This page guides you on selecting the best time to visit Malaysia in 2023. However, it is essential to note that the country’s diverse religious and cultural makeup leads to numerous festivals and holidays throughout the year. This can result in increased local tourism during festive seasons and school breaks, which may impact travel plans and costs.
Therefore, it is crucial to consider these factors in addition to weather when determining the most suitable time for a vacation in Malaysia, as failure to do so may negatively impact the overall cost and enjoyment of the trip.

When Is The Best Time To Visit Malaysia in 2023?

What is my recommendation for the best time to visit Malaysia in 2023? Of course, it depended entirely on personal preferences and desired activities tourists want to do in Malaysia. However, it is important to note that some regions of the country, specifically the east coast, may be affected by the monsoon season (mid-November to mid-January). Therefore, tourists may want to consider visiting the west coast, which experiences less rainfall and can be visited at any time of the year.

Weather

Malaysia naturally receives a lot of sunlight throughout the day. However, thick cloud cover can reduce sunlight. Rarely do thick clouds not cover Malaysia except in the dry season. On average, Malaysia receives 6 hours of sunlight a day. The average daily temperature throughout Malaysia is between 21˚C to 32˚C. Malaysia’s climate is typically influenced by winds blowing from the Indian Ocean (Southwest Monsoon Winds -May to September) and the South China Sea (Northeast Monsoon Winds -November to March). The annual rainfall is between 2000mm to 2500mm. Malaysia’s monsoon season starts in the middle of November and till the end of January.

Public Holiday

In addition to considering weather patterns, it is important for tourists also to consider public and school holidays when planning their trip to Malaysia. These holidays can significantly impact the overall holiday experience and should be considered when determining the best time to go to Malaysia. By considering weather and holiday factors, tourists can better plan their itineraries and have a more enjoyable and seamless trip to Malaysia.

Solution

If tourists do not have any option to come to Malaysia during the major festive season or the school holidays, please take this step.

  1. Book your Hotel and airline ticket early.
  2. Start your tour early, especially if you plan a day trip from Kuala Lumpur
  3. Travel by air instead of by road because most highways will be congested. 
  4. Do a tour with a private tour guide because tourists have more flexibility over a joined tour. In addition, most Malaysian tour guide operators will advise customers on the best time to start the trip to avoid the crowded area.
  5. Focus the activity on specific places such as Kuala Lumpur city or any islands in Malaysia that do not require you to travel far. 

Best Time to Visit Malaysia 2023 by Month

January

Malaysia Public Holiday - January 2023
DateDayHolidayStates
01-Jan-23SundayNew Year National except Johor, Kedah, Kelantan, Perlis & Terengganu
02-Jan-23MondayNew YearNational except Johor, Kedah, Kelantan, Perlis & Terengganu
14-Jan-23SaturdayYDPB Negeri Sembilan's BirthdayNegeri Sembilan
22-Jan-23SundayChinese New YearNationwide
23-Jan-23MondayChiness New YearNationwide
24-Jan-23TuesdayChiness New YearNationanwide except Johor, Kedah, Kelantan & Terengganu
best time to visit malaysia 2023
Chinese New Year 2023 year of the rabbit zodiac sign

Public Holiday in January

As a tourist was planning a trip to Malaysia in January 2023, it’s worth noting that the country will be celebrating Chinese New Year from January 22nd to 24th. Chinese New Year is typically a significant festival with a long school holiday, so many Malaysian Chinese take the opportunity to extend their leave until January 29th. Therefore, January’s first and second weeks might be ideal for visiting Malaysia.

School Holiday

School holiday until 24th January

Weather Conditions in January

Predicting the weather in January can be difficult because it is typically still in the monsoon season. However, the month of January weather has been unexpectedly sunny and dry in recent years.

What to Expect in January

We can categorize January 20th to January 24th, 2023, as the super peak season. But on the other hand, January 24th to January 25th is the shoulder peak season. This is because most Malaysian Chinese usually extend their holiday until January 29th to visit their family or go on holiday.

  • Most Malaysian will take this opportunity to travel back to their hometown or have a vacation with a family.
  • Most highways in Malaysia will be congested. If you plan to have a day trip from Kuala Lumpur, you must start early to prevent getting stuck in a massive jammed. 
  • The super peak season rate for Hotel and airlines
  • The restaurant and attractions will be overcrowded.

