Malaysia's climate is typically tropical with an average temperature of 30 degrees and little seasonal change. The rainy season lasts from the end of October, when the monsoons arrive, until the beginning of May.
When to fly to Malaysia
The east coast of the country is best seen between May and September. Bargain hunters should search for cheap flights to Malaysia during this time.
The west coast, October-November and April-May are best avoided due to the rains.
Getting around Malaysia
Kuala Lumpur has a light rail system as well as buses, taxis and rental-car companies.
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.
Apart from Malaysia Airlines, domestic airlines serving the peninsula and Sabah and Sarawak include Sabah Air, Transmile, Berjaya Air and Air Asia.
Malaysia insider information
- The Petronas Towers, the world’s tallest twin buildings at 452 metres (1,480 feet), define Kuala Lumpur. Walk the skybridge between the towers. A tie-in, the Petronas Malaysian Grand Prix takes place each March. The KL Menara Tower is 421 metres (1,403 feet) high and has a revolving restaurant at 282 metres (925 feet).
- In Independence Square (Padang Merdeka) there are remnants of colonial times (such as the Tudor-style Royal Selangor Club and Sultan Abdul Samad Building, with Moorish influences and a clock tower, called Big Ben). Merdeka Square is where the Malayan flag was raised for the first time after Malaysia won its independence from the UK in 1957. The flagpole is 100 metres (328 feet) high, the tallest in the world.
- Another colonial relic is the Lake Gardens, which were laid out in the late 19th century. The enormous limestone Batu Caves, 15km (9 miles) north of the city, has a sacred Hindu shrine. Two museums that should be visited are the National Museum and the Islamic Arts Museum.
- 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.