When Is The Best Time To Visit Penang

The best time to visit Penang largely depends on what you’re after! A quieter vacation with less crowds? Or when Penang is at its liveliest?

As Penang is in tropical Malaysia, you may want to consider how best to avoid the rainy days too!

However, it’s not possible to fully escape from the year-round humidity and heat!

Other things to bear in mind are the annual festive events in Penang! We’ll cover all of these down below!

Table Of Contents:

When Is The Best Time To Visit Penang?

In a nutshell, there’s no particular month that is optimum for visiting Penang.

With a warm and humid climate for the entirety of the year, you can expect a shower every few days. But the real downpours tend to be between August and November! And in April to May.

Must-do Penang Attraction - Kek Lok Si Temple
Kek Lok Si Temple In Penang – photo credits to cherkho (Instagram)

If you prefer a drop in temperature (regardless of how small):

It is a few degrees cooler at the end of the year and beginning of the next year. This coincides with world-wide holidays and is therefore, the peak season to visit Penang! Things are more expensive too!

Monthly Weather In Penang

Naturally if you only have a few days in Penang, it may ease your mind to examine Penang’s climate month by month according to average temperatures, rainfall and humidity!

George Town Seen From Penang Hill
George Town Seen From Penang Hill – photo credits to harriskr0809 (Instagram)

1. Average Penang Temperatures By Month

See from this table, you can tell that average temperatures are around 30°C.

The warmest months are in May and June. While the cooler months are from December to early February. Though it’s only by a difference of 1 to 2 degrees Celsius!

MonthAverage High Temperature Over The Year (°C)Average Low Temperature Over The Year (°C)
January3024
February3224
March3225
April3225
May3226
June3226
July3225
August3225
September3125
October3025
November3125
December3124

2. Average Penang Rain By Month

To be on the safe side, you can avoid the rainy season in April to May. And between September to November.

October typically has the most rainy days! While January and February tend to be the driest months!

MonthAverage No. Of Rainy Days Over The Year
January8
February7
March11
April14
May16
June12
July12
August15
September19
October22
November20
December10

3. Average Humidity By Month

Penang’s humidity hovers around 80%. Although, if you go in January and February, this can be down by 10%!

There is more breeze at the start of the year too. Even if it’s only around 5 mph!

Rain adds to the humidity so the rainy months like October and November do have higher humidity than other months of the year!

MonthAverage Relative Humidity (%)
January71.6
February70.8
March75
April78.3
May77.3
June76.9
July77.7
August78
September80
October80.8
November81.4
December78

Overall Penang Travel Experience By Month

Before you book your trip solely on the weather, here’s what to expect when it comes to festivals and crowds of tourists!

1. Penang Peak Season

Don’t be alarmed to see Penang attractions full of visitors during November and all through February. This is the peak season of Penang!

With reliable sunny days, slightly lower humidity and a more festive atmosphere in the city! That includes the malls, hotels and bars!

Batu Feringgi, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
Batu Feringgi, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia – photo credits to penang_my (Instagram)

2. Penang Low Season

April and May mark the onset of the rainy season in Penang. Which is inconvenient if you plan to spend most of your time outdoors! However, these downpours usually don’t last long!

The serious downpours however, occur between September to November! This is the when most tourists avoid  going to Penang!

View Of Penang From Air Itam Dam
View Of Penang From Air Itam Dam – photo credits to kehhung (Instagram)

Other than fewer mobs of tourists, another positive point is that you will have better accommodation prices! And good deals for certain activities and attractions!

3. Penang In January & February

Lower temperatures and humidity make New Year events so much more pleasant!

Many people will come to Penang to witness the Chinese New Year display at Kek Lok Si Temple!

Nighttime View Of Kek Lok Si During Chinese New Year
Nighttime View Of Kek Lok Si During Chinese New Year – photo credits to sdtan1229 (Instagram)

And for the vibrant Thaipusam festivities as well as the last day of Chinese New Year (Chap Goh Meh) which is coincidently, Chinese Valentine’s day!

Kek Lok Si Display Of Lights

Visitors will be treated to longer visiting hours as well as the beautiful lights hanging throughout the temple complex!

Kek Lok Si Temple At Night During Chinese New Year
Kek Lok Si Temple At Night During Chinese New Year – photo credits to kareen.lucas (Instagram)
Event Date: 19 Jan 2020 – 21 Feb 2020

4. Penang In March, April & May

It’ll be very hot in March but you’ll find less crowds too after all the New Year festivities have ended!

Some rain in April will help to keep temperatures more bearable in the evening.

April is also when the annual Penang International Food Festival will be held for 2 weeks!

There is the lively Vaisakhi Celebrations (or Sikh Harvest Festival) at the end of April too.

As for May, there may be more chances of rain but you can look forward to a 10,000-strong holy procession on Wesak Day (The Buddha Birthday)!

Penang International Food Festival

The highly anticipated annual Penang International Food Festival goes on for 16 days. Giving you plenty opportunities to try Penang food and more!

Another Good Food In Penang - Penang Air Itam Laksa
Penang Air Itam Laksa – photo credits to blisssky (Instagram)
Event Date: 04 Apr 2020 – 19 Apr 2020

5. Penang In June, July & August

Brave the occasional mid-afternoon showers and the heat during this period.

There are a lot of festivals to look forward to! Like the Penang Japanese Bon Odori Festival at The Esplanade in mid-July!

