This page contains tips to choose the best time to visit Malaysia. Malaysia has many festivals and holidays because of multiple religions and cultures. In addition, Malaysians will take their family on holiday during the festive season and school holidays. Therefore, the influx of local tourists, to some extent, affects your itinerary.

However, one common mistake by tourists is they focus on the weather condition as their primary reference to choose the best time for a holiday without considering other elements such as festivals and school holidays that affect their travel cost and vacation experience.

When Is The Best Time To Visit Malaysia?

Malaysia naturally receives a lot of sunlight throughout the day. However, thick cloud cover can reduce sunlight. Rarely thick clouds do 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. Typically, Malaysia’s climate is 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 started in November till the end of February.

To pick the best time to visit Malaysia, we use Malaysia’s public holidays as a guide. To give a better picture, I break the calendar by month. Tourists can travel to Malaysia at any time, but in specific situations such as during major festivals, it might affect tourist activity and traveling time.

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

For tourists who plan to travel to Malaysia in January 2023, Malaysia will celebrate the Chinese New Year from the 22nd until the 24th of January 2023. Usually, a major festival such as Chinese New Year comes with a long school holiday. Therefore, parents take this opportunity to extend their leave until 29th January. Thus, the first and second week of January is the best time to visit Malaysia.

We categorize from 20th January to 29th January 2023 as super peak season

  • 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, you need to 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.

How to Overcome

  • The best solution is to reschedule your itinerary or do this. 
  • Book your Hotel and Airlines ticket early.
  • You need to engage a good Malaysia private tours guide if you plan to make a day trip from Kuala Lumpur. They will advise the ideal time to start the tour.
  • Focus the activity on Kuala Lumpur city and the surrounding area. 

February 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 for 2022

StartEndHolidayStates
18-Feb-2312-Mar-23Year end school holidayNationwide

Events in February

  1. Thaipusam festival on Saturday 4th February 2023. It is the best time to visit Kuala Lumpur to experience the Thaipusam celebration in Batu Caves. So please do it before Saturday 4th February or after 5th February because the police will close all roads heading to Batu Caves during the chariot parade.
  2. Malaysia’s year-end school holiday from 18th February to 12th March 2023. Hotel rates and Airlines ticket prices might be slightly higher than average. Tourists who are planning to make a day trip to Cameron Highlands need to start early to avoid crowded and traffic jam.

Weather Conditions 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 Island and Sipadan Island, are not ready to accept any booking. An alternative tourist can visit Langkawi Island, Pangkor and Penang.

Best Time to Visit Malaysia
Thaipusam Festival in Batu Caves

March 2023

DateDayHolidayStates
04-Mar-23SaturdayInstallation of Sultan TerengganuTerengganu only
23-Mar-23ThursdayAwal RamadanJohor, Kedah & Melaka
23-Mar-23ThursdaySultan of Johor's BirthdayJohor only

Events in March

  1. The year-end school holiday will end by 12th March 2023. After school reopens, all of the attractions in Malaysia will be quiet. 
  2. Ramadan (fasting month for Muslims) starts on 23rd April. All Malaysian Muslims will be busy preparing for the Eid al-Fitri festival during the fasting month. 

Starting from the second week of March is the best time to visit Malaysia, especially for honeymooners and shoestring tourists. By the middle of March, most of the islands in Malaysia had already reopened for operation.

Weather Conditions 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.

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-23SundayNationwide
24-Apr-23MondayEid al-FitrNationwide
26-Apr-23WednesdaySultan of Terengganu's BirthdayTerengganu only

Events in April 2023

Eid al-Fitr festival starts on 21st April until 24th April 2023. Eid al-Fitr festival is the most significant and most prolonged festival in Malaysia.
So from 19st April to 28th April 2023, we expect a massive movement of Muslim people traveling heading to hometowns, for non-muslim will take the opportunity during the extended holiday to bring their family for a vacation causing significant traffic congestion on all highways.
Starting from April until October is the best time to visit the beach in Malaysia

Due to the high demand for public transportation such as buses, trains and airlines, most public transportation tickets sold out a month before the festival. Therefore, tourists planning to travel to Malaysia in April need to book their tickets and Hotels at least six months early.

