The Water Dragon this year may be true to its word. Some days, like yesterday, Kuala Lumpur skies can be as blue and beautiful as this, the image below. If you stand back a little, with some imagination, you may even spot a face or two smiling down at you.
Other days, like today, the sky can be this grey and unfriendly.
Everyone says the weather nowadays is not what it used to be some years ago. Temperatures can go so high that people flock to shopping malls and complexes to get some respite or it can get so cold with hours of rain that you don't feel like venturing out.
And talking about the rain, Ipoh was flooded yesterday after a six-hour downpour. Ipoh is a city in the northern part of Peninsula Malaysia in the state of Perak. Water overflowed river banks flooding villages and schools. Evacuation had to be carried out in places badly affected. Residents said the water reached waist level at the height of the floods which started at about 4am yesterday according to The Star.
If you are visiting Malaysia for the first time, it would be good to know a little about the Malaysian weather. Malaysia being in the tropics, and just above the Equator, goes through two different monsoon seasons.
The Southwest Monsoon is from late May to September, and the Northeast Monsoon from November to March. The Northeast Monsoon is characterised by heavy rainfall, particularly in the north-eastern states of Peninsula Malaysia (viz., Kelantan and Terengganu) and western Sarawak on the island of Borneo.
The Southwest Monsoon is milder with winds coming from the south west and normally signifies relatively drier weather. Heavy downpour is also expected which may cause flooding in low-lying areas. The intermonsoon period is the transition period between the monsoons.
A point to remember when visiting Malaysia is to time your visit away from monsoon months especially if you are visiting the east coast where there are many resorts popular with foreign tourists. These resorts include the islands of Redang, Perhentian, Tioman including Club Med Cherating in Kuantan as well as the beaches of Terengganu where watching greenback turtles laying eggs is a popular activity.
However, if you are visiting the west coast of Peninsula Malaysia, anytime of the year is a good time. As the weather changes without warning sometimes, it would be advisable to pack an umbrella or a raincoat. Timing your visit to coincide with major festivals may allow you to enjoy the country more. Major festivals here are Aidil Fitri, Chinese New Year, Thaipusam, Christmas, Dragon Boat festival (Penang), Nine Emperor Gods Festival, the latter to witness the fire-walking ritual.
Malaysia is a paradise for shopping, everyone knows that. For a greater shopping experience, visit during the months of July and August. This is the period of the annual Malaysia Mega Sales Carnival with discounts as much as 70% off the usual price.
Oh, but I digress. What can I say, Malaysian weather may be hot and humid but I wouldn't trade it for any other. Psst.. if your winter is too cold and dreary, come on over. We've got plenty of blue skies and all things nice.