Kuala Lumpur

Tourism in Brazil

Brazil is the largest country in Latin America. It spreads across almost half (47.3%) of South America, and occupies a total area of 8,547,403.5 km2. It is the fifth largest country in the world after Canada, the Russian Federation, China and the United States. Except for a small number of islands, Brazil is a single and continuous landmass. The Equator crosses the Brazilian territory through the Northern region, near Macapá, State of Amapá, and the Tropic of Capricorn cuts through the South of the country, near São Paulo.

Brazil’s East to West extension (4,319.4 km) is almost equivalent to the distance from North to South (4,394.7 km). The country borders French Guiana, Suriname, Republic of Guiana, Venezuela and Colombia to the North; Peru, Bolivia and Paraguay to the West; and Uruguay and Argentina, to the South. Ecuador and Chile are the only two countries on the South American continent which do not border Brazil. The Atlantic Ocean extends along the country’s entire eastern coast, providing 7,367 km of coastline.

The official language is Portuguese; the accent and the intonation, however, are very different from that one hears in Portugal and other former Portuguese colonies, as in spoken Brazilian Portuguese the vowels are more open and the rhythm rather slower. Some people say that Brazilians speak “Brazilian”, just like Americans can say they speak “American”, and not English. However, the correct reference to the country’s language is “Portuguese”.

Brazil – a country which greets visitors with a huge smile
The mixture of races has made Brazil a culturally rich and at the same time unique country. This mixing started between the native Indians and the Portuguese , later with the Africans and finally with immigrants from around the world: Italians, Spanish, Germans, Lebanese, Russian, Polish, Jews, Japanese, Chinese. The result is a happy people, open to everything new, a people one can only find in Brazil.

Because of this massive diversity, Brazil is one of the last places on Earth where no one is a foreigner, where one can change one’s destiny without losing one’s identity and where each and every Brazilian has a little of the entire world in his or her blood. This may be the reason why Brazilian’s welcome people from another land so openly. According to surveys carried out with foreign tourists who visited the country, 97.2% intend to return soon; 56.5% had their expectations completely satisfied; and, for 31.7%, it exceeded their expectations in every way. As you can see, those who come to Brazil become fans on their first visit.

Find out more about Brazil by navigating the website of the . Or better yet: visit the country in person and feel for yourself the high spirits and enthusiasm of Brazilian people.

Brazilian democracy
Brazil has been a Republic since 1889. During these 122 years of republican state the country has lived a democratic experience, except for two periods of authoritarian regime: 1930/45 and 1964/85. The civil society has always known how to win democracy back by peaceful means and has confirmed Brazil as one of the most democratic nations in the world, as dialogue and solidarity are part of the life of its people.

The National Congress has been operating like clockwork for 175 years. In the entire history of the country, only on three occasions did the elected representatives not complete their terms. Even during the military governments between 1964 and 1985 the Congress continued to exert its role in spite of the political pressure of the Executive. There have been national elections in Brazil since 1823. And these elections have been open to voters in a manner almost unheard of, even for European democracy standards.

Useful Information:
Visas and Passports
Malaysian nationals who go to Brazil for tourism don’t need a visa for an entry of up to 90 days, but must have a passport valid for more than six months.

A business visa is required for Malaysians who go to Brazil for commercial purposes, like establishing contracts, participating in trade fairs, make journalistic covering of events or film-making.

Tourists and visitors from Mercosul /Mercosur countries do not need to present passports. They merely need to show their ID cards. Visitors from other countries must present a passport that is valid for the next six months. More information on Visas and necessary documentation for nationals of third countries, go to the "Consular" section of this website or access www.mre.gov.br or .

Electricity Voltage
Electricity voltages vary from one state to another. Many hotels offer both 110v and 220v outlets. Check the voltage before connecting any electrical appliance to an outlet.

Car Hire
All the well-known car hire firms have counters at the country’s main airports and in the main urban centres. Tourists may also book cars through their travel agents.

The tourist may opt for taking an ordinary taxi easily found in the streets or through radio taxi services. It is recommended that accredited taxi services at the airports and at points nearby the main hotels be given priority. It is not usual in Brazil to tip a taxi driver although it is common to round off the amount and let the driver keep the change as a gratuity. Close to the airports or bus terminals there may have illegal drivers offering services. Always prefer to go to a regular taxi station that must be in the surrounding area .

Most bars and restaurants include a service charge of 10% in the bill. It is usual to leave a little extra if the service has been satisfactory. When no service charge has been included then a tip of 10% to 15% is the general rule.

The Brazilian currency unit is the Real (R$), corresponding in June 2011 to RM 1.93 or US$ 0.635. Dollars and Travelers Checks can easily be changed in hotels, banks or travel agencies. Almost all stores, hotels and restaurants accept credit cards.

To make an international call, dial: 00 + operator code (see list below) + country code + area code (if there is one) + telephone number For reverse charge international calls dial 0800 7032111.

Brasil Telecom 14
Embratel 21
GVT 25
Intelig 23
Telefónica 15
Telemar 31

The climate is predominantly tropical with some variation according to the region. The average annual temperature in the north is 28º C and 22º C in the south.

Time Zones
Because of its continental dimensions Brazil has 4 time zones. The official time is Brasília and most of the country and it corresponds to 3 hours less than GMT and 11 hours later than Malaysia. A summer time is set from September to February, when the clocks are put forward one hour in most Brazilian States (making a time difference of 10 hours less than Malaysia).

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