When to go to Malaysia: climate, best time and months to avoid

Who I am
Lluis Enric Mayans

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

Author and references

Known for its beaches, rainforests and the mix of Malay, Chinese, Indian and European cultures, Malaysia is a very fascinating Southeast Asian country, occupying part of the Malay peninsula and the island of Borneo. The capital, Kuala Lumpur, is filled with colonial buildings and includes huge skyscrapers such as the famous Petronas Towers and vibrant shopping districts such as Bukit Bintang.
The peculiarity of this territory is given by the extreme contrasts that distinguish it: very high skyscrapers next to wooden houses built on stilts and luxurious resorts that rise a few meters from the coral reefs. Furthermore, the multiculturalism and friendliness of the population are other strengths that make it impossible not to love this land.


  1. Best time
  2. Period to avoid
  3. Climate and seasons
  4. User questions and comments

Best time

Malaysia is a very rainy country all year round, so it is difficult to find the best times to visit it. Starting from this assumption, here are the relatively favorable months to travel.

  1. Western Malaysia (Peninsular Malaysia - Kuala Lumpur, Penang): February / April for the east coast, January / February and June / August for the west coast.
  2. East Malaysia (Island of Borneo - Sibu, Bintulu): from June to August.

The best time to travel to Malaysia is from June to August in general. It must be taken into account that it rains all year round, so this situation cannot be ignored.
On the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia we find less rain from February to April; on the west coast where the capital is located, the good months are January and February, followed by June / August.

In Borneo Malaysia, June to August are the "least worst" months, because it actually rains almost every day throughout the year..

Finally, it can be said that March / April and September / October are excellent compromises between climate and savings: these are transitional moments in which the climate is excellent and it is possible to save money, thanks to hotel and flight promotions.

Period to avoid

In Peninsular Malaysia, the months to avoid are from September to December: in particular, on the east coast (Pahang, Terengganu), the periods with the greatest rains are November and December, in which more than 500 mm of rain per month are exceeded; on the west coast (Kuala Lumpur, Penang) September and October are to be avoided, when rainfall exceeds 300 mm.

In East Malaysia, the worst time is from October to March: in January it reaches 700 mm and it rains practically every day.

La cyclone season runs from May to December, with a peak in probability in December. However, Malaysia is located just south of the latitude where tropical cyclones form, therefore it may be affected marginally and in the northernmost part.

Climate and seasons

In general, the climate is equatorial, i.e. hot, humid and rainy all year round.

Malaysia is divided into two parts in which there are different climates: the Peninsular Malaysia (or West Malaysia) located on the Malay Peninsula, and the East Malaysia (or Malaysia of Borneo) located on the island of Borneo.
The abundant and frequent rains occur due to monsoons, which differ according to the coasts: the northeast monsoon that blows between mid-October and January, affects the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia and the north-east coast of Borneo, while between June and September the southwest monsoon blows, which is less intense.
Tropical rains are in the form of a passing thunderstorm, so the sun never fails. From what has been said so far, it can be deduced that there is no real dry season in Malaysia.

For temperatures are stable and high throughout the year, with the maximum around 30/31 ° and the minimum around 23/24 °. There is a slight increase between March and August, when the maximums are around 32/34 ° and the minimums at 23/25 ° C and a slight decrease between November and January, when the maximums drop to 28/29 degrees , while the minimums are around 23 ° C.

Average Temperatures and Precipitation - West Coast Peninsular Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur, Penang)

Along the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia, the rains are a little less abundant and the trend is substantially different. November and January are relatively rainy months, especially in the north, as in the interior there are mountains that block the winds. In any case, from June to August and January / February are the months in which there is less rainfall than the others.

Recommended period: January-February and May to August are the ideal months. March and April are excellent for visiting the coasts, although there can be afternoon showers. September and October are good, bearing in mind that there are still rains but always short-lived. November and December are very rainy especially on the east coast, while the west coast can be easily visited.

Average Temperatures and Precipitation - Peninsular Malaysia East Coast (Pahang, Terengganu)

The east coast of Peninsular Malaysia is affected by the northeast monsoon and therefore rainfall is very abundant, especially in November and December, when it exceeds 500 mm per month. This period sometimes extends until January in the central-southern part.
The sea is always warm, with temperatures around 29/30 degrees. As mentioned, the best time in this area is from February to April, with a preference for February when there is a little less heat.

Recommended period: January-February and May to August are the ideal months.

Average Temperatures and Precipitation - East Malaysia or Borneo (Bintulu, Sibu)

East Malaysia or Borneo is rainier than the peninsular one. The area with the most precipitation, which occurs especially from October to March, is the western one where Kuching is located, well exposed to the northeast monsoon: in January, 700 mm of precipitation falls and it rains almost every day., and many businesses are even closed.

In the other months the situation is better, it drops to 190/220 mm per month from June to August, which are the most pleasant ones.
On the northeastern coast (Sandakan), exposed to the northeast monsoon, the humid period is from November to February, and in the first months (November-December) strong winds and rainfall make it a suitable time to travel.
From March to May, it is less rainy and the hotels reopen.

Recommended period: May to August are the ideal months, especially July and August which mark the peak of the high season. In March and April the thunderstorms begin to gradually decrease, so it is a good time and many hotels reopen.

What to bring in your suitcase


  • Capital: Kuala Lumpur
  • Population: 31,19 million
  • Area: 330.803 sq. Km
  • Languages: Malay (official), English, Chinese, Tamil
  • Currency: Malaysian Ringgit (MYR) / Exchange rate: € 1,00 = MYR 4,75
  • Documents: passport with residual validity of at least six months at the time of departure for Malaysia. The tourist visa is not required for stays not exceeding three months
  • Time zone: + 7h compared to Italy; + 6h when summer time is in force in Italy
  • vaccinations: there are no mandatory vaccinations, one for hepatitis A and B is recommended. Preventive treatment against typhus is also recommended, while antimalarial prophylaxis is not necessary

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