Malaysia Has 12 Long Weekends In 2020: Here’s Where You Should Travel To


Atiqah Mokhtar •  Apr 16, 2019

[Updated: 7 Oct 2019 - We've updated the article to include Nuzul Quran (10 May) and also no longer include the Yang di-Pertuan Agong's birthday , given that it now falls on 6 Jun (a Saturday) following the installation of the new King]

Hey Malaysians! Here's some good news for you: there are 12 potential long weekends coming up in 2020! And even though we're still 2019, it's never too early to start planning your next holiday, especially now that the new year is only 3 months away ?

Credit: Giphy

And we're here to make it easier by helping to map out the best 2020 travel destinations for each long weekend in Malaysia! We even let you know when to strategically take leave. So you can spend less time thinking about where to go and more getting straight to booking your holiday ?

1. New Year's Day - Siem Reap, Cambodia

Public Holiday: 1 Jan (Wed)

When to take leave: 30 - 31 Dec (Mon & Tue)

Total days off (incl. the weekend): 5

2020 New Year's Day falls on a Wednesday, so it makes sense to take the preceding Monday and Tuesday off so you'll have nice long stretch off from 28 December (Saturday) to 1 January (Wednesday)! And what better way to start the New Year with a bang than with a visit to one of the most archaeologically and historically significant spots in South-East Asia? We're talking about Siem Reap in Cambodia ?

Siem Reap is best known for having the ruins of the city of Angkor, which used to be the administrative region of the ancient Khmer kingdom. Once the civilisation went extinct, their amazing temples and buildings ended up being reclaimed by the jungle for hundreds of years ?

November to February tends to be peak season for Siem Reap, and understandably so. It's the dry season and the temperatures are relatively tolerable (in April it tends to soar up to 38 degrees!), meaning nice long sunny days to do all the exploring that you need - the Angkor area is huge and can easily take as much as three days or more. But don't worry, it won't be all temples - there's plenty of other things to do in Siem Reap too, such as checking out floating villages along Tonle Sap Lake, visiting night markets, and more. It's also good to note that Siem Reap has a sizeable Muslim population, including a ‘Muslim Village’ located in Phum Steung Thmey; west of the Siem Reap River and the town’s main tourist market, Psar Chas ? Check out this handy 4D3N itinerary to kickstart your Siem Reap adventure!

2. Chinese New Year - Hua Hin, Thailand

Public Holiday: 25 - 27 January (Sat-Mon)

Total days off (incl. the weekend): 3

Chinese New Year holidays fall on a Saturday and a Sunday, meaning we'll have Monday off and you'll have a three-day weekend ? It's a nice little time off to squeeze in a trip to Hua Hin, the unique coastal town in Thailand that's only a couple hours drive away from Bangkok (there are direct 2-hour flights from KL to Hua Hin too!).

Credit: @spensfish on Instagram

This seaside town has long been a fashionable getaway for Thai aristocracy, and its development over the years makes it fascinating to visit. From European-inspired attractions (such as Santorini Park Cha-Am and Venezia Hua Hin) to beautiful natural spots (like the Phraya Nakhon Cave) and of course, the local night markets, it's an interesting mix of old and new to behold. Also, visiting Hua Hin in January means you'll be avoiding the hot and humid summer months from March to May!

Credit: @dhiyashamimi on Instagram

Credit: @vidventory on Instagram

Hua Hin also has local celebrations and events in honour of Chinese New Year, so you'll get to have a taste of what CNY celebrations there are like!

3. Labour Day - Cameron Highlands

Public Holiday: 1 May (Fri)

Total days off (incl. the weekend): 3

By the time Labour Day rolls around, Ramadan would have started! Ramadan starts on April 24 in 2020, so we would have just eased past the first week of fasting. It's understandable if travel isn't a high priority during this holy month, but a little change of scenery never hurt, so why not head to the highlands spend a weekend in Cameron Highlands during Labour Day?

Credit: @aisyah.alyaa1316 on Instagram

The cool fresh air will bound to be a nice respite while you fast, and you can soak in the lush views of the tea plantations and other greenery during your stay ?The best part is it'll likely be emptier given fewer people tend to visit during Ramadan, so you can explore Cameron Highland's best attractions without crowds! Head to the strawberry farms, go see the lavender gardens, or visit the rose centre. And for iftar, why not go to places that offer Ramadan buffets such as Taman Apple or Copthorne Hotel?

4. Wesak Day - Bandung

Public Holiday: 7 May (Thu)

When to take leave: 8 May (Fri)

Total days off (incl. the weekend): 4

Wesak Day will roll around not long after Labour Day, and we'll still be in the thick of Ramadan when it comes.  At this point in time, Raya preparations will sure to be heavily underway, meaning Raya shopping! And what better way to combine Raya preparation with a holiday at the same time than with a trip to Bandung?

