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Malaysia

When is the best time to visit Malaysia

Malaysia has a tropical climate and offers warm temperatures throughout the year, with an average monthly temperature ranging between 23°C and 32°C. There is a clear east-west split in the weather. The wet season on the east coast is between November & February, which is when the west coast islands of Penang, Langkawi and Pangkor experience sunny, dry weather. Conversely, the wettest months on the west coast are April to October, which are the driest months on the east coast. Temperatures vary little in Malaysia, hovering constantly at or just above 30°C by day, while humidity is high year-round. Showers occur year-round too, often in the mid-afternoon, though these short, sheeting downpours clear up as quickly as they arrive. The best time to visit most of the region is generally between March and early October, when you will avoid the worst of the rains and there’s less humidity, though air pollution, usually caused by forest fires in Indonesia, can cause hazy conditions and even cancel flights.
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Month by Month Guide To Travel in Malaysia

Visit Malaysia in January

New Year is a busy travel period during January in Malaysia. Whilst much of Malaysia will be bathed in sunshine and blue skies with very little rainfall expected; it is monsoon season on Malaysia’s east coast and Sarawak and the east coast destinations such as Tioman Island, Perhentian Islands, Kuching, Miri and Mulu National Park will still be gripped by heavy rains and strong winds. As such, it's the perfect time to head to the beaches of Langkawi, visit the capital or explore Malacca. However, travellers to east coast at this time of year will benefit from fewer crowds and discounted rates. Average temperatures sit at a comfortable 30°C.
when-is-the-best-time-to-visit malaysia-january

Visit Malaysia in February

Sunshine and blue skies can be enjoyed throughout most of Malaysia in February. However, this is another month to avoid the east coast although weather conditions are far more favourable than in January. In Borneo, Gaya Island and the beaches close to Kota Kinabalu are enjoying the best weather conditions, with warm and relatively dry days (especially as the month continues). Rain is still to be expected in the more eastern areas of Danum Valley, Tabin and the diving heaven of Sipadan Island but visiting these places does have its benefits, with verdant countryside and rainforest, bountiful rivers and waterfalls. With Chinese New Year, low season promotional offers and lower visitor numbers at this time of year, February is a great time to visit.
When is the best time to visit Malaysia - February

Visit Malaysia in March

March sees an end to the monsoon on the east coast, and islands such as Tioman, Perhentian & Redang start to open up again. The west coast islands including Langkawi and Penang continue to enjoy hot sunny days, while Kuala Lumpur is expected to be experiencing March as one of the wettest months; so bring an umbrella and watch out for flash flooding! In Borneo, the rains begin to subside across the island, revealing dry, sunny days after months of rain, especially in Sabah. Crowds are still relatively low at this time of year, making it a wonderful time to take advantage of shoulder season offers as well as to trek in Borneo's lush forests and green jungles without the high visitor numbers. This is also the start of the whale shark season.
When is the best time to visit Malaysia - March

Visit Malaysia in April

April is a popular time to travel to Malaysia with light winds and infrequent showers. Crowds are rising on the east coast, and with Penang and Langkawi still bathing in sunshine. Kuala Lumpur, the Cameron Highlands and Pangkor Laut are subject to the heavy rains, but they are normally short lived and bring a welcome relief to the humidity. In Borneo, April is an excellent time of year to visit as typically warm and dry, with minimal rainfall and light winds dominates. It also has some of the best conditions for trekking, and you'll have a good chance of seeing some orangutans.
When is the best time to visit Malaysia - April

Visit Malaysia in May

The east coast peninsula Malaysia (Tioman Island, Terengganu & Redang Island) is now enjoying plenty of sunny dry days, and is the perfect place to be as the snorkelling and diving season begins. Over on the west coast (Penang, Langkawi & Pangkor Islands), the winds pick up on the west coast and the continuous sunshine is no longer guaranteed as the south-west monsoon begins, bringing with it a rise in humidity and slightly heavier rains. You can also expect some late afternoon thunderstorms. In Borneo, May offers excellent weather conditions, characterized by sunny days and minimal rainfall, making it a perfect time to visit before high season prices set in. It is an ideal time for both trekking in the jungles of Sabah to spot orangutans, and sun-bathing on the white sands beaches - whatever takes your fancy!
When is the best time to visit Malaysia - May

Visit Malaysia in June

Peak diving season begins on the islands of east coast of peninsula Malaysia such as Tioman, with Redang and the Perhentians also experiencing hot, dry weather. The west coast islands will be experiencing hot and humid conditions, along with heavy downpours but they are usually short sharp and should not impact on your overall enjoyment. This is a good time to combine Kuala Lumpur with Kuala Terengganu and the Perhentians. In Borneo, hot and dry weather conditions with the occasional rain shower dominate throughout the island. Whether you plan on trekking, wildlife spotting or just relaxing on the beach, June is an excellent time of year to visit.
When is the best time to visit Malaysia - June (1)

