6 tips for keeping cool in Malaysia without air conditioning

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With the heatwave upon us at the moment, the prospect of not having the cooling comfort of an air-conditioner to get you through those hot KL nights seems too grizzly to contemplate. When power failures occur (particularly in homes which are enclosed for added security reasons) your temperate abode can quickly feel like a blast furnace.

Listed here are few top tips – minus hugging your refrigerator for hours on end – for keeping cool in your Malaysian home should air-conditioning not be available.

1. Drink coconut water and sugar cane juice

coconut water

Guzzling coconut and sugar cane juices has long been a popular Asian remedy for keeping the body cool in the summer heat. The natural sugars found in the fluids will both cool the body down and energize it with high levels of carbohydrates and proteins. Though we often think of fizzy drinks with ice-cubes when it comes to considering ways to keep cool, it is often forgotten that these only provide a temporary relief. The organic goodness of coconut water and cane juice is likely to last much longer.

2. Make a DIY air conditioner

bowl of ice

This is the perfect solution for anyone who wants to keep cool, with the additional satisfaction that comes with knowing it is your own creation. Though there are myriad ways to make DIY air conditioners, the most common and easy-to-assemble contraption involves simply putting a bowl of salted ice in front of a fan.

Copper tubing pump DIY air conditioners have also proven to be popular, however, these are significantly more time consuming to create and can be dangerous both before and after assemblages in some circumstances. The basic ice-bowl air-con may only be a temporary solution (and fairly tedious if you are stuck indoors for long periods) but the benefits are certainly noticeable on particularly hot days and nights.

3. Use ice packs on your pulse points

ice feet

Placing an ice pack, cool compressor, or cold water on your body’s pulse points can lower your overall body temperature.  The points can be found on the backs of your knees, inner wrists, ankles, the tops of the feet, inner thighs and the inside bend of the elbows.

You can adjust which points to use depending on what you are doing. For example, for anyone out and about, it is recommended that a damp bandanna be wrapped around the wrists and elbows in order to reduce the heat, whereas if you are reclining at home on the couch, placing cold packs around your feet can be effective.


4. Eat spicy foods

dried chili

There is certainly no shortage of delectable spicy meals to choose from in Malaysia, and though it may sound counter-productive, the consumption of spicy can in fact cool you down. The simple reason for this is that the food consumed will make sweat and increase blood circulation.

Though this fact may have people rushing to the local mamak stall for some spicy rendang, it should be remembered that large meal portions will undoubtedly leave you feeling worse, and much more sluggish, in the heat.

5. Take a stroll through the I-city Snow Walk


The ideal Arctic escape for anyone who has grown weary of KL’s humidity, the I-city Snow Walk in Shah Alam has a number of activities and attractions to provide hours of refrigerated fun. Guests can enjoy ice slides and toboggan runs or simply stroll about the exquisitely carved ice sculptures, all lit up with LED lights. Visitors can also enjoy a round or two of Arctic soccer! Gloves and jackets are provided for guests and, though tickets are RM25 per adult and RM20 for children, this winter wonderland is well worth the visit.

6. Order some cincau

soya cincau

Widely known as Grass Jelly (despite having no grass in it at all, rather a kind of minty plant), cincau has long been believed to have cooling properties. Although this drink is generally related to the Chinese concept of yin (soft, cold and yielding as opposed to yang), the drink is widely lauded among locals for its refreshingly cool and tasty qualities, especially when used in icy drinks. One popular type of Cincau is the “Michael Jackson”, so named because the milk mixed with the dark jelly is ‘black and white’.

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Marie Chee

Cucumbers are cooling. Sliced cold cucumbers n munched them. Barley water as well. Cool your internal system. I dehumidify my pad n the air is lighter n cooler.


Thanks for the tips Marie 🙂

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