Your Trip to Malaysia: The Complete Guide SEE FULL GUIDE prev next Kuala Lumpur International Airport Guide Top Destinations in Malaysia Things to Do in Malaysia Common Greetings Currency in Malaysia Scams to Avoid Visiting Kuala Lumpur Neighborhoods to Know Best Hotels Public Transportation Guide Top Things to Do Guide to Malaysian Street Food Where to Eat in Kuala Lumpur Eating at Kuala Lumpur's Jalan Alor Best Time to Visit Weather & Climate Your Trip to Malaysia: The Complete Guide close Overview Asia Malaysia Weather in Malaysia: Climate, Seasons, and Average Monthly Temperature The Best Times to Visit Malaysia's Top Destinations Written by Greg Rodgers Facebook Twitter Greg Rodgers is a freelance writer and photographer from Kentucky. He's been covering all things Asia for TripSavvy since 2010. Tripsavvy's Editorial Guidelines Greg Rodgers Updated 12/11/20 Fact-Checked by Reviewed on 12/11/20 Jillian Dara Facebook Twitter Jillian Dara is a freelance travel writer and fact checker. Her work has appeared in Travel + Leisure, USA Today 10Best, Michelin Guide, Hemispheres, DuJour, and Jetsetter. About TripSavvy Fact-Checking Jillian Dara Share Pin Email robertharding / Getty Images The weather and climate in Malaysia can be a little confusing. Two separate monsoon systems affect weather differently on either side of Peninsular Malaysia. The islands along both coasts have different peak seasons, and the Malaysian slice of Borneo (East Malaysia) has its own unique patterns. With temperatures consistently in the upper 80s degrees Fahrenheit and high humidity, you can count on being warm enough at all times outdoors. The only exception is the lush Cameron Highlands region where higher elevation makes it one of the only places you may actually feel chilly in Southeast Asia. All parts of Malaysia experience plenty of rainfall, even during dry season. Monsoon Season in Malaysia Monsoon season in Malaysia can be quite severe when compared to other countries in Southeast Asia. Expect heavy rains to cause flooding that disrupts outdoor plans in places such as Taman Negara and the many national parks in Borneo. Runoff clouds visibility in popular diving destinations such as Tioman Island, the Perhentian Islands, and Sabah. The start of monsoon season varies from place to place in Malaysia, however October, November, and December are usually peak months for monsoon rains. Kuala Lumpur Kuala Lumpur is famous for surprising travelers with afternoon showers during the dry season — be ready! Malaysia’s capital city receives abundant rainfall throughout the year, even in June and July, usually the two driest months for Kuala Lumpur. The best time to visit Kuala Lumpur is generally in the summer since they have the least amount of rainfall. April, October, and November are the rainiest months; expect to slog along on flooded sidewalks. November averages 12.6 inches 320 mm) of rain due to frequent, heavy showers. Whether rain or shine, the heat and humidity will prevail as you explore the many interesting neighborhoods in Kuala Lumpur! Langkawi Malaysia’s most popular island destination stays busy year round (blame the duty-free prices for alcohol), but peak season is from December to February. The mean temperature is usually around 84 degrees Fahrenheit (29 degrees Celsius) throughout the year. Langkawi’s location in the northwest extreme of Malaysia causes its seasons to diverge from other destinations where winter is typically the rainiest time to visit. December begins dry season for Langkawi, but there’s still plenty of rain. Although November is a “shoulder season” month, it’s also the wettest with an average of 10 inches (254 mm) of rain until precipitation drops abruptly in December. Penang Penang, Malaysia’s island best known for culinary prowess, shares a similar climate and geography with Langkawi. Both have short dry seasons from December to February, then plenty of alternating rain and sun for the rest of the year. September is a little drier than August and October. Daytime temperatures can climb above 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 degrees Celsius) as you enjoy the colonial architecture and street murals. The Perhentian Islands Malaysia’s beautiful Perhentian Islands are subject to rough seas and storms that hit between October and January. Although you may still be able to visit, the islands are practically shut down and closed up, save for a few locals who choose to weather off season. The best time to visit Perhentian Kecil (smaller and rowdier) or Perhentian Besar (bigger and quieter) is between February and August. Summers are busy, especially on Perhentian Kecil where backpacking students come to party and socialize. Taman Negara Taman Negara, Malaysia’s oldest and most popular national park, stays green for a reason: it’s a rainforest! Even still, you’ll enjoy plenty of sunny days between February and September for hiking. The best months to visit Taman Negara are often March and April before the park grows even more crowded in May and June. Dry season temperatures hover around 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 degrees Celsius) with high humidity (80 percent or more). Avoid October, November, and December when heavy rainfall causes the Tembeling River to flood and trails become sloppy. Sarawak and Sabah (Borneo) Borneo hosts one of the oldest rainforests in the world. As expected, the jungle environment is perpetually hot and wet. Rainfall averages are among the highest in Malaysia, and humidity is often close to a suffocating 90 percent. Weather differs between the two Malaysian states on Borneo. Sarawak gets more rain; dry season is June-August. Peak monsoon season is from November to January. Rainfall can exceed 14.5 inches (368 mm) in January! Sabah, home to Kota Kinabalu, has less rain from January to April; October is the wettest month. Overall, Sabah tends to enjoy drier weather than Sarawak. There are opportunities for viewing wild and semi-wild orangutans in both places. Rainy Season in Malaysia The wet season in Malaysia is persistent. The line between “dry” and “rainy” season can be a little fuzzy. Regardless of the official season, showers are heavy and steady until the sun graciously reappears and evaporates standing puddles into thick humidity. As with every country in Southeast Asia, life goes on during the rainy season! Weather shouldn’t deter you from visiting. That said, heavy rains can mess up outdoor adventures such as exploring national parks and snorkeling or diving. Opt for dive sites and snorkeling trips far enough offshore to avoid sediment runoff. What to Pack: You’ll definitely want a way to waterproof your passport, money, and electronics for when afternoon thunderstorms pop up. Showers are torrential; an umbrella probably won’t be enough to keep you dry! Mosquitoes are a bigger nuisance during rainy season — bring your favorite repellent. Coils for burning can be purchased locally. Leeches are a problem on low trails in Taman Negara and Borneo no matter the season. Pack some tall socks and real hiking boots if you’ll be spending time in the national parks. Although flip-flops will work as footwear everywhere else without a dress code, they are inadequate for the slippery trails. Dry Season in Malaysia Despite pop-up showers, dry season in Malaysia is glorious. The rain keeps foliage green, and tropical flowers bloom throughout the year. Humidity averages 80 percent or higher at all times in Kuala Lumpur. Plan to drink more water than you thought possible! What to Pack: Malaysia is situated close to the equator, even closer than Thailand — you’ll really feel the heat. Pack options for sun protection (hat, uninsulated cover-up) beyond just SPF which tends to get sweat away faster than it can be reapplied. You’ll create more laundry than usual and need at least two clean tops a day. Pack extra or plan to purchase more. As expected, you’ll find plenty of T-shirts and sarongs available in local shops and markets. Average Monthly Temperature, Rainfall, and Daylight Hours Month Avg. Temp. Rainfall Daylight Hours January 86 F 6.41 in 6 Hours February 88 F 5.7 in 7 Hours March 89 F 8.6 in 6.5 Hours April 89 F 11.2 in 6 Hours May 89 F 7.2 in 6 Hours June 88 F 5 in 6.5 Hours July 88 F 5.1 in 6.5 Hours August 87 F 5.7 in 6 Hours September 87 F 7.6 in 5.5 Hours October 87 F 10.7 in 5 Hours November 86 F 10.8 in 4.5 Hours December 85 F 9.1 in 5 Hours Article Sources TripSavvy uses only high-quality, trusted sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial policy to learn more about how we keep our content accurate, reliable and trustworthy. Britannica. "Malaysia - Climate." December 2020. Langkawi Insight. "Best Time to Visit Langkawi." December 2020. Weatherspark. "Average Weather in January in Kuching, Malaysia." December 2020. Was this page helpful? Thanks for letting us know! Share Pin Email Tell us why! 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