Spanning both the northern and southern hemispheres, the best time to travel to Southeast Asia can vary greatly, depending on where you are heading. Seasonality is essentially opposite between the mainland countries, also referred to as Indochina, and Indonesia. For example, while Indochina, which includes Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos and Myanmar, has the most hospitable weather between October and March, Indonesian islands like Bali or Borneo are best visited between May and September.
This difference makes Southeast Asia a year-round destination, ensuring travelers can always find a destination within Southeast Asia that is “in season.” However, it might also mean your chosen destination does not align perfectly with your available dates so flexibility in travel times is helpful. Our expert consultants will keep the fluctuations in weather, landscapes and logistics in mind as we help you choose a destination and/or travel dates!
January and February
January and February are fantastic months for visiting mainland Southeast Asia! Dry weather and cooler tropical temperatures are optimal touring and allow for active exploration of outdoor historic sites, national parks and beaches.
Due to the West Monsoon’s heavy showers, January and February are the months to avoid most of Indonesia. However, December through February is the best time to visit Raja Ampat on a luxury yacht, enjoying its underwater marine life and exploring island beaches.
March and April
During these two months, the weather starts to transition, and days may include both sun and the occasional thunderstorm. It is still, however, a good time to visit, particularly with New Year’s celebrations abounding throughout the region in mid-April.
This transitional weather period can include sunny days and occasional thunderstorms, but is still generally a good time to visit.
May, June, July, August & September
From May to September, most of Indochina is experiencing monsoons. The heavy rains leads many travelers avoid visiting during these months.
Yet unlike the rest of the region, destinations like the the gulf side of Thailand and central Vietnam are largely unaffected by the coastal monsoons. If travelers are tied to certain dates, these are perfect destinations during an otherwise low travel season.
Indonesia’s best season for travel is May to September, when the East Monsoon brings generally dry weather, perfect for spending time outside.
These months are the most popular for good reason! While here, you can bask in the sunshine, hike on volcanoes, bike through the countryside, explore local markets or participate in countless water activities like diving, snorkeling, surfing, paddle boarding and more!
October and November
As the weather improves, these are great months to travel to Indochina (with the exception of Central Vietnam, which sees heavy rains). An added bonus of this time of year is many special festivals, like Thailand’s Loi Krathong and Yi Peng. We recommend the lantern release in Chiang Mai as a particularly special seasonal encounter!
As the peak season tapers off and a new school year begins, this is another great time to visit. The islands generally see less visitors, but the weather is still very nice, allowing for many island activities and beach relaxation.
Holiday travel means rooms are often hard to come by, so planning ahead is vital for this time of year!
December sees the start of the West Monsoon bringing intermittent heavy showers. But Raja Ampat remains an ideal destination.
No Matter When You Go…
With countless activities, natural wonders and exciting wildlife within Southeast Asia, there’s always a new destination to discover.