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Exploring Malaysia

When to visit Malaysia

When is the best time to visit Malaysia?

It depends on where you want to go. With different weather patterns in different parts of the country, one could say that the best time to visit Malaysia is any time.

Malaysia has an equatorial climate meaning it’s hot and humid throughout the year. Average temperatures range from 20-30° and the relative humidity is an average 80%. Although climate change in recent years makes this less predictable, monsoon season still strikes the east coast in late October and sticks around through February. We do not recommend travelling to the east coast from November through February. We’ve broken down the regions of Western Malaysia below to guide you through the best times to visit. For information about when to visit Borneo, please have a look at our Borneo resources.

Kuala Lumpur and Melaka

A typical day in Kuala Lumpur involves a bit of sun, a few clouds, and a bit of rain. Rain falls throughout the year although October through March are the wettest. Temperatures average between 22 and 33°. Because rain falls and the sun shines year round, we think that May through September are the best months to visit Kuala Lumpur but the city is worth a few days no matter when you come to Malaysia.

The best months to visit Melaka are January and February as these are the driest months. September through November are the rainiest but this shouldn’t stop you from visiting. Often the days are mostly clear with the occasional shower.

Tioman, Perhentians, and the East Coast

April through September are the best months for the beaches and islands of Malaysia’s east coast. These months are usually sunny, warm, and if there is rain, it doesn’t last long. March and October can be great times to visit as the crowds are thinner and weather is usually decent. During the monsoon season which begins in late October and runs through February, many hotels and resorts close and boats do not run. Tioman usually clears the monsoon season early February so hotels and dive centres reopen and ferries begin running again throughout the month. Further north in Redang and the Perhentians, you’ll need to wait until March for everything to reopen. If diving and snorkeling are a priority, March through June are ideal months with visibility as clear as 30 meters.

Penang, Langkawi, and the West Coast

Somewhat protected by the large island of Sumatra, Malaysia’s west coast is spared the monsoon season that plagues the east. November through April see the least rain on Langkawi and Penang so these may be the best months to visit. Winds roil the Straits of Melaka May through October so boat rides are rough and some ferries do not operate. September and October are usually the wettest months but on both Langkawi and Penang, rainstorms are rarely severe, usually lasting no more than a few hours a day.

The island of Pangkor, a bit further south, is best visited December through August. Rain September through November make these months slightly less ideal for a beach holiday but as with the rest of the west coast, the showers usually aren’t too bad.

Kuala Lumpur
Bustling, vibrant Kuala Lumpur is home to an incredible array of old and new. Colonial architecture and modern skyscrapers, gourmet restaurants and simple street food stalls, luxurious hotels and shops, beautiful parks, mosques, and temples fill the city. The city is truly a feast for all five senses. More
Melaka
The port town of Melaka (formerly spelled Malacca) has been influenced by Portuguese, Dutch, British, Chinese, Indian, and Malay settlers and rulers. The resulting mix of culture, food, and architecture makes Melaka an ideal spot to see, taste, and experience the diversity that makes Malaysia such a unique part of Asia. Although you can visit in a day from Kuala Lumpur, we think it's worth an overnight visit. More
George Town
On the island of Penang sits the UNESCO-designated cultural highlight of George Town. It's home to some of the best food in the country, street art fun for all ages to find and enjoy, Chinese and Indian temples, British colonial buildings, pleasant beaches, a hill with stunning views of the area, and delightful boutique hotels. George Town truly offers a wealth of options for every visitor. More
Langkawi
Formally known as Langkawi, the Jewel of Kedah, the island boasts beaches, rainforest, monkeys, mangroves, and views to Thailand from an incredible hanging bridge atop Mount Mat. More
Cameron Highlands
Once the favoured hill station of British expatriates in Malaysia, the Cameron Highlands is a cool respite from the tropical heat. Tea plantations, giant rafflesia blooms, and a mossy forest that feels straight out of a story book can all be found here. More
Tioman Island
Well known to divers, Tioman is home to incredibly rich waters teeming with life, making for great snorkelling and diving. With beautiful beaches and pleasant walking trails through the jungle, it's a beautiful place to relax. Best visited March through mid-October as we don't recommend trying to reach the island during monsoon season. More
Perhentian Islands
The clear aquamarine South China Sea meets white sand beaches on the Perhentian and Redang islands. There are no roads on these islands, only foot paths and water taxis. We only recommend visiting between April and mid-October to avoid rough crossings and restaurants and resorts closed for monsoon season. More

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