With a big influx of Arab and Europeans tourists to the region during this time, it pays to book ahead for specific accommodation.

George Town Festival

This outstanding arts, performance and culture festival (http://georgetownfestival.com) in Penang includes international artists, innovative street performances and also has a fringe component in Butterworth on the mainland.

Hungry Ghosts Festival

Chinese communities perform operas, host open-air concerts and lay out food for their ancestors. Celebrated towards the end of the month and in early September.

Malaysia's National Day

Join the crowds at midnight on 31 August to celebrate the anniversary of Malaysia’s independence in 1957. The 60th anniversary in 2017 will be a big one with parades and festivities the next morning across the country.

Singapore National Day

Held on 9 August (though dress rehearsals on the two prior weekends are almost as popular), Singapore National Day (www.ndp.org.sg) includes military parades, fly-overs and fireworks.