And the Ramadan Bazaar which is usually around June to July. In June, there is the Penang International Lion Dance On Stilts Championship too!

Penang Durian Festival

Try many types of durian (D16, Ang Bak, Ang Jin, Ang Hae and D700) at these places:

  • Anjung Indah, Balik Pulau
  • Jalan Burma
  • Jalan Anson
  • Bao Sheng Durian Farm
  • Jalan Macalister
Event Date: 01 Jun 2020 – 31 Jul 2020

Can’t make it for the festival?

Here are the top places to eat durian in Penang!

Penang Dragon Boat Regatta

Taking place at the Teluk Bahang dam, dragon boat teams race each other to win the Penang Dragon Boat Regatta championship!

Event Date: 13 Jun 2020 – 14 Jun 2020

6. Penang In September, October & November

There will be more rain in September and October. It’s possible for the rain to last for days! As such, there won’t be many tourists during these months.

Those who go anyways can take advantage of better prices for accommodation, food and activities!

Nine Emperor Gods Festival

Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand recognize this 9-day festival that begins on the 9th Day of the 9th Lunar month, September. During which, believers will follow a vegetarian diet.

There will be vegetarian food stalls, a fire walking ceremony and herbal medicine demonstrations! With a colorful float procession on the last day!

Event Date: 16 Oct 2020 – 25 Oct 2020

Penang Bridge International Marathon

Penang Bridge International Marathon is another annual event that has recently been rebranded to “The Asian Challenge“.

Penang Bridge International Marathon
Penang Bridge International Marathon

These full and half marathons will take place in mid-November on the First Penang Bridge.

Event Date: 22 Nov 2020

7. Penang In December

With December comes cooler weather. This is the busiest time in Penang with Christmas and New Year’s Eve to look forward to!

Penang International Dragon Boat Festival

Dragon Boat Festival At Teluk Bahang Dam In Penang
Dragon Boat Festival At Teluk Bahang Dam In Penang – photo credits to yeapengguan (Instagram)

Penangites love their dragon boats! There will be more dragon boat races at the end of the year at Teluk Bahang Dam!

Event Date: 05 Dec 2020 – 06 Dec 2020

Christmas & New Year’s Eve Countdown Party

The Top Penang will host both Christmas and the 2021 New Year countdown!

There will be a line-up of entertainment leading up to a spectacular fireworks show!

Event Date: 31 Dec 2020

Getting Around Penang

Public transport is cheap and widespread in Penang. But waiting and transiting from one bus stop to the next can really sap your energy quickly – especially in the tropical heat!

A private tour service like RayTheTour doesn’t have these inconveniences!

Penang Tour - RayTheTour & Travelswithsun

You’ll be comfortable in our MPV (or van) transport with direct pick up straight from the airport or your hotel!

Other reasons to book a trip with us:

  • We offer day tours in Ipoh and from Ipoh to Cameron Highlands too
  • Family-friendly (we have child seats – subject to availability)
  • You can customize your own Penang itinerary!
  • Knowledgeable and reliable English-speaking or Chinese-speaking guides

Booking is straightforward too. Try us at WhatsApp and Facebook!

Frequently Asked Questions For A Trip To Penang

Q1. How many days should you stay in Penang?

Plan to stay for at least 2 full days. Better if you can afford to stay for 3 or 4 days for a more relaxed pace!

Extend your trip by visiting Langkawi, Cameron Highlands or Ipoh!

Q2. What are the best things to do in Penang?

There are heaps of things to do in Penang! See Penang street art.

Visit Penang Hill (The Habitat), Kek Lok Si temple, ESCAPE theme park, Penang Botanic Gardens and Entopia by Penang Butterfly Garden!

The Exterior Of Entopia Butterfly Farm In Teluk Bahang, Penang
The Exterior Of Entopia Butterfly Farm In Teluk Bahang, Penang – photo credits to kj_liew (Instagram)

Read more: 13 Best Things To Do In Georgetown Penang

Q3. What are Penang’s best beaches?

Batu Ferringhi and Tanjung Bungah are the most accessible with luxury beachfront accommodation while Penang National Park has more isolated and pristine beaches like Monkey Beach!

A Quiet Corner Of Monkey Beach In Penang National Park, Teluk Bahang
A Quiet Corner Of Monkey Beach In Penang National Park, Teluk Bahang – photo credits to matka_unelmia (Instagram)

Q4. What can you do in Georgetown Penang at night?

Book a slot for The Habitat Sunset Walk – you can have a guided nighttime jungle trek right after!

Sunset At Curtis Crest, The Habitat
Sunset At Curtis Crest, The Habitat – photo credits to tintinvino (Instagram)

Or take some lovely photos at Penang Avatar Secret Garden! And get a drink at one of Penang’s many bars!

Or you can go check out Kimberley Street Food Night Market, a famous Penang night market.

Q5. What are some must-try Penang food?

Penang food that you should try includes Assam Laksa, Hokkien Mee, Teochew Chendol, Char Koay Teow, Rojak & more!


Further reading:


Conclusion

The best time to visit Penang is from November to January.

It’s cool and pleasant enough to explore Penang on foot. And with year-end festivities, there are also more people (and higher prices!)

For a more peaceful visit, consider going after the peak season. Either between February (after CNY) to April or in May to October!

The latter is the low season period and also the wettest time of the year!

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