Ready to explore Malaysia? From the ancient cities of Kuala Lumpur to the idyllic beaches of Langkawi, there’s something here for everyone. However, a little dig into the right time of year to visit can make all the difference in having an enjoyable experience.
You want your interests, budget, and expectations to line up with what this beautiful country can provide. We’ll give you an insider’s guide on the best time to visit Malaysia so you can reap all the benefits!
You’ll learn about the worst times to visit with some do’s and don’ts to make your experience wholesome. Keep reading to find the best and worst times to visit amazing Malaysia!
Why You Should Visit Malaysia
Malaysia is full of beautiful landscapes, fascinating cultures, and exciting experiences. From the glittering cities to pristine beaches, lush jungles, and mountainous highlands, there’s never a dull moment in this stunning Southeast Asian country.
Kuala Lumpur International Airport is where Malaysia’s magic begins. The warm greetings and smiles of the locals will make you feel right at home. From there, prepare to be awestruck by the city skylines, unique architecture, delectable cuisines, and buzzing nightlife.
But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The country boasts pristine beaches on Langkawi, Penang, and Mataking Island, making it an ideal holiday destination for any beach bum.
You can sunbathe, soak in crystal clear waters, or indulge in thrilling water activities such as snorkeling, scuba diving, and kayaking. And sitting right on the equator, you can be sure you’ll get plenty of sunshine.
Adventurous travelers will be delighted with Malaysia hiking trails, National Parks, and nature sanctuaries. Kinabalu and Gunung Mulu National Parks, both UNESCO World Heritage sites, will keep your heart pumping with challenging treks, stunning views, and abundant wildlife.
Wrap up your day with a visit to local villages, and immerse yourself in vibrant culture, customs, and local music. Taste the Malaysian national dish, nasi lemak, and discover traditional delicacies, from desserts to street food and everything in between.
With so much to explore, the only remaining question is the best time to visit Malaysia. Let’s get to it!
Overall Best Time to Visit Malaysia
The best time to visit Malaysia’s eastern part is from March to early October, while December to February is most suitable for the western region.
These are the driest months on either side of the peninsula, making them the most comfortable for travelers. You can expect beautiful sunny days, clear skies, and relatively low humidity, perfect for beach holidays, sightseeing, and outdoor activities.
January and February see the most festivals like Thaipusam and Chinese New Year. These events offer you a unique opportunity to witness local culture.
The Gawai Festival, held in June, celebrates the Malaysian harvest and is a great time to visit. In May, you can participate in a week-long Sabahan celebration of the unique culture.
March marks the beginning of east coast spring, with visitors flocking to the Redang, Perhentian, and Kota Bharu islands for the warm temperatures. You may experience higher prices for accommodations, flights, car rentals, and other amenities, but the experience of visiting during this time is unparalleled.
For adventurers, April is the perfect time to climb Mount Kinabalu, an iconic peak in Sabah that towers over 4,000 meters above sea level.
At the same time, June to August is the best for visiting the interior jungles of Borneo, with abundant wildlife like orangutans and pygmy elephants. Late October and November bring the monsoon season on the eastern side, with heavy rain, strong winds, and choppy seas, making travel more difficult.
On the west coast, the weather remains mild and dry, with little rainfall until February, ideal for those looking to escape the downpour on the east.
Generally, the best time to visit Malaysia depends on the region you’re planning on visiting and the activities you have in mind.
Cheapest Time to Visit Malaysia
The cheapest time to visit Malaysia is during the monsoon season. On the west coast, it usually runs from late May to September, and on the east coast from November through March.
While the weather might not be pleasant as other times, this is a great time to get good deals on accommodation, transportation, and activities. Most tourists avoid this period as they seek other destinations with more favorable weather.
Late May sees the start of rainy weather on the west, while sunshine persists on the east. Take advantage of the comparatively low prices on the east coast before the monsoon arrives.
Explore the beautiful sights of Kuala Lumpur, the lush tea plantations of Cameron Highlands, or the picturesque islands of the Perhentian and Langkawi.
March, May, and August coincide with the school calendar and are ideal months for family vacations, with plenty of discounts available on flights and hotel rooms here.
Carry an umbrella and prepare for the occasional shower, especially in the afternoons. Otherwise, enjoy the consistent average temperatures around 77F, perfect for sightseeing and outdoor activities.
Least Busy Time to Visit Malaysia
If you’re looking for a quieter and more laid-back experience, the best time to visit Malaysia is between March through June.
It’s the low season, but it still offers plenty of attractions and activities and is a great way to explore the country without too much crowding.
Expect short lines at popular attractions like Penang Hill, the Genting Highlands, and the Kuala Lumpur Bird Park. Locals are less busy and have more time to converse with visitors, giving you a deeper insight into Malaysian culture and customs.
The low season also means you get better deals on accommodations, car rentals, and airfare as most businesses try to attract customers. Stroll the otherwise bustling streets of Kuala Lumpur, and enjoy the peace and tranquility of a quiet city.
Explore all the Malaysia hidden gems that are often missed during the high season. Unfortunately, the months fall during the monsoon season, so be prepared for downpours while exploring the countryside.
