You’ll be pleased to know that Malaysia is a year-round hot destination, but you do need to keep the monsoon in mind. The most important thing to remember about the weather in Malaysia is that the monsoon season is between November and March. In these months you’ll experience lots of rain on the east coast of the peninsula when many resorts will close.
So, if you want to travel in our winter, your best bet is to choose a western island like Langkawi and Penang. They’re pretty perfect all year round but especially nice in January and February, when it’s dry and bright with calm seas. You’ll find ideal conditions to top up your tan and swim, with up to nine hours of sunshine and temperatures averaging 29°C on land and in the balmy sea.
If you’re on the west coast you’ll experience a lighter wet season from April to October, but the rain is unlikely to spoil your holiday. You’ll have brief refreshing thunderstorms in the afternoons, with the sunshine never far away. Pangkor Island tends to be a little drier than the rest. If you want to go diving, avoid September and October when visibility under the water is poor due to choppy seas.
Have you set your heart on the tropical paradise island of Redang in the east? Then the best time to visit is from June to August, when the average temperature is 29°C, it’s dry and the sea is warm.
If you’re Borneo-bound, you’ll find similar conditions to Redang. The months to avoid are November to February because of the monsoon, although if you don’t mind the rain you’ll have fewer visitors with whom to share the national parks and wildlife sanctuaries. The best months, with dry and warm weather, are from May to September. Temperatures average between 27°C and 32°C.
You’ll notice the high humidity in Kuala Lumpur all year round, as it’s a constant 80%. The temperature is a steady 28°C and it’s driest in July, with most rain falling in November. If it gets too sticky, head to the coast for fresher sea breezes or up into the highlands, where temperatures average a pleasant 22°C.
Being close to the equator, the temperature throughout Malaysia doesn’t fluctuate a great deal. It’s hot and humid all the time, with the thermometer measuring between 21°C and 32°C. Wear lots of sunscreen and seek shade around midday. Take layers of light, breathable loose clothing and rainwear. Note that Malaysia is a predominantly Muslim country so pack a scarf to cover your head if you want to visit a mosque and wear modest clothes which cover your shoulders and knees. Mosquito repellent will also come in handy.