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Southeast Asia Weather in May 2024, Where to Go

Southeast Asia Weather in May 2024, Where to Go

By RitaUpdated Jan. 23, 2024

May is a good time to travel to Southeast Asia. Daily highs reach about 33°C (91°F) and they average less toward June as rain increases.

As for rainfall, Indonesia, Singapore, and Malaysia boast their best weather, while other continental countries like Thailand start their rainy season. With heavy rainfall yet to set in, sunny intervals punctuate the days, offering pleasant conditions for traveling. Furthermore, you could expect low costs and great deals during the monsoon season.

Weather for Southeast Asia's Major Cities in May

City Average Daily Low Temp. Average Daily High Temp. Average Rainfall
Bangkok, Thailand 27°C (81°F) 34°C (93°F) 114 mm (4 in)
Phuket, Thailand 26°C (79°F) 32°C (90°F) 208 mm (8 in)
Hanoi, Vietnam 25°C (77°F) 32°C (90°F) 126 mm (5 in)
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam 26°C (79°F) 34°C (93°F) 110 mm (4 in)
Phnom Penh, Cambodia 27°C (81°F) 35°C (95°F) 105 mm (4 in)
Siem Reap, Cambodia 27°C (81°F) 34°C (93°F) 118 mm (5 in)
Bagan, Myanmar 28°C (82°F) 39°C (102°F) 18 mm (1 in)
Luang Prabang, Laos 23°C (73°F) 32°C (90°F) 87 mm (3 in)
Singapore 26°C (79°F) 32°C (90°F) 151 mm (6 in)
Bali, Indonesia 24°C (75°F) 31°C (88°F) 51 mm (2 in)
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 24°C (75°F) 33°C (91°F) 167 mm (7 in)
Manila, Philippines 26°C (79°F) 34°C (93°F) 113 mm (4 in)

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Countries with Dry Weather: Singapore, Indonesia, and Malaysia

Beautiful overwater resorts in MalaysiaBeautiful overwater resorts in Malaysia

In Indonesia, you could expect dry and relatively sunny weather. Clear skies and abundant sunlight create perfect conditions for outdoor adventures.

Due to their unique geography, Singapore and Malaysia still experience rainfall 1 in 3 days during their drier season. On the plus side, May's precipitation is lighter and more convenient for traveling than their rainy season's (November–January).

In May, you could explore the modern marvels of Singapore, relax on the beautiful beaches of Indonesia, or dive into the rich cultural tapestry of Malaysia without worrying much about rain.

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

Countries in the Rainy Season: Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia, and the Philippines

May brings more frequent tropical downpours in countries like Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia, and the Philippines. However, the rainfall provides an opportunity for a quieter travel experience and potentially more budget-friendly prices.

Typically, early May sees less rainfall compared to the end of the month, while temperatures, conversely, tend to be cooler by the end of May.

You could also visit the drier cities, such as Hoi An in Vietnam, Luang Prabang in Laos, and Bagan in Myanmar.

Further reading: Best & Worst Times to Visit Southeast Asia

The 5 Best Places to Visit in May in Southeast Asia

For the best weather prospects and experiences available in May, you're highly recommended to visit the following five countries.

Indonesia offers the best weather and island fun, while with travel-possible weather, the classic combo (Thailand–Cambodia–Vietnam) gathers the essence of Southeast Asia. Myanmar is the ultimate destination if you yearn for a once-in-a-lifetime ballooning adventure amid exotic beauty.

Check our hand-picked itinerary suggestions for 12 days2 weeks, 3 weeks, 4 weeks, 5 weeks or 6 weeks...

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1. Indonesia

Jungle hotels in BaliJungle hotels in Bali

The dry season is in full swing in Indonesia in May, with only about 6 days with rain. You could fully indulge yourself in picturesque beaches, thrilling water activities, and other outdoor adventures.

In May, Bali distinguishes itself among Indonesia's numerous islands with its diverse experiences and easy accessibility. For in-depth exploration, don't miss Java: the volcanic Mount Bromo, Borobudur Temple, and Vesak celebrations (a Buddhist festival).

Unlock expert tips for your Singapore and Bali trip planning>>>

2. Vietnam

May is a mixed-bag month in Vietnam. Central Vietnam keeps dry while the north and the south are getting humid. If you're looking for drier experiences, travel in early/mid-May for sunny days in central coastal cities and milder afternoon showers in the north and south.

Weather-wise, it's recommended to traverse the timeless ancient town of Hoi An, immerse yourself in the Imperial City of Hue, and relax on the pristine beaches of Da Nang.

Learn more ideas about How to Plan Your First Trip to Vietnam

3. Thailand

In May, Thailand sees an increase in rainy days, reaching 14–16 days, while the temperature remains hot. For a quieter, more tranquil Thailand, May is an ideal time.

To escape the heat, you could consider mountainous areas in Chiang Rai or fantastic traditional indoor activities in Chiang Mai, such as Thai massages or Muay Thai matches.

If you prefer a tropical beach experience in Thailand, the east coast islands, such as Koh Samui, offer more promising sunshine. In contrast, some west coast islands, such as Phuket, would experience more rain.

Read on for your handy guide to planning a trip to Thailand.

4. Cambodia

May marks the beginning of the wet season in Cambodia, bringing variations between dry and wet, hot and cool days with passing showers. Compared to April, early May is slightly cooler and still fairly dry.

Despite the rain, the temples of Angkor Wat in Siem Reap never lose their charm. You could also learn about Cambodia's dark history at the Killing Fields in Phnom Penh or enjoy the rustic scenery on the short bamboo train ride in Battambang.

Get some ideas about 2-Week Itineraries in Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam

5. Myanmar

May in Myanmar extends a warm welcome. While still hot at the beginning of the month, temperatures cool slightly at the end as rainfall increases.

The mountains stand out as prime destinations during this period. Cruising around Inle Lake in a long boat is particularly delightful.

As for the hot central plains, including Mandalay, Bagan, and Yangon, you may want to visit them towards the end of May for cooler weather.

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

Costs and Crowding in May

In May, you would benefit from off-peak travel in many Southeast Asian countries because of the wet monsoon. Flights usually offer great discounts and hotels often slash prices by half. By braving the occasional afternoon showers, you could secure a more budget-friendly and less crowded vacation.

But if you are looking for the best weather, such as in Indonesia, you'd better prepare for higher costs and crowds. Booking at least 3 months in advance is suggested. Due to the high demand during peak season, popular hotels, especially those with exceptional views, may be fully booked even 6 months in advance.

Read more about the Top 10 Kid-Friendly Destinations in Southeast Asia>>>

What to Pack in May

With warm weather all year round in Southeast Asia, light and breathable clothing is always comfortable for both sunny and rainy days.

As most countries are experiencing the rainy season, having a compact umbrella and a waterproof jacket could be beneficial.

With the rainy season comes an increase in mosquitoes, especially in tropical areas. Be prepared with insect repellent to avoid discomfort.

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

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.

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