Malaysia Trip Planning

Best Time To Go

Malaysia experiences high heat and humidity all year-round, and there isn’t a lot of distinction between the seasons. The most notable difference is that the monsoon season arrives in November/December and brings on the “rainy season” until mid-February. During this time, travel is not recommended on the East coast of the peninsula (unless you’re happy staying indoors all afternoon!).

An important distinction, though, is that while the East coast experiences extremely wet weather during this time, the West coast works on a different timeline. The West Coast’s rainy season goes from April to October, and while it lasts for a longer time, the weather is milder and the rain won’t have much effect on your travel plans.

The nice thing about the alternating wet seasons, you can visit Malaysia at any time of the year and have a pretty enjoyable beach holiday. Just be sure to align your travel plans with the right areas of Malaysia, or else you might find your beach vacation rained out!

Rough Budget

Travel in Malaysia is pretty affordable. A little pricier than some other areas in Southeast Asia, but still far less than any western countries. If you’re happy sleeping in a hostel and eating street food, you can easily get by on $30 a day. If you want to splurge on a nicer hotel or a few gourmet meals, you might want to budget up to $40 or $50 (or more if you’re used to a more western lifestyle).

  1. Accommodation
    Budget: $5-$7 (dorm) $15-$20 (private)
    Mid-range: $30-$50
    Splurge: $50+
  2. Food (Typical Meal for One)
    Street food: $1.50-$3.50
    Mid-range restaurant: $3-$6
    Gourmet meals: $9-$15
    Beer: $3.50
  3. Transport
    Local bus: $0.60 per trip
    Taxis: $2-$5 for most trips (many taxis are unmetered, so be sure to agree on a fare beforehand)
    Buses: To and from major cities, tickets range from $10-$15
    Train in Kuala Lumpur: $3-$5

What to Pack for Traveling Malaysia

The biggest thing to remember when packing for Malaysia is that it is going to be hot, humid, and often wet. Bring lightweight, breathable clothes, and pack an umbrella! While the cities are used to foreigners and are more relaxed, if you’ll be traveling in more rural areas outside the major metropolitan areas, it’s a good idea to wear more modest attire. Malaysia is a primarily Muslim country and it’s not likely that your Speedo or string bikini will go over too well in a little Malaysian village.

Dress a little more conservatively if you want to be accepted and welcomed. A light jacket or sweater is always a good idea, especially when the freezing cold air-conditioning in restaurants and shops feels like winter compared to the heat outside! For more details, check out our ultimate Asia packing list guide featuring everything you would possibly need for a trip to this region.

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