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Best Times to visit Southeast Asia, Worst Time, Rainy Season...

Best Times to visit Southeast Asia, Worst Time, Rainy Season...

By Ruby ZhaoUpdated Jul. 8, 2022

Southeast Asia now reopens to travelers. It lies within the tropics, with southern areas close to the equator, and so it's warm all year round. Average temperatures are around 27°C (80°F).

The climate varies significantly across the region of Southeast Asia. This makes it a year-round travel destination. The best time to visit will really come down to which country you would like to visit and what you want to do.

Generally speaking, the best time to visit most places in Southeast Asia is from November to February when the weather is dry (driest) and warm (on average). Wet-season monsoon rains fall from June to October in most SE Asian countries.

Southeast Asia Weather Guide

Elephant Rescue Park in Chiangmai Elephant Rescue Park in Chiangmai

Not all countries in Southeast Asia share the same seasons at the same time. There are some regional differences. They are roughly divided into two weather patterns.

There are three main seasons in Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, and the Philippines:

  • Dry season: November to February
  • Hot season: March to May
  • Rainy season: June to October

There are two main seasons in Malaysia, Indonesia, and Singapore:

  • Dry season: April to September
  • Rainy season: October to March

Most travelers choose to visit mainland Southeast Asia during its dry season as it's not so hot with little rain. The weather in the hot season, consistently getting to around 38°C (100°F), and the rainy season is not so good, but you will find fewer crowds and lower prices for flights and accommodation.

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Best Times for Beaches in Southeast Asia

  • Thailand and Vietnam: November to early April 
  • Indonesia and Malaysia: April to October
Phu Quoc Island in Vietnam Phu Quoc Island in Vietnam

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 usually sunny and dry, and it's not too hot or too cool. The beaches in many countries, such as Thailand and Vietnam, are at their best during this period.

But if you would like to enjoy your beach vacation in Indonesia (like in Bali) or Malaysia's east coast (like on the Perhentian Islands or Tioman Island), 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 during the rainy season.

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Best Times to Avoid the Crowds

Visiting Angkor Wat Early to Avoid the Crowds Visiting Angkor Wat Early to Avoid the Crowds

The Peak Season: November to February

It is a great time to travel in the most popular north of Southeast Asia from November to February — 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 October

March to May is the hot season and June to October is generally considered to be the wet season in Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia. The weather conditions are not exactly ideal, but you can expect fewer crowds.

It is common to have 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 there's not so much of a problem in traveling to Southeast Asia during the off-season, as long as you know what to expect and plan well.

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Worst Times to Visit Southeast Asia

As mentioned above, there will be some discomfort or inconvenience if you travel in the hot and monsoon seasons.

If you are particularly concerned about the weather, we would like to advise that the least recommended times to visit northern Southeast Asia (Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, and Philippines) are their hottest month of April and their wettest month of September, averaging over 300 mm (12 inches) of rainfall.

However, these worst times for the travel trade have benefits. You can enjoy very reasonable price and less-crowded beaches and temples.

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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.

best time to visit southeast asia

Click the country name below to check the best travel time.

  • Thailand
  • Vietnam
  • Singapore
  • Cambodia
  • Myanmar
  • Laos
  • Malaysia
  • Indonesia

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: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.

Northern Thailand: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.

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Southeast Asia Travel Guide by Month

Click the sign of each month to check the travel guide information.

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December

January Travel in Southeast Asia

January is one of the most popular travel periods for Southeast Asia. It's warm and dry in Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, and Philippines, with temperatures hovering between 20°C (68°F) and the low 30s °C (86+°F) in most places.

Many visitors choose to spend their Christmas and New Year holidays on the sunny beaches. Diving and snorkeling are at their best during this period. Avoid the east coast of Malaysia and Bali, though, as it's the rainy season peak there.

You might like to join in Lunar New Year celebrations in (the Chinatowns of) these countries. In 2023, Lunar New Year is observed on January 22nd.

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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.

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