With its humid climate and high temperatures, Malaysia is not the typical scene for a white Christmas celebration. Malaysia is also a mostly Islamic nation, meaning many tourists are unsure what to expect when visiting during Christmas.
The good news is that Malaysia sure knows how to get into the festive spirit. During the lead up to Christmas, and on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, there are no shortage of things to do and ways to join the festivities if you are in Malaysia. Christmas Day is a national public holiday in Malaysia.
Check out the decorations
Kuala Lumpur is known for its large shopping centres, and during Christmas time they are supremely decorated with amazing displays, giant trees, teddy bears, and all sorts of festive decorations. The shopping centre Christmas decorations are a highlight within themselves, and there are plenty of malls to look around and get through. Sunway Pyramid, Pavillion and Mid Valley are three notable shopping centres to check out.
In addition to the myriad lights, decorations, and displays, Malaysia’s shopping centres also have plenty of entertainment and activities on offer, from carols to games. Sunway Pyramid is especially fun at Christmas as they have an ice rink. i-City is another place where you can see lots of lights and decorations, as well as jump on some rides or watch a movie in the 5D cinema.
The Christmas sales in Malaysia start in November, so shoppers can enjoy the frenzy that comes with the sales. This is a great opportunity for tourists to shop and take advantage of good savings. The festive buzz and decorations are also part of the charm when shopping during the Christmas period.
This is what most of us are accustomed to doing over Christmas, and there are plenty of options to indulge in in Malaysia. All of the top restaurants host a special Christmas meal, usually a buffet.
For a gourmet Italian feast, restaurant NeroTeca has prepared a special four course meal for both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The menu features authentic Italian ingredients served alongside festive staples like Christmas duck and special steamed sausage. Desserts and cheese are included, so there’s something for everyone, and for a small extra fee, the meal includes free flowing prosecco, white, red, and punch. A live French gypsy band will accompany the meal, alongside a DJ and lucky draw, so there’s plenty of fun to be had aside from the food.
For another experience, try Brotzeit Bier Bar for a traditional German Christmas feast. Enjoy the hearty dishes served up by Chef Helmut alongside a cold German beer for a truly different Christmas – unless you’re German, of course.
If you’re after something a little more affordable, the Chefs at Levain Boulangerie Patisserie have prepared a four course set menu for a mere RM68. While this menu strays from the traditional Christmas theme, you can still enjoy classic flavours like braised wagyu beef or truffle infused spaghetti.
If you like to party, the iconic Zouk nightclub hosts a Christmas Eve event, ‘Frozen’, that is sure to be memorable. They even get into the Christmas spirit with hot chocolates and cookies. This club has become world famous, so it could be worth a look if you’re in Kuala Lumpur.
On Christmas Day, Laundry Bar is holding an event called ‘The Christmas Show’ with some up and coming acts. The Christmas spirit will be in full force with carols thrown into the dance mix too.
A lot of expats living in Malaysia take the Christmas period as an opportunity to get away with the family, with many of them choosing to spend a weekend at the much cooler Cameron Highlands. The alternative for a tourist is to spend Christmas on an island such as Langkawi or Penang. There may not be snow, but the sun and sand provide a relaxing way to spend Christmas.
Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, the festive buzz in Malaysia is sure to be contagious so be prepared to get involved and embrace the spirit. There is no shortage of options when it comes to experiencing Christmas in Malaysia, no matter your background or budget.