Malaysia weather tends to be hot and humid all year round; however, the best time to visit will depend on what you are looking to do. The seasons vary drastically on the east and west coasts; therefore, you will want to plan your trip accordingly.
The best time to visit Kuala Lumpur and other areas located on the west coast of the Malaysian peninsular, is between November and August. Although temperatures rarely fluctuate from the 30-degree mark, you will avoid the worst of the monsoon season during this time. Some rain is expected all year round – particularly in the capital where thunderstorms occur regularly. On the other hand, Penang weather is generally cooler and there’s less rain.
The best time to visit Langkawi and other islands on the West Coast is between November and April. The weather is dry and calm during these months, making it the perfect time to enjoy the abundance of outdoor activities on offer.
Conversely, to take advantage of the world-class diving opportunities along the East Coast, you should plan your trip between March and September. This is also the best time to visit the tropical rainforests in Borneo where you can encounter the endangered orangutan and other fascinating wildlife.
It’s well worth planning your trip to coincide with one of the many festivals that take place throughout the year. For example, Malaysia is one of the best countries in the world to celebrate Chinese New Year. Spanning across 15 days throughout January & February you can expect to see the country in a whole new light. Streets, malls, and temples are decorated in red lanterns, while traditional celebrations take place around the cities. It is a wonderful experience; however, prepare for the country to become increasingly busy during this time.
Another exciting and slightly unusual event, is the Tamil festival of Thaipusam. Held annually at the Batu Caves – during the full moon period of late January – early February, Thaipusam is renowned to be somewhat gruesome. The festival involves devotees piercing parts of their body, cheek, and tongue; therefore, it is recommended that visitors research before attending.
Other significant festivals include Wesak Day AKA Buddhas Birthday in May, Deepavali (the ‘Festival of Light’) in November, and the Penang Dragon Boat Festival in December.