Asia in Summer

Weather, Festivals, and Where to Go to Enjoy Asia in the Summer

Koh Lanta sunset
••• Asia in the summer can be incredibly beautiful!. Photo by Greg Rodgers

Most of Asia in summer is hot and wet in many places, unless you head to milder climates or the southern parts of Southeast Asia. Just as monsoon rains move in across much of Asia, the dry season begins in destinations around Malaysia and Indonesia. Places in East Asia really heat up in the summer!

Planning a trip to Asia? See details for weather and festivals for each month in Asia.

Bali in Summer

During summer, Bali becomes one of the busiest places in all of Southeast Asia.

Not only does dry weather lure people to the beautiful island, lots of Australians looking to escape winter in the Southern Hemisphere grab cheap flights to Bali.

Thailand in Summer

The summer season in Thailand brings rain which helps to cool things down a bit. The air quality greatly improves in northern places such as Chiang Mai and Pai where seasonal agricultural fires are an issue. Despite summer traditionally being a low season in Thailand, some islands such as Koh Tao and Koh Phangan actually get busier as young backpackers on summer break come to party. Islands such as Koh Lanta dramatically slow down for the season as storms move in; many businesses close until October.

Expect monsoon showers in Bangkok and throughout Thailand in the summer. But don’t despair, traveling during the monsoon season does have some advantages!

Traveling Southeast Asia in Summer

Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam receive plenty of rain in the summer months. While travel during the low season is still certainly enjoyable, showers can put a damper on outdoor plans such as exploring Angkor Wat.

Generally, the farther south that you move in Southeast Asia during the summer, the better weather that you’ll find. The dry-and-busy seasons begin in the summer for Malaysia’s Perhentian Islands as well as Indonesia’s Gili Islands.

Summertime is the best time to visit Malaysian Borneo to see orangutans and enjoy rainforest trekking.

China in Summer

To say that things heat up in Beijing during the summer is an understatement. Apocalyptic pollution traps urban humidity inside of the city, making the air thick and wet. Travelers are better off visiting greener places where the air is fresher. Regions such as Yunnan in the south will be experiencing a heavy rainy season until around the end of July. Summer is an excellent time to visit places such as Tibet with notoriously cooler climates.

India in Summer

India’s summer actually runs from March to May, with temperatures consistently well over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Around June, the southwest monsoon moves in to blanket most of the country with rain. Conditions during the monsoon season can be challenging for travel, however, you’ll still find some great places to visit.

Big Asian Festivals in the Summer

  • Gawai Dayak: Dayak is the collective name given to over 200 indigenous tribes found in Sarawak, Borneo, and neighboring Kalimantan. Gawai Dayak is a two-day festival held on May 31 in Sarawak, Borneo, celebrating their cultures.
    • Obon Festivals in Japan: Obon -- one of the most important Japanese traditions -- celebrates the returning of ancestors’ spirits to their homes. Although dates vary from region to region, Obon is typically observed in August. Many Japanese people take time from work to travel and honor their ancestors’ memories.
    • Rainforest World Music Festival: Set in the beautiful Sarawak Cultural Village outside of Kuching in Malaysian Borneo, the Rainforest World Music Festival is one of the best around. Cultural workshops and demonstrations permeate the afternoons before bands from all over the world take the stage in the evenings. The festival is usually held in late June. See how to get to Borneo by grabbing a cheap flight.

    See a list of summer festivals in Asia.