Malay women are among the most emancipated in the Islamic world. They often attain prominent roles in business, academia and other areas of public life, and lack neither confidence nor social skills, as a visit to any Malay-run shop, hotel or market stall will attest. Malay women are also very much the lynchpin of the family, and husbands often give way to their wives in domestic matters.

Although the more conservative tide running through the Islamic world has had relatively little impact on this situation, many Malay women now wear a tudung (headscarf). Sometimes this merely indicates an acceptance of the trappings of the religion or the desire to please parents – it’s not unusual to see Malay women at a club partying away in the unlikely combination of headscarf, skimpy T-shirt and tight jeans.

Essentials

Everything you need to know before you set off.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Malaysia features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

9 tips for backpacking Malaysia

9 tips for backpacking Malaysia

Despite having turquoise-ringed tropical islands, misty rainforests, cosmopolitan and arty cities, colourful festivals and one of the world's most interesting e…

08 Jun 2017 • Marco Ferrarese insert_drive_file Article
26 awe-inspiring architectural wonders

26 awe-inspiring architectural wonders

From ancient temples to hyper-modern skyscrapers, these are just a few of the world's most incredible architectural wonders. Whether you're looking to wander l…

01 Feb 2017 • Rough Guides Editors camera_alt Gallery
Living the good life in Borneo

Living the good life in Borneo

Life in the beautiful region of Sapulot is relaxed and uncomplicated, and the communities who live here want to keep it that way. They are inviting visitors to …

02 Jun 2016 • Ros Walford insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month