Just having a look for the answer to the question on Google... everyone seems to be 'arguing/debating' whether water is safe or not... probably best to err on side of caution so it seems
Generally, its safe for washing and bathing. To drink it, its best to at least boil it first.
Comply to world health standard as reported but not well supervised???
As a tourist we drink water directly from the tap in Malaysia with no adverse effects. Whilst we would carry and drink bottled water, because of clarity and taste, we are not ultra fussy about the water in Malaysia. So, we drink, wash, teethcleaning etc. Never been sick in years of travel.
Malaysia and singapore generally fine. drink from the tap but try to boil them first. It really depends on where the water comes from. Although the municipal council provides safe and clean water for drinking, MANY HOTELS (I can image the heritage hotel being one of them) have got rotten rusty pipes or disgusting water tanks where the water passes through all the rust and dirt before coming to your room. So if you stay at OLD and disgusting places like that, best avoid at all cost and esp if you have no vaccination against typhoid or diphtheria.
Honestly, bottled water is widely available and cheap in asia. A good 1.5l bottle of mineral water goes for about RM 2-3 in kl, distilled water is even cheaper. same goes for indonesia and thailand. We NEVER ever drink tap water in indonesia unless we boil it first. But teeth cleaning is ok. Just don't take tap water in huge amounts. But it really depends on how your general immune system is. Myself example, grew up all my life in Malaysia - exposed to all the dirt, haze, the dirtiest of dirtiese air itam laksa, spiciest chillies and spices and road side food, so i don't get any problems or poisoning in asia. DH on the other hand, is from the other side of the developed world, so he gets pretty bad immediate reactions to haze, dirty water, not so clean food and chillies/spices...if you are concerned, talk to your pharmacist. You can buy water purifying tabs and other medications in case of emergency. Happy travels!
Thanks MK leo Trav n Global for your replies re H2o... all were informative.... will be casually guarded in that area... :)
as others have said, perfectly ok for cleaning teeth and bathing. we tend to use bottled water for drinking because the tap water smells strongly of chlorine. for that reason, i prefer tea made from bottled water also, but find coffee ok with tap.
just one point; should you decide to avoid tap water, be aware that many road-side 'juice' stalls dilute their drinks with tap water...
we have not suffered any ill effects in malaysia in seven years travelling there. i do think global traveller has a point about taps in bathrooms though..
To add further to it.
The strong smell of chlorine is that the gas is use as a disinfectant and indication that the people at the treatment is monitoring it.
Boiling will get rid of the smell .
Water for Tea or coffee preparation will not smell of chlorine if sufficiently boiled.
Mineral water for tea or coffee preparation always taste better.
leopang, installed a few diamond filter in the kitchen and bath recently, very good results and tea tastes better than with tap water. when showering, its also more comfortable and really notice the difference. they say ipoh water is very hard and clear, but recently, DBI has been supplying us with errr "yellow muddy water" (i think due to the lack of rain), so got the diamond filter installed. Go and try it, seems to be better for health as well...