Monsoon Season in Southeast Asia - Where to Travel in July & August
Monsoon Season in Southeast Asia: Where to Travel in July & August
Southeast Asia is on many of our minds when it comes to planning northern hemisphere summer holidays, but it’s not traditionally the ideal time to book an Asian luxury tour as the annual monsoon season in Southeast Asia reaches a fever pitch as July turns into August. It’s not all bad news, however. While some spots, like Hoi An in Vietnam or Phuket in Thailand, will be pretty wet, there are still Asia travel destinations where the rain either accentuates the experience, or due to its location or atmospheric eccentricities doesn’t experience the same monsoon pattern. Here are five of our favorite places at ATJ to travel during rainy season in Southeast Asia.
There is something intensely special about seeing Ankor Wat in the monsoon season. Not only does the rain bring an almost surreal lushness to the surrounding jungle and varying hues of intense greens to the moss and lichen covered temple stones, but the crowds are much lighter during the monsoon season. And while it is still rainy in Cambodia in July, dry days are not unheard of, and you can expect more of the short, heavy shower variety storms than endless rainy days.
On the other side of the equator, Indonesia doesn’t experience the monsoon season in July (for Indonesia the rainy season occurs between December and March) and the weather is actually beautiful. As such, this is also the height of the tourist season in Bali, where the weather is dry and coolish. It’s also an optimal time for diving around Menjangan and the West Bali National Park, and off the island’s east coast. But, you’ll want to book your travel accommodations far in advance.
Although much of Sri Lanka remains drenched by the summer monsoon, there are a few regions not affected in July. This includes the north of the country, around the Cultural Triangle, where rainfall is minimal and temperatures high. This region is known for its UNESCO World Heritage sites and excellent national park with a large elephant population. This time of year is also good for visiting the beaches along the country’s East Coast, which also remain dry in July.
Some of the driest beach towns in Thailand in July and August are Hua Hin and Ban Krut on the Upper Gulf Coast, just around 125-miles southwest from Bangkok. While this region does still see rainfall, it is less heavy than other parts of Thailand and tends to fall in shorter bursts than prolonged days of monsoon. A bonus perk to traveling here is there is more to Hua Hin than just a beach. The town is also home to some of Thailand’s best tailors, so any rainy days can be spent getting custom clothing made. At ATJ we offer a number of custom Thailand vacation packages that make planning a trip here a breeze.
Like the Upper Gulf Coast, the popular islands off the Lower Gulf Coast - Ko Samui, Ko Phangan and Ko Tao stay drier than their west coast counterparts in the Andaman Sea, like Phuket and Ko Lanta, which are best avoided during these months. While we can’t promise it won’t rain in July (it probably will), sunny days are still a reality, the intra-island ferries still run and the crowds are slightly less intense.
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