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Beach on Langkawi

When is the best time to visit Malaysia?

The best time to visit Malaysia depends on what area of the country you plan to see. The capital and west coast are hot all year round, making it an ideal place to visit for a city and/or beach break. Rain should be expected throughout the year, but these intermittent downpours shouldn’t impact on your enjoyment.

However, it’s worth noting that the west coast sees more rain than usual during September and October. At this time of year, you may prefer visiting an east coast destination instead.

Between March and October, the diving hotspot of Tioman, the white sand beaches of the Perhentians and the stunning mosques of Kuala Terengganu come to the fore.

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Malaysia Climate Guide

Destination Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Cameron Highlands 21°C 186mm 22°C 140mm 23°C 202mm 23°C 261mm 23°C 249mm 23°C 130mm 22°C 144mm 22°C 150mm 22°C 217mm 22°C 315mm 22°C 320mm 21°C 276mm
The East Coast 29°C 156mm 30°C 65mm 31°C 91mm 32°C 86mm 33°C 112mm 32°C 134mm 32°C 150mm 32°C 169mm 31°C 200mm 31°C 261mm 29°C 583mm 29°C 560mm
Kuala Lumpur 32°C 165mm 32°C 157mm 33°C 236mm 33°C 276mm 32°C 222mm 32°C 136mm 32°C 129mm 32°C 162mm 32°C 202mm 32°C 280mm 31°C 290mm 31°C 243mm
Langkawi 32°C 40mm 33°C 38mm 34°C 91mm 33°C 187mm 32°C 291mm 31°C 279mm 31°C 280mm 31°C 305mm 31°C 380mm 31°C 370mm 31°C 222mm 31°C 70mm
Malacca 31°C 101mm 33°C 97mm 33°C 154mm 32°C 195mm 32°C 167mm 32°C 165mm 31°C 181mm 31°C 181mm 31°C 206mm 32°C 234mm 31°C 235mm 31°C 156mm
Pangkor Islands 31°C 147mm 31°C 151mm 32°C 146mm 32°C 192mm 32°C 145mm 32°C 100mm 32°C 117mm 31°C 131mm 31°C 182mm 31°C 265mm 31°C 270mm 31°C 205mm
Penang 32°C 82mm 33°C 87mm 33°C 136mm 33°C 189mm 32°C 245mm 32°C 189mm 32°C 205mm 32°C 238mm 31°C 335mm 32°C 398mm 31°C 260mm 32°C 136mm
Perhentian Islands 28°C 222mm 29°C 102mm 30°C 117mm 32°C 83mm 32°C 113mm 32°C 132mm 31°C 123mm 31°C 183mm 31°C 208mm 30°C 290mm 29°C 580mm 28°C 614mm
Taman Negara National Park 29°C 175mm 30°C 100mm 31°C 136mm 31°C 194mm 31°C 224mm 31°C 168mm 31°C 166mm 31°C 184mm 31°C 248mm 30°C 273mm 31°C 277mm 29°C 306mm

Month-by-month guide to travelling in Malaysia

Christ Church, Malacca, Malaysia

Visiting Malaysia in January

During January, most of Malaysia will be bathed in sunshine, with very little rainfall expected; the only exception being the east coast and its islands. As such, it's the perfect time to head to the beaches of Langkawi, visit the capital or explore Malacca. Average temperatures sit at a comfortable 30°C.

Events & Festivals

  • Chinese New Year (date varies): The Chinese New Year is a national holiday in Malaysia, with festivities and celebrations held throughout the country, making it an exciting time to visit.
Spectacular sunset, Pantai Cenang, Langkawi

Visiting Malaysia in February

Another month to avoid the east coast. However, the rest of Malaysia presents perfect conditions for exploring. With low season promotional offers and lower visitor numbers at this time of year, this is a great time to visit.

Events & Festivals

  • Chinese New Year (date varies): The Chinese New Year is a national holiday in Malaysia, with festivities and celebrations held throughout the country, making it an exciting time to visit.
  • Federal Territory Day (1st February): A state holiday for Federal Territory in Malaysia celebrating the anniversary of the formation of the Kuala Lumpur Federal Territory in 1974.
Tioman Island, Malaysia

Visiting Malaysia in March

It begins to brighten up on the east coast, and islands such as Tioman start to open up again. With great weather expected throughout Malaysia, you have the pick of most areas.

