August in Asia is mostly hot, humid, and wet, but plenty of big festivals help make up for the sweltering weather! Numerous independence celebrations in India and across Southeast Asia mean plenty of parades, fireworks, and street parties.
August is the last month of the busy summer season; crowds will take a slight downturn in some places, mostly toward the end of the month, as students return to school. The monsoon season will be keeping scenery green in Thailand, Cambodia, and Laos. East Asia will be especially hot and humid.
Important Considerations for August in Asia
Obon — a festive celebration — begins in Japan, but the end of August is one of the peak times for typhoons and tropical storms that hit Japan. Keep an eye on storms in the area; they may affect flights to Japan and South Korea.
Asia Weather in August
Here are a few average temperatures (high / low) and humidity for popular destinations in Asia:
- Bangkok: 91 F / 78 F (humidity 76 percent)
- Kuala Lumpur: 90 F / 74 F (humidity 79 percent)
- Bali: 80 F / 74 F (humidity 78 percent)
- Singapore: 88 F / 78 F (humidity 79 percent)
- Beijing: 86 F / 70 F (humidity 75 percent)
- Tokyo: 88 F / 79 F (humidity 72 percent)
- New Delhi: 93 F / 80 F (humidity 77 percent)
Average rainfall for the month of August
- Bangkok: 7.51 inches
- Kuala Lumpur: 6.38 inches
- Bali: .02 inches
- Singapore: 5.9 inches
- Beijing: 2.88 inches
- Tokyo: .65 inches
- New Delhi: 5.62 inches
August in Southeast Asia
The monsoon season continues to bring rain to northern parts of Southeast Asia such as Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Laos. Meanwhile, Indonesia and destinations farther south get to keep enjoying mostly sunny weather.
Singapore and Kuala Lumpur are exceptions. Although they are both in the south, they receive ample rainfall throughout the year. August brings plenty of pop-up showers mixed with sunshine, but it's still one of the drier months to visit.
August is the driest and most pleasant month to visit Bali before rain begins to increase in September.
Where to Go in August
These destinations should have drier weather, but Mother Nature does as she pleases. Tropical storms moving into other parts of Asia can push rain to destinations even during the dry months.
- Bali, Indonesia
- Perhentian Islands, Malaysia
- Tioman Island, Malaysia
- Much of Indonesia
- Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo
- Central Vietnam is drier than the rest of the country
Places with the Worst Weather
Although rain and humidity are a problem, they don’t completely shut down travel or enjoyment in a place. Showers are often only a problem in the hot afternoons, with plenty of sunshine between. There are some advantages to traveling during monsoon season.
- Langkawi, Malaysia (rain)
- India (hot and wet)
- China (hot and wet)
- Japan (tropical storms)
- Hong Kong (rain)
- Thailand (rain)
- Cambodia (rain)
- Laos (rain)
- Nepal (hot and wet / snow at higher elevations)
What to Pack
Expect to get wet while traveling Asia in August! Have a plan for waterproofing your passport, camera, smartphone, and other valuables. No need to carry an umbrella or rain poncho 8,000 miles from home: they'll be for sale on every corner.
August is also a very hot month in most places. Bring a hat, sunscreen, and take the usual precautions. You should pack extra shirts to change in the evenings after a day of sweating. Even better, support local shops and designers by buying some unique tops once you arrive.
Increased rainfall often means an increased mosquito population. Protect yourself with good repellent brought from home and by burning coils (available in local mini-marts) when sitting outside.
August Events in Asia
Some of these big summer festivals, particularly the independence days, could affect your travels. Transportation may be filled before and after events as people move around the country to take advantage of national holidays. Time your arrival a few days in advance to enjoy holidays without paying a premium for flights and accommodation!
- India Independence Day: (August 15) India gained independence from British rule on August 15, 1947. The day is marked with parades, pageants, and patriotic festivities. New Delhi is the epicenter for this Indian holiday.
- Queen’s Birthday in Thailand: (August 12) Queen Sirikit Kitiyakara is dearly loved by the Thai people. Her birthday is celebrated with performances on public stages along with a parade and plenty of food. The Queen’s Birthday (also considered Mother's Day in Thailand) is big in Bangkok and Chiang Mai.
- Indonesian Independence Day: (August 17) Indonesia declared their independence from Dutch rule in 1945. Known as Hari Merdeka Indonesia, the day and week leading up to the holiday are filled with parades, military processions, outdoor games, and special events.
- Malaysian Independence Day: (August 31) Malaysia’s Independence Day is also referred to as Hari Merdeka. A parade and plenty of fireworks rock Kuala Lumpur for the annual Malaysian Independence Day celebration.
- Hungry Ghosts Festival: (dates vary; sometimes in August) The Hungry Ghosts Festival is a Taoist holiday celebrated by Chinese communities throughout Southeast Asia. The festival is observed with gusto in Singapore and Malaysia.
- Singapore National Day: (August 9) Singapore celebrates their independence from Malaysia with a famous National Day Parade and fireworks. National Day is a very busy and exciting time to be in Singapore.
- Obon: (dates vary depending on location in Japan) Japan’s Obon is a festive time with lanterns, folk dances, and events to honor ancestors. Temples and shrines are especially busy. Although Obon — often simplified to just Bon — is not an official national holiday, many families travel to pay respects to ancestors.
August Travel Tips
Be on the lookout for typhoons and tropical storms that could affect travel in East Asian destinations such as Japan and South Korea.
Bali and top destinations in Southeast Asia that aren't in the middle of monsoon season in August will be busier than usual. You're going to have to share your island paradise!