To decide when to travel to Malaysia, it is best to know something about its climate. It must be said that this country has a monsoon climate; that is, it is hot and rainy practically all year round.
Best time to travel to Malaysia
Malaysia has average temperatures between 20ºC and 30ºC throughout the year in the lower areas, while in the highlands, the temperature is around 15ºC and 25ºC. Of course, it rains practically all year, even during the dry season. The intensity of the rains varies according to the month, and the good news is that they last for a short period.
On the other hand, several monsoons hit the country according to the time, so between April and October it is the turn of the southwest monsoon. Between the end of October and the beginning of March, it is the time of the monsoon in the northeast area. In case there wasn’t enough rain, the typhoons make an appearance between April and November.
With such a climatology, we could say that the best time to travel to Malaysia is all year round, since there will always be rain in greater or lesser intensity. Everything depends on the areas you want to visit, as there are small climatic and temperature differences depending on the region.
In this regard, Malaysia is divided into two large regions, which are Western Malaysia or the Malay Peninsula, and East Malaysia, which includes Borneo. Both with similar climatic characteristics, but with small variations. Yes, humidity throughout the country reaches 90%, so you have to be prepared for a constant feeling of heat.
We will see when to travel to Malaysia depending on the region you want to visit and how the climate is in that area.
When to travel to Kuala Lumpur
To travel to Kuala Lumpur it is best to avoid April, which is the rainiest month of all; the rest of the year you can travel to the capital without any issues. The highest temperatures are recorded in February, with 35ºC, and although there is still rainfall, it does not last all day.
There are two months with a lower rainfall rate; one of them is February with 35ºC, and the other is July, with 34ºC. If you can organise your trip in one of those months, you will avoid a higher rainfall rate, but you will not avoid the heat in any way.
When to travel to the Malay Peninsula
This region, as well as including Kuala Lumpur, is where Malacca, Negeri Sembilan and Putrajaya are located. All of them are very humid and warm, with average temperatures of 32ºC throughout the year.
As we have been saying, it rains all year round, and although they are quite intense rains, they do not last long. The good thing about this is that you can take advantage of a lot of dry hours to enjoy your trip. The humidity is very high, only softened by the sea breeze in Malacca while, above 1,500 metres, in the Malay Peninsula, the temperatures are much milder.
When to travel to Penang and Langkawi
These two Malaysian paradises are on the west coast of the country, which is the part which receives the southwest monsoon. Between April and October the rains are constant and very abundant; the good thing is that they cool the atmosphere and make the heat more bearable.
It is best to plan your trip between November and March, preferably in January and February. During these months, especially in February, the incidence of rainfall is somewhat lower and the temperature is somewhat milder.
When to travel to the east coast of Malay
If your trip includes the east coast, and the islands of Perhentian, Kapas or Redang, remember that the northeast monsoon affects this area between November and February. The ideal therefore is to travel to this region between March and October, not only to avoid the rains, but also because there are many closed-off areas and it will be more difficult for you to move between islands.
It would not be a good idea to visit the eastern islands during the monsoon, because you could not enjoy the sea, nor could you use the ferries which connect them.
When to travel to Borneo
Surely you have dreamed of travelling to the legendary Borneo; well, this part of Malaysia is affected by both monsoons. That is to say that it rains the whole year in Borneo, either for a monsoon or for another reason, especially between December and February, when many tourist centres are closed.
The rest of the year, you can still visit Borneo and enjoy its natural parks and crystal-clear waters. In this sense, May and June would be good months to visit the island, especially June, which records less rainfall.
Now that you know the climatic characteristics of Malaysia, it’s time to choose your dates and plan your trip. Don’t let the rain scare you off.