The climate is tropical - warm weather year-round, temperatures between 21 and 32 degrees Celsius. Humidity levels are high. There are two seasons, wet and dry. The wet season extends from November to March, the dry season May to September.
When to fly to Malaysia
There's not really a bad time to visit Malaysia. There are two peak seasons. December to January takes in Christmas, New Year's Day and Chinese New Year. Mid-May to the end of June is school holidays in Singapore and families come to the beach resorts. Travellers looking for quiet holidays should also think twice about taking cheap flights to Malaysia during March, June and August. This is when Malaysian schools are on holiday. June-August is the second peak season.
September to December is low season.
Getting around Malaysia
Apart from Malaysia Airlines, domestic airlines serving the peninsula and Sabah and Sarawak include Sabah Air, Berjaya Air and Air Asia.
Malaysia has a good public transport system with buses and trains offering a fast and comfortable service. Trishaws – a three-wheel vehicle – are to be found in the cities. Tourists can hop around the major islands by ferry.
Kuala Lumpur has a light rail system as well as buses, taxis and rental-car companies.
Malaysia insider information
- Many Australians who have taken cheap flights to Malaysia stop at Sandakan to reflect on the Sandakan Death Marches, the single worst atrocity suffered by Australian servicemen during the Second World War. The Sandakan War Memorial Park on Mile 8, Jalan Labuk Utara. Local travel agents offer regular tours there.
- Independence Square (Padang Merdeka) in KL bears traces of Malaysia's colonial past, including the Tudor-style Royal Selangor Club and Sultan Abdul Samad Building. The Sultan Abdul Samad Building has Moorish influences and a clock tower, called, predictably maybe, Big Ben. Merdeka Square is where the Malayan flag was raised for the first time after Malaysia won its independence from the United Kingdom in 1957. The flagpole has the honour of being the tallest flagpole in the world, at 100 metres high.
- The Lake Gardens are another colonial relic. The gardens were laid out in the late 19th century.
- Batu Caves are just 15km north of Kuala Lumpur. The caves have a sacred Hindu shrine.
- Langkawi (a collection of 99 islands) and the island of Penang are world famous for their beautiful beaches, but there are a couple of different ways to see them. There is air trekking in Langkwai’s rainforest in the national parks such as Taman Negara, Mulu National Park and Mt Kinabalu Park or the cable-car ride up Mount Machincang, one of the steepest inclines in the world. On Penang, take the funicular train up Penang Hill, a journey that takes about 90 minutes.
- The Terengganu coast, on the eastern side of Malaysia, is one of only six spots in the world where giant Leatherback Turtles clamber ashore to lay eggs.
- In Sarawark, on Borneo, is Mulu National Park. The caves of Mulu have the largest cave passage in the world; the largest natural rock chamber and the longest cave system in South-East Asia.