Travelers to Malaysia for the first time can discover all the essential information concerning obtaining a sim card and eSIM at Malaysia’s airports and border gates categorized by province. BONUS: there is an ultimate section providing airport recommendations for tourists.

If you are traveling to Malaysia, you will need a Malaysia (e)SIM card for your phone. Luckily, it’s easy to get one at Malaysia airports or border gates, no matter where you arrive. In this article, we will tell you everything you need to know about getting a SIM card at these locations in different provinces. Plus, MalaysiaeSIM will provide some bonus information about Malaysia airports and border gates to help you start your trip off right.

First, you should acknowledge the Malaysia airport map and Malaysia border gates, which help you navigate this guide easily.

Buy sim and esim at Malaysia airports

I. Malaysia Airport Map

There are a total of 39 airports throughout Malaysia, but only some of which are utilized for civil transport because there are many with unpaved runways.

We categorize Malaysia airports list into 2 groups:

1. 8 major international airports

These are major airports of Malaysia, which supply large networks of airlines covering both international and domestic services:

  • Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KUL)
  • Penang International Airport (PEN)
  • Kota Kinabalu International Airport (BKI)
  • Langkawi International Airport (LGK)
  • Kuching International Airport (KCH)
  • Johor Bahru Senai International Airport (JHB)
  • Melaka International Airport (MKZ)
  • Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport (SZB)

2. 11 smaller regional airports throughout Malaysia

  • Alor Setar Airport (AOR)
  • Bintulu Airport (BTU)
  • Ipoh Airport (IPH)
  • Kerteh Airport (KTE)
  • Kuala Terengganu Airport (TGG)
  • Labuan Airport (LBU)
  • Lahad Datu Airport (LDU)
  • Miri Airport (MYY)
  • Sandakan Airport (SDK)
  • Sibu Airport (SBW)
  • Tawau Airport (TWU)

This Malaysia airport map hopefully has helped you see a big picture about the airports in Malaysia, so you can start planning a trip to the so-called “Truly Asia”.

Major Malaysia airports - Kuala Lumpur airport KUL

II. List of Major Airports in Malaysia & Codes (IATA/ICAO)

Among a total number of 39 airports, only 7 of them are the major international airports in Malaysia. Here is the list of airports in Malaysia by province:

Province/CityAirport NameIATA CodeICAO Code
Kuala LumpurKuala Lumpur International AirportKULWMKK
MalaccaMalacca International Airport  MKZWMKM
George Town of PenangPenang International AirportPENWMKP
SarawakKuching International AirportKCHWBGG
SubangSubang International Airport / Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport SZBWMSA
KinabaluKota Kinabalu International AirportBKIWBKK
KedalLangkawi international AirportLGKWMKL

Note: IATA refers to the International Air Transport Association airport code, while ICAO refers to the International Civil Aviation Organization airport code.

Malaysia border gates sim and esim

III. Malaysia Border Gates

Malaysia has many border gates that are open to tourists for crossing into and out of the country. Here are some of the major border gates for tourists:

  1. Bukit Kayu Hitam (Malaysia-Thailand border)
  2. Padang Besar (Malaysia-Thailand border)
  3. Rantau Panjang (Malaysia-Thailand border)
  4. Pengkalan Hulu (Malaysia-Thailand border)
  5. Sungai Tujuh (Malaysia-Thailand border)
  6. Tedungan (Malaysia-Brunei border)
  7. Kuala Lurah (Malaysia-Brunei border)
  8. Menumbok (Malaysia-Brunei border)
  9. Kota Kinabalu (Malaysia-Indonesia border)
  10. Tawau (Malaysia-Indonesia border)
  11. Tebedu (Malaysia-Indonesia border)
  12. Mengkalap (Malaysia-Indonesia border)

Please be aware that the opening hours for each border gate are subject to change due to factors such as public health concerns, political situations, and national holidays. It is important for travelers to check with the appropriate authorities beforehand and ensure they have the required visas and documents before attempting to cross any border gate.

Now, we go into the main point of the topic: getting a sim card and eSIM at Malaysia airports by province:

IV. Getting an e-SIM at Malaysia Airports and Border Gates by Province

Depending on which province you plan to visit in Malaysia, you will need to select the appropriate airport or border gate (if available). Once you arrive, you can easily find instructions on obtaining a SIM card for travelers at the airport or border gate.

