Best Time to Visit Malaysia

  • Author :
  • TATA AIG Team
  • Published on :
  • 26/01/2024

Located in the heart of Southeast Asia, Malaysia features spectacular landscapes and pleasing weather. Be it exploring the wilderness of the Borneo rainforests or the bustling streets of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia is home to something for every tourist.

However, is there a best time to visit Malaysia? You can visit Malaysia year-round, depending on which location you are visiting and for what purpose.

Malaysia is nestled close to the equator, which keeps the climate mostly warm and humid, with always a chance for light showers. It is a tropical destination with even temperatures all around the year.

This write-up will unfold the ideal times and the best season to visit Malaysia, so if you are planning a trip soon, stay tuned for helpful insights.

Which is the Best Time to Visit Malaysia?

Determining the best time to visit Malaysia from India or any other country is subjective and depends on your interests. To find the most suitable time to visit, consider what attractions or activities you wish to explore in Malaysia.

The best time to visit Penang and Langkawi, the popular destinations along the west coast, is between December and April. The weather conditions here during these months are dry.

Then, the ideal time to explore destinations like Kuala Terengganu, Perhentians, and Tioman on the east coast falls between April and November.

The best time to visit Kuala Lumpur, Cameron Highlands, and Melaka is practically all year round. The temperatures here are mostly a mild contrast between dry and rainy seasons.

However, April is a suitable time to plan your visit if you have no specific itinerary, as it conveniently covers both seasons. While the east coast is emerging from the rainy season in April, the west coast is yet to enter the season completely.

April offers an opportunity to explore all of Malaysia without being restricted by the usual weather limitations, even briefly.

A Monthly Guide to Visiting Malaysia

January in Malaysia

Choosing Malaysia for the start of your new year is a wise decision. In January, while the Peninsula's eastern coast experiences considerable rainfall due to the Northeast monsoon, you must avoid putting it in your itinerary.

Your ideal choice would be the western coast of the Peninsula. This region, including Langkawi and Penang, offers stunning white-sand beaches and turquoise waters.

In addition, certain areas of Borneo can also be excellent holiday spots during this time.

February in Malaysia

February starts with a bang as Malaysia celebrates the Chinese New Year with fun and festivities. To fully embrace the festive spirit and excitement of the celebrations, consider scheduling a visit to Kuala Lumpur, where the city enthusiastically commemorates the Chinese New Year.

February marks longer sunlit days and fewer rain showers than Malaysia usually experiences. Other places that do not receive much rain are the Cameron Highlands and Kota Kinabalu in Borneo.

From February to March, there is little rainfall, so you can enjoy beautiful sunny days to visit strawberry farms and tea plantations.

March in Malaysia

March and April are excellent months for hiking Mt Kinabalu. During this period, you will encounter lower temperatures, fewer crowds, and less rain, making the hike more enjoyable.

The rest of Malaysian Borneo also starts getting drier, especially in Bintulu, Kuching, and Sandakan, making them great travel destinations for March.

This time offers excellent orangutan sighting opportunities, therefore, plan on making some new friends.

April in Malaysia

As the northeast monsoon retreats in April, the Peninsula East Coast becomes vibrant. You can explore the gorgeous beaches in Redang Island, Kota Bharu or the Perhentian Islands.

Consider visiting marketplaces or exploring natural wonders like the Gua Charas cave temples. Take a wildlife tour to renowned conservation sites such as the Bornean Sun Bear Centre or the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre for exceptional animal spotting.

May in Malaysia

The peninsular eastern coast is on your list if you visit Malaysia from May to June. Here, you get to relish the fun of white sandy beaches with a decent sea breeze, which balances out the humidity perfectly.

These months mark local holidays, and places including Tioman Island, Kota Bharu, Perhentian Islands, and Kuantan are more crowded than usual.

In May, Buddhists celebrate Vesak Day, also known as Buddha Day. During this time, followers decorate temples with flowers and offerings and participate in processions, wearing white clothing.

