Travel is rejuvenating, exciting and a hell of a learning experience, if you know where to go and when! You don’t want to go to scuba-diving just to find out the beach has been cordoned off or go hiking to find your route packed with a hoard of fellow travelers. There are a few things to keep in mind while traveling to different countries like the weather and the surge of the tourists that comes along with what is typically called the best time to visit a place.
If you are off to Southeast Asia, this decision is a little more complex because of the intricacies of the changing weather dynamics from dry to wet to dry with a drizzle to hot and humid all the way down to scorching hot. Here is a look into some of the places to visit each month of the year so that it is an ideal holiday for travelers!
There’s a Southeast Asia Destination for Every Month
January – Rattankiri Highlands, Cambodia
The month of January is ideal for trekkers looking to tread through the Ratankiri Highlands in Cambodia. The weather is dry but favorable from November to January, however trekking enthusiasts may appreciate the green landscapes, tall trees and rare wildlife especially during the month of January when a cool wind blows through the forests. Some places to visit along the Mekong get you a glimpse of the Irrawaddy dolphins swimming together.
February – Southern Luzon, Philippines
After a visit to southern Luzon in Philippines, you can proudly boast of having swum with a whale shark. To amp up the heart rate, an adventurous climb onto Mount Mayon is a must — with its symmetrical cone shape and incline. The dry season is from November to April but the coolest months are January and February. The Christmas and New Year ticket rates will slide down and make it ideal for an exciting adventure to Cambodia in February.
March — Singapore
Singapore offers myriads of opportunities for the globetrotter. Gardens by the bay, National Orchid gardens with splendid orchids, Jurong Bird Park and Singapore Botanic Gardens are a few ‘must see’ places. A glorious view from the Singapore Flyer makes you fall in love with Singapore. The dry phase of the monsoon season sets in around March when the weather is pleasant and is a perfect season to go, with a balance between the downpour and the heat.
April – Kampong Ayer, Brunei
The large water village Kampong Ayer in Brunei can be an interesting place to visit in April when the rains have subsided and it starts to get hot and there are fewer tourists. East Brunei is home to magnificent lowland rainforests, part of the Ulu Temburong National Park. It is a great destination for travelers looking to enjoy a combination of peace and enthralling beauty. Food at open air markets serving Malay delicacies brings a whole new dimension to the term adventuring!
May – East Timor
May is an ideal season to go to East Timor as it marks the end of the wet season and beckons water lovers to go adventuring, with its vast beaches and coral reefs for scuba diving and snorkeling. Whale and Dolphin watching are major attractions in Timor Leste. For those of you who want to take the adventure up a notch, Mount Ramelau amongst others provides opportunities for some thrilling trekking. Should you find yourself craving an adventure around May, East Timor is ideal. Do not forget to buy their famous coffee beans!
June – Xieng Khouang, Laos
Xieng Khouang Province in Laos is home to the remarkable Plain of Jars where huge jars of stone snuggle into the earth of the open plains which is now a UNESCO world heritage site. The wet season is from May to October with plenty of sunshine in June. Along with some rain makes and not many tourists, it is an ideal season to go see the Gibbons protected by a natural reserve in Laos.
July — Malaysia
The Cameron Highlands offer a majestic view and an opportunity to visit spreads of tea plantations and take walks through them. This is one of my favorite, as it includes tours of the tea factories and favorable climate. Tioman Island and mount Kinabalu are other places to go adventuring in Malaysia and experience some rare species of fauna. Tioman Island specifically is an ideal spot for scuba diving. The month of July in the middle of a mild monsoon is an ideal time to travel and to avoid torrential downpour in some regions of tropical Malaysia.
August/September — Indonesia
Active volcanoes and a number of beaches is the combination for which people travel to Indonesia. For some the attraction is Mount Batur in Bali, Ijen Crater in East Java while for some the pristine beaches of Indonesia hold fancy. Another must see is Komodo Island home of Komodo dragon and also to varied marine diversity in Asia. While the wet season in Indonesia experiences heavy rain, the dry season sees much needed rain making August and September ideal months to travel to the country especially for adventurers looking to indulge in kite surfing at Aceh!
October — Kyaiktiyo, Myanmar
Kyaiktiyo, the gravity defying golden rock which is sacred to the people of Myanmar is located on the Paunglaung mountain range is awe inspiring. As one of the most important Buddhist pilgrimage sites, it is a favorite travel destination of locals and tourists both. River cruises in Myanmar provide some beautiful views in early mornings and evenings. October with its pleasant climate is an season to go because it is the cusp between the monsoon season and the cold season when tourists arrive and prices soar.
November — Thailand
November, the beginning of the cool season offers a slightly pleasant weather as compared to the extremes of rain and sun in Thailand. The province of Krabi has many islands that are spectacular, pristine beaches, coral reefs and opportunities to scuba dive. These include adventuring into Phi Phi Island for snorkeling and diving in the waters. Riding the Death Railway constructed by prisoners of WWII gives a beautiful view of the terrain that it’s built through. The street food at Bangkok is an exotic experience.
Read More > Kayaking in Koh Phi Phi: A Comprehensive Guide
December – Vietnam
The Paradise Cave discovered by a local Vietnamese man in 2005 is a must visit and is best explored on dirt bikes. The pristine interior gives an ethereal quality to the cave earning it its name. Seeing the traps set during the War along with the Cu Chi tunnels is an experience worth the trip to Vietnam. The cool to cold season from November to March makes December an ideal time to travel the country.
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Hi, I am Ankit. I love adventures and the outdoors and am the go-to guy if you need a sparring partner in adventures or sports 🙂 I write about my travels on AlienAdv with a mission to inspire thousands to get off the couch and get going on lifetime experiences. I share my own travel stories (in the South East Asia and internationally) and my best tips and advice on issues like road-trips, scuba-diving nuggets, surfing, sailing and paragliding. You can also follow me on Instagram and Twitter