Credit: @jamalkemal on Instagram

Bandung (also known as the Paris of Java) is known for its shopping, but that's not all - it also has a pleasant climate year-round (thanks to its location more than 700m above sea level), beautiful mountainous landscapes, amazing natural attractions such as hot springs, and more. Plus, halal food is a snap to find given the predominantly Muslim population. It'll be interesting to experience iftar in a different country and experience how it's like there ?Check out this 4D3N itinerary for Bandung to get some ideas of what to do during your trip!

Credit: Rumah Batik Komar on Facebook

Don't forget to pick up some local batik products that would be perfect accompaniments to your Raya outfit ?

P.S. Check out these other places that are also great to get your Raya shopping on besides Bandung!

5. Nuzul Al-Quran - Singapore

Public Holiday: 10 - 11 May (Sun & Mon)

Total days off (incl. the weekend): 3

Nuzul Al-Quran is observed as a public holiday in a number of states including KL and Selangor, so we're including it in our list! At this time of the year, it'll still be the fasting month, so you'll want a getaway that's near, convenient and accessible. Cue Singapore!

Credit: @gardensbythebay on Instagram

Singapore has plenty of attractions that can appeal to Muslim travellers during the fasting month. Shop at Mustafa Centre and pick-up ingredients for making kuih raya or any other Raya needs. Explore the cool indoor gardens at Gardens By The Bay, or explore the hidden gems of the Kampong Glam area such as Wardah Books.

In addition, you can't miss the opportunity to check-out the Geylang Serai Ramadan Bazaar!

6. Hari Raya Aidilfitri -  Staycation in KL

Public Holiday: 24 - 25 May (Sun - Mon)

Total days off (incl. the weekend): 3

Raya will fall on a Sunday and Monday in 2020, and while this time of year is usually jam-packed with visiting family, Raya open houses and whatnot, who says you can't squeeze in a little staycation? ? It actually makes perfect sense, since the city will be (slightly) less full as people are off balik kampung!

Credit: @autographhotels on Instagram

Imagine waking up to a beautiful view of KL in the morning? Recharge from all the Raya visits by having a romantic staycation with your loved one at one of these beautiful accommodations. Alternatively, why not stay at a hotel connected to one of KL's many shopping malls? It'll be the perfect leisurely way to have a holiday without having to go anywhere!

Or you could even take it a step further - instead of going from one relative's house to another, why not outsource the venue and have your Raya gathering at one of these accommodations that perfect for large family gatherings? It'll be an awesome vacation for everyone, and the best part is, no clean-up at home! ?

Credit: @desabalqisbeachresort on Instagram

7. Hari Raya Haji -  East Coast Islands

Public Holiday: 31 Jul (Fri)

Total days off (incl. weekend): 3

Hari Raya Haji falls on a Friday which makes it perfect for squeezing in a trip to somewhere nearby - and we've got a good one to recommend: why not go to one of the East Coast Islands? The islands off the coast of Terengganu and Pahang are accessible (post-monsoon season) from March to October, so now would be the perfect time for a beach vacation! Choose from popular spots like Pulau Redang, Pulau Perhentian and Pulau Tioman, or cast your net wider and look at lesser-known islands such as Lang Tengah, Pulau Kapas or Pulau Tenggol.

Credit: @tea0904 on Instagram

Tailor your island destination to whatever you feel like - whether you're looking for laid-back beach holiday by pristine waters, or you're raring to go scuba-diving to see beautiful coral, there's an island to fit your desires!

8. Awal Muharram - Perth, Australia

Public Holiday: 20 Aug 6(Thu)

When to take leave: 21 Aug (Fri)

Total days off (incl. the weekend): 4

Awal Muharram will fall on a Thursday in 2020, so taking leave on Friday the 21st of August means you'll have a cool 4-day weekend. This calls for a getaway somewhere special, and one filled with sunny weather, excellent seafood, and cute quokkas sounds right up there. We're talking about a holiday in Perth!

This capital of Western Australia is known for its beaches, beautiful natural landscapes, as well a cool mix of urban chic and rustic bushland backdrop! You'll get to experience Perth at a lovely time - visiting in May means the city is in autumn, so you can expect sunny days with pleasantly cool temperatures (between low teens to low-twenties degrees Celsius) and fewer crowds than in the spring months.

We have the perfect 4D3N itinerary for your getaway to Perth ready and waiting. If you're planning for a longer trip, don't forget to check out the iconic Fremantle Markets, or see all the adorable wildlife at Caversham Wildlife Park if you can!

