“DANCING IN WARM RAIN, MIST RISING FROM THE JUNGLE OR ESCAPING THE HEAT IN AN AIR-CONDITIONED MALL; NO MATTER WHEN YOU VISIT MALAYSIA, EVERY CLOUD HAS A SILVER LINING.“
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Even at night, temperatures rarely fall below 20 degrees (except in the cooler highlands), providing mosquitoes with a plethora of uncovered feasts. In general, the west coast receives more rain during the summer (May-October), whereas the east coast and Cameron Highlands receive more rain from September to December. Then it’s Borneo’s turn to deal with the worst of the weather, before handing the umbrella over to KL for March and April. Basically, if you don’t mind a daily deluge to relieve the heat and humidity, the best time to visit Malaysia is all year.
WHEN SHOULD YOU VISIT MALAYSIA AND WHEN SHOULD YOU NOT?
- Around the turn of the year, in late November, December, January, and early to mid-February, the Malay Peninsula’s east coast and the westerly shores of Sarawak experience the worst of the weather.
- On the other hand, the rainy season for Sabah and the west coast of Malaysia usually occurs between September and October, with sea crossings and rainforest trails occasionally being affected by heavy downpours for a couple of hours, usually in the mid to late afternoon.
- The best time to visit Malaysia is between February and September, just after the rainy season, when there is less rain and an abundance of tropical foliage, making March, April, May, and June much drier and less busy months to visit.
- The dry season from March to October is the best time to spot wildlife on the Malay Peninsula, with March and July being the best months for bird watching in general, and August/September being the best time to see thousands of hornbills around Temenggor Lake in Perak.
- July, August, and September can be hot and humid, with forest fires from neighboring Indonesia raging and depriving some city streets of sunlight and fresh air. To avoid the summer haze, head to the Cameron Highlands or escape to the west coast.
- Around the beginning of the year, in January and February, Chinese New Year is in full swing, with Petaling Street in KL ablaze with red lanterns and the occasional firework. This is also the time of year when Hindu and Tamil communities celebrate Thaipusam, with temples in Batu Caves, just outside of KL, and around Penang attracting large crowds for the national holiday.