Southeast Asia has been one of the favourite regions and becoming popular with every couple, family & backpackers because it’s not expensive. It has so much to offer to every kind of travellers. Another reason is that it’s easy to access.
Some of the Southeast Asian countries don’t require a visa for travellers to get in which lessen the hassle. While when is the best time to travel to Southeast Asia is one of the golden questions during the planning stage of a trip. This article will help you decide on that matter.
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- How much is the right travel budget for travelling through Southeast Asia
- Affordable places in Southeast Asia
WHAT TO CONSIDER WHEN PLANNING YOUR VISIT TO SOUTHEAST ASIA
There are things that we should consider when we plan to travel to this region. We can only determine the best time to visit Southeast Asia when we look at the factors below:
Climate and Weather in Southeast Asia
Climate is the first thing to consider before visiting a place. Southeast Asia is predominantly tropical-hot and humid throughout the year with a lot of rainfall days. Northern Vietnam and Myanmar Himalayas are the only part in Southeast Asia that has a subtropical climate that has winter with snow.
Most of the countries in Southeast Asia have a wet and dry season. Yet it is also one of the most vulnerable regions when it comes to climate change in the world.
Holidays in Southeast Asia
Another thing we should know is the public holidays of each country. Because some of the tourist destinations become very busy and crowded during the holidays. This is also to guide you to know the local customs and traditions in each country.
Peak Season in Southeast Asia
One of the most important things to consider is to know when is the peak season because it will affect your budget for travel. From transportation to accommodations become pricey and fully booked during this season.
Typhoon Season in Southeast Asia
It is significant to know when is the typhoon season because we need to secure safe travel and not to mess up your travel itinerary. The southwest monsoon normally starts in May or June and stronger between August and October which slowly stops in November.
Rainy days in the Philippines and Vietnam starts in June while Bali experience rainfall during March and December.
Vaccinations for Southeast Asia
You should also be aware of the vaccinations for Southeast Asia that you will be needing especially if you are coming during typhoon season and most likely will be in rural areas, mountains, and around animals.
WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO VISIT SOUTHEAST ASIA PER EACH country
One of the most fun and rewarding experiences is when your timing is right in visiting Southeast Asian countries. It will not fail your expectations and give you more memorable travel stories.
Brunei is very known for its beautiful mosques, cultural, and wildlife exploration. Even though it is among the least visited countries, you will be amazed at its cleanliness.
- When is the summer: June to August when the weather is incredibly hot
- When is the typhoon season: the climate becomes cool due to rain starts from September to December
- When is the school holiday: March, May, June, September, December & January
- Important holidays to remember: Sultan’s birthday attracts many tourists
- When is the peak season: between June and August is the peak tourist season and the weather in Brunei is extremely hot.
- Best time to visit Brunei: between January and May because the weather is dry and warm
The rich culture and history add to the charm of Cambodia. The very famous Angkor Temple is one of the pieces of evidence that Cambodia has many things to reveal to the tourists.
The cool season (November to February) in Cambodia is the peak time for tourism where you can mildly explore temples. The pros of visiting Cambodia during the rainy season (June-October) is it is cheaper while the cons are it is not safer.
- When is the summer: between November and April
- When is the typhoon season: July to September
- When is the school holiday: Khmer New Year celebrated on April 13 or 14
- Important holidays to remember: Water Festival during early November; Pchum Ben is a 15-day holiday which runs from the end of September up to mid-October
- When is the peak season: most travellers visit Cambodia from November to March
- Best time to visit Cambodia: from early March to end of May then end of September to January
- Visa guide for Cambodia
- Things to know before going to Cambodia
- Best hostels in Cambodia – that Mary personally stayed
- How to get from Cambodia to Vietnam
- When is the summer: between May and September
- When is the typhoon season: November to March
- When is the school holiday: June, July, December, and January
- Important holidays to remember: Idul Fitri or Eid, Independence Day, and Nyepi
- When is the peak season: July and August are the peak tourist seasons because it’s Europeans summer vacations and Australian school holidays
- Best time to visit Indonesia: April to October
Laos is simply beautiful because it has a friendly population combined with the ‘back in old times’ vibe. It is one of the few countries that has exotic tourist spots. Check if you need a visa to Laos and how to get to Vietnam from Laos.
- When is the summer: March and April
- When is the typhoon season: May to October
- When is the school holiday: mostly in April and May
- Important holidays to remember: Full Moon Festival
- When is the peak season: between October and April
- Best time to go to Laos: November to May
Malaysia is a great place to complete your holiday vacation. It offers beautiful coastline, tropical islands, and coral reefs.
- When is the summer: the dry season in the west peninsula starts from November to February while the eastern peninsula starts from April to October
- When is the typhoon season: the wet season in the west peninsula starts from April to October while the eastern peninsula starts from November to February
- When is the school holiday: March, May, and November
- Important holidays to remember: Idul Fitri or Eid, Deepavali Holiday and Wesak Day
- When is the peak season: the beginning of December to the end of January
- Best time to go to Malaysia: March to July then again October to December
- Visa guide for Malaysia
- Hostels in Malaysia – that Mary personally stayed
- Melaka, Malaysia to Singapore border crossing
- When is the summer: hottest period is between February and May
- When is the typhoon season: the rainy season starts in May and ends in October
- When is the school holiday: March and April
- Important holidays to remember: Peasant’s Day and Full Moon Day
- When is the peak season: May to September
- Best time to go to Myanmar: October to February
- Myanmar visa guide – how to get your evisa
- Must-see places in Myanmar
- What to know before travelling to Myanmar
- Hitchhiking in Myanmar
The Philippines is very known for its beautiful beaches, an attractive culture, and great hospitality. Some of the great destinations are Boracay, Palawan, and Siargao which listed as the most beautiful islands in Asia.
