Vietnam weather Overview
Located in the South east of Asia, Vietnam is bordered by the Gulf of Thailand, Tonkin. Vietnam is blessed with miles of coastline which holds white sand along with gorgeous beaches. Bordered with sandy coastline and a huddle of palm edging islands, Vietnam is a paradise to cross in. The flattering conditions about the geography, background, bordered coastline, deltas, bays, waterway, peaks mark it a striking country to step in.
Positioned in both the tropical and temperate zone makes Vietnam a favorable place for boasting pleasant climate. Owing to the latitude and variable topographical relief, the climatic conditions show a discrepancy from place to place. November to April is marked as the winter or dry season. Through this season the monsoon winds drive all the way from Northeast bordering the Chinese coast and journeying the Gulf of Tonkin where they lift up extensive moisture.
The winter phase in the major parts of the country is frequently dry compared with the rainy or summer climate. The typical temperature calculated annually is higher in the plains than in mountains accordingly it’s higher in the south than in the north. The variations in temperature are very minor in the southern plains in and around Ho Chi Minh City and Mekong delta. The temperature ranges from 21 and 28⁰ C over the complete year. The variations in temperature according to seasons in the mountains, plateaus and north division are much more remarkable which ranges from 5⁰ C during December- January to 37⁰ C during July-August
Though Vietnam has a strong monsoon influence, the sun pops out for a considerable period, they experience a high rate of rainfall and high humidity these factors mark Vietnam to rank the top position under climate category. County residing near the tropics and mountainous regions experience a temperate climate all through. Vietnam normally crosses through two seasons, the dry season and the rainy season. The temperature difference in these two seasons is barely discernible in the south. But dissimilarities are observed and found in the south.
Each year about 100 rainy days turn up with average rainfall ranging from 1500 to 2000mm is experienced. The humidity ranges to about 80%, when inspecting about the sun-drenched hours it ranges 1,500 to 2000 with average solar radiation about 100kcal/cm2 in a year. For travelers planning to visit Vietnam, it’s a sensible idea to check the weather condition before planning to step into the country for comfy relaxation.
Cambodia Weather overview
Cambodia has two distinct seasons — the wet and the dry
Cambodia’s wet season comes courtesy of the southwest monsoon which blows from May to October, bringing with it some 75% of Cambodia’s annual rainfall. Not surprisingly, wet season is characterised by rain, and in the peak of wet season from July to September it can rain as much as two out of every three days. Rainy days tend to have a few hours of heavy rain rather than being all-day downpours, though the latter do occur — you will get wet travelling in a Cambodian wet season.
Aside from getting drenched, the main disadvantage of travelling in wet season in Cambodia relates to flooding and degraded road conditions. The bulk of roads in Cambodia are dirt and in wet season they turn to heavily rutted and pot-holed mud-pits. Travelling in rural areas, particularly the north and northeast of the country, can be slowed considerably. You will still be able to go just about anywhere, it will just take longer.
A secondary problem are bridges being out, but this is becoming less of an issue as the quality of bridgework is improving. Cambodia’s arterial routes — namely Phnom Penh to Siem Reap, Phnom Penh to Battambang and Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville — are all-weather, sealed affairs and far less of a problem than the unsealed roads.
On the upside, monsoonal Cambodia is a beautiful country to travel in. The dust is all gone (turned to mud unfortunately) and the lush greenery of the country returns. Angkor Wat in particular can be stunning in wet season — the birdlife is far more obvious and the ruins have a unique appearance and feel. Observing Angkor Wat with a lightning storm as a backdrop is an electrifying experience (couldn’t resist!). There are also far fewer travellers in the country, so if you prefer to dodge the crowds, wet season can be a good time to visit.
Regionally, the Cardamom mountains get the heaviest rain in the country, while the entire coastline gets rough seas and a lot of rain.
Cambodia’s dry season runs from October to April, when the dusty northeast monsoon arrives. Blowing like a hair-dryer set to high, the northeast monsoon dries out the country fast. While November and January are quite cool (high C20s) by April the weather is scorching and oh so dry it will take your breath away. Characterised by heat and dust, this season coincides with Cambodia’s peak tourist season when travellers arrive in their droves between November and January to take advantage of the lack of rain and the relative cool. By March travelling can be uncomfortable and hot while April can be excrutiating.
