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Phi Phi Island, Thailand

When is the best time to visit Southeast Asia?

The best time to visit Southeast Asia depends on where you want to go and what you want to do. There are some significant climate variations across the region, but rather than limiting possibilities, this makes Southeast Asia a year-round destination with good conditions for exploring throughout the year.

In general, the cool, dry season lasts from November to April across mainland Southeast Asia and the Philippines making this a good time to visit Thailand, Vietnam or Indochina, while Indonesia and Borneo are drier from April to October, and Malaysia offers year-round sun on one coast or the other.

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Our recommendations for when to visit Southeast Asia

Destination Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Vietnam climate guide

A good time to travel, but there may be some factors to be aware of

The best time to travel

The best time to travel

The best time to travel

A good time to travel, but there may be some factors to be aware of

A good time to travel, but there may be some factors to be aware of

A good time to travel, but there may be some factors to be aware of

A good time to travel, but there may be some factors to be aware of

A good time to travel, but there may be some factors to be aware of

A good time to travel, but there may be some factors to be aware of

The best time to travel

The best time to travel

Thailand climate guide

The best time to travel

The best time to travel

The best time to travel

A good time to travel, but there may be some factors to be aware of

A good time to travel, but there may be some factors to be aware of

A good time to travel, but there may be some factors to be aware of

A good time to travel, but there may be some factors to be aware of

A good time to travel, but there may be some factors to be aware of

A good time to travel, but there may be some factors to be aware of

A good time to travel, but there may be some factors to be aware of

The best time to travel

The best time to travel

Borneo climate guide

A good time to travel, but there may be some factors to be aware of

A good time to travel, but there may be some factors to be aware of

The best time to travel

The best time to travel

The best time to travel

The best time to travel

The best time to travel

The best time to travel

The best time to travel

The best time to travel

A good time to travel, but there may be some factors to be aware of

A good time to travel, but there may be some factors to be aware of

Cambodia climate guide

The best time to travel

The best time to travel

The best time to travel

A good time to travel, but there may be some factors to be aware of

A good time to travel, but there may be some factors to be aware of

A good time to travel, but there may be some factors to be aware of

A good time to travel, but there may be some factors to be aware of

A good time to travel, but there may be some factors to be aware of

Travel is possible, but this is not the best time of year

A good time to travel, but there may be some factors to be aware of

The best time to travel

The best time to travel

Indonesia climate guide

A good time to travel, but there may be some factors to be aware of

A good time to travel, but there may be some factors to be aware of

A good time to travel, but there may be some factors to be aware of

The best time to travel

The best time to travel

The best time to travel

The best time to travel

The best time to travel

The best time to travel

The best time to travel

A good time to travel, but there may be some factors to be aware of

A good time to travel, but there may be some factors to be aware of

Burma (Myanmar) climate guide

The best time to travel

The best time to travel

The best time to travel

A good time to travel, but there may be some factors to be aware of

A good time to travel, but there may be some factors to be aware of

A good time to travel, but there may be some factors to be aware of

A good time to travel, but there may be some factors to be aware of

A good time to travel, but there may be some factors to be aware of

A good time to travel, but there may be some factors to be aware of

The best time to travel

The best time to travel

The best time to travel

Malaysia climate guide

A good time to travel, but there may be some factors to be aware of

The best time to travel

The best time to travel

The best time to travel

The best time to travel

The best time to travel

The best time to travel

The best time to travel

A good time to travel, but there may be some factors to be aware of

A good time to travel, but there may be some factors to be aware of

A good time to travel, but there may be some factors to be aware of

A good time to travel, but there may be some factors to be aware of

The Philippines climate guide

The best time to travel

The best time to travel

The best time to travel

The best time to travel

The best time to travel

Travel is possible, but this is not the best time of year

Travel is not recommended

Travel is not recommended

Travel is not recommended

Travel is not recommended

Travel is possible, but this is not the best time of year

A good time to travel, but there may be some factors to be aware of

Laos climate guide

The best time to travel

The best time to travel

The best time to travel

A good time to travel, but there may be some factors to be aware of

A good time to travel, but there may be some factors to be aware of

A good time to travel, but there may be some factors to be aware of

A good time to travel, but there may be some factors to be aware of

A good time to travel, but there may be some factors to be aware of

Travel is possible, but this is not the best time of year

A good time to travel, but there may be some factors to be aware of

The best time to travel

The best time to travel

Best time to visit

Best time to visit

Good time to visit

Good time to visit

Travel possible

Travel possible

Not recommended

Not recommended

Month-by-month guide to travelling in Southeast Asia

Khao Lak

Visiting Southeast Asia in January

January is a great time to visit Southeast Asia and is one of the driest months across the northern part of the region, with comfortable temperatures for beach going or more intrepid exploration. Thailand and Malaysia’s west coast beaches are bathed in sunshine, river travel in Vietnam is at its peak, and there are a host of festivals in Myanmar and the Philippines.