- When is the summer: end of February to end of May
- When is the typhoon season: June to October
- When is the school holiday: March to May
- Important holidays to remember: Holy Week and Christmas to New Years
- When is the peak season: February to May – it’s best to avoid going to the Philippines especially from April to May, everything is fully booked and crowded
- Best time to go to the Philippines: October to February
- Philippines visa guide
- What to explore in the North of the Philippines
- Festivals in the Philippines – year-round
Singapore is referred as to Lion’s city because it is filled with fascinated culinary experiences, full of art accommodations and exciting nightlife. It is also a great destination to bond family, loved ones and friends.
- When is the summer: March to August
- When is the typhoon season: September to February
- When is the school holiday: National Holiday
- Important holidays to remember: Chinese New Year, Vesak Holiday
- When is the peak season: between February and April
- Best time to go to Singapore: June to September and December to March
Thailand is the most favourite country of backpackers because it feels like home. Though it is inexpensive, everyone has a luxurious taste in visiting this country.
- When is the summer: March through to June, with April and May the hottest months of the year
- When is the typhoon season: May/June to October
- When is the school holiday: Summer holiday
- Important holidays to remember: Songkran Holiday, Western New Year
- When is the peak season: between November and early April
- Best time to go to Thailand: November to April
Timor Leste/East Timor
East Timor or Timor Leste is one of the world’s unacknowledged tourism destinations. But it offers spectacular diving spot, whale-watching, trekking, biking, great scenery, stunning mountain driving, and beautiful white-sand beaches.
- When is the summer: June to September
- When is the typhoon season: December to March
- When is the school holiday: November
- Important holidays to remember: Easter Week, Youth National Holiday
- When is the peak season: April to July
- Best time to go to Timor Leste: September to November and February to May
Vietnam is another favourite destination of backpackers because of its gorgeous landscapes, tasty food, and vibrant energy. But you have to remember that Vietnam is the only Southeast Asian country that has winter.
The north of Vietnam can even be covered in ice from December until January. The climate from the north, central, and south of Vietnam is very different from each other. Hence, planning your trip here should be carefully done if you want to all parts of the country.
- When is the summer: June-September
- When is the typhoon season: north is May-October, south is June to September
- When is the school holiday: June-August
- Important holidays to remember: Tet Holiday (Lunar New Year) which falls either end of February of the middle of March
- When is the peak season: from November to February and May to August
- Best time to go to Vietnam: in the north, August to November while in the south is November to February
- Best time to visit Vietnam – extensive guide
- How to apply for Vietnam visa
- Backpacking in Vietnam
- Motorbiking in Vietnam
- Vietnam to Laos border crossing
FESTIVALS YOU MUST NOT MISS IN SOUTHEAST ASIA AND ALSO BE AWARE OF
These festivals and holidays in Southeast Asia can bring so much joy, excitement, and adventure for travellers but at the same time they can also ruin your trip – expect that most accommodations are fully booked and on the high price at these times of the year.
These events will also determine the best time to go to Southeast Asia.
January to March
- Sinulog Festival – Philippines (January) – There are grand street parades that last in 12 hours and you will see a lot of people wearing costumes
- Thaipusam – Malaysia (January): People do piercing the skin with skewers or dragging a heavy chariot by metal hooks pierced into the flesh and walking starts at midnight.
- Tet – Vietnam (February): this is the Vietnamese New Year and everything will be closed for almost a week, buses, hotels, and tours will be fully booked
- Nyepi – Bali (March): People spend the days in silence and meditating. You will never hear anything at all.
April to June
- Songkran Festival – Thailand (April): People take to the streets armed with water pistols, super soakers, buckets of ice-cold water and industrial hoses
- Singapore Arts Festival – Singapore (June): This dynamic event showcase local and international talent.
July to September
- Mid-Autumn Festival – Vietnam (September): It symbolizes the harvest time which is very important to the families.
October to December
- Deepavali – Malaysia (October): Candles and lanterns are lit and it symbolizes the triumph of good over darkness
- Christmas and New Year – Philippines: Most places are fully booked while some shops, banks, and business will be closed for a few days
WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO TRAVEL TO SOUTHEAST ASIA
During the dry season, which is from November to March, is the best time of the year to visit Southeast Asia because most of the countries are tropical. The diverse culture, good food, and amazing tourist spots are worth your penny.
I suggest you avoid peak seasons because it is quite expensive, crowded, and everything will be fully booked. You’ll have a lot of stress trying to get the last bed or ticket which are often overpriced in such bad quality.
However, at the end of the day, with the rapid worsening of global warming, the climate and weather in each place are very hard to determine. If you happen to arrive during a bad season, find a way to make the best out of it instead and to enjoy your trip. These situations are unpredictable.
I hope we helped you to decide when to visit these Southeast Asian countries. If you have any comments, suggestions or anything that I have not mentioned, feel free to write your thoughts and guides below.