Visit Malaysia in July

July is a very similar story to June with the east coast of the peninsula receiving some of its best weather while on the west coast the seas are choppy, winds are up, and you should expect short, intense downpours. This is considered peak season on the east coast and visitor numbers to Malaysia are at their highest during this month due to it coinciding with the European school holidays. In Borneo, favourable weather conditions, warm sunny days, blue skies and minimal rainfall throughout Sabah and Sarawak combined with school holidays make July a popular time of year to visit. Turtle season continues to enthrall visitors, and orangutans are still active amongst the fruit trees. A busy travel month for both Malaysia and Borneo, so book ahead for activities, tours and accommodation!
When is the best time to visit Malaysia - July

Visit Malaysia in August

Weather conditions in Malaysia during August continue to be split between the coasts. The east coast is enjoying favorable conditions: plenty of sunshine, blue skies and ideal sea conditions for snorkeling and diving. In contrast, Malaysia's west coast islands now will be experiencing hot and humid conditions, along with short-lived, heavy downpours. Meanwhile, August in Borneo sees similar weather conditions to July if not better. Baby turtles begin to hatch on the beaches and fruit is still abundant in the forests, making this a great time to visit for wildlife enthusiasts. With a big influx of Arab and European tourists to the region during this time, booking far in advance is advised as jungle lodges and beach properties fill up fast.
When is the best time to visit Malaysia - August

Visit Malaysia in September

September is a transitional month in peninsula Malaysia. At the start of the month, the east coast should still be bathing in sunshine; however, as the month progresses, due to the increasingly strong winds of the north-east monsoon, temperatures begin to drop and rougher sea conditions are visible around the islands. Over on the other side of the country, the south-east monsoon and its afternoon downpours start to decline on the west coast and sunny days become more frequent. With visitor numbers dropping, you could grab a shoulder season bargain. In Borneo, September coincide the end of turtle season on Langkayan Island. Although there is an increased chance of rainfall, it's still a very appealing time to visit for relaxing on the beach, snorkeling, and wildlife watching on Kinabatangan River.
When is the best time to visit Malaysia - September

Visit Malaysia in October

The showers on the west coast have one last downpour before months of dry weather start. There should be guaranteed sunshine on Penang and Langkawi towards the end of the month. Over on the east-coast, on the other hand, the high winds of the north-east monsoon gather momentum, bringing rougher sea conditions, heavy rains and a slight drop in temperature. This can be a good time to visit as crowds will be less. In Borneo, dry days can still be enjoyed, especially in Sabah at the beginning of the month, prior to the rains setting in. Shoulder season prices take effect, and orangutans can still be seen in the wild. This is also the prime time for diving at Sipadan.
When is the best time to visit Malaysia - October

Visit Malaysia in November

Over on the east coast, the deterioration in weather and sea conditions mean majority of the islands and their now closed hotels and resorts will close – re-opening in March. In contrast, November marks the start of peak season for the beaches and islands along Malaysia's west coast with blue skies and minimal rain. Visitors therefore start to flock to Penang and Langkawi; go at the beginning of the month to have the pick of the hotels. In Borneo, overcast skies, rainfall and thunderstorms return, resulting in a fact that the crowds start to subside. On a positive note, the increased rainfall creates lush green forest, which in turn attracts an abundance of wildlife; fewer people at national parks and sanctuaries mean this is a favoured month for keen wildlife enthusiasts who don't mind getting wet.
When is the best time to visit Malaysia - November

Visit Malaysia in December

The good weather continues along peninsula Malaysia's west coast with plenty of sunshine and blue skies expected throughout December; avoid the Christmas rush and get there early in the month. In contrast, north-east monsoon brings heavy rain and stormy conditions almost daily, making the east coast properties close their doors until March. In Borneo, high temperatures, thunderstorms and rainfall during December can hinder access to parts of Borneo and mean that trekking and wildlife spotting are not as common. We would therefore avoid travelling to Borneo at this time.
When is the best time to visit Malaysia - December