Weather Conditions in April

Malaysia is still in the monsoon transition phase. Hot and sunny in the morning, with thunderstorms in the evening.

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

Events in May 2023

May is the best time to visit Malaysia because labor day on the 1st of May it not affect any travel time or Hotel rates.

Weather Conditions in May

Hot and sunny most of the time, it is expected to receive rain at an average level.

Jun 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

Events in Jun

  1. Agong’s Birthday on Monday the 5th of June might affect tourist attractions. However, three-day weekends Saturday, Sunday and Monday, are the best opportunities for Malaysians to visit tourist attractions 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 the 27th of June until the end of the month. During the Eid al-Adha festival, we expected high demand for hotels and transportation. 

Please take note that Jun, July and August is also a summer holiday in Europe. Therefore, we expect many tourists from Europe will visit Malaysia during the summer holiday. If tourists plan to climb month Kinabalu or visit the island in Malaysia, I advise placing your booking early because they have limited places.
Jun, July and August are also the best best time of year to visit Malaysia because the Malaysia fruit season has already started.

Weather condition in June 2023

Hot and sunny most of the time, it is expected to receive rain at an average level.

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

Events in July

July is considered a quiet month. Malaysia only has one public holiday, Islamic New Year, which falls on Wednesday, not affecting any tourist attractions. Therefore, July 2023 is considered the best time to visit Malaysia.
Please take note that Jun, July and August are also summer holidays in Europe. Therefore, we expect many tourists from Europe will visit Malaysia during the summer holiday. If tourists plan to climb month Kinabalu or visit the island in Malaysia, I advise placing your booking early because they have limited places.

Weather condition in July 2023

Hot and sunny most of the time, it is expected to receive rain at an average level. Therefore, July 2023 is considered the best time to visit Malaysia weather wise.

August 2023

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

Events in August

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. Month of August is the best time to visit Malaysia but it also towrds to end of summer holiday in Europe. From my experiance, in the month of August many tourist from Italy and Spain traveling to Malaysia.

Weather condition in August 2023

Hot and sunny most of the time, it is expected to receive rain at an average level.

September 2023

DateDayHolidayStates
16-Sep-23SaturdayMalaysia DayNationwide
17-Sep-23SundayMalaysia DayKelantan & Terengganu only
27-Sep-23WednesdayProphet Muhammad's BirthdayNationwide

Events in September

Malaysia Day, which falls on a Saturday, does not affect hotel rental rates and airfare.

Weather condition in September 2023

Hot and sunny most of the time, it is expected to receive rain at slightly above average levels

October 2023

DateDayHolidayStates
07-Oct-23SaturdaySabah Governor's BirthdaySabah only
14-Oct-23SaturdaySarawak Governor's BirthdaySarawak only

Events in October

Another quiet month in Malaysia. No major public holiday, another the best time to visit Malaysia.

Weather condition in 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 2023

DateDayHolidayStates
03-Nov-23SaturdaySultan of Perak's BirthdayPerak only
11-Nov-23SaturdaySultan of Kelantan's BirthdayKelantan only
12-Nov-23MondayDeepavaliNationwide

Events in November

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

Weather condition in November 2023

Officially Malaysia is in monsoon season, and all the islands and beaches situated in the South Chines Sea have temporarily shut.

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 the busy month in the Malaysian tourism industry. Besides the five-week year-end school holiday, most companies in Malaysia require their workers to clear all their current annual leave balance 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.

Weather condition in December 2023

Not suitable to visit the East Coast and North region of Malaysia due to heavy rain. 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 to have a peaceful holiday, I suggested avoid 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 from Italy, come to Malaysia. So make sure you book hotels and activities in advance if you plan to go to Malaysia in August.

Conclusion

After reading this article, I believe tourists should be able to pick the best time to visit Malaysia according to your availability.