When Is the Best Time to Visit Southeast Asia
Are you planning your trip to Southeast Asia but are not sure when the best time to go there is?
Southeast Asia is a year-round travel destination when any time is a good time to visit any corner of the region. The best time to visit Southeast Asia will really come down to your own preference and the country you are visiting.
Generally speaking, the best time to visit most places in Southeast Asia is from November through February when the weather is dry and cool. Wet monsoon rains fall from June to October in most countries.
3 Quick Facts about the Weather in Southeast Asia to Help You Plan Your Trip
- The period from November to February is the dry season in Southeast Asia. Most travelers choose to visit this region during this period.
- March through May is the hot season in Southeast Asia and June through October is the rainy season. The weather is not very good but you will see fewer crowds and lower prices for flights and accommodation.
- Not all countries in Southeast Asia share the same seasons at the same time. There are some regional differences. Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, and the Philippines have three main seasons: the dry season (November to February), the hot season (March to May), and the wet season (June to October). Malaysia, Indonesia, and Singapore have only two seasons: the wet season (October to March) and the dry season (April to September).
The Best Times to Visit Southeast Asia
The Best Time for Good Weather
Southeast Asia lies within the tropics close to the equator and has hot and humid weather. The average temperatures are around 27ºC/80ºF year-round. The hottest time of year is from March to May, with temperatures consistently around 38ºC/100ºF.
Southeast Asia has two distinct seasons: the wet and dry seasons. The wet season between June and October means many countries experience a high amount of rainfall.
The dry season between November and February is considered to be the best time to visit mainland Southeast Asia, such as Northern Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam, except for Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia as this period is when they experience their rainy seasons.
The Best Time for Beaches
If you hope to enjoy sunbathing and swimming in the sea, generally speaking, the best time to visit Southeast Asia’s beaches is from November through early April when the weather is sunny and dry, and it’s not too warm or too cool.
The beaches in many countries, such as Thailand and Vietnam, are at their best. But if you would like to enjoy your beach vacation in Indonesia (like Bali) and Malaysia’s east coast (like the Perhentian and Tioman islands), the best time to go is between April and October.
If you’re traveling to the beaches during the wet season, you should expect some rainy days but there will also be days where it only rains for a short while and then the sun comes out. You'll find that hotel and resort prices are considerably cheaper.
The Best Time to Avoid the Crowds
The peak season: November through February is a great time to travel in Southeast Asia — except for the crowds. During this time, go to the busy places, such as the Grand Palace in Thailand and Angkor Wat in Cambodia, as early or late in the peak season as you can.
The off-season: March through May is the hot season in Southeast Asia and June through October is generally considered to be the wet season. It’s not exactly ideal weather conditions but you can expect fewer crowds.
It is not uncommon for daily rain in the wet season but as the rain is so predictable (it usually rains in the afternoon and at night), it’s easy to plan around the weather. This means it’s no problem to travel in Southeast Asia during the off-season as long as you plan well.
Worst Times to Visit Southeast Asia
As mentioned above, there will be some inconveniences if you travel in the hot and monsoon seasons. If you care about the weather, we would like to advise that the least recommended times to visit Southeast Asia are the hottest month of April and the wettest month of September, which has an average of 220 mm of rainfall.
The Best Times to Visit Different Countries in Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia is a large region. It is warm all year round. No matter when you visit, you will find a place that matches your interests and preferences.
The weather and climate are different in different countries but they are roughly divided into two patterns.
Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, and the Philippines have three main seasons:
- Dry season: November to February
- Hot season: March to May
- Wet season: June to October
Malaysia, Indonesia, and Singapore have two seasons:
- Wet season: October to March
- Dry season: April to September
The Best Times to Visit Thailand
Generally, the most popular time to visit Thailand is between November and early April when it is the cool and dry season. Northern and Southern Thailand experience different climates.
Southern Thailand is a perfect destination if you are looking for an excellent vacation on beautiful beaches, such as Krabi, Phuket, and Phi Phi on the west coast, or Koh Tao, Koh Phangan, and Koh Samui on the east coast.