Malaysia Climate Guide

Destination
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
29ºC
249mm
29ºC
211mm
30ºC
159mm
31ºC
132mm
31ºC
155mm
31ºC
141mm
31ºC
135mm
31ºC
151mm
31ºC
138mm
31ºC
184mm
30ºC
182mm
29ºC
226mm
29ºC
417mm
29ºC
270mm
30ºC
177mm
31ºC
116mm
32ºC
140mm
31ºC
192mm
31ºC
184mm
31ºC
224mm
31ºC
230mm
31ºC
250mm
30ºC
320mm
28ºC
444mm
30ºC
306mm
30ºC
156mm
30ºC
149mm
31ºC
177mm
31ºC
194mm
31ºC
223mm
31ºC
199mm
31ºC
225mm
31ºC
249mm
30ºC
314mm
30ºC
331mm
30ºC
347mm
29ºC
417mm
29ºC
270mm
30ºC
177mm
31ºC
116mm
32ºC
146mm
32ºC
192mm
31ºC
184mm
32ºC
224mm
31ºC
235mm
31ºC
253mm
30ºC
320mm
29ºC
444mm
31ºC
144mm
31ºC
149mm
32ºC
139mm
32ºC
183mm
32ºC
135mm
32ºC
94mm
31ºC
111mm
31ºC
125mm
31ºC
175mm
31ºC
255mm
30ºC
264mm
30ºC
201mm
29ºC
163mm
29ºC
85mm
30ºC
94mm
31ºC
151mm
31ºC
265mm
31ºC
293mm
31ºC
264mm
30ºC
268mm
30ºC
301mm
30ºC
346mm
30ºC
306mm
30ºC
252mm
29ºC
669mm
29ºC
519mm
30ºC
336mm
31ºC
277mm
32ºC
245mm
32ºC
200mm
32ºC
194mm
31ºC
229mm
31ºC
257mm
31ºC
317mm
31ºC
345mm
30ºC
505mm
31ºC
103mm
32ºC
97mm
32ºC
154mm
32ºC
194mm
32ºC
166mm
31ºC
165mm
31ºC
182mm
31ºC
183mm
31ºC
206mm
31ºC
234mm
31ºC
234mm
31ºC
155mm
Month

Jan
29ºC
249mm

Feb
29ºC
211mm

Mar
30ºC
159mm

Apr
31ºC
132mm

May
31ºC
155mm

Jun
31ºC
141mm

Jul
31ºC
135mm

Aug
31ºC
151mm

Sep
31ºC
138mm

Oct
31ºC
184mm

Nov
30ºC
182mm

Dec
29ºC
226mm
Month

Jan
29ºC
417mm

Feb
29ºC
270mm

Mar
30ºC
177mm

Apr
31ºC
116mm

May
32ºC
140mm

Jun
31ºC
192mm

Jul
31ºC
184mm

Aug
31ºC
224mm

Sep
31ºC
230mm

Oct
31ºC
250mm

Nov
30ºC
320mm

Dec
28ºC
444mm
Month

Jan
30ºC
306mm

Feb
30ºC
156mm

Mar
30ºC
149mm

Apr
31ºC
177mm

May
31ºC
194mm

Jun
31ºC
223mm

Jul
31ºC
199mm

Aug
31ºC
225mm

Sep
31ºC
249mm

Oct
30ºC
314mm

Nov
30ºC
331mm

Dec
30ºC
347mm
Month

Jan
29ºC
417mm

Feb
29ºC
270mm

Mar
30ºC
177mm

Apr
31ºC
116mm

May
32ºC
146mm

Jun
32ºC
192mm

Jul
31ºC
184mm

Aug
32ºC
224mm

Sep
31ºC
235mm

Oct
31ºC
253mm

Nov
30ºC
320mm

Dec
29ºC
444mm
Month

Jan
31ºC
144mm

Feb
31ºC
149mm

Mar
32ºC
139mm

Apr
32ºC
183mm

May
32ºC
135mm

Jun
32ºC
94mm

Jul
31ºC
111mm

Aug
31ºC
125mm

Sep
31ºC
175mm

Oct
31ºC
255mm

Nov
30ºC
264mm

Dec
30ºC
201mm
Month

Jan
29ºC
163mm

Feb
29ºC
85mm

Mar
30ºC
94mm

Apr
31ºC
151mm

May
31ºC
265mm

Jun
31ºC
293mm

Jul
31ºC
264mm

Aug
30ºC
268mm

Sep
30ºC
301mm

Oct
30ºC
346mm

Nov
30ºC
306mm

Dec
30ºC
252mm
Month

Jan
29ºC
669mm

Feb
29ºC
519mm

Mar
30ºC
336mm

Apr
31ºC
277mm

May
32ºC
245mm

Jun
32ºC
200mm

Jul
32ºC
194mm

Aug
31ºC
229mm

Sep
31ºC
257mm

Oct
31ºC
317mm

Nov
31ºC
345mm

Dec
30ºC
505mm
Month

Jan
31ºC
103mm

Feb
32ºC
97mm

Mar
32ºC
154mm

Apr
32ºC
194mm

May
32ºC
166mm

Jun
31ºC
165mm

Jul
31ºC
182mm

Aug
31ºC
183mm

Sep
31ºC
206mm

Oct
31ºC
234mm

Nov
31ºC
234mm

Dec
31ºC
155mm

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