Two weeks is the perfect amount of time to spend in Malaysia, allowing you to explore the region's top wilderness venues and experience many of its cultural highlights. However, you can still enjoy Malaysia with far fewer days: five is long enough for a wildlife-rich rainforest experience, including time for relaxing on white sand beaches and snorkeling the Sulu Sea, while in a week to 10 days, you can dive deeper and experience multiple regions.
Malaysia Travel Insights
Malaysia is a singularly beautiful country with a rich culture, unique history, and delicious cuisine. But regarding the weather, you can expect the same climate that defines most nations in Southeast Asia: hot, humid, and rainy throughout the year. Like those other countries, Malaysia has not four seasons but two (wet and dry), and any travel plans you make should consider this reality. That said, no matter what time of year you visit, there are parts of the country to enjoy without fear of a rainout.
May is an excellent month to head outdoors in eastern Malaysia, whether hiking through the jungles, climbing a mountain, or diving and snorkeling at pristine reefs. The weather is mostly dry in the east, making this a prime time to seek out orangutans in Borneo. Find out more below about traveling to Malaysia in May.
Tourism picks up in certain parts of Malaysia from December; while the east is drenched in rain, the west is quite dry. This is an excellent time of year for a beach vacation or to explore the cultural and historical attractions of Penang, Melaka, and the capital, Kuala Lumpur. Read on for more tips on where and what to do in Malaysia in December.
November is Malaysia's coldest month of the year, but as a tropical country, it's still warm, albeit wet. It's the low season for travel, and popular beach resorts and jungle areas are best avoided, but Malaysia's fantastic towns and cities offer plenty of cultural attractions. If you want to retreat to nature, head to the famous Cameron Highlands, which are lush at this time of year. Read on to find out more about where to go and what to do in Malaysia in November.
October is a shoulder season month for travel to Malaysia, but with warm weather (albeit a bit damp) and a host of cultural and religious festivals, there's no need to stay away. Head to Kuala Lumpur or Penang to experience Hindu festivals at their best, tour tea fields in the Cameron Highlands, or chill out on a beach in sunny Langkawi. Read on for more inspiration on what to see and do in Malaysia in October.
Rains increase in Malaysia in September, ending the long (relatively) dry season. It's the shoulder season for travel but still a great time to enjoy the country's cultural riches, particularly in the capital, Kuala Lumpur, and the northern island city, Penang. Cultural and religious festivals in September, including the Hindu Navarathri and the Chinese Moon Cake Festival, add extra interest. Find out more about visiting Malaysia in September.
Malaysia is hot and humid in August, and the rains gradually return to western areas. But this is a great month to chill out on a beach in eastern Malaysia, spot orangutans in Borneo, or go bird-watching at bird sanctuaries and wildlife reserves throughout the country. Find out more about where and what to do in Malaysia in August below.
Malaysia is hot, hot, hot in July. But it's also generally dry, making this a great month for outdoor and wildlife-focused adventures. Whether you want to go diving among shipwrecks, spot birds in wildlife sanctuaries, enjoy cultural festivals in Malaysia's diverse towns and cities, or see orangutans in their natural habitat, you can do it in July. Read on to find out more about where to go and what to do in Malaysia in July.
June is peak season for travel to Malaysia, with dry weather in most parts of the country and ideal conditions for diving, orangutan-spotting, other outdoor activities, and city-based sightseeing. Whether you want to visit Peninsular Malaysia, Malaysian Borneo, or islands off the coast of these two regions, there's plenty to see and do in Malaysia in June. Read on to find out more.
Wildlife and nature lovers are in luck in Malaysia in April: the weather in Borneo is generally dry, making this an ideal time of year to go out in search of orangutans in the jungles of Sarawak and Sabah. Active travelers who want a challenge can try climbing the tallest mountain in Malaysia, Mount Kinabalu. Read on for more information about where to go and what to do in Malaysia in April.
March is an ideal time to visit Malaysia if you want to focus on wildlife and nature. The start of the dry season in the east and Borneo means travelers will be spoiled for choice. Spot orangutans in Sarawak and Sabah, climb Mt. Kinabalu, hike in the jungles, and encounter a range of other wildlife throughout the country. Read on to find out more about travel to Malaysia in March.
February is peak season for travel to Malaysia's west, particularly Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Melaka, and Langkawi. The weather is clear, and there's little rain, making it a great time to enjoy time on the beach, city sightseeing, and some lively cultural festivals. Find out more about where to go and what to do in Malaysia in February below.
With generally good weather in some of the most popular beach destinations and a host of exciting festivals, January is a good month to visit Malaysia. It's peak season in Langkawi, and Lunar New Year (if it falls in January) brings festive crowds to the cities and areas with Chinese influence, but these all add to the fun of visiting Malaysia in January. Read on to find out more.