As the country dries out, badly rutted roads get graded and trip times improve dramatically, though get incredibly dusty. Cambodia’s beach strips at Kep, Sihanoukville and Ko Kong bask in brilliant sunshine with clear calm waters — if you’re a beach bum, dry season is the season for you.
Dry season runs from November to April on the back of the northeast monsoon. November to January are cooler while February to April are hot and dusty. November is the coolest month, April the hottest.
Wet season runs from May to October courtesy of the southwest monsoon. Wet season brings some 75% of Cambodia’s annual rainfall. July to September are the wettest months.
Thailand Weather Overview
For interactive information, please refer to our animated Thai weather map — an interactive map to the weather situation in Thailand with detailed monthly statistics on rainfall, minimum and maximum temperature and number of rainy days in a month. Otherwise, for more detailed information, including climatic charts, please read on.
Thailand can best be described as tropical and humid for the majority of the country during most of the year. The area of Thailand north of Bangkok has a climate determined by three seasons whilst the southern peninsular region of Thailand has only two.
In northern Thailand the seasons are clearly defined. Between November and May the weather is mostly dry, however this is broken up into the periods November to February and March to May. The later of these two periods has the higher relative temperatures as although the northeast monsoon does not directly effect the northern area of Thailand, it does cause cooling breezes from November to February.
The other northern season is from May to November and is dominated by the southwest monsoon, during which time rainfall in the north is at its heaviest.
The southern region of Thailand really has only two seasons — the wet and the dry. These seasons do not run at the same time on both the east and west side of the peninsular. On the west coast the southwest monsoon brings rain and often heavy storms from April through to October, whilst on the east coast the most rain falls between September and December.
Overall the southern parts of Thailand get by far the most rain with around 2,400 millimetres every year, compared with the central and northern regions of Thailand, both of which get around 1,400 millimetres.
When is the best time to visit Thailand?
Generally speaking,the best time to visit Thailand is from November to February when the northeast monsoon is blowing cool, dry air which serves as a respite from the heat. During this cool season, the temperature ranges from 18ºC to 32ºC in Bangkok, while in northern and northeast Thailand, temperatures can get quite cool with morning temperatures as low as 8º C to 12º C with the occasional 20º C day. Nights can be particularly chilly and at high altitudes the temperatures can and do drop below freezing.
The summer period, or hot and dry season, is from March to June. At this time temperatures in Bangkok average around 34º C, but can often reach 40º C with the humidity levels of 75%.
Try and avoid April, unless you plan to be permanently submerged in the ocean, because this is the hottest month across the country.
From July to October is the monsoonal season when most of Thailand’s annual rainfall is accumulated and flooding can ravage the country. The humidity averages just under 90%, with temperatures averaging around 29º C in a very wet and rainy Bangkok.
The monsoons finish when the wind direction changes, bringing dry weather from the northeast. At best this season can be described as unpredictable and not the constant downpour of rain like you would expect. The middle months of this season may hold particularly heavy rains for the north of the country.
Laos Weather Overview
Landlocked Laos is one of the Asia’s most enchanting destinations. Stunning natural beauty — think mist-shrouded mountain peaks flanked by jungle-clad valleys teeming with wildlife — combine with a fascinating Buddhist culture to make Laos a superb destination for backpackers and independent travellers, while luxury tourists are now also well-catered for.
Communist Laos flung open its doors to tourism in the early 1990s. The last decade has witnessed an explosion in development as businesses — some Lao, some foreign — mushroom to cater to the swelling crowds.
Laos is changing fast, but pockets remain well off-the-beaten-track, ready to be explored by adventure travellers willing to forego the usual tourist luxuries. Those who want to experience a real taste of rural Southeast Asian life will be delighted.
Laos attracts many travellers who consider northern Thailand to now be over-developed or “touristed out” and are looking for places less inundated with foreigners.
Ironically, most of these tourists still stick to a now well-trodden path through the Land of a Million Elephants — though even these destinations retain an allure little diminished by the crowds.
Incredibly romantic Luang Prabang should be considered a must see, with its glittering temples, saffron-robed monks, and sleepy riverine lifestyle. The pace has moved up a notch since the tourists have arrived, as slick cafes jostle for space with chic boutiques showcasing the best Laotian wares: intricate weavings, elaborate silver trinkets and speciality foods.
The bustling capital Vientiane tempts many, as does the thriving tourist centre of Vang Vieng. We’d actually suggest you skip the latter — a heaving backpacker hub — but the limestone crags and riverside scenery remain gorgeous despite the mass of travellers.
For the independent