February

Malaysia Public Holiday 2023
DateDayHolidayStates
01-Feb-23WednesdayFederal Territory DayKuala Lumpur, Labuan & Putrajaya
04-Feb-23SaturdayThaipusamJohor, Kuala Lumpur, Negeri Sembilan, Penang, Perak, Putrajaya & Selangor
18-Feb-23SaturdayIsrak and MikrajKedah, Negeri Sembilan, Perlis & Terengganu
19-Feb-23SundayIsrak and MikrajKedah & Terengganu

Year End School Holiday

Malaysia year end school holiday
StartEndHolidayStates
18-Feb-2319-Mar-23Year end school holidayNationwide

Public Holiday in February

Thaipusam festival for 2023 falls on Saturday, February 4th, 2023. The Thaipusam celebration at Batu Caves involves a procession of devotees making their way to the cave temple, carrying milk pots as offerings to Lord Murugan. In addition, many of these devotees engage in acts of physical devotion, such as piercing their skin with hooks and skewers.

School Holiday in February

The school holiday period in Malaysia for the end of the year is scheduled to take place from February 18th to March 19th, 2023. Therefore, travel costs are anticipated to be higher than average for hotel accommodations and airfare during this time. In addition, visitors planning to make a day trip to the Cameron Highlands and Malacca should consider departing earlier to avoid potential crowds and congestion on the roads. By considering these factors, travelers can ensure a smooth and enjoyable vacation experience in Malaysia.

Best Time to Visit Malaysia
Thaipusam Festival in Batu Caves

Weather in February

Malaysia is towards to end of the monsoon season. Unfortunately, most islands situated in the South Chinese Sea, such as Tioman Island, Perhentian Islands, and Tioman Island, are not ready to accept any bookings. An alternative tourist can visit Langkawi Island, Pangkor, and Penang.

Overview For February 2023

  • February is the best time to visit Malaysia for tourists to experience the uniqueness of the Thaipusam Festival. 
  • We expect the year-end school holiday from February 18th to March 19th will cause massive crowds at all tourist destinations in Malaysia. Many families will take this opportunity to vacation before starting a new school term. We recommend planning your travels accordingly.
  • High demands on Hotels and flight tickets cause rates to be higher than average.

March

Malaysia Public Holiday in March 2023
DateDayHolidayStates
04-Mar-23SaturdayInstallation of Sultan TerengganuTerengganu only
23-Mar-23ThursdayAwal RamadanJohor, Kedah & Melaka
23-Mar-23ThursdaySultan of Johor's BirthdayJohor only
Malaysia year end school holiday for year 2022
StartEndHolidayStates
18-Feb-2319-Mar-23Year end school holidayNationwide
pasar ramadan
Pasar Ramadan in Kota Kinabalu

Public Holiday

There are no significant public holidays in Malaysia except two state holidays involving Terengganu and Johor states that have not affected any Hotel or airline rate.

School Holiday

Year-end school holidays continue until March 19, contributing to high Hotel rates, heavy traffic on the major highway, and overcrowded in a tourist destination. After school reopens, everything will go back to normal.

Weather in March

The monsoon transition phase usually occurs from March to May. During the transition period, heavy rain and strong winds at short intervals in the early afternoon and evening.

Overview For March 2023

  • Starting 19 March 2023 is the best time to visit Malaysia because the new school term for 2023 has started on 20 March.
  • Malaysian Muslims expect to start fasting during Ramadan on 23 March. Therefore, during Ramadan month most Muslims will stay at home.
  • Malaysia’s domestic tourism expected will be slow from March until April 19. April is the best time to visit Malaysia for honeymoon and shoestring travelers because it is much quieter, easy to move around, and Hotel rates are much cheaper.
  • The main attraction of the fasting month is “Pasar Ramadan.” It is available almost everywhere in Malaysia. The best places to buy traditional Malaysian food.
  • Most of the islands in Malaysia are open.

