comments are very welcome and anyone who has travelled to Malaysia and/or Cambodia, please feel free to comment and offer any advice or tips that you think would be helpful. As of today ( 28th February) , in exactly 11 days (minus 30 minutes) I will be in Kuala Lumpur.

I had the most amazing time and hope you enjoy reading about my trip. Each post is numbered and I'm doing them in order from start to finish - a little like a diary.



23. Documents, Passports and Personal Effects

Make Copies of All Your Documents

Advice given is make two copies of everything, but I would go one step further and say make three copies of everything. Leave one copy at home with family and take two copies with you. Keep them in a place separate to each other and the originals - that way if you lose one copy you still have another.

Keep Your Passport Safe
Passports are a very valuable commodity - and the last thing you want is to end up in a foreign country only to find it has been stolen. Keep your passport with you at all times (in your money belt) or, if your accommodation has a safe, keep it in there.

In your money belt
Keep your passport, credit cards, drivers licence, eftpos/Visa cards, and cash. Also keep some cash elsewhere - in a pocket and in your suitcase. If one lot of cash goes "missing" you will still have cash elsewhere.

Money, Credit Cards and Other Forms of Currency

I have chosen not to have travellers cheques. The forms of currency I will have are -
Credit Card,
Eftpos cards (2)
Cash Passport
Cash (US dollars)

With credit cards, although they are handy, each time you make a purchase, be it a meal, transport, hotel bed or souvenir, it will attract fees. These fees are
a) Currency Conversion Assessment Fee - 0.2% of transaction
b) Cross Border Assessment Fee - 0.8% of transaction
c) International Transaction Fee - 1.5% of transaction.

All this means for each and every transaction, in other words every time you use your card you will have a fee of 2.5% added. For example, you buy an item at 150MYR (Malaysian Ringitts) it is converted to your local currency, in this case Aussie dollars which is (roughly) AUD$50, 2.5% of that $50 is $1.25, so you pay not $50, but $51.25. This may not seem like a lot, but when you total all the things you have used your credit card for it does. Let's say you spent $2,000 whilst on your trip - add $50.00 for the "fees."

Cash Passport
With a Cash Passport you can either have it as an eftpos card and will be charged $3.75 each time you withdraw cash. You can also have it as an eftpos card and a credit card. When you have the credit card facility, you do not get charged any fees for making transactions - only if you withdraw cash. To my way of thinking, that's a better deal.
There is a fee when you put money onto the cash passport - 1.1%.

Initially, I wasn't going to get the cash passport, but after ringing Mastercard, I was told if my credit card was lost or stolen it would take at least 5 - 7 working days minimum to replace it. Pretty bad if you hadn't any cash. With the cash passport you get two cards and should one get stolen, they will close the account and either send you new cards (5 - 7 days) or express post you cash, which takes around 4 hours.

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