Our guide to the best time to go and what to expect weather wise!
When to go
If you're planning on making South East Asia a stop on your gap year, you'll probably be wondering about the best time to visit. Generally the best time to touch down in South East Asia is between November and February. During these months most of the region experiences drier, cooler weather. There are exceptions though. In Malaysia the dry and rainy seasons vary depending on which coast you are on - April to October is usually the best time to visit.
It's important to give this some thought - South East Asia has dry and rainy seasons. The rainy season results in rougher seas, causing some beaches, islands, and roads to shut down depending on the weather.
The weather in South East Asia is hot and humid; temperatures hover around 27°C (80°F) year-round. Each country has slightly different climates:
Thailand: The average temperature in Bangkok ranges from 60°F in Dec to 97°F in Apr. Rainy Season is Jun to Oct.
Malaysia: The climate all year round is hot and humid with rain in the afternoon. The average temperature ranges from 75-86°F in the lowlands.
Indonesia: Hot all year round. It's hot and wet during the wet season (October to April) and hot and dry during the dry season (May to September). Temperatures climb to about 31°C(88°F) in coastal regions, dropping further inland. The best time to visit Indonesia is from April to October.
Vietnam: The south has 2 seasons - the wet season from May to November and the dry season from December to April. The north also has 2 seasons - a cool and damp winter from November to April and a hot summer from May to October.
Cambodia: The dry season (Nov-Mar) is pleasant and cool. The hot season (Mar-Jun) requires lightweight clothing, a hat, sunscreen, and insect repellent. The rainy season is from May to October.
Make sure you are covered by good travel insurance and have your visas sorted for travelling in these countries.