April

Malaysia Public Holiday Calendar - April 2023
DateDayHolidayStates
07-Apr-23FridayGood FridaySabah & Sarawak only
08-Apr-23SaturdayNuzul QuranNational except Johor, Kedah, Melaka, Negeri Sembilan, Sabah & Sarawak
09-Apr-23SundayNuzul QuranKelantan & Terengganu
15-Apr-23SaturdayDeclaration of Melaka as a Historical CityMelaka only
22-Apr-23SaturdayEid al-FitrNationwide
23-Apr-23SundayEid al-FitrNationwide
24-Apr-23MondayEid al-FitrNationwide
26-Apr-23WednesdaySultan of Terengganu's BirthdayTerengganu only

Public Holiday

Eid al-Fitr is a significant and extended festival in Malaysia from April 21st to April 24th, 2023. During this time, we expected a massive movement of Muslim families traveling to their hometowns. Additionally, non-Muslims may take advantage of the holiday to go on vacation with their families, resulting in significant traffic congestion on highways and tourist attractions.

School Holiday

In April 2023, there are ten days of school holidays, from April 20 until May 2. A relatively long school holiday to allow Muslims in Malaysia to return to their villages to celebrate Hari Raya with their families,

Weather conditions in April

Generally, April is the beginning of Malaysia’s hot, dry season, with temperatures ranging from 29°C to 35°C. The east coast of Malaysia, including the states of Kelantan and Terengganu, tends to be more humid and receive more rainfall during this time of year, while the west coast, including the states of Perak and Selangor, is generally drier.

Best Time To Go To Malaysia
A Malay boy in Malay traditional cloth showing his happy reaction after receiving a money pocket during Eid Fitri or Hari Raya celebration

Overview For April 2023

  • The first and second week of April until 19 April is the best time to visit Malaysia because it is still in fasting month. Expecting cheaper accommodation rate and easy to move around.
  • Please be advised that heavy traffic is expected on April 20th and 21st on most highways leading to Pahang, Terengganu, and Kelantan states. The congestion happens because Malaysian Muslim traveling to their hometown to celebrate Eid Fitri. Therefore, if you are planning to visit Taman Negara, Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary, or Genting Highlands during this time, please allow for potential delays in your travel plans.
  • From 19 April to 2 May is a peak season for Malaysia’s domestic tourism. Due to the high demand for public transportation, including buses, trains, and airlines, public transportation tickets sell out a month before the festival. Kindly book your accommodation or public transportation ticket in advance.

May

Malaysia Public Holiday for May 2023
DateDayHolidayStates
01-May-23MondayLabour DayNationwide
04-May-23ThursdayWesak DayNationwide
17-May-23WednesdayRaja Perlis BirthdayPerlis only
22-May-23MondayHari Hol PahangPahang only
30-May-23TuesdayHarvest FestivalLabuan & Sabah only
31-May-23WednesdayHarvest FestivalLabuan & Sabah only
best time to go to Malaysia
Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary is an excellent place to get close to the biggest mammals on land.

Public Holiday

In May, Malaysia has two public holidays known as Labour day on 1 May and Wesak day on 4 May. The holiday date is very close to each other, but it does not trigger any spike in domestic tourism.

School Holiday

No school holiday in May.

Weather in May

May is the best time to visit Malaysia weather-wise. I expected it to be hot and sunny.

Overview For May 2023

  • May is the best time to go to Malaysia for tourists from Europe who would like to start the summer holiday earlier.
  • The weather is hot and sunny, and all islands in Malaysia are fully operating.

June

Malaysia Public Holiday - June 2023
DateDayHolidayStates
01-Jun-23ThursdayGawai DaySarawak only
02-Jun-23FridayGawai DaySarawak only
05-Jun-23MondayAgong's BirthdayNationwide
18-Jun-23SundaySultan of Kedah's BirthdayKedah only
28-Jun-23WednesdayEid al-AdhaNationwide
29-Jun-23ThursdayEid al-AdhaNationwide

Public Holiday

For June 2023, Malaysia has two major public holidays that require attention if tourists are planning to visit Malaysia.

  1. Agong’s Birthday is on Monday, June 5th. Three-day weekends Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, might affect tourist itineraries because Malaysia takes the opportunity to bring their family for a short trip in Malaysia.
  2. Eid al-Adha festival on the 28th and 29th of June is another major festival for Muslim people. Expected the highway and tourist attractions in Malaysia will be busy from June 27th until July 2nd, 2023. During the Eid al-Adha festival, we expected high demand for hotels and transportation.

School Holiday

The extended school holiday from June 28 to May 2 might cause traffic jams on a major highway.

