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.