9. National Day - Lombok

Public Holiday: 31 Aug (Mon)

Total days off (incl. weekend): 3

Merdeka! National Day will fall on a Monday in 2020, which means a 3-day weekend and just the right amount of time to for a quick trip to Lombok! 3D2N is all you need to enjoy this underrated paradise. It's a great time to visit this beach destination as May - October is Lombok's dry season, meaning sunny days and beautiful weather!

Credit: @arieritonga on Instagram

Whether you're enjoying to pristine beaches of the Gili Islands, biking by beautiful paddy field landscapes, admiring the splendour of Mount Rinjani or simply want to laze around in your beachfront villa, you're going to be in for an awesome time. Not a bad way to beat the Monday blues!

Credit:@nrlianazizon Instagram

10. Malaysia Day - South Korea or Istanbul

Public Holiday: 16 Sep (Wed)

When to take leave:  14 - 15 Sep (Mon & Tue) OR 17 - 18 Sep (Thu & Fri)

Total days off (incl. weekend): 5

Malaysia Day falls on hump day right in the middle of the week -  we recommend taking two days off either before or after the holiday so you have an extra-long period off!

Since you have a good chunk of time, why not go to South Korea? Besides the spring period in March-May, the autumn period in September-November is a lovely time of the year to visit this bustling city. Whether you stick to Seoul or cover more places (like this 5D4N Seoul-Jeju itinerary), you'll be in for an eye-opening exposure to Korean culture, sights, food and of course, shopping! It'll be a trip to remember.

Alternatively, if you're looking for something different, it's also worth considering a trip to Istanbul! Visiting Turkey at this time of year is a great option as it's cheaper than visiting during the summer months with fewer people (flight and accommodation also tends to be cheaper!).

Credit: Pedro Szekely on Flickr

This could be the perfect time to explore Istanbul's many beautiful attractions and also eat the delicious halal food available! If you stay at a hotel near the key areas, getting around to attractions nearby is a breeze, making the city easy to explore. An Istanbul trip doesn't have to be super expensive either, check out our budget hacks for your Istanbul getaway!

11. Prophet Muhammad's Birthday - Hanoi

Public Holiday: 29 Oct (Thu)

When to take leave:  30 Oct (Fri)

Total days off (incl. weekend): 4

Maulidur Rasul will fall on a Thursday at the end of October, so if you're looking for a chance to squeeze in a trip, it makes sense to take Friday off so you'll add a decent stretch to your weekend! And it seems like the right time to pack your bags and head off to nearby Vietnam for a trip to Hanoi.

Credit: bvi4092 on Flickr

Hanoi is a beautiful mix of many things - distinctive local culture and food, rich and fascinating history, stunning nature spots, modern development and colonial heritage. All in all, it makes for an intriguing city to explore, and one that's great to visit in October, because the country actually experiences four seasons and October - November is usually a great transition period between the hot summer months and before the wintertime in December - February.

Credit: David McKelvey on Flickr

If you have time, don't forget to explore the iconic Ha Long Bay, which is a four-hour drive from Hanoi city centre. This area with clusters of limestone islands covered with foliage and beautiful waters will be a sight for sore eyes.

Check out this itinerary we have on exploring Vietnam (the itinerary is for 7D6N for both Hanoi as well as Ho Chi Minh City, so you omit Ho Chi Minh or tailor accordingly for you four-day weekend!).

12. Christmas Day - Krabi

Public Holiday: 25 Dec (Fri)

Total days off (incl. weekend): 3

Wrapping up the year is Christmas Day, which will fall on a Friday. If you're not planning to take extended leave for the year-end for one reason or another, this would be the perfect time to sneak in that end-of-year break with a trip to Krabi! November to March are the best months to visit this Thai island as the weather is ideal - hot sunny days, with cooler breezes at night ? It also means it's peak tourist season, but don't let that deter you, the ambience of Krabi during this time of year is practically festive and great to experience! Staying somewhere near Ao Nang town is a great way to have easy access to the beach and also allow you to stroll around and soak in the beach town vibes.

Credit: Nicolas Vollmer on Flickr

Krabi has a slew of activities to offer - whether you're looking for a laid-back time by the beach, want to go island-hopping, go rock-climbing, snorkelling, diving, cave exploring or a jungle safari, the island has got you covered! Another added advantage of going to Krabi is the fact it has a notable Muslim population, meaning that halal food is pretty easy to source out ? Don't forget to check out the noon markets held in different villages, and the night markets too, to get your fix of delicious Thai food.

Credit: Anders Lejczak on Flickr

So that covers the year in its entirety! You can't complain about the lack of opportunities to go on holiday ? And now that you know all the dates, you can start planning accordingly! Don't let your 2020 travel chances pass you by or become a mad last-minute scramble. Go forth and start blocking your calendars, and may the coming year bring a lot of travel experiences to remember!