Best Time to Visit Malaysia is Now!
Malaysia is an interesting destination where visitors can get there fill of cultural and historical sites, exotic food, pristine beaches and forests, and the hustle and bustle of a growing metropolis. It has a little something for everyone, whether you love shopping or trekking, going to the museum or chilling on the shore.
The question is not should you visit Malaysia; that’s a given. Rather, all you have to do is figure out when is the best time to visit Malaysia so that you really get the most out of your trip.
There are quite a few considerations for the optimal vacation – the weather, particular festivals or events that you want to experiences, and the peak season for tourists. Don’t worry, we’ve got all that covered for you, so read on and plan an awesome trip to Malaysia!
Weather You Like It or Not
Rainy days, sunshine; heat and strong winds are huge considerations that you haveto take note of before planning a trip.
Being a wet tropical zone, Malaysia is hot and humid all year round. Just like most South East Asian countries, Malaysia is affected by the monsoons – one from Augustto September and the other from November to February. Therefore, expect rain during these two periods. However, rainfall is generally short and usually just a heavy shower (source).
If you visit just after the rainy season, the surroundings will still be humid, but the environment will be much greener and abundant, and the waterfalls bountiful (source).
An interesting and unique feature of Malaysia is that its seasons differ on opposite sides of the peninsula – the weather in East Malaysia (Borneo) can differ completely from that in Penang and Kuala Lumpur (source).
In general, beach-goers should avoid heavy rains from mid-October to January, which will dampen your day frolicking on the beach.
If you want to walk around town in a more comfortable climate, visit Malaysiabetween May to September. The average temperature around this time is about28ºC (source). Not exactly cool, but good enough to enjoy a stroll in the city or a trekthrough the forest. Be sure to wear light clothing in breathable fabrics for the mostcomfortable experience.
Here is a more detailed weather breakdown of some of the more popular touristdestinations in Malaysia:
- Kuala Lumpur
The capital city’s rainy months are from March to April and September to November (source). The weather can get a bit bipolar with both sunshineand rain showers on any given day. The drier months are from June to August, but even on the driest month –July – there are at least 11 days of rain (source), so don’t leave your umbrella at home.
Penang is Malaysia’s culinary capital. Its driest months are from December to March, so plan your food trip on these months. January and February are almost guaranteed to be rainless, but it gets very hot on these days too. September and October are the wettest months in Penang and not very idealfor touring (source).
Pulau Langkawi is the country’s busiest tourist island. The weather is bestfrom December to February – but expect crowds around this time.
- Pro-tip: bewary of jellyfish on the island throughout the year, most especially betweenMay and October.
A great way to experience local culture is to take part in holiday celebrations. Youmay have to brave a raincloud or two, but the festivities will be worth it. Here are some of Malaysia’s biggest festivals that you must definitely put on your travelbucket list (source):
- Hari Merdeka – August 31
Celebrated at the end of August, Hari Merdeka is Malaysia’s IndependenceDay. It is celebrated with a bang, complete with parades, firework displays,and a lot of fun and revelry in the streets.
- Malaysia Day – September 16
Not to be confused with Hari Merdeka, Malaysia Day or Hari Malaysia celebrates the establishment of the Malaysian federation, or the joiningtogether of Malaya, North Borneo, Singapore, and Sarawak (source). Again, fireworks and various cultural performances can be enjoyed on this day (source).
- Chinese New Year
Chinese make up a large part of Malaysia’s population, so CNY is one of thelargest festivals of the year. Dates vary between January to February, so besure to check the calendar for the specific date of the lunar new year.
This Hindu festival is also celebrated in Malaysia, especially in Kuala Lumpurand Penang. Also known as the Festival of Lights, it is celebrated in October or November, and commemorates the triumph of good over evil (source). Expect colorful revelry and traditional Hindu treats.
- Rainforest World Music Festival – July
Move over, Coachella! Malaysia’s Rainforest World Music Festival is anannual three-day affair that features performances, workshops, cultural andcraft displays, and more. It has been awarded as one of the best musicfestivals in the world (source).
Take note that during this Islamic holy month, some restaurants and shops may be closed until sundown. Be sure, as well, to respect those who are fasting during the day. Hari Raya Puasa celebrates the end of Ramadan.
If you are looking to avoid hordes of tourists, take note of the peak seasons fortourism in Malaysia: from the December to January because of the holidays –Christmas, New Year’s Day, and Chinese New Year.
Because nearby Singapore’s school holidays fall from mid-May to June, expect a lotof families visiting. Another peak is from June to August and can even last until mid-September, with the school holidays of the Middle East region (source).
All things considered, if you don’t mind a bit of rain, Malaysia is a great place to visitall year round. So, join in a festive celebration or get ready to doze of on a beautifulbeach, or enjoy some culture. Malaysia surely will not disappoint!