  1. Kuala Lumpur Airport SIM & eSIM
  2. Penang Airport SIM & eSIM
  3. Langkawi Airport SIM & eSIM

Note: Tourists can now choose to use eSIMs in addition to the traditional physical SIM cards while traveling to Malaysia. Travel eSIM for Malaysia enables tourists to access the internet, stay connected with their loved ones during the trip without the need to remove the SIM card or wait in lines at the airport. The entire process can be completed online without any hassle.

► See a complete guide about Malaysia SIM cards and eSIM for travelers

Pro tips for buying SIM / eSIM at Malaysia airports:

  • Research providers: Compare mobile service providers, rates, data allowances, and coverage areas before arrival to avoid overspending.
  • Look for promotions: Check for ongoing promotions and discounts to get more value from your travel SIM purchase.
  • Consider validity period: Check the SIM card and plan’s validity period and buy longer validity if needed or with the option to top up.
  • Multi-country plans: Look for multi-country plans if you’re visiting other countries in the region to save money and hassle.
  • Verify compatibility: Ensure compatibility of the travel SIM with your mobile device and needed network frequencies.
  • Check customer service: Look for reliable customer service and support, such as 24/7 hotlines or online chat in case of issues or questions.

The following sections are some bonus but useful information about Malaysia airport guides that help every first-time traveler to Malaysia have a proactive start at the airport, preparing themselves for a great trip in Malaysia. 

V. Malaysia Airport to Airport Distance

The distances between airports in Malaysia can vary greatly depending on their location. 

Here is an overview of the distance between some of the major airports in Malaysia:

Airport to airportDistanceTravel time
Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KUL) – Penang International Airport (PEN)292 km 181 min
Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KUL) – Langkawi International Airport (LGK)411 km255 min
Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KUL) – Johor Bahru Senai International Airport (JHB)315 km 196 min
Penang International Airport (PEN) – Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KUL)292 km181 min
Penang International Airport (PEN) – Langkawi International Airport (LGK)119 km74 min
Penang International Airport (PEN) – Johor Bahru Senai International Airport (JHB)689 km 428 min
Langkawi International Airport (LGK) – Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KUL)411 km255 min
Langkawi International Airport (LGK) – Johor Bahru Senai International Airport (JHB)647 km402 min

Keep in mind that travel duration between airports can differ due to variables like traffic, weather, and airline timetables. Therefore, it is essential to factor in the distance between airports and the time required to commute between them when organizing travels in Malaysia. Additionally, be prepared for possible delays or interruptions.

VI. Malaysia Airport to City Distance

Malaysia has several airports that serve domestic and international flights, and the distance between each airport and the nearest city can vary. Here is an overview of the distance between some of the major airports in Malaysia and their nearest cities:

Airport to CityDistance (km)Travel Time (minutes)
KLIA to Kuala Lumpur5945-60
Subang Airport to Kuala Lumpur2125-40
Penang International Airport to George Town1620-30
Langkawi International Airport to Kuah1825-35
Kuching International Airport to Kuching City1115-25
Kota Kinabalu International Airport to Kota Kinabalu City810-20

VII. Malaysia Airport Rules

Malaysia has certain airport rules that apply to all travelers, both domestic and international. Here are some common rules and regulations that apply to airports in Malaysia:

  • All passengers are required to show valid identification and travel documents at check-in and security checkpoints.
  • The use of electronic devices is generally permitted, but may be restricted during takeoff and landing.
  • Smoking is strictly prohibited in all airport buildings and designated areas.
  • All baggage must be screened and checked-in before boarding, and oversized or prohibited items will not be allowed on the flight.
  • Liquids, aerosols, and gels must be placed in containers with a maximum capacity of 100ml, and carried in a clear, sealable plastic bag for inspection.
  • It is prohibited to carry firearms, explosives, and other hazardous materials onto the flight.
  • Passengers must comply with airport security personnel and follow all safety protocols and procedures.
  • Food and beverages can be purchased and consumed within designated areas only.
  • Passengers must arrive at the airport at least two hours before the scheduled departure time to complete check-in and security screening procedures.
  • Any suspicious or illegal activities should be reported to airport authorities immediately.
  • Please note that these rules may vary depending on the airport and the airline, so it is always best to check with the respective authorities for the latest updates and guidelines.