Best Time to Visit Malaysia

Malaysia offers lots to see and do, from its exciting cities with cultural attractions and endless opportunities for shopping and dining to wildlife-filled jungles. Paradise islands and lush, cooler highlands, but it’s important to understand the weather and other factors to determine the best time to visit Malaysia.

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Langkawi, Malaysia

Overview of the Best Time to Visit Malaysia

While Malaysia enjoys a tropical climate, located just north of the equator making it a year-round destination, for tourism purposes, the seasons are broken up into the high, low and shoulder seasons. No matter when you come, the average temperature is fairly static, hovering around 81 degrees Fahrenheit. The high season, largely falling in the winter, December through February, is when most tourist visit, coming during their winter holidays with schools closed. It’s the most popular time to come, with abundant sunshine minus the scorching heat of summer.

The next time best time to visit Malaysia is during the shoulder season, from July through November. There will be occasional showers, but tourist activity dips now, meaning fewer crowds to battle. If you come in the low season, March through June, there will be constant humidity and heavy rain, making some areas, a challenge to visit, although accommodation rates will be at their lowest, and tourist crowds the thinnest of the year.

High Season: December through February

The high season is considered the dry season in Malaysia, although in the area that surrounds Kuala Lumpur, showers may occur daily – they rarely last more than an hour, with much of the day filled with sunshine. This is a great time to enjoy retail therapy in the capital, with year-end sales in full swing in this shopping haven. The seas will be calm, and the weather dry in Langkawi, making it easy to take boat trips to sample the island’s beaches and hike the highest mountains. Penang is best enjoyed now to, whether you plan to take a jungle trek, hike in the hills near George Town, or check out the International Drago Boat competition in December.

Cameron Highlands, Malaysia
Penang, Malaysia

Low Season: March through June

The low season is also monsoon season in Malaysia. The upside is that accommodation will be more readily available and affordable while crowds are few. You’ll avoid having to wait in long lines and can explore places like Petronas Twin Towers and other attractions at a comfortable pace. As this country has lots of foliage and forest, the rain will transform landscapes into an eye-popping panorama of green. If you don’t mind rain and love nature, it can be a great time to visit the lush jungles and expeditions through the Cameron Highlands.

The downside is that the constant humidity will make it feel hotter than what the temperature belies. The rain can be torrential, averaging more than 10.2 inches. Heavy thunderstorms and turbulent seas mean it’s not the best time to come to visit the islands either.

Shoulder Season: July through November

Malaysia transitions from the monsoon season in July, bringing fewer showers although it can still be hot and humid. You can always escape to the Cameron Highlands to avoid sweltering heat. It’s a great time for treks in the jungle, wildlife watching and the beaches, without the thickest crowds of the year. July is one of the best months for birdwatching, while August and September are ideal for seeing thousands of hornbills around Perak’s Temenggor Lake.

It’s important to note that if you visit in July, Hari Raya Aidilfitri marks the end of Ramadan, one of the Islamic calendar’s most important celebrations, so it’s likely to be busier than the rest of the shoulder season.