June in Malaysia

June marks the end of the monsoons in Kuala Lumpur, and it is typically the hottest month. In places like Kota Bharu on the east coast, you can lead a tropical lifestyle as the temperatures reach a maximum of 33°C.

Borneo, especially Kuching, experiences its sunniest month, and sea turtles on Lankayan Island start to appear from June to September.

The month also sees the Gawai Dayak celebration in Sarawak, expressing gratitude for a fruitful harvest and successful farming season.

July in Malaysia

July is Borneo's dry season, and you can expect calm seas and excellent visibility. This creates ideal conditions for diving and snorkelling.

George Town on the West Coast Island of Penang celebrates UNESCO World Heritage Day with lively festivities in July. Here, you can witness diverse island cultures through traditional foods, rituals, games, and history.

August in Malaysia

The east coast experiences ample tourists in August. During Borneo's dry season, numerous popular and secluded spots exist to escape holiday crowds.

Consider climbing Mount Kinabalu from June to September, experiencing the Borneo rainforest from a canopy walkway in Sepilok, or exploring caves in Mulu National Park.

However, the agricultural burning in nearby Sumatra, Indonesia, may bring smoke and haze to the Malaysian Peninsula's West Coast in August.

September in Malaysia

September marks the last chance in the year to witness turtles on Lankayan Island. The east coast becomes quieter with school holiday crowds departing, offering excellent clear-water snorkelling in the Perhentian Islands, especially before the monsoon.

This month's visitors can experience unique Malaysian celebrations, such as the Mooncake Festival and various cultural festivities in Kuala Lumpur and other parts of the country.

October in Malaysia

You can enjoy the last month of Borneo's dry season in October. Watch for orangutans during boat rides along the Kinabatangan River or wildlife strolls in Batang Ai National Park.

If fortunate, you might spot a proboscis monkey or pygmy elephant in the lush surroundings. For those seeking relaxation and a laid-back vacation, visit the serene Manukan Island for your slice of heaven.

In addition, October marks the end of prime vacation time on the east coast before the weather becomes wetter and windier later in the year.

November in Malaysia

From November until February, the Northeast Monsoon affects the east coast and Borneo, hindering tourism. Though occasional showers can occur, the Peninsula's west coast experiences mild and sunny weather.

Resorts on the eastern side may close, making the west coast busy. This presents opportunities to explore antique shops and night markets in Melaka, explore the colonial heritage of Penang, or wander through the Mossy Forest of Butterworth.

Additionally, November hosts the spectacular International Dragon Boat Festival, celebrating Asian culture worldwide.

December in Malaysia

December is an ideal month to come down to and explore the Cameron Highlands. Since it's a shoulder month, the crowd would be thin and the weather colder than average.

If you long for a more sunny and sandy vacation, you must choose between some exotic locations on the West Coast, like Pangkor Island, George Town, or Langkawi. Here, you will experience long, sunny, dry days, warm seas, and a laid-back feel.

Due to heavy rainfall and stormy waters, Borneo typically takes a break for a few months, with animals seeking shelter and tourism slowing down.

Best Season to Visit Malaysia

To address your concerns about when to visit Malaysia for an enjoyable trip, here is a season-wise classification to help you determine the ideal timing. This breakdown will provide insights into when Malaysia tends to be bustling, rainy, cool, warm, costly, or budget-friendly.

Peak Season in Malaysia

Malaysia's peak season is typically during the dry season; however, daily showers are common in the surrounding regions of Kuala Lumpur. Nevertheless, the rains do not last long, and most of the days are full of sunshine.

This time is also ideal for shopping enthusiasts as the capital city is full of attractive sales at this time of the year.

Langkawi enjoys dry conditions, and the seas remain tranquil, allowing tourists to relish cruises, island excursions, and hiking trails through the mountains.

The peak season is also the perfect time to tour Penang. Whether you are strolling through the hills near George Town, planning a forest expedition, or participating in the International Dragon Boat Competition in December, Penang promises to create lasting memories for your vacation.

Pros of visiting during the peak season

The peak season marks multiple cultural and vibrant festivities and celebrations.

You can easily explore the stunning landscapes across the country on dry and sunny days.

