Asia in August is mostly hot, humid, and wet, but plenty of big festivals make up for the sweltering weather! Numerous independence celebrations across Southeast Asia mean plenty of parades, fireworks, and street parties.
August is the last month of the summer busy period, meaning that both weather and crowds will take a slight downturn in popular hotspots such as Bali toward the end of the month. Despite hot, humid weather in Japan, August is one of the busiest months as Obon begins.
Weather Changes in August
While monsoon season continues to bring rain to Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, and northern parts of Southeast Asia, Indonesia and points farther south continue to enjoy sunny weather. August is the driest and most pleasant month to visit Bali before rain begins to increase in September.
- See more about the events and weather for Asia in September.
Events and Festivals for Asia in August
Some of these big festivals, particularly independence days, will 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 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. See more about other Indian festivals.
- 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 is big in Bangkok and Chiang Mai. See more festivals in Thailand.
- Indonesia Independence Day: (August 17) Indonesia declared their independence from Dutch rule in 1945. Known as Hari Merdeka, the day and week leading up to the holiday are filled with parades, military processions, outdoor games, and special events. Read more about Indonesia’s Independence Day.
- Malaysia 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 celebration. Read more about Hari Merdeka in Malaysia.
- Hungry Ghosts Festival: (dates vary) 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. Read more about the Hungry Ghosts Festival.
- 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. See when is the best time to visit 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. See more big Japanese festivals.
See a list of summer festivals in Asia.
Places with the Best Weather
Although these destinations should have drier weather, pop-up showers can come at any time.
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
- 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. See more about the pros and cons of traveling during monsoon season.
- Langkawi, Malaysia (rain)
- India (hot and wet)
- China (hot and wet)
- Hong Kong (rain)
- Thailand (rain)
- Cambodia (rain)
- Laos (rain)
- Nepal (hot and wet)
Japan in August
Although the Obon festival keeps Japan busy around the middle of the month, August is usually one of the peak typhoon months for Japan.
Typhoons, even when not dangerous and still out at sea, can generate consecutive days of heavy downpours throughout the region.
- See more about when to go to Japan.