Best Time to Visit - 9 min read

Best Time to Visit Southeast Asia (Experience Cultural Wonder!)

Ashley Brown

Ashley Brown, Updated October 2, 2022

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Southeast Asia consists of eleven countries, each with its own unique culture. Whether you want to discover their history, religion, or beautiful scenery, there will be something to see and explore. 

Between November and February is the best time to visit Southeast Asia. The weather is warm at 86°F (30°C) during this time. June to October is the wet season and typically has 252 millimeters of rainfall per month. September is the best time to get a flight to Southeast Asia, with an average 5% price drop. 

Since there is so much to do in Southeast Asia, it may become confusing what to do. Moreover, special events may occur in a specific month, depending on the country.

In order to enjoy the magical rainforests and beaches, you will want to know the best time to visit Southeast Asia. This article will go through each month to determine the best months.

Worst Time to Visit Southeast Asia

Between April to September is typically the worst time to visit Southeast Asia. April is the hottest month in the northern parts. In contrast, September is usually their wettest month.

Credit: Lucas Dias / Flickr

Even though April to September is the worst time to visit, they still have benefits if you go during these months. These months can offer you lower prices and allow you to explore with fewer crowds.

Cheapest Time to Visit Southeast Asia

September and October are the cheapest months to visit Southeast Asia. The months previous to September contain many tourists and crowds. Therefore, flight and accommodation prices tend to rise because of the abundance of tourists.

September is the wettest month in most of Southeast Asia. Bangkok usually has an average of 12.3 inches of rain alone! If you want to miss out on the rain, you can visit Indonesia as it is one of its driest months.

Best Time to Visit Southeast Asia (Monthly Breakdown)

January: Thaipusam Festival in Malaysia

January in Malaysia has a high temperature, around 89°F (31°C). In addition, January has a daily low temperature of around 73°F (22°C). 

Credit: YoTUT / Flickr

January offers some great festivals along with the International New Year. Therefore, it is a great time to visit if you are interested in festivals.

In Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, the Thaipusam Festival is held annually at the Batu Caves. It is one of the largest festivals in Asia and will be a great time to visit Malaysia.

  • Thaipusam Festival in Malaysia
  • Full Moon Party in Koh Phangan 
  • Aguman Sanduk in Pampanga, Philippines
  • Bun Pha Vet in Laos

Related Read: 10 Do’s & Don’ts while in Malaysia

February: Tet in Vietnam

In coastal cities of South Vietnam, the average daily high temperature is 80 F (27 C). The average temperature in central cities is 77 F (25 C). 

Credit: Victoria Pickering / Flickr

February is one of the best times to visit Vietnam. The temperatures in February are milder with fewer rain showers. Moreover, there will be plenty of exciting events happening during February!

  • Tet 
  • Vieng Market Festival
  • Lim Festival
  • Perfume Pagoda Festival

March: Panagbenga Festival in Baguio, Philipines

The average high temperature in Baguio, Philippines, during March is 76°F (24°C). The average low temperature is 57°F (13°C).

Credit: Roald Caburian / Flickr

In most of Southeast Asia, March is when the hot season begins. Most countries typically have temperatures of 90°F (30°C). Therefore, March makes an excellent time for swimming and watersports.

  • Panagbenga Festival in Baguio, Philipines
  • Nyepi in Bali, Indonesia 
  • Male’an Sampi in Lombok, Indonesia 
  • Tattoo Festival in Wat Bang Phra, Thailand 

Related Read: Sri Lanka 10 Day Itinerary

April: Chaul Chnam Thmey in Cambodia

April is the hottest month in Cambodia. The daily high temperature in Cambodia is around 95°F (35°C). Cambodia’s daily low temperature is around 80°F (26°C).

Credit: Thea Prum / Flickr

April is a great month to explore many places in Southeast Asia. During this month, plenty of festivals celebrate the Buddhist New Year. 

  • Chaul Chnam Thmey in Cambodia
  • Songkran in Thailand
  • The Bali Spirit Festival in Indonesia
  • Thingyan in Myanmar

May: Boun Bang Fai Rocket Festival in Laos

May in Laos can get very hot, with day temperatures averaging 93°F (34°C). Its night temperatures are much more relaxed, around 73°F (23°C).

Credit: Tiger Trail Travel Laos / Flickr

May is one of the best times to visit many Southeast Asian countries. It is the last month before the rainy season starts, and in some regions, temperatures will drop.

  • Boun Bang Fai Rocket Festival in Laos
  • Bali’s Fighting Festival in Indonesia 
  • Chanthaburi and Rayong Fruit Festival in Thailand
  • Pulilan Carabao Festival in Phillipines 

June: Singapore Arts Festival

High temperatures in Singapore during June are 89°F (31°C). Singapore’s low-temperature averages are at 78°F (25°C).

Credit: Fred @ SG / Flickr

June is a great month to visit Indonesia and Malaysia. There are not as many tourists during June, and you will have plenty of ripe fruits! 

  • Singapore Arts Festival
  • Gawai Dayak Festival in Malaysia 
  • Bali Arts Festival in Indonesia 
  • Phi Ta Khon Festival in Thailand

Related Read: 12 Incredible Golf Courses In Singapore

July: The Rainforest World Music Festival in Malaysia

Malaysia’s daily high temperature in July is around 90°F (32°C). The low daily average is 74°F (23°C).