Most hotels may close down to do repairs and renovations, so make sure to book in advance. Outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, and beach-going may be difficult during this time.
Worst Time to Visit Malaysia
The monsoon season (May to September on the west coast and November through March on the east) is the worst time to visit Malaysia.
At this time of year, rainfall is frequent and heavy, resulting in floods, power outages, and other unpleasantness. You may experience travel delays, schedule changes, and even inconveniences with accommodations.
Outdoor activities like hiking, scuba diving, and snorkeling may be challenging due to the increased rainfall and potentially hazardous conditions.
Low and dense clouds during these months can reduce visibility, making it difficult to enjoy the views of mountains such as the Cameron Highlands and the beaches of Langkawi and the Perhentian Islands.
The slippery trails, muddy roads, and surging rivers may put you at risk, making exploring more dangerous. If you plan on traveling during this period, pack waterproof clothing and accessories and opt for indoor activities.
Avoid rural, remote areas with poor infrastructure, as they may be prone to dangerous flash floods. Plan your trip carefully, check the weather forecast before leaving, and remain aware of the situation.
Things to Consider
Knowing the best time to visit Malaysia is only the start to planning a great trip! You also need to know the do’s and don’ts for your trip.
- Respect local customs, beliefs, and habits. Malaysians are superstitious. Refrain from speaking loudly, acting offensively, or gesturing towards a religious shrine, temple, or monument.
- Dress casually but modestly. The country experiences hot and humid weather all year, so lightweight and airy clothes are the way to go. Don’t bare too much skin.
- Remember to bring sunscreen and an umbrella. Both the sunny and rainy seasons can take you by surprise, so it pays to be prepared when you visit Malaysia.
- Carry cash when visiting the interior. Most tourist destinations in the interior have limited access to ATMs, so make sure you come prepared with cash. The local currency is the Malaysian ringgit.
- Speak English, but learn some Malay, too. Learning some basic Malay phrases and words can help you make a good impression. It might help you get some tips from locals other tourists miss out on!
- Taste Malaysian cuisine. Malaysians love food and will be happy to share their local dishes. Don’t be afraid to give them a try! Check out the most crowded restaurants for the best taste of the country.
- Clubbing is expensive. As a Muslim country, alcohol is heavily taxed in Malaysia. If you’re looking for a night out, be prepared to pay a little more than usual for your good time.
- Public transport is cheap and reliable. Taxis, buses, and train services are affordable and make it easy to get around.
- Mobile internet is available in most areas. You can buy a prepaid SIM card with an internet plan for a few dollars so you can stay connected while you’re visiting Malaysia.
- Avoid tap water. Due to pollution and poor Malaysia sewage systems, it’s best to avoid drinking tap water and stick with bottled water while you’re here.
- Get vaccinated before you go. To stay safe, get the recommended vaccinations for your trip. These include Tetanus, Typhoid, Hepatitis A, and B.
- Book early. Hotels often fill up quickly in high seasons, so plan ahead and book when you’re settled on the best time to visit Malaysia for your trip goals!
Frequently Asked Questions
Still have a few questions about the best time to visit Malaysia? Let’s look at some FAQs to guide you on your stay.
How many days are enough for Malaysia?
One to two weeks is the ideal amount of time to explore the country. You’ll enjoy the vibrant cities, incredible national parks, unique culture, and delicious street food without rushing.
However, your trip’s ultimate length depends on your interests, budget, and preferences.
What language is spoken in Malaysia?
Bahasa Melayu, also known as Malay, is the official language of Malaysia and two other nations, Brunei and Indonesia. It’s also spoken in some areas of Thailand and Singapore.
Mandarin, Tamil, and English are also widely spoken, especially in urban areas.
Do I need a covid test to enter Malaysia?
Malaysia requires visitors from all countries to provide a valid Covid 19 vaccination certificate upon arrival.
If you don’t have one, you must present a negative Covid test result obtained at least 72 hours before arrival. The results must be printed out and presented at the time of check-in.
Is Malaysia a 2nd or 3rd world country?
Malaysia is a beautiful, developing country with all the modern amenities of a first-world country. It has a booming tourism industry and is an excellent choice for a getaway or vacation.
While it has a long way to go, its infrastructure, healthcare, and standard of living are rapidly improving.
What is punishable by death in Malaysia?
When it comes to drugs, Malaysian legislation is stringent. Illegal drug trafficking, possession, or use can result in hefty penalties, long-term incarceration, and even death.
It’s critical for travelers to remain cautious and aware and to observe local rules and regulations.
So, What’s the Best Time to Visit Malaysia?
The overall best time to visit Malaysia is from March to early October (east coast) and from December through February (west coast). The weather is usually sunny, warm, and comfortable with ideal conditions for outdoor activities.
For budget travelers, the monsoon season from May to September (west coast) or November to March (east coast) is the perfect time to go. Prices drop significantly due to decreased demand caused by unfavorable weather conditions.
If crowded beaches and long lines aren’t your thing, the low season, from March to June, is your best bet in Malaysia.
The worst time to visit is during the monsoon season, which is cheap and less busy but can bring typhoons, floods, and other bad weather. Plan and check the weather forecast before heading out on your trip!