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Southeast Asia Weather in December 2024 & Best Places to Go

By RitaUpdated Jan. 23, 2024

Famous as a winter getaway, December is one of the best times to discover most of Southeast Asia. You'll have the coolest temperatures (still averaging 27°C (81°F) in the day), which are pleasant for outdoor adventures.

As for rainfall, you could experience two distinct weather patterns in Southeast Asia. Most countries in Southeast Asia enjoy their dry seasons (November to April), such as Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia. The rainy season is in full swing, however, in Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia.

Read on to find out the best places to go, the costs, and what to pack in December.

Weather in SE Asia's Major Cities in December

City Average Daily Low Temp. Average Daily High Temp. Average Rainfall
Bangkok, Thailand 21°C (70°F) 31°C (88°F) 11 mm (0.4 in)
Phuket, Thailand 23°C (73°F) 31°C (88°F) 18 mm (0.7 in)
Hanoi, Vietnam 17°C (63°F) 23°C (73°F) 23 mm (0.9 in)
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam 22°C (72°F) 32°C (90°F) 59 mm (2.3 in)
Phnom Penh, Cambodia 23°C (73°F) 31°C (88°F) 25 mm (1 in)
Siem Reap, Cambodia 22°C (72°F) 30°C (86°F) 0 mm (0 in)
Bagan, Myanmar 17°C (63°F) 30°C (86°F) 0 mm (0 in)
Luang Prabang, Laos 15°C (59°F) 27°C (81°F) 6 mm (0.2 in)
Singapore 24°C (75°F) 30°C (86°F) 273 mm (10.7 in)
Bali, Indonesia 25°C (77°F) 31°C (88°F) 374 mm (14.7 in)
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 23°C (73°F) 32°C (90°F) 271 mm (10.6 in)
Manila, Philippines 22°C (72°F) 30°C (86°F) 131 mm (5.2 in)

Countries with Dry Weather: Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia, and the Philippines

If you're planning to travel to multiple countries in (northern) Southeast Asia, December is undoubtedly the best time to explore them. You'll have the most favorable weather with rain-free days and cool/mild temperatures.

With that comes the high costs and crowds, especially over the Christmas and New Year periods. For your family reunions or milestone celebrations, booking 6 months in advance is recommended to have more availability of the best hotels and avoid last-minute hassles.

Get some itinerary ideas about trips to Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia, or get inspired by how to plan your first trip to Southeast Asia>>>

Countries in the Rainy Season: Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia

Island countries experience their rainy seasons in December, such as Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia.

You can expect an average of 17 days with some rainfall in December. The rain usually falls heavily but is over quite quickly, often falling in the afternoon or evening.

Traveling in December, a private tour with a flexible schedule would be helpful to make the most of your time.

Read more about planning a trip to Singapore and Bali>>>

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The 5 Best Places to Visit in December in Southeast Asia

Weather-wise, you're advised to visit Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, and Laos.

They showcase Southeast Asia and highlight its diverse beauty, whilst being conveniently adjacent to one another. You could wander around the majestic temples, immerse yourself in the unique charm of the islands, and try the mouthwatering food.

To explore all of the best of the above-mentioned countries, you need at least 4 weeks. Check our hand-picked itinerary suggestions for 4 weeks, 5 weeks or 6 weeks...

1. Thailand: Best for a First Southeast Asia Trip

In December, the daily temperature range in Thailand averages from 23°C to 29°C (73°F to 84°F). You could celebrate Christmas with your family on typically rain-free days wherever you go.

First-timers would love the vibrant festivals and bustling city life in Bangkok. Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai are ideal for immersing yourself in the local culture as well.

Your tropical getaway would be perfect with Thailand's stunning islands. Phuket is renowned for the abundant beach activities for families, and Koh Samui is highly recommended for couples thanks to its tranquil vibe.

Check out how to plan a family trip to Southeast Asia>>>

2. Vietnam: Ideal for a Relaxing Trip Blended with Adventures

In Vietnam, December is the best time for mild/warm, dry weather and atmospheric Christmas and New Year celebrations.

A representative Vietnam trip would not be complete without the charismatic capital Hanoi, picturesque Halong Bay, relaxing Hoi An, bustling Ho Chi Minh City, and vibrant floating markets in the Mekong Delta.