Malay traditional food
Beef rendang, Ketupat, and Lemang are the most famous traditional dish for the Malays community during the Eid Mubarak festival.

Weather in June

The weather in Malaysia in June is generally hot and humid, with temperatures ranging from 26-33°C. However, the northern states of Malaysia, such as Penang and Langkawi, tend to be slightly more relaxed, with temperatures averaging around 28°C (82°F). Rain is also common in June, with most areas receiving at least some rain during the month. Overall, it is an excellent time to visit Malaysia as the weather is generally pleasant, although it may be a bit hot and sticky for some people.

Overview For June 2023

Although Malaysia has two public holidays that require tourists need extra care when planning their holiday, June is the best time to visit Malaysia weather wise.

July

Malaysia Public Holiday - July 2023
DateDayHolidayStates
07-Jul-23FridayGeorgetown World Heritage City DayPenang only
08-Jul-23SaturdayPenang Governor's BirthdayPenang only
19-Jul-23WednesdayIslamic New YearNationwide
22-Jul-23SaturdaySarawak DaySarawak only
30-Jul-23SundaySultan of Pahang's BirthdayPahang only
the best time of year to visit Malaysia
Green Sea turtles on the reef at Barracuda Point on Sipadan Island

Public Holiday

In July, Malaysia only has one public holiday, which may not cause an increase in hotel rates. Generally, July month is considered a quiet time for Malaysian domestic tourism.

School Holiday

Bo school holiday

Weather in July

In July, Malaysia has warm and humid weather, with temperatures ranging from 26-32°C and high humidity. Rain showers and thunderstorms are common, especially in the afternoon. It is an excellent time to visit the beaches in Malaysia, as the water is warm and the weather is pleasant. Be sure to bring plenty of sunscreens and a hat to protect yourself from the sun, and carry an umbrella or raincoat with you in case of rain.

Overview For July 2023

July month could be the best time of year to visit Malaysia. Perfect weather for all activities, fruit season started, and no major public and school holidays.

August

DateDayHolidayStates
24-Aug-23ThursdayMelaka Governor's BirthdayMalaka only
31-Aug-23SaturdayMalaysia National DayNationwide

Public Holiday

Malaysia’s national holiday falls on Saturday, 31st August 2023. National public holiday does not affect any tourist attractions in Malaysia because it is like a typical weekend. So enjoy your holiday in Malaysia. The month of August is the best time to visit Malaysia, but it is also towards the end of a summer holiday in Europe. From my experience, in the month of August, many tourists from Italy and Spain travel to Malaysia.

School Holiday

Nine days of school holiday are from August 25 until September 9, which might spike Hotel rates and domestic airline tickets.

Weather in August

In August, Malaysia typically experiences hot and humid weather, with temperatures ranging from 29C to 32C. The country is located near the equator, so it has a tropical climate with high humidity year-round.

Cameron Highlands
Cameron Highlands tea plantation

Overview For August 2023

August is the best month to visit Kuala Lumpur due to the National day celebration in Dataran Merdeka on August 31. Tourists can see the national day parade by various Malaysian government agencies and NGOs.

September

Malaysia Public Holiday - September 2023
DateDayHolidayStates
16-Sep-23SaturdayMalaysia DayNationwide
17-Sep-23SundayMalaysia DayKelantan & Terengganu only
27-Sep-23WednesdayProphet Muhammad's BirthdayNationwide
best time to go Malaysia
Taman Negara Canopy Walk

Public Holiday

Malaysia observes a single national holiday on September 16th, Malaysia Day, which falls on a Saturday this year. As such, it is unlikely to result in an increase in rates for hotel accommodations and airfare.

School Holiday

School reopens on September 3 after nine days of holiday. No other major school holiday after September 3.

Weather in September

In September, the weather in Malaysia is generally drier, with temperatures ranging from 24.0 °C to 28.0 °C. Although Malaysia is still in the southwest monsoon phase, most states experience minimal monthly rainfall, usually between 100 – 150mm. There may be occasional thunderstorms in the late afternoon.

Overview For September 2023

September is the best time to go to Malaysia, as it is a serene and peaceful month for international and domestic travelers. In addition, September is the ideal time for honeymooners or those who couldn’t take a summer vacation to experience Malaysia’s beauty and splendor. Most of the tourist attractions and islands in Malaysia are still operating.

