From the cherry blossoms of Japan to the wartime tunnels of Vietnam to the mountain temples of Bhutan, Asia is full of enriching experiences. When it comes time to choose an Asian destination, it’s helpful to know that different countries thrive at different times of the year.
Thanks to weather conditions and peak travel seasons, some months are a better time to travel to certain destinations than others. And nothing can ruin a trip like torrential rain, hordes of tourists, and inflated prices.
Keep reading to discover the best country to visit in Asia every month of the year.
12 January: Cambodia
Kick the year off with a visit to the Southeast Asian nation of Cambodia. There are endless sights and attractions to visit in the country, including the famous ruins of Angkor Wat, a temple which was built during the Khmer Empire. In the capital city, Phnom Penh, be sure to check out the art deco Central Market, the National Museum, and the Royal Palace.
January is the best time to visit Cambodia because it’s perfect trekking weather, making the experience of hiking through the Ratanakiri Highlands all the more amazing.
11 February: The Philippines
There are several landmarks to tick off your list among the 7,641 islands of the Philippines, and February is an ideal time to go. Officially known as the Republic of the Philippines, the country is divided into three sections known as Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.
Explore the green rice fields and crystal-blue water in the dry season, which is between November and April. Ticket prices can get a little steep around December, but by February, you’ll get a chance to enjoy the dry weather without having to pay a fortune.
10 March: Singapore
From the famous Botanic Gardens to Universal Studios to the Jurong Bird Park, Singapore offers something for every kind of traveler. Enjoy shopping and sightseeing in the city center, or choose to spend your days relaxing among the beauty of nature by visiting the National Orchid Gardens.
March brings perfect weather to Singapore, as this is when the dry phase of the monsoon season arrives. Visit during this time and you’ll experience a comfortable balance between the searing heat and the frequent rain.
9 April: Japan
When it comes to Japan, just one trip isn’t enough. To immerse yourself in the culture, visit the historic landmarks, explore the authentic local cuisine, and see the amazing sights on offer in major cities like Tokyo and Kyoto, you’ll probably have to go more than once! But make sure that at least one of your visits to Japan takes place in April.
April marks the beginning of cherry blossom season, with the majority of the country’s pale pink and white flowers blooming mid-spring. Go towards the end of the month, and you’ll witness the phenomenal sight of the flowers raining down to the ground.
8 May: Indonesia
To avoid overly humid weather, opt to visit Indonesia in May. Though this is when winter is just about the hit the Southeast Asian nation, it never truly gets cold. The weather is at its mildest in May, and this is also when there happen to be fewer tourists around.
You have an array of islands to choose from in the diverse nation, which is home to a variety of ethnic groups. One of the most popular Indonesian destinations is the island of Bali, which features a sea of resorts, villas, shopping opportunities, and beaches.
7 June: South Korea
Before the summer heat really gets unbearable, visit South Korea and explore the many wonders of Seoul. The capital city might be one of the best places in Asia to shop, thanks to its 24-hour malls and local designer outlets. Experience the best of Korean beauty by visiting the many beauty shops or enjoying a pampering session in one of the spas.
South Korea is also home to the smart city of Songdo. Worth a visit, the city has its own replica of New York’s Central Park.
6 July: Malaysia
One of the best times to travel to the tropical country of Malaysia is July as this allows visitors to avoid intense rain in some regions. The country is known for its stunning rainforests and beaches and is a melting pot of cultures. You’ll discover influences from Europe, India, and China in Malaysia.
Don’t miss the opportunity to explore the Cameron Highlands, where you can take in world-class views of the surrounding landscape and discover local tea plantations. If you’re in the mood for scuba diving, check out Tioman Island, which is also home to Mount Kinabalu.
5 August: Papua New Guinea
Direct flights to Papua New Guinea may be hard to come across, but it’s well worth the extensive travel time to explore the wonders of the Oceanic country. Here you’ll get to discover lush jungle and mountains, and as one of Asia’s least-visited countries, Papua New Guinea offers a travel experience off the beaten track that’s not tainted by crowds.
The best time to visit Papua New Guinea is between the months of July and September, as this is when the country is the driest.
4 September: Bhutan
The Buddhist kingdom of Bhutan will make you feel like you’ve gone back in time. Residing high in the Himalayas, Bhutan has only recently opened its majestic doors to tourists from overseas. This is an ideal destination if you’re looking to splash some cash since it’s home to a number of high-end luxury hotels.
Visit Bhutan in September because it’s the first month following the rainy summer, which means that the surrounding vegetation will be at its greenest. Expect lots of hospitality as you trek through the prestigious mountainous kingdom.
3 October: Tibet
Officially considered a province of China, Tibet boasts a number of cultural experiences for visitors. Trekking is one of the most popular things to do in the region, which features a number of phenomenal high-altitude lakes.
October is one of the best times to visit Tibet, even though the snow may already have started by this time. There will be fewer crowds and more chance for solitude up in the mountains during this time, and prices are also slightly cheaper.
2 November: Thailand
Thailand is a land of colorful coral reefs, divine beaches, and historical landmarks. Explore the lush inland landscape, or enjoy a relaxing tropical experience by the beach. One point of interest not to be missed is the Death Railway, which was constructed by prisoners of war during the Second World War. The city of Bangkok is a foodie’s dream, offering plenty of opportunities for tasty, authentic street food.
Visit Thailand in November, which is the beginning of the cool season, to avoid extreme rainy or hot weather.
1 December: Vietnam
From the bustle of Ho Chi Minh city to the street food of Hoi An to beaches like Nha Trang and Mui Ne, Vietnam should be on your bucket list. Must-visits include the Paradise Cave, which was discovered in 2005, and the Cu Chi tunnels, which were used by Viet Cong soldiers during the Vietnam War.
One of the best times to visit Vietnam is December, due to the fact that it falls at the beginning of the cool to cold season.