When to visit Malaysia
When to visit Malaysia
Best time to visit Malaysia
Malaysia’s setting just north of the equator provides a year-round tropical climate. No matter when you plan your visit you’ll find average temperature fairly static, hovering between 80-90F most days. An equatorial climate also means frequent rainfall: dramatic thunderstorms are common, but usually last for under an hour, with the sun breaking through and drying up and puddles within minutes.
There is no high or low season as such, but when you travel will influence the places that you visit. November through to March is the ideal time for the west coast, and with all Malaysia’s best known travel destinations on this side of the peninsula its these months which tend to see the highest numbers of international visitors.
The east coast destinations on the other hand are ideal from June through to October. While the east coast is less developed in terms of tourism infrastructure, it does boast a small selection of outstanding island retreats, and its seasonality pairs well with Borneo and Indonesia providing the enticing prospect of adventurous family holidays or action-packed honeymoons.
April and May are the inter-monsoonal months of change. At this time neither west nor east coast is in season, nor completely off limits. There will be occasional showers but tourist activity dips significantly with accommodation rates at their lowest and tourist crowds the thinnest of the year. If you’re careful about where you visit this can be a highly advantageous time of year to visit.
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Malaysia is a truly compelling destination, with a varied climate which has something offer all around the year. We’ve put together an overview of climate season-by-season and region-by-region below.
High season for classic west coast itineraries
November to April
This wide period is considered the high season in Malaysia, with the country’s most popular destinations along the west coast experiencing lowest rainfall of the year. Athough showers may occur daily they rarely last more than an hour, with much of the day filled with sunshine. 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 too: whether you plan to take a jungle trek, hike in the hills near George Town, or check out the International Dragon Boat competition in December. The late year months are also prime time for retail therapy in KL, with year-end sales in full swing throughout its numerous luxury shopping malls.
High Season for East coast
June to October
Malaysia’s east coast transitions from a thorough soaking from November to March to reliably warm and clear days from June through to October. The west coast might not offer the best beach weather at this time, but if you’re approaching KL, Penang, Ipoh, and Malacca from a cultural touring perspective then all are still ripe for exploration, and although there are some very hot days you have upcountry escapes such as Fraser’s Hill or the Cameron Highlands for cooler temperatures. You can then head on over to Tioman, Redang, Terengganu, or the Perhentians for idyllic end-of-tour tropical island escapes. November to March is also a great time for jungle treks and wildlife watching: 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. Note that visitors in July and August will potentially encounter the festivities of Hari Raya Aidilfitri, the Islamic calendar’s most important celebrations, with fantastic feasting opportunities on offer.
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