Weather and Climate
Malaysia’s weather is characterized by high temperatures and humidity. On average, temperatures hover around 30°C (86°F) with humidity levels often exceeding 80%. However, highlands and mountainous regions like the Cameron Highlands and Mount Kinabalu in Borneo offer cooler climates.
Malaysia’s monsoon spans from September to February. Different regions experience varying intensities of rainfall. For instance, Borneo’s western Sarawak coast sees peak rainfall between November and February. The west coast of peninsular Malaysia, including Penang and Langkawi, receives the most rain in September and October. The east coast experiences its heaviest rainfall between November and March. Travelers should be cautious during this period as monsoon rains can disrupt travel plans, especially for those looking forward to beach or island holidays.
Best Months to Visit
The period between March and October is deemed the most favorable for visiting Malaysia. These months are marked by predominantly dry weather and clearer skies. Additionally, humidity levels drop slightly, making outdoor activities more enjoyable. For those planning to visit the islands on Malaysia’s west coast, the initial two months of the year are ideal.
Haze and Pollution
Travelers should also be wary of haze and pollution resulting from slash-and-burn farming. This phenomenon occurs annually and can hamper outdoor activities. The intensity and timing of the haze can vary, with Borneo and regions near Indonesia often being the most affected.
Malaysia’s diverse cultural tapestry means there’s almost always a festival taking place. From the Chinese New Year and Thaipusam to the Moon Cake Festival and Deepavali, there’s a plethora of events that offer a deep dive into Malaysia’s rich cultural heritage.