October

List of Malaysia Public Holiday for October 2023
Malaysia Public Holiday - October 2023
DateDayHolidayStates
07-Oct-23SaturdaySabah Governor's BirthdaySabah only
14-Oct-23SaturdaySarawak Governor's BirthdaySarawak only

Public Holiday

In October, Malaysia does not have any major holidays.

School Holiday

No School Holiday

Weather in October

During October, Malaysia experiences a shift in weather patterns as the Southwest Monsoon gives way to the Northeast Monsoon. This transition period typically brings sunny mornings, followed by heavy afternoon and evening rains.

Batu Caves
Batu Caves is The biggest Hindu temple complex in Malaysia.

Overview For October 2023

Malaysia is in the phase of the monsoon season. Therefore, tourists planning to visit the island or beach in Borneo or East Coast Malaysia are advised to contact their local operator.

November

Malaysia Public Holiday - November 2023
DateDayHolidayStates
03-Nov-23SaturdaySultan of Perak's BirthdayPerak only
11-Nov-23SaturdaySultan of Kelantan's BirthdayKelantan only
12-Nov-23MondayDeepavaliNationwide
Langkawi Island
Chenang Beach Langkawi in November 2022

Public Holiday

Malaysian Hindus will celebrate the Devali festival on 12th November 2023. The date falls on Sunday so Malaysians will get an additional day off on Monday. It is another long weekend where Malaysians travel to their hometown or take a short holiday to Malaysia’s famous tourist attractions.

School Holiday

No school holiday in November

Weather in November

In November, Malaysia is generally in the monsoon season, so some parts of the country may experience more rain than others. The east coast of Malaysia, specifically Kelantan, Terengganu, and Pahang, tends to have more rainfall during this time of year.

Overview For November 2023

Malaysia is officially in the monsoon season in November. As a result, all the islands in the South China Sea, such as Perhentian Island, Tioman Island, and Kapas Island, formally closed until late February or early March. Tourists can consider alternatives to Langkawi Island, Pangkor Island, Penang, Sipadan Island, Gaya Island, Manukan Island, Sapi Island, and Mamutik Island.

December

Malaysia Public Holiday - December 2023
DateDayHolidayStates
11-Dec-23MondaySultan of Selangor's BirthdaySelangor only
24-Dec-23SundayChristmas EveSabah only
25-Dec-23MondayChristmasNationwide

Events in December

December is considered a busy month in the Malaysian tourism industry. Besides the 17 days of school holiday, most companies in Malaysia require their workers to clear all their current annual leave balances before the new year starts. Therefore, in December, Hotel imposed a super peak and shoulder peak rate. Therefore, please book your Hotel a few months early.

School Holiday

The weather condition in December 2023

Not suitable to visit the East Coast and North region of Malaysia due to heavy rain. The West and Central part have a minimum effect. Please get in touch with the local operator.

Best Time to Visit Malaysia FAQ

Langkawi and Penang, situated in West Coast Peninsular Malaysia, has minimal effects from monsoon season. Therefore, tourists can visit Langkawi and Penang throughout the year. But if tourists want a peaceful holiday, I suggest avoiding visiting Penang and Langkawi during festivals and school holidays.

Malaysia has two types of tourists, domestic and foreign tourists. Most foreign tourists come to Malaysia throughout the year, while local tourists go on holiday whenever Malaysia celebrates the festival and during the school holiday.

The rainy season in Malaysia is from November till the middle of March. As a country with an equatorial climate, Malaysia always receives heavy rain in the evening. However, during the monsoon season, heavy rains are longer than usual.

August is one of the ideal months to visit Malaysia because of the bright weather, tourists can taste the seasonal fruits, and no significant festivals are happening in Malaysia. But August is a busy time in Malaysia because many tourists from Europe, especially Italy, come to Malaysia. So make sure you book hotels and activities in advance if you plan to visit Malaysia in August.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the best time to visit Malaysia depends on various factors, including personal preferences and desired activities. While the monsoon season may affect certain areas of the country, such as the east coast, the west coast experiences less rainfall and can be visited at any time of the year. Ultimately, it is recommended to consider the specific destinations and experiences tourists hope to have during their trip to Malaysia to determine the best time to visit.