October to December is the ideal time to visit Bhutan as it is typically sunny and the air is clear. January and February are colder, but from then until April the climate remains dry and pleasant and in late spring the famous rhododendrons bloom spectacularly, flooding the valleys with colour. Heat and humidity increase from May, and from June to September the monsoon rains cover the mountains. If you want to see the rare black-necked cranes, we recommend visiting the Phobjikha Valley between late October and mid-February, however October and November are the most popular months so be sure to book ahead if you’re thinking of travelling then.
Borneo is one of Southeast Asia’s few summer destinations. Although it's hot and humid for most of the year, with temperatures averaging 27°C to 32°C and humidity usually at around 80%, the best time to travel is between March and October when the island is at its driest. The summer is also the best time to see wild orangutans, as well as turtles on the beaches of Lankayan Island. The rest of the time Borneo experiences a tropical climate with very high humidity and heavy rain.
Burma has a tropical monsoon climate, with a rainy season between May and October followed by a cooler dry season until February. This is the best time to travel, as the country is still warm but not uncomfortably so, coupled with average monthly rainfall of below 10mm. In the intervening period the country stays very dry but the temperature climbs significantly into the mid to high 30’s. It is worth noting as well that the coastal areas receive more rainfall than the inland parts of Burma.
Cambodia is most visited between November and April, when there is very little rain. During this time you’ll see clear blue skies, making it a great time to enjoy a relaxing holiday on the southern coast. Outside this period humidity increases and there is a fair amount of rain. However, you shouldn’t be deterred from travelling – the rain makes the countryside lush and green, rivers are full and flowing, and the temples are quiet. This is the best time to visit some of the lesser-known temples, which will often be deserted. At the end of the summer the rain brings one of Cambodia’s true wonders to life - The Tonle Sap, the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia and home to Cambodia’s floating villages.
Spring and autumn are traditionally considered the best times to visit China. During these periods, the weather tends to be warm and dry, in contrast to the bitterly cold winters and hot, humid summers experienced in much of the country. Because of its size, however, there are no real limitations for travel to China, and with one or two exceptions it is possible to visit all year round. In general, Western China is best visited from April to October, as the flowers start to blossom and local bazaars get busy. June through August is the best time for those heading across the high passes or into the mountains, when the conditions for hiking and trekking are at their best.
India's vast size means that it has numerous weather patterns. Generally, the best time to visit for warm, dry and sunny weather is between October and March, when the weather is cooler and less humid. During this time, the north offers clear blue skies; however, December and January are much cooler with potential fog, while the higher Himalaya can be very cold, but with clear views of the mountains. Rising temperatures in April and May can result in excellent value trips, but there will be thunderstorms and very high humidity. The best time to travel to the southern states is from November onwards when the monsoon has finished. In contrast with the rest of the country, Ladakh in the far north is accessible between June and September. The iconic Taj Mahal is a beautiful sight; plan ahead with some flexibility and we can arrange for you to visit under a full moon.
Indonesia is a summer destination, best visited between April and October when the weather’s perfect for island hopping, snorkelling and beach relaxation. Bridging the Equator, Indonesia is hot all year round, with widespread rain throughout the country but especially in the the south between November and March. Although the rain may make it impractical to relax by the beach, Indonesia’s rich collection of temples are often quieter at this time of year, making exploration much more pleasant. The scenery is beautiful, and if you venture into the highlands the temperature cools, which can be a welcome change from the humid conditions on lower ground.
Japan is at its most vibrant during spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November); this is the best time to travel if you want to see the beautiful natural scenery such as delicate cherry blossom or bright red leaves. If you’re looking for a hike or just love spending time outdoors, the summer months offer ideal cooler conditions in the mountains of the Japanese Alps and Hokkaido’s wild national parks - but elsewhere the weather is hot and humid at this time. For a very different experience, in winter (December to February) the people of the snowy north brighten the dark days with a host of festivals and events. Okinawa can be visited all year round but, for the best weather, the best time to visit is May and October.
Laos is a hilly, landlocked country with jungle covering more than 60% of its surface. It has a single rainy season (May to October) and a dry, sunny climate, averaging 8 hours of daily sunshine for the rest of the year. The best time to visit Laos is during the winter months of October to April when the humidity, which makes the rainy season such a trial, abates and the weather is warm and dry.
River travel is best between November and January, when high water levels facilitate passage along Laos' main waterway, the Mekong River. Visiting the Bolaven Plateau is also pleasant at this time of year. Laos’ geography plays a major part in shaping its climate, and cool temperatures can still be found in the highlands, which lie mainly in northern, eastern and central regions. The 'green season’ falls between late May and October, when the rains return to the country. However, showers are usually short and sharp, having little impact on your exploration. At this time of year the country comes to life, with waterfalls beginning to flow once more and the lush scenery attracting a variety of wildlife.
Because of its location just north of the Equator, Malaysia is best in the summer, however the country’s capital and west coast are hot all year round, making it an ideal place to visit for a city and/or beach break. Rain should be expected throughout the year, but these intermittent downpours are typically short-lived. During September and October, west coast destinations such as Penang and Langkawi see a little more rain than usual. Therefore an east coast destination is suggested during these months to avoid the weather. Between March and October, the diving hotspot of Tioman, the white sand beaches of the Perhantians and the stunning mosques of Kuala Terengganu come to the fore.
The best time to visit Nepal is when the skies are clear, typically between October and December, when the breathtaking views are at their best. The weather remains dry until about April, however January and February can be very cold, especially at night. Although they will reward you with incredible panoramas and quieter trekking trails as there are fewer visitors. Late spring is a beautiful time to travel as the rhododendrons burst into bloom. From May, heat and humidity levels build, culminating in monsoon rains as they arrive in June and the clouds obscure the glorious mountain views. Nepal celebrates festivals all year, so there is often a festival or pilgrimage taking place.
The most popular time to go to the Philippines is in the dry season between November and April. At this time the country is fully accessible, including its many beautiful islands and more remote areas. Temperatures peak during March and April, so travelling when it is cooler between December and February is recommended. The wet season falls between May and October, but the rain isn’t constant and rarely impacts on travel plans. You’ll still enjoy hot, sunny days at this time, but the area tends to be less crowded with tourists, arguably enhancing your experience. The shoulder months of May and November can represent good value for money – you’ll miss the crowds, the weather’s still pleasant and flights will be cheaper than during the high season. More than anything the weather is unpredictable, with the occasional typhoon known to strike even as early as August.
The weather in Thailand is dominated by two Asian monsoons and the climate varies throughout the country. You can visit all year round, but the best time to travel is during the cool and dry season between November and early April. It tends to be wetter between September and December, however you can avoid the rain depending on where you are. The north tends to be rainy in August and September, and the south a month or two later. The west coast is more favourable during the winter months, when diving and snorkelling are at their best. The weather on the east coast is good for most of the year, with the lowest rainfall in January and February and the highest in November.
Vietnam benefits from having three different microclimates, making it a great year-round destination. November to April receive the least amount of rain, making these the peak months to travel. However, when the rains come to the north and south of the country during the rest of the year the central region of Vietnam stays hot and dry, meaning there are options available to stay dry all year through. To name a few top tourist spots, Halong Bay is best seen in March and April, the caves of Phong Nha between February and August, and the vibrant Mekong Delta between October and May.