What to wear in Malaysia

Malaysia is an amazing destination for travellers; it occupies parts of the Malay Peninsula and the beautiful island of Borneo.

It offers not only beaches, rainforests, jungle trekking and mountain climbing but also city life and amazing wildlife. Malaysia has the cultural influences of Malay, Chinese, Indian and European and the capital Kuala Lumpar offers fabulous shopping districts and the iconic Petronas Twin Towers, what more could you want.

So, what is the weather like and what is the best time of year to travel? The goodtrip team have come up with some suggestions to try and help!

Weather In Malaysia

Malaysia is an equatorial destination that experiences a monsoon season, this means lots of rain but don’t worry, most of time it comes in the form of short lived heavy downpours that clear the air and then return to wonderful hot and dry weather

Outside of the monsoon season Malaysia has a pleasant climate and because the rainy season hits different parts of Malaysia at different times of the year you can choose your destination to fit where the rainfall will be less, this means you can visit at almost any time of the year.

If you are looking for a beach holiday then the best times are January and February on the West Coast of Peninsular Malaysia, April in Sabah and June and July on the east coast in Sarawak .

Just to warn you though, you will still experience hot and humid weather with intermittent downpours all year round wherever you are it’ll just be less severe outside of the monsoon season so the clothes you need to take will be the same regardless of when you decide to go.

Temperatures range between 20 and 30 degrees C on average though if you are adventurous and decide to venture to the places like the Cameron highlands to do a bit of trekking then you’ll find them pleasantly cooler which will come as a nice relief.

So....choose your area and the time of year and here is what to take:

The weather in Malaysia is hot and humid and you will experience heavy downpours at times so wearing top quality waterproofs is not a good idea as you will sweat inside them and be just as wet.

This is good news, all you need is a basic lightweight raincoat or be like a local and carry an umbrella.

Clothes made of natural fibres (linen, silk or cotton) are best as these will be the most comfortable. Take a look at good trip marketplace's range of travel clothes that are made only from organic or recycled materials.

Merino wool is a great choice to wear against your skin as it wicks away moisture when it's hot and doesn't retain odours – even after lots of trekking in the jungle.

As it rains a lot and in short sharp bursts you are likely to get wet so lightweight clothes will dry more quickly.

As around 60% of the population in Malaysia is Muslim try to avoid wearing revealing clothing when visiting rural areas, religious temples and mosques. T-shirts and shorts are perfectly acceptable, but if your clothes show too much of your skin you may get unwanted attention.

Our suggestions for what to wear in Malaysia


Whatever time of year you travel in Malaysia you won’t go wrong by packing a few t shirts and as it will be warm and humid stick to the lighter colours and breathable fabrics. A good t shirt will also keep you cool and cover your shoulders, upper arm and chest should that be a requirement. Good trip clothing's range of t shirts are 100% organic cotton and come in a wide range of colours, perfect for that trip away!


It is worth taking at least 2 thin lightweight long sleeved loose blouses or shirts, they are very versatile and can be worn for casual occasions or dressed up for an evening on the town.

They are also a must for keeping you cool and protecting your skin from the sun and more crucially from mosquitoes in the evening. They will also dry quickly if you get wet and ensure you always have something to cover up with should you decide to visit some of Malaysia’s wonderful mosques and religious temples.


Shorts are great to wear for both men and women and will keep you cool but if you are trekking in the jungle or want to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes in the evening then long, loose linen or cotton trouser are preferable and are great for going out in the evening or for walking around during the day. You can also try some anti-insect sleepwear which can help keep the bugs away at bedtime.

Harem pants are also perfect for travelling in Malaysia as they are loose fitting made from very thin material and are very light and easy to pack, taking up almost no room in your suitcase. They dry quickly and easily and are very popular in Malaysia.

 If you take them with you once the humidity hits you won’t want to wear anything else, they keep you cool and come in every colour under the sun. Not useful for trekking however as they are very thin.

Unless you intend to spend a lot of time in air-conditioned offices, hotels or shopping centres jeans are not ideal, the climate is too hot and humid climate and when jeans get wet they are hard to dry and could become very uncomfortable.

Skirts and dresses

Light weight skirts and dresses that fall to or below the knee and made from a thin material would be perfect for wearing in Malaysia and for going out in both the day and would look good for a nice evening in a restaurant or a hotel and will also be cooling.


If you think you will be spending a lot of time on air-conditioned trains and buses or walking around air conditioned shopping centres in Malaysia then it’s worth packing a sweatshirt or a jumper to cover up if you get cold. Have a look at our Sweatshirts and Hoodies for when the air con ramps up.


Footwear that will dry quickly is advisable for walking around in the wet season in Malaysia.

The frequent downpours mean that many streets will get wet very quickly; there’ll be lots of puddle jumping.

Footwear like Crocs, slides, flip flops, and closed toe sandals are all perfect for sandy beaches and for walking around towns and villages and will dry quickly when wet.

If you are thinking of trekking in the jungles of Borneo or the Cameron Highlands, then good fabric walking boots with a good tread on will be ideal. In a hot, humid, and wet climate boots that can breathe are perfect to keep your feet from getting too hot, they will also need to have a good tread on them as trekking will be on wet and slippy terrain during the wet season.

If you are trekking you will also need some good breathable socks.

Headwear and hats

Take a wide brimmed hat, bucket hat or a cap, it will keep the sun off your head and keep your hair dry in a downpour.

I hope this has helped you decide what clothes to take to Malaysia and has filled you with excitement and inspiration about your trip. You will see amazing things and have a wonderful enriching experience.

(Weather Source travelonline.com)