New Year is a busy travel period. It’s monsoon season on Malaysia’s east coast and Sarawak.

Thaipusam

Enormous crowds converge at the Batu Caves north of KL, Nattukottai Chettiar Temple in Penang and in Singapore for this dramatic Hindu festival involving body piercing. Falls between mid-January and mid-February.

Pongol

This Hindu festival, which usually takes place in mid January, celebrates the end of the harvest season. Pongol, either a sweet or salty rice dish prepared in a clay pot, is prepared and Hindu temples see various festivities over a four-day period.