Most muslim restaurants will be closed during daytime on ramadhan. But there are plenty of chinese and indian cuisines open. Franchise fast food such as mcdonald, kfc and the like are opened too. Though some muslim shops does opened for takeaways. It wont be much problem getting food actually. Its very normal to eat at these places as Malaysia is a multi religious country.
What about travel during this time? Will there be much impact on bus transportation, flights etc?
I am not sure why there would be but...just checking :)
I plan to be in Malaysia around mid-August through to early September.
Actually it's a very good question Christay!
It doesn't sound like you were there during the celebrations at the END of Ramadan stevejames. (Or maybe you were in a non Muslim area like Bali then?).
At the end of Ramadan there is a big celebration lasting several days called Idul Fitri. It's the most important holiday in the Muslim calendar (in Indonesia anyway) and everyone wants to get home to their families to celebrate. It has a similar effect on transport as Songkran does .... ie domestic flights are not only fully booked but usually about triple the normal price. Buses and trains will be full. Pelni ferries will be even more overcrowded than usual. Smaller local ferries may well be canceled for a week (or more) so that the crew can be with their families.
It's best to find somewhere nice and hunker down and stay put during this time.. avoid trying to travel during the days just before or just after Idul Fitri if you can because a very large percentage of the Indonesian population will be traveling then too.
I found this site designed for expats so some of it isn't relevant to travelers but it also has some very useful cultural info that is worth knowing. (Not just the obvious stuff).
Yes what SBE said is true. End of Ramadhan you will have problem with public transportation. Its a long holiday, the muslim will travel to their homes, whilst the non muslim are off for holidays. Making almost everyone on the move.
But during the earlier days of Ramadhan, public transport are more or less normal.
The bars and clubs do open, as they are patronised by non muslims.
I was in KL during Ramadam a few years ago and didn't have any problems finding places to eat or drink during daylight hours. As ABGacid mentioned, Malaysia is multicultural (and proud of it) and you won't be committing a faux pas by eating during the day. In fact, it's an interesting time to be in Malaysia due the liveliness on the streets at night time when the Muslims break their fast for the day. It also coincides with Merdeka Day, (Malaysia's Independence Day on 31st August) and the combined vibe on the streets that evening can be quite exciting.
"In fact, it's an interesting time to be in Malaysia due the liveliness on the streets at night time when the Muslims break their fast for the day."
How is the cuisine there? Does it have strong Indian and / or Arabic influence?