Credit: Fly Global Music Culture / Flickr

July brings plenty of fun festivals all over Southeast Asia! Some festivals celebrate music, food, and kites! Therefore, it is a fun time for everyone.

  • The Rainforest World Music Festival in Malaysia
  • Bali Kite Festival in Indonesia
  • Singapore Food Festival
  • Candle Festival in Thailand
  • Banana Festival in Philipines 

August: George Town Festival in Malaysia

August in Malaysia brings high temperatures of about 89°F (31°C). In contrast, its daily low temperatures are around 74°F (23°C).

August is an excellent time for those that want to visit Malaysia or Indonesia. It is considered the rainy season in Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam. 

  • George Town Festival in Malaysia
  • Merdeka Day in Malaysia
  • Harvest Festival in Vietnam
  • Indonesian Independence Day

September: Best Time to Visit Indonesia

Indonesia’s average daily high in September is 86°F (30°C). Its average daily low is 75°F (24°C).

Credit: Jo Pi / Flickr

Visiting Indonesia in September will give you the dry season but with less humid temperatures. There are also fewer tourists during September. Therefore, September is perfect if you want to go hiking or swimming!

  • Hike one of Indonesia’s Volcanos 
  • Pchum Ben Festival in Cambodia
  • Nine Emperor Gods Festival in Thailand
  • Malaysia Day 

Related Read: Best Time To Visit Indonesia

October: Deepavali in Malaysia

Temperatures in Malaysia in October are typically the same as in August. The daily high temperature is 89°F (31°C), while its daily low is 74°F (23°C). 

Credit: Foto Penerangan / Flickr

October consists of many fun events in nearly every Southeast Asian country. Therefore, there will be a festival for you to immerse yourself in that country’s culture.

  • Deepavali in Malaysia
  • Naga Fireball in Thailand
  • Bali Fegan Festival
  • Thimithi in Malaysia

November: Festival of Lights in Thailand

The daily high temperature in Thailand is 89°F (31°C), rarely exceeding 93°F (33°C). Its daily low temperature ranges from 77°F (25°C) to 74°F (23°C).

Credit: Leif Alnes / Flickr

November will be one of the best times for those who want to visit Thailand. It is also perfect for photographers, with many festivals that feel magical occurring.

  • Festival of Lights in Thailand
  • Angkor Photo Festival in Cambodia
  • Mao Jo Lantern Release in Thailand
  • Water Festival in Cambodia

December: Celebrate Christmas in the Philippines

In the Philippines, December is typically hot, with the average high temperature ranging from 77°F (25°C) to 86°F (30°C). December’s low temperature rarely falls below 71°F (21°C).

Credit: Mike Gifford / Flickr

While many Southeast Asian countries do not officially celebrate Christmas, some regions still do. Some examples of these regions include the Philippines and Indonesia.

  • Christmas in the Philippines
  • Hmong New Year 
  • River Kwai Bridge Week in Thailand

Best Time to Visit Beaches in Southeast Asia

For those that want to visit beaches in Indonesia or Malaysia, we recommend visiting from April to October. These months are when the weather is sunny but not too hot or cold.

Credit: FabSom / Flickr

If you are planning on visiting Vietnam or Thailand and want to see their beaches, it is best to go from November to April. South Vietnam may be hot in March and May, with average temperatures of 90°F (32°C).

Best Time to Backpack Southeast Asia

While every country has its own weather, the best time to backpack in Southeast Asia is from November through March. The weather will be more relaxed during these months, and the rainy season is over. 

Malaysia is best to visit from December to April. Rain and humidity may occur during these months, but they will be much better than in summer. Moreover, there will not be so much rain to ruin your trip.

Credit: Mike / Flickr

Thailand is best when visiting from November through April as it is the start of its dry season and will have better weather. You should not visit the Lower Gulf from October through December when it is rainiest. 

The Philippines is best explored between November and April. November will give you a more secluded adventure with fewer tourists and great weather. May through June is the Philippines’ rainiest season, with average rainfall in June of 11.2 inches.

Best Time to Visit Southeast Asia to Avoid the Rain

November through May is typically the best time to visit if you want to avoid the rain. The monsoonal rains occur from June through October. September usually gets the most rainfall.

In Phuket and Koh Lanta, Thailand, rain can occur in April, while in Koh Tao and Koh Samui, rainfall occurs in September. Therefore, the rainy season can differ based on the country you want to visit. 

Best Time to Visit Southeast Asia to Avoid the Crowds

March through October are the best times to visit Southeast Asia if you want to avoid crowds. During these months, there will be a lot of rainfall, and the weather may be hotter than in other months.

Though, if you still want to beat the crowds and visit from March through October, the rain tends to occur in the afternoon and nighttime. Therefore, it is beneficial to plan your vacation during these months.

Credit: Richard Ha / Flickr

But, it is worth noting that it could be rainy if you plan to go during these months. The rain tends to occur in the afternoon and nighttime usually.

Therefore, plan your vacation around the rain. We also recommend you bring clothes that are suitable for the rain.

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