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Southeast Asia Weather in January 2024, Where to Go

Southeast Asia Weather in January 2024, Where to Go

By RitaUpdated Jan. 19, 2024

January is one of the best times to visit most of Southeast Asia. You could enjoy pleasant temperatures, averaging about 28°C (82°F) in its southern countries.

However, with diverse climates, the rainfall varies in different countries. Most countries enjoy clear skies and minimal rainfall during this period, such as Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia. However, further south, Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia are still experiencing their rainy seasons.

Read on to find out about weather in the top destinations, the best places to go, costs, and what to pack for January.

Weather in Southeast Asia's Major Cities in January

City Average Daily Low Temp. Average Daily High Temp. Average Rainfall
Bangkok, Thailand 22°C (72°F) 32°C (90°F) 6 mm (0.2 in)
Phuket, Thailand 24°C (75°F) 31°C (88°F) 25 mm (1 in)
Hanoi, Vietnam 14°C (57°F) 20°C (68°F) 23 mm (0.9 in)
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam 22°C (72°F) 32°C (90°F) 59 mm (2 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 16°C (61°F) 32°C (90°F) 3 mm (0.1 in)
Luang Prabang, Laos 14°C (57°F) 27°C (81°F) 6 mm (0.2 in)
Singapore 25°C (77°F) 30°C (86°F) 175 mm (7 in)
Bali, Indonesia 25°C (77°F) 30°C (86°F) 183 mm (7 in)
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 23°C (73°F) 32°C (90°F) 155 mm (6 in)
Manila, Philippines 22°C (72°F) 30°C (86°F) 51 mm (2 in)

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

Stunning Ha Long Bay, VietnamStunning Ha Long Bay, Vietnam

In January, dry weather prevails in Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia, and the Philippines.

Most southern areas have an average temperature of 30°C (86°F) in the daytime. If you prefer cooler weather, you could visit northern areas, such as Hanoi in Vietnam, Chiang Mai in Thailand, and Luang Prabang in Laos.

The good weather would provide the ideal backdrop for all your chosen activities. You could embark on a leisurely journey aboard a transnational Mekong River cruise, go on thrilling jungle adventures, enjoy island-hopping, or immerse yourself in the local culture while celebrating traditional festivals, such as Tet (Vietnamese New Year).

Get some ideas about how to plan a trip to Southeast Asia >>>

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

The rainy season continues in Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia. But compared with December, the rainfall is fading away.

As tropical oceanic countries, they typically experience massive cloudbursts for 30–60 minutes in the afternoon. The rainfall will help to cool down the temperature. Therefore, outdoor activities are possible for most of the day with a flexible schedule.

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!

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

The 6 Best Places to Visit in January in Southeast Asia

If you seek a (mostly) rain-free tropical getaway, the best places to go are Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia, and the Philippines.

For first-timers, Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia are a great combo blending the best of (continental) Southeast Asia. Get some itinerary ideas about trips to Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia.

If you are looking for untouched charm, Laos and Myanmar are must-visit destinations, while the Philippines, with its thousands of islands, is perfect for watery fun. Check our hand-picked itinerary suggestions for 12 days3 weeks, 4 weeks, 5 weeks or 6 weeks...

1. Thailand

In January, the temperature of Thailand ranges from 24°C to 32°C (75°F to 90°F) on average for most of the country. With favorable weather, Thailand is one of the best places to celebrate the New Year holiday with your loved one(s).

You could take part in the New Year countdown in vibrant Bangkok and visit elephant sanctuaries and release sky lanterns in traditional Chiang Mai.

Your Thailand trip would not be complete without tropical island activities. Phuket is absolutely your go-to destination with abundant water activities, while Koh Samui is a better choice for milestone celebrations with its serene vibe and luxury resorts.

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

2. Vietnam

January is one of the best months to visit Vietnam. Due to its considerable north-south extent, Vietnam boasts a diverse climate. During your visit, you could experience the cool north (Hanoi and Ha Long Bay), mild central area (Hoi An), and hot south (Ho Chi Minh City and Phu Quoc Island).

In January, you could enjoy traditional Tet (Vietnamese New Year) celebrations with dragon dances and colorful decorations. Taking a slow-paced Mekong River cruise from Vietnam to Cambodia is also a fantastic way to celebrate your New Year vacation.

Further Reading: Itinerary options for 2 weeks in Thailand and Vietnam

3. Cambodia

With almost no chance of weather disruptions, you could fully discover the best of Cambodia in January.

As the crown jewel of Cambodia, Angkor Wat in Siem Reap is an absolute must-see. You could explore this magnificent complex in-depth through our exclusive walking tour led by our Khmer scholar. If you're an active traveler or have teenagers in tow, biking around the site is an exciting way to unveil its beauty.

If you'd like to gain insight into local life, take a boat trip on Tonle Sap Lake and discover the floating villages there.

See how to plan a family trip in Southeast Asia>>>

4. The Philippines

The Philippines in January is generally characterized by warm and dry weather.

For island lovers, you'll be spoilt for choice with activities ranging from sunbathing to island-hopping. As a world-famous diving destination, you could also interact with whale sharks and dive around World War II shipwrecks and coral reefs.

Beyond the beach time, you could join the vibrant Sinulog Festival, immersing yourself in this cultural and religious celebration featuring colorful parades, dances, and street parties.

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

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5. Myanmar

Hot air balloon over plain of Bagan in misty morning MyanmarHot air balloon over plain of Bagan in misty morning Myanmar

As the coolest and driest month in Myanmar, the best weather season continues in January.

You could immerse yourself in the devotion of local Buddhists at Yangon's Shwedagon Pagoda, savor romance through hot-air ballooning in Bagan, and uncover the charm of rural life at Inle Lake.

6. Laos

With an average temperature of 27°C (81°F), January promises sunny weather throughout Laos.

If you're looking for a more serene experience in Southeast Asia with fewer crowds, Laos is a destination worth exploring. You could join locals in almsgiving during tranquil mornings and also participate in a local elephant sanctuary program.

Costs and Crowding in January

Thanks to the New Year holiday and pleasant weather, January is one of the peak times to visit most of Southeast Asia.

So you could expect high costs and large crowds, especially in countries with dry weather, such as Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia. Early booking at least 3 months in advance is a must to avoid last-minute hassles. Travel with us and you'll save costs per person by inviting more family members or friends.

If you're flexible, you will be rewarded with fewer crowds and great deals in countries in the rainy season, such as Bali and Singapore.

What to Pack in January

Lightweight and breathable clothing as well as sun protection are advised for the warm and dry weather. Sandals are convenient and helpful if you'd like to visit temples, pagodas, and beaches.

Don't forget to take a coat if you're going to visit cooler areas, such as northern Vietnam, northern Thailand, or mountainous areas.

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

Traveling with Asia Highlights

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