You can enjoy a memorable vacation with several cultural events and outdoor activities.

Cons of visiting during the peak season

Flights, accommodation, and tour packages are all sold at soaring high rates due to maximum rush.

Famous tourist destinations are all extremely packed with tourists.

Securing lodgings and arranging activities may be difficult due to the high demand.

Shoulder Season in Malaysia

Monsoons in Malaysia start in July, inviting a few showers. The weather, however, continues to stay hot and humid.

To escape the harsh heat, you can head to the Cameron Highlands. This season is perfect for wildlife exploration, jungle trekking, and visiting beaches, as the crowd typically avoids Malaysia during this time.

July is an excellent bird-watching month, as hundreds of hornbills gather around Perak's Temenggor Lake, especially between August and September.

Travelling in July coincides with the celebration of Hari Raya Aidilfitri, marking the end of Ramadan - a significant festival on the Islamic calendar. Therefore, this period is expected to be busier than the remaining shoulder season.

Pros of visiting during the shoulder season

Shoulder season witnesses vibrant cultural festivals and celebrations such as Hari Raya and Chinese New Year, making it a fortunate time to visit Malaysia.

Dry, sunny days with pleasant temperatures make it easy to travel and explore.

The season enables you to indulge in multiple outdoor activities including hiking amidst the forests and island hopping.

Cons of visiting during the shoulder season

The season causes increased flight, accommodation, and tour fares.

Renowned tourist destinations are often overcrowded.

Making bookings may get challenging, given the popularity of the season.

Off Season in Malaysia

The low or off-season in Malaysia for tourism is the monsoon season. However, there are some positives for this season as well. This is the cheapest time to visit Malaysia, and you expect to plan your tour cost-effectively.

Flights, hotels, and tour packages are cheaper than peak seasons. As the rush is low, you can avoid long lines during sightseeing and leisurely explore places like the Petronas Twin Towers.

Touring Malaysia in the off-season has its perks. Due to the monsoons, the country transforms into an eye-catching panorama of green. Therefore, for nature lovers, monsoons are the ideal time to visit Malaysia. You can satiate your love for nature by exploring the Cameron Highlands.

The downside, however, is the humid climatic conditions. You are likely to feel hotter than it is. Heavy rain, often exceeding 10.2 inches, and frequent thunderstorms can lead to turbulent seas, making island hopping unsafe.

Pros of visiting during the shoulder season

There are reduced rates on accommodations, flights, and other activities.

The season experiences milder temperatures and decreased rainfall.

You can explore the numerous attractions with fewer tourists, shorter queues, and a more serene atmosphere.

Cons of visiting during the shoulder season

Nearly no cultural activities or festivities.

Lesser demands result in fewer activities and accommodation choices for travellers.

Conclusion

Once you are sorted on the best time to visit Singapore and Malaysia and planning your trip, there is a lot to take care of, including flights, accommodation, visa, planning the itinerary, etc.

Indonesia offers visa-on-arrival for Indians for short visits up to 30 days. You can apply for it online before you travel to the country by paying a small fee.

Additionally, having travel insurance can be a valuable asset. A suitable travel insurance policy serves as a protective shield, providing assistance and fair compensation to compensate for any financial loss incurred during your vacation. It is a safety net, offering peace of mind without huge financial strain.

FAQS

What is the best month to go to Malaysia?

The best time to travel to Malaysia for the east coast is between April to October, and for the west coast is between December to March.

What is the off-season in Malaysia?

The monsoons are the off-season in Malaysia, and the destination experiences minimum tourists in these months.

What is the cheapest time to fly to Malaysia?

The off-season, or the Malaysian monsoons, is the cheapest to fly to Malaysia.

What is the accepted currency in Malaysia?

The Malaysian Ringgit (MYR) is the currency of Malaysia.

Is public transportation available in Malaysia?

Yes, Malaysia's extensive public transportation system includes trains, trams, buses, and monorails.

What are the common languages spoken in Malaysia?

Malay is the national language of Malaysia. However, English, Tamil and Mandarin are also widely spoken, especially in urban areas.

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