Couples could enjoy some quality private time during our 3-day Halong Bay cruise and in the romantic ancient town of Hoi An.

Families with teenagers could join in our special farming experience and fishing tour for an authentic taste of the rustic lifestyle. The Cu Chi Tunnels could be educational as well.

Check the 12-day itineraries in Southeast Asia...

3. Myanmar: Great for In-Depth Explorations with Romantic Sunset Balloon Rides

December is considered to be one of the driest months in Myanmar, with relatively low chances of rainfall. Temperatures range from approximately 24°C to 30°C (75°F to 86°F) daily.

Myanmar offers enchanting temples and pagodas as its top attractions while Inle Lake invites you to explore a charming and genuine floating village lifestyle.

Bagan is the perfect highlight to complete your trip to Myanmar, particularly if you're planning a milestone trip. What could be more romantic than holding your partner and seeing the sun set over 2,000 pagodas from a hot-air balloon?

Read more about planning a couple's trip to Southeast Asia>>>

4. Cambodia: Renowned for Splendid Angkor Wat

December offers cool temperatures (23°C to 29°C (73°F to 84°F)) and dry weather.

To explore the majestic temples of Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, you could walk around the grand temple complex with our Khmer scholar.

To enhance your experience, couples could take a romantic sunset boat trip, while families with teenagers could enjoy a thrilling sunset quad bike ride.

Beyond Angkor Wat, you could visit Cambodia's capital, Phnom Penh. Participating in a blessing ceremony carried out by local monks would create a special occasion for either a couple or a family.

Read more about the Top 10 Kid-Friendly Destinations or the best activities for families in Southeast Asia >>>

5. Laos: A Hidden Treasure for Cultural Immersion

December offers pleasant weather throughout Laos, with lower humidity and little to no rainfall.

Luang Prabang is the captivating centerpiece of any journey to Laos. First-timers usually add it to their 3–4 week Southeast Asia trips.

You could relax in an adult-only boutique hotel for some serene private time, join in with the awe-inspiring traditional ritual of morning almsgiving, or take a Mekong sunset cruise.

Too hectic to plan your SE Asia trip? Leave your interests and requests, and your travel expert will personalize a private tour for you within 24 hours!

Costs and Crowds in December

December is a popular time to visit Southeast Asia, especially for a warm winter getaway. You should expect higher costs and crowds in the dry countries, such as Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia. Early December is ideal to enjoy these countries because of the good weather and fewer crowds.

To avoid the rocketing prices of hotels and flights, it's advisable to book 6 months in advance. Despite the increased crowds, the festive atmosphere and pleasant weather make it an enjoyable time to explore the region.

Conversely, the rainy season in Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia offers tranquility and cost-effective travel options.

>>>Read about how to plan a trip to Thailand, Singapore and Bali

What to Pack in December

When packing for your Southeast Asia trip in December, you're advised to take lightweight and breathable clothing that's suitable for mild/warm weather. If you visit northern Vietnam, northern Thailand, or mountainous areas, a coat is helpful as the temperature might drop to 15°C (70°F). Also, take your swimsuits and beachwear if you want a beach vacation.

Sun protection is necessary for the high UV rays so don't forget to pack sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat, etc.

When you visit countries that have their rainy season, it's always good to be prepared with a compact raincoat or umbrella.

To avoid potential mosquito bites, pack an insect repellent to stay protected.

Monthly Weather and Travel Information for Southeast Asia

Learn about the weather in Southeast Asia for 12 months and find out the best places to visit each month.

Southeast Asia in January Southeast Asia in February Southeast Asia in March
Southeast Asia in April Southeast Asia in May Southeast Asia in June
Southeast Asia in July Southeast Asia in August Southeast Asia in September
Southeast Asia in October Southeast Asia in November Southeast Asia in December

Contact Us for Booking

At Asia Highlights, we have created over 10,000+ big trips for insightful travelers, mostly for families and couples. We will be happy to personalize your private Southeast Asia tour that offers you an unforgettable memory!

You are warmly welcomed to have us customize your own trip based on your group size, interests, and other needs. Sit back and use our Create My Trip service.

In addition to the above itineraries, we also have other itineraries you may be interested in:

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