Events & Festivals

  • Ati-Atihan is the Philippines’ largest festival. It takes place in Kalibo, with street dancing and wild costumes to celebrate an ancient land pact between settlers and indigenous Atis.
  • Chinese New Year, Lunar New Year and Naga New Year are celebrated across the region with traditional festivals, drumming and dancing.
  • Sinulog is Philippine city Cebu City's biggest annual event, featuring a huge street parade, live music and plenty of food and drink.
Mekong River Delta, Vietnam

Visiting Southeast Asia in February

Pleasant weather across Myanmar makes February a good time to explore the plains, foothills and beaches. High water levels in Tonle Sap and the Mekong make it a good time for river travel in Cambodia, while it’s not too hot for exploring the temples of Angkor. For good-value beach breaks, the west coast of Thailand and Malaysia are good bets.

Events & Festivals

  • Chin National Day (20th February) is a day of celebrating the culture, traditions, history and language of the Chin people in Myanmar. Festivities include traditional bamboo pole dances.
  • Chinese New Year, Lunar New Year and Naga New Year are celebrated across the region with traditional festivals, drumming and dancing.
  • Tet is the biggest festival of the year in Vietnam, celebrations for the lunar new year can last a week or more and travel may be busier.
  • Wat Phou Festival sees Laos’ Buddhists attend a three-day festival in Champasak, taking part in processions, recitals, boat races and dances.
Halong Bay, Vietnam

Visiting Southeast Asia in March

It’s shoulder season in Borneo with mostly dry weather, low visitor numbers and promotional rates making it a great time to visit. Thailand and Malaysia are hot and sunny offering the pick of beaches on both coasts, and it’s a great time to visit Halong Bay in Vietnam or Cambodia, but you’ll need to book well in advance.

Events & Festivals

  • Easter brings holy week celebrations in the Philippines, include large-scale religious processions with floats, costumes, masks, food and music.
Baby Orangutan at the sanctuary

Visiting Southeast Asia in April

It’s reaching the end of the dry season in Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Cambodia and the Philippines, temperatures are rising and visitor number are high. Book well in advance. It’s a good time to go trekking in Borneo and see orangutans, and Indonesia is beginning to dry out with promotional deals making it a good-value destination at this time of year.

Events & Festivals

  • Easter brings holy week celebrations in the Philippines, include large-scale religious processions with floats, costumes, masks, food and music.
  • Songkran in Thailand, Thingyan in Myanmar and Lao New Year are celebrated with scented water thrown in the streets and onto passers-by as a cleansing ritual and a sign of goodwill.
Menjangan island reef

Visiting Southeast Asia in May

May is a great time to visit Borneo, Bali, Lombok or the east coast beaches of Thailand and Malaysia. With long hours of sunshine, clear seas for snorkeling and diving, good orangutan viewing and shoulder-season prices, it’s one of our preferred times of year to travel here. Heat and humidity are building in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos in advance of the rains.

Events & Festivals

  • Boun Bang Fai, normally held in May or June, is a festival that marks the sixth month of the lunar calendar in Laos with homemade fireworks and rocket competitions.
  • Flores de Mayo is a month-long, countrywide religious festival in the Philippines celebrating the coming of the rains. Processions are sometimes held after dark and lit by candles, creating a wonderful ambience.
  • Gawai Dayak is an annual harvest festival celebrated by the Dayak people in Sarawak, where it's a public holiday. It's marked by the sharing of food, decorated longhouses and traditional dress.
Redang Island

Visiting Southeast Asia in June

Diving season is at its peak in Tioman, Redang and the Perhentians off Malaysia’s east coast, while Indonesia and Borneo are hot and dry with ripe fruit drawing orangutans to lower branches making forest treks particularly rewarding. June is shoulder season in Thailand and Central Vietnam and a good time to find a hotel deal before the European school holidays begin.

