Asia for Visitors

Asia for Visitors

Your complete online travel resource

Asia for Visitors

In most of mainland Southeast Asia, it's now the hot season, which will soon transition into the rainy season. Conventional wisdom has always been that this is the worst time to travel, but the reality is that if you plan carefully, you can still enjoy a relatively dry vacation, with fewer crowds and cheaper hotel rates. If you study weather patterns carefully, you can even find places where you can enjoy the beach.

Of course, south of the equator, in Indonesia, it's moving into the cool dry season. I always like to remind people that there's a lot more to Indonesia than Bali. Even if you start on Bali, consider exploring Flores, Sulawesi or even the tiny island of Pulau Weh.

The boxes below will give you an idea of which destinations are at their best now, as well as some places you should start planning for if your travel is later in the year. I've tried to select a mix of popular destinations along with some off-the-beaten-path places where you can escape the crowds and soak up some culture or sun.

Kampot

Kampot

See another side of Cambodia in Kampot

Sukhothai (November to March)

Sukhothai

The ancient remains of the first 'Thai' kingdom.

Luang Prabang

Wat Xieng Tong

Charming old Lao capital.

Railay

Railay

A stunning landscape and beach in Krabi province, southern Thailand.

Phuket

Phuket Old Town

Phuket's Old Town area makes a pleasant getaway from the beach for an afternoon.

Angkor

Bayon

The impressive ancient capital of the Khmer empire.

Bangkok

Bangkok

The Thai capital can be visited and enjoyed at any time of year.

Samui (January to September)

Laem Sor Pagoda

An idyllic and mostly deserted beach on the southern tip of Samui.

Penang

Khoo

The old colonial trading port is full interesting places.

Thailand is still the major destination in mainland Southeast Asia, but there is so much more to see, and some of it is quite accessible. Many people have their sights set on seeing the splendors of Angkor at least once, but why not spend more time in Cambodia, taking in the bustling capital of Phnom Penh and the lazy coastal area of Kampot?

For the more adventurous, there are the rivers, ancient monuments and 4,000 islands of Southern Laos. Or, if Thailand is still your thing, why not get a little off the beaten path in a place like Sukhothai.

Asia for Visitors is your on-line travel guide to Southeast Asia, with all the information you need to plan and book your trip to one or more of the eight countries covered. The top destinations are all linked at the top of the page. If you haven't decided on your destination yet, knowing when you are going can help narrow down the choice of where, since the weather patterns vary greatly from the northern countries to the south. See our Where to go page for an idea of when each country is at its best. If a beach holiday is your primary objective, then you may want to have a look at our thoughts regarding Southeast Asia's best beach destinations. There are dozens of fascinating historical sites around Southeast Asia, if you're interested in the rich history of the region.