The best time to visit Southern Thailand is from February to April when the weather is nice and sunny.
If you are going to visit Northern Thailand – including Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Sukhothai, and Pattaya – you can consider visiting from October to January.
The Worst Time to Visit Thailand
If you are traveling to Thailand for a beach vacation, try to avoid planning your trip between June and the end of October because it is the monsoon season.
If you can’t handle the heat, try to avoid the period from April to early May as they are considered the hottest months with temperatures reaching 40°C/104°F.
The Best Times to Visit Vietnam
The weather varies in northern, central, and southern Vietnam. Although the best time for travel depends on the region you visit, October to April are the best months to travel in most places of the country. See more about the Vietnam weather.
North Vietnam includes Halong Bay, Hanoi, Ninh Binh, Mai Chau, and other great destinations. The best time to visit is from October to May when the weather is warm and dry. In the mountainous regions, it can be covered in ice from December until January.
If you are planning to visit Hoi An, Nha Trang, Da Nang, and Hue in Central Vietnam, you can travel in the period from January to April. You can expect perfect beach weather — blue skies, warm sun, and gentle sea breezes.
If you are traveling to South Vietnam (Ho Chi Minh City, Phu Quoc, Phan Thiet, and Mui Ne), the ideal time is from November to March. It can be hot from March to May, with an average temperature of up to 32°C/90°F.
The Best Times to Visit Singapore
Singapore is a wonderful year-round destination with good weather. Unlike many destinations in Southeast Asia, there isn’t that much of a difference between the wet season (October to March) and the slightly drier summer season (April to September).
You might find it strange that the peak season is from November to early January even though there is some rain and it is a little wet. Singapore is crowded with travelers, particularly during Chinese New Year.
If you want to avoid the crowds, you can visit between February and May when the country is not overloaded with too many tourists and the weather is slightly hot. June to August is the driest time although it is unavoidable to encounter flash thunderstorms and stifling humidity.
The Best Times to Visit Cambodia
Weather-wise, the best time to go to Cambodia is between November and April when it is sunny and dry. It is perfect if you are going to spend some time on a beach or hike through the jungles of Cambodia.
If you want to experience the country’s fresh and lush greenery and quiet temples, the wet season (May to October) can be a good time. Heavy rains can occur but they only last for 1 or 2 hours in the afternoon.
The Best Times to Visit Myanmar (Burma)
The best time to visit most of Myanmar is from November to February when there are warm and dry days.
If you intend to visit areas in and around Mandalay and Bagan, which are the hottest and driest regions of Myanmar, you’d better avoid March to May as temperatures can rise to over 40°C/104°F. The wet season from June to October is considered a good season even though there is a bit of rain and it is good to avoid the winter crowds.
The Best Time to Visit Laos
Laos, a small and landlocked country in Southeast Asia, has a dry season (October to late April) and a wet season (May to late September).
If you are looking for warm and dry weather and want to enjoy outdoor activities, the ideal months to travel in Laos are from November to January, with temperatures ranging from 14–26°C (57°–79°F). This is also an excellent time for exploring the Mekong River.
The Best Times to Visit Malaysia
Malaysia has a classic equatorial climate with plenty of sunshine, high temperatures, and wet months throughout the year.
The best month to visit Malaysia depends on which side of the country you are going to visit. The seasons on each side of the peninsula are different.
The best time to visit the western islands is from December to February, while the perfect time to visit the east coast is from June to August.
The Best Times to Visit Indonesia
Indonesia is a year-round destination with warm tropical temperatures averaging 28°C/82°F throughout the year. The dry season in Indonesia spans from May to September and the wet season is between October and April.
If you plan to dive off the coast of Bali, Lombok, and Komodo National Park or want to plan to climb one of Indonesia's many volcanoes, the dry months from April to September are a great time.
If you are looking for good weather as well as fewer crowds, you can visit Indonesia in May, June, and September.
Travel in Southeast Asia Your Way
Southeast Asia is a beautiful year-round destination and you’re bound to have a good time no matter when you visit. We take everything, including the weather, into consideration when designing the best possible itinerary for you.