From the Deer and Lang Caves to trekking the limestone formations of the Pinnacles Trail, there is so much to do and see in Sarawak in Malaysian Borneo. Taste unusual delicacies and delectably fresh fruits, tour cultural centers, and wander through rainforests with an eye keen to see wildlife. Learn more about Bako and Mulu National Parks, village life, and touring by longboat with detailed days below.
Sabah is an area rich with culture, astonishing wildlife, incredible natural landscapes, and wild adventure that, when combined, make this Malaysian state a true gem of Borneo. Some lesser-known experiences and off-the-beaten trails throughout Sabah are a must-see to truly embrace the beauty and diversity of this stunning tropical destination. With expert insight, you'll find the best spots, views, markets, and food to experience Sabah as the locals do.
On this 22-day adventure, you will cross Malaysian Borneo. You'll start in the state of Sabah, where you'll do river safaris, visit the island's northernmost point, and hike the highest mountain in Malaysia. Then, you'll head to the state of Sarawak, where you'll explore bat caves, stay in the heart of the jungle, and spend time in the eclectic city of Kuching. Throughout your here, you'll see many unique species, including orangutans and the rafflesia flower, the largest flower in the world.
This 14-day journey takes you deep into Malaysian Borneo. You will learn about some of the indigenous cultures that have inhabited the island for centuries, immersing in their traditions with local homestays. Simultaneously, you'll have a chance to get close to nature with jungle camping, excursions into national parks, and wildlife safaris. In the end, you'll leave with an understanding of what makes Borneo—the third largest island in the world—so incredibly unique.
With flora and fauna unlike anywhere else in the world, the Borneo rainforest offers a thrilling experience to anyone willing to venture this far. During this 5-day journey, you will explore the jungle by both river and land in search of elusive wildlife, as well as encounter endangered species through the local conservation and rehabilitation centers.
This four-day tour will take you into the heart of the jungle to search for pygmy elephants, orangutans, proboscis monkeys, and Bornean gibbons. Spend your days scanning the shores as you cruise along the river and your nights wandering the jungle trails, always in search of the next wild, elusive jungle creature.
Nature-lovers, grab your cameras! This four-day trip features wild rivers, mangroves, and a rich variety of wildlife as you make your way to Borneo's off-the-beaten-track gems for an immersive jungle experience.
Explore the beautiful Mulu Show Caves and the dramatic, razor-sharp limestone peaks known as the Pinnacles on this immersive Bornean itinerary, made with nature-lovers in mind. Come prepared for challenging hikes and stunning views at every turn.
Get up close and personal with fascinating jungle wildlife on this six-day tour of Borneo’s rainforests. Staying on the Malaysian side of this multinational island, you’ll spot a mind-blowing array of tropical birds, species of monkey, and lush vegetation. You’ll encounter indigenous wildlife like orangutans and pygmy elephants, get a glimpse into the local culture, and enjoy some jungle eco-luxury along the way.
Animal lovers and ocean enthusiasts, get ready: this five-day trip is bursting with sea and wildlife. Make your way through the five distinct habitats of the Kinabatangan River to a chalet on the beach, keeping an eye out for proboscis monkeys, crocodiles, and Pygmy elephants along the way.
This Borneo adventure is full of off-the-beaten-track experiences in areas rich in wildlife. Trek through primary rainforest, go on a riverboat safari, browse local fruit and veggie markets, and explore the jungle canopy in Poring.
Following the trail of the White Rajahs in their late-1800s conquest to suppress the rebellious headhunters, cycle into the Iban heartland—a land of authentic longhouses, interior waterways, and rustic forts. This tour is perfect for those seeking a truly off-the-beaten-track experience of dining in longhouses with locals, listening to stories by village chiefs, and immersing themselves in the Bornean jungle.
Love adventure, nature, and getting off the beaten track? If so, this Borneo tour is for you. Dive, walk, and bird-watch your way through 10 days of wildlife reserves and resorts, tucked away islands, and lush valleys.
To experience Sabah as the locals do requires expert insight. Our Sabah specialist has put together a list of places where you can get off-the-beaten-path and discover the hidden gems of this region of Borneo. From great diving spots and sunset viewpoints to bustling markets and local cuisine, this list is your ultimate guide to the experiences that Sabah locals love best.
Sabah is a rich microcosm of authentic culture, incredible wildlife, awe-inspiring natural wonder, and endless adventure that together make this Malaysian state a true gem of Borneo. Some lesser-known experiences and off-the-beaten-trails throughout Sabah are a must-see to truly embrace the beauty and diversity of this idyllic tropical destination.
Climb the imposing Mount Trusmadi while still covering the natural and cultural highlights of the Sabah region. You'll encounter stunning wildlife, interact with the locals, and explore deep into the rainforests while trekking the second highest mountain in Malaysia.