Events & Festivals

  • Chinese New Year (date varies): The Chinese New Year is a national holiday in Malaysia, with festivities and celebrations held throughout the country, making it an exciting time to visit.
Buddha in Penang, Malaysia

Visiting Malaysia in April

Visitor numbers continue to rise on the east coast, and with Penang and Langkawi still bathing in sunshine. April is a popular time to travel to Malaysia. Kuala Lumpur, the Cameron Highlands and Pangkor Laut are subject to the odd shower at this time of year, but not enough to impact on your trip.

Tioman Island, Malaysia

Visiting Malaysia in May

Malaysia's east coast is the perfect place to be as the snorkelling and diving season begins. Calm seas and white sands are the perfect match for the beautiful islands. The winds pick up on the west coast and the continuous sunshine is no longer guaranteed. You can also expect some late afternoon thunderstorms.

The iconic Sultan Abdul Samad Building,Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Visiting Malaysia in June

Peak diving season begins on Tioman, with Redang and the Perhentians also experiencing hot, dry weather. The rains come to the west coast but are usually short sharp showers and should not impact on your overall enjoyment. This is a good time to combine Kuala Lumpur with Kuala Terrengganu and the Perhentians.

Peninsula Malaysia, Redang Island

Visiting Malaysia in July

This is peak season on the east coast, and visitor numbers will be high due to it coinciding with the European school holidays. The east coast receives some of its best weather, while on the west coast the seas are choppy, winds are up, and you should expect the odd downpour.

Events & Festivals

  • Hari Raya Aidilfitri (July): Marking the end of Ramadan with the breaking of the fast, this is one of the most important celebrations on the Islamic calendar. Families gather together for a traditional feast and travel may be busy.
Kuala Dungun, Malaysia

Visiting Malaysia in August

Peak season continues on the east coast and it's a good idea to book far in advance in order to secure preferred accommodation options. With hot, humid conditions and the chance of rain, Malaysia's west coast will now start to receive heavy downpours, though many people still travel during this period.

Events & Festivals

  • National Day/Hari Merdeka (31st August): A day commemorating the independence of the Federation of Malaya from British colonial rule in 1957.
Tioman Island, Malaysia

Visiting Malaysia in September

At the start of the month the east coast should still be bathing in sunshine; however, as the month goes on temperatures begin to drop and rougher seas are visible around the islands. Over on the other side of the country, the rains begin to die down and sunny days become more frequent. With visitor numbers dropping, you could grab a shoulder season bargain.

Events & Festivals

  • Awal Muharram (date varies, but usually between September and November): The beginning of the Islamic New Year is marked by Muslims through the attendance of religious activities, praying and singing.
  • Hari Raya Haji/Feast of the Sacrifice (September): Marks the end of the hajj pilgrimage season, when many Muslims make the pilgrimage to Mecca. Animals are sacrificed and the meat distributed to relatives and the poor.
  • Malaysia Day/Hari Malaysia (16th September): A national holiday to commemorate the establishment of the Malaysian federation in 1963.
Last light on Pantai Cenang, Langkawi

Visiting Malaysia in October

The rains on the west coast have one last downpour before months of dry weather. There should be guaranteed sunshine on Penang and Langkawi towards the end of the month. The east coast, on the other hand, braces itself for high winds and heavy rains. This can be a good time to visit as visitor numbers will be lower.

Events & Festivals

  • Awal Muharram (date varies, but usually between September and November): The beginning of the Islamic New Year is marked by Muslims through the attendance of religious activities, praying and singing.
Kek Lok Si Temple, Penang

Visiting Malaysia in November

With the majority of the east coast islands now closed, it's time for the west coast destinations to shine. Visitors start to flock to Penang and Langkawi. Go at the beginning of the month to have the pick of the hotels.

Events & Festivals

  • Awal Muharram (date varies, but usually between September and November): The beginning of the Islamic New Year is marked by Muslims through the attendance of religious activities, praying and singing.
Cameron Highlands, Malaysia

Visiting Malaysia in December

December has a similar story to November, with the west coast getting all of the sunshine and attracting most visitors as the east coast properties close their doors until March. Avoid the Christmas rush and get there early in the month.

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