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Best time to visit Malaysia

Get cheap flights, avoid the crowds and stay dry in this southeastern Asian nation.

The best time to visit Malaysia depends on whether you’re planning to visit the east or west coast. Read on to learn about the best time to visit for scuba diving and snorkeling, hitting the beaches and sightseeing from coast to coast.

When is the best time to visit Malaysia?

If you’re traveling to the east coast, visit between April and September to steer clear of the wet season and heavy rains. Peak tourism happens in June, July and August, so travel in April or May to avoid long lines and crowds.

If you’re headed to the west coast, the lowlands or the highlands, November to March offers the perfect pairing of dry weather and off-peak prices.

Best time to visit Malaysia for activities

  • Sightseeing. November to March is best because it typically gets the smallest amount of rain. In Kuala Lumpur, we recommend visiting the Petronas Twin Towers as well as the nearby Batu Caves.
  • Beaches. You can enjoy the beach all year round in Malaysia, though rain showers are pretty common. The best and driest time to visit the beach — or stay in an overwater bungalow — varies, depending on what part of the country you’re in. Aim for March to September on the east coast, and from November to August in the west.
  • Snorkeling and diving. The majority of the best dive and snorkeling spots are located on the eastern peninsula, making the best time of year to visit between April and September. Monsoon season hits from October to March, making the water murky and visibility unclear. For diving and snorkeling on the west coast, you should plan a visit between November and August.
  • Honeymoon. Honeymoons are ideal at resorts on the east coast. March to mid-May and September will give you the best weather, lower prices and fewer crowds — plus minimal rain.

Cheapest time to visit Malaysia

The cheapest time to fly to Malaysia from the US is April or May, with flights costing an average of $687 roundtrip, according to Skyscanner. You should also be able to find good deals on hotels during April and May, since summer tourist traffic doesn’t usually pick up until June.

Weather

Malaysia has consistent hot and humid weather year round. The west coast experiences its wet season from April to October, but thundershowers are usually brief and provide a relief from the humidity. The east coast’s rainy season is from November to February and has heavier rainfall. Most beaches and accommodations are closed until March.

Temperatures are consistent all year round. Expect 70°F to 90°F on the coast and slightly cooler in the highlands, about 59°F to 77°F. Shoulder-season months November and March are ideal for travel deals and smaller crowds.

Take a look at the average monthly temps and rainfall in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia’s capitol city, before packing your bags.

Average monthly temps in Kuala Lumpur

JanuaryFebruaryMarchAprilMayJuneJulyAugustSeptemberOctoberNovemberDecember
High90° F91° F92° F92° F92° F91° F90° F90° F90° F90° F89° F89° F
Low73° F74° F75° F75° F76° F75° F74° F74° F74° F74° F74° F74° F
Rain11 days9 days12 days13 days11 days7 days9 days8 days11 days13 days16 days13 days

Average yearly temperatures sourced from NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) in February 2021.

Events and holidays in Malaysia

No matter the season, you can take part in Malaysian festivities by scheduling your trip around a holiday or other cultural event.

Winter

  • Dragon Boat Festival
  • Hungry Ghost Festival
  • UNICEF Borneo Marathon
  • Vesak Day Parade
  • Borneo Cultural Festival

Spring

  • KL International Jazz and Arts Festival
  • Cooler Lumpur Festival
  • Borneo International Kite Festival
  • Malaysia Fashion Week
  • Penang Bridge International Marathon

Summer

  • Resolution Run
  • Chinese New Year
  • Lantern Festival
  • Penang Hot Air Balloon Fiesta
  • Penang International Dragon Boat Festival

Fall

  • Malaysia Day
  • MyBalloonFiesta
  • Songkran Water Festival
  • Sabah International Fishing Tournament
  • Penang International Food Festival
  • Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition

Best time to visit Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand

Singapore and Malaysia have similar weather all year round. It’s usually best to avoid the heavier rainy season in Singapore by traveling in November, February and March. That way, you can skip crowds around Christmas, New Year’s and Chinese New Year.

Weather in Thailand tends to fluctuate more throughout the year than in Malaysia and Singapore. That said, the best time to visit this trio of South Asian nations is still from November to March. April brings extreme heat and humidity, as well as the start of the rainy season.

November to March is peak tourist season, but crowds tend to dwindle as spring nears. So choose March for that sweet spot between lower prices, fewer tourists and gorgeous weather.

Traveling during COVID-19
The CDC continues to advise caution when traveling within or outside the US, though it no longer requires self-quarantine or a COVID-19 test for fully vaccinated travelers as of April 2021. It recommends that you delay travel if you are not fully vaccinated to protect yourself and your family from getting or spreading the virus.

When traveling, follow safety measures that include wearing a mask in public, social distancing and washing your hands. If you are diagnosed with, have symptoms of or are waiting for COVID-19 test results — or are otherwise at risk of illness — do not attend gatherings or travel for 14 days.

Bottom line

After you’ve chosen the best time for your trip to Malaysia, compare flights to book an ideal route at the cheapest price.

Frequently asked questions

Do I need a SIM card when I visit Malaysia?

Yes — we recommend securing a SIM card before touching down in Malaysia. It will likely save you lots of money on roaming charges.

Malaysia travel deals

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Flight promotions from $640 roundtrip to destinations in Asia

Destinations include Manila, Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, Ho Chi Minh City, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Mumbai.

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