Events & Festivals

  • Boun Bang Fai, normally held in May or June, is a festival that marks the sixth month of the lunar calendar in Laos with homemade fireworks and rocket competitions.
  • Chinlone Festival lasts for almost a month. This Mandalay festival sees hundreds of chinlone (cane ball) teams compete in the traditional sport of Burma to live music.
  • Gawai Dayak is an annual harvest festival celebrated by the Dayak people in Sarawak, where it's a public holiday. It's marked by the sharing of food, decorated longhouses and traditional dress.
Beach on Phu Quoc island

Visiting Southeast Asia in July

It’s peak season on Malaysia’s east coast and in Indonesia with great visibility for diving but higher prices and busier resorts. Good orangutan sightings and turtles on the beaches makes Borneo a popular destination. Central Vietnam is hot and sunny and cruising along the Chindwin River in Myanmar is at its peak but the rains make road travel difficult.

Events & Festivals

  • Borneo Cultural Festival is a ten-day annual festival held in Sibu with music performances, contests and plenty of good food.
  • Rainforest Music Festival brings renowned world musicians and indigenous musicians of Borneo gather in Kuching to perform, with lectures and workshops for visitors.
Tarsier in the Danum Valley

Visiting Southeast Asia in August

A great time for wildlife enthusiasts to visit Borneo, the weather is hot and dry in August with turtle hatchlings on the beaches and great trekking but busy hotels. It’s peak season in Indonesia with great weather for temple visits, jungle hikes or relaxing on the beach, and the Malaysian east coast beaches are hot and sunny. Book well in advance.

Events & Festivals

  • Taungbyone Nat Festival is a major gathering place for spiritual mediums in Mandalay. This festival attracts pilgrims and visitors in their thousands to make offerings and enjoy dances and other celebrations in honour of two famous nats (spirits).
  • Yadana Gu Nat Festival is an eight-day festival in Amarapura in Myanmar, led by spirit mediums said to be possessed by nats (spirits) during the ceremony. Ritual dances and songs are performed and visitors make offerings of food, flowers and money to the nats.
Banjar hot springs in Tembok

Visiting Southeast Asia in September

Borneo is fine and dry throughout, so it's still a very appealing time to visit for relaxing on the beach, snorkeling and wildlife watching on Kinabatangan River. The weather in Indonesia also continues to be hot and dry but the summer crowds have eased and prices have dropped making it a great time to visit.

Events & Festivals

  • Borneo International Kite Festival sees hundreds gather at Old Bintulu Airport to fly brightly decorated and complex kites.
  • Pchum Ben is an important Buddhist festival marked throughout Cambodia over 15 days, with the main celebrations taking place on the final day as locals pay their respects to deceased relatives.
  • Yadana Gu Nat Festival is an eight-day festival in Amarapura in Myanmar, led by spirit mediums said to be possessed by nats (spirits) during the ceremony. Ritual dances and songs are performed and visitors make offerings of food, flowers and money to the nats.
Kuang Si Waterfall, Luang Prabang

Visiting Southeast Asia in October

Dry weather begins to return to Laos and Cambodia with the landscape looking particularly lush after the rains. There are few visitors and early season offers make it a good value time to visit. Northern Vietnam is dry and sunny making it a good time to trek in Sapa, and it’s prime season for diving in Sipadan off Borneo.

Events & Festivals

  • Borneo International Kite Festival sees hundreds gather at Old Bintulu Airport to fly brightly decorated and complex kites.
  • Boun Ok Phansa is a boat racing festival celebrated at the end of the rainy season in Laos. Elaborate boats are raced along the Mekong River and various festivities take place on the riverbank in honour of the Naga king.
  • Deepavali/Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, is celebrated throughout Borneo as families gather to pray and give gifts.
  • Pchum Ben is an important Buddhist festival marked throughout Cambodia over 15 days, with the main celebrations taking place on the final day as locals pay their respects to deceased relatives.
Ankor Thom Bayon Temple

Visiting Southeast Asia in November

Temperatures rise and the weather is dry across Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar marking the start of the high season with rising prices and greater numbers of visitors. It’s a particularly good time to get out on Tonle Sap lake in Cambodia or go river cruising in Laos, but book well in advance.

Events & Festivals

  • Bon Om Touk, the Cambodian water festival and one of the nation's most popular events, is celebrated over three days with concerts and boat races in Phnom Penh.
  • That Luang Festival is a three-day religious festival in Vientiane where tens of thousands of monks and pilgrims gather at the That Luang or Grand Stupa bearing wax candles.
Cambugahay Falls, Siquijor

Visiting Southeast Asia in December

Vietnam, Laos and Myanmar are hot and dry and at the start of their peak season, book early to avoid disappointment and visit earlier in the month to avoid the most popular times around Christmas when prices rise considerably. It’s also the start of the peak season in the Philippines, though there is still a small risk of cyclones.

Southeast Asia trip ideas and travel guides