flag of Malaysia


In Malaysia, you will find a lot of information about your location, the more you know the fastest you become at finding your location.

In order of importance, what is most usefull to know :

-tell apart Bornéo from the continent.


-main cities and traps to avoid.

-road numbering system.

-area codes for telephone numbers.

-post codes.


In urban environment, no need to rush, scan the shops and official buildings, you will likely find an address.

In rural environment, click as fast as possible, you're looking for a sign with directions or a kilometer post. Kilometer posts will tell you your road number as well as the next city you will find on this road.

Borneo island or continental Malaysia?

There are 3 main tells : electric poles, bollards, and signposts.

1/ Black marks on the electric poles : On the continent, most electric poles have a black square with white letters and/or numbers. Seeing it is a almost a guarantee you're on the continent, not seeing it hints you that you may be on Borneo.

electric pole meta on continental Malaysia

2/ This type of electric pole (double pole with major discs on the wire) is on Borneo, i have not seen any on the continent :

electric pole on Borneo island

3/ There is no real bollard with reflectors on borneo :

bollard of Malaysia

4/ Signposts :

4a/ On Borneo, you often have signposts without the road number, it is quite rare on the continent:

road signs in Malaysia

4b/ Q roads are in the region of Sarawak in Borneo.

4c/ Signposts with the department of transports logo indicating a street name (Jalan or JLN) are in Sabah on Borneo :

Signpost in Sabah

If you could zoom on the logo it would look like this :


4d/ Roads numbers 500 are also in Sabah, Borneo.


The name of the region appears quite often, especially on shops. There are few regions so you can find them on the map if you don't remember where they are, but you need to at least know their name to recognize them on the addresses.

regions of Malaysia

You can learn them with this Seterra quiz.


Malaysia has 3 territories administered directly by the federal government.

-Kuala Lumpur, the federal capital.

-Putrajaya, south of Kuala lumpur, is the administrative center of the country. The city was created out of thin air in the 90's, following the model of Brasilia.

-Labuan island, near Brunei, is an area dedicated to tax evasion an offshore financial center.

territories of Malaysia

Main cities

You can learn them with the City quiz.

Google map has a bug in Malaysia, it replaces the name of regional capitals with the name of the region, unless you zoom a lot. So it is very important to know the regional capitals.

It is also quite usefull to remember specifically the name of cities on Borneo, since there are not many of them you will find signposts mentionning them even if you're quite far away.

Road numbering system

There are 3 types of roads :

Expressways E.

Federal roads with just a simple number.

Regional roads with a letter then a number.

On google maps you can see AH roads, meaning asian highways. Those names never appear in the streetview, you need to zoom on the map to know the real name of the road.

Finding informations

Road numbers are mentioned on signposts as well as on kilometer posts.

signpost - Malaysia

Kilometers posts also tell you the next city on this road.

kilometer post - Malaysia

Expressways E

Most of them are in Selangor region, around Kuala Lumpur, there are also a few in Johor near Singapore.

Only 3 exceptions : E1, E2 and E8.

Expressways of Malaysia

federal roads

They just have a number.

Beware : roads 1,13,22 and 5xx are on Borneo. But roads 1 and 13 are not unique, there is a road 1 and a road 13 in continental Malaysia.

Regional roads

Each region has a letter for its roads.

regional roads in Malaysia

Traps : Both Perlis and Sabah use the R letter.

Note : For some regions, the road letter is the first letter of the region : J - Johor, K - Kedah, M - Malacca, N - Negeri Sembilan, T - Terengganu.

Phone numbers

Landlines have a 3 digit area code ranging from 030 to 099. 01 are cell phone umbers, 02 is for Singapore*.

the first 2 digits are easy to memorize, they kind of follow the region borders :

area codes in Malaysia

The area code quiz can help you learn 2 digits or 3 digits area codes.

*Singapore was part of Malaysia at the independance in 1963, but political and ethnic tensions (75% of singaporeans have chinese origins) lead to the independance of Singapore in 1965.

Post codes

Post codes appear quite often in complete addresses, but ost of the time those addresses also mention the region and the city. This is why it is not very important to learn post codes, but it can help sometimes.

post codes in Malaysia