Peninsular Malaysia weather & when to go: May

May overview

Natasha, tailor-made travel specialist

Our top tip for May

'The pendulum starts to swing in favour of Malaysia's east coast islands for the pick of the beach weather.'

Natasha, tailor-made travel specialist

The east coast of the peninsula (Tioman Island, Terengganu, Redang Island and the Perhentian Islands) is now enjoying plenty of sunny dry days, along with perfect sea conditions for snorkelling and diving. Over on the west coast (Penang, Langkawi & Pangkor Islands) the South-West monsoon begins, bringing with it a rise in humidity and slightly heavier rains.

West Coast

Langkawi, Penang, Pangkor

The south-west monsoon winds begin to blow over the western coastline bringing with them heavier afternoon thunderstorms and heavy sea conditions. Downpours still tend to be short-lived however and sunshine is never far behind (avg temp: 32 °C). Pangkor Island is probably the pick of the bunch weather-wise as it is a little drier (avg temp: 32 °C).

Lowlands & Highlands

Kuala Lumpur, Malacca and Cameron Highlands

Through the centre of the peninsular and in both Kuala Lumpur and Malacca you can expect low monthly rainfall although short tropical showers are likely in the afternoon. The region experiences an average temperature of 29 °C, lower in the Cameron Highlands due to the altitude at an average of 20 °C.

Key Festivals & Religious Ceremonies

Malaysian Labour Day

Malaysian Labour Day

1st May 2016

Wesak Day

Wesak Day

The most important day of the Buddhist Calendar as it marks the birth, enlightenment and death of Buddha, all three events took place on the same day. Wesak is also an occasion to offer alms to monks and give free meals to the needy. (2017: 10th May)



Lasting for a month long period, Muslims should not eat or drink before sundown each day. (2017: 26th May - 25th June)

East Coast

Kuantan, Tioman Island, Perhentian Islands, Terengganu, Redang and Kota Bharu

Its full steam ahead for the east coast destinations as they march into their peak season and embrace the minimal rainfall and perfect sea conditions for both snorkelling and diving. Visitor numbers are almost at their highest for the year, which is most noticeable at weekends (avg temp: 30 °C).

Where's the
sun and sand?

sun and sand

Redang, Perhentian Islands, Kuala Terengganu, Tioman