When to Go

Peak season is typically mid-December through mid-February, and then June through mid-September. Christmas, the Western New Year, Chinese New Year, and Ramadan see Malaysians on the move, with flights and hotels booking up at rapid-fire speed and prices going sky-high. The weather is lovely during winter peak season, but avoid traveling during Chinese New Year. Note that Christmas Day is a national holiday in Malaysia and in addition to higher hotel rates, some restaurants and shops will be closed.

Though the temperature changes little year-round—it’s always hot and humid—the coasts suffer during the rainy season (November through March for the east coast, and October through November for the west coast). Visitors will find many island resorts shuttered and the water too choppy and unsafe for swimming or water sports.

Shoulder season varies across the country depending on rain, winds, and school holidays. For pleasant temperatures, dry weather, and fewer crowds, try Kuala Lumpur in early December, April, or May; the east coast in March through November; and March or April for Langkawi.

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