Malaysia weather & when to go: May

May overview

The east coast peninsula Malaysia (Tioman Island, Terengganu & Redang Island) 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.

Very Good
Not Advised

Annual overview

  Best   Good
  Mixed   Poor
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun
Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

May's weather in detail

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 rainfall in May 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.

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).

West Coast

Langkawi, Penang, Pangkor

The south-west monsoon winds begin to blow over the western coastline in May bringing with them heavier afternoon thunderstorms and less than ideal 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).

 Where's the sun and sand?

Redang, Perhentian Islands, Kuala Terengganu, Tioman

Our recommended journeys

Malaysia Beach & Adventure Self Drive gives you a taste of independent travel along the country’s strikingly calm and well maintained roads. Start in the vibrant capital of Kuala Lumpur, drive north to trek through Belum-Temengor rainforest, cross to Penang for foodie culture, and finish on Langkawi’s idyllic beaches.

See all our itineraries in Malaysia

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Key Festivals & Religious Ceremonies

 Malaysian Labour Day

1st May


Lasting for a month long period, Muslims should not eat or drink before sundown each day. 23rd April - 23rd May 2020

 Hari Raya Puasa

Celebrated by Muslims and signifies the end of Ramadan. 23rd - 24th May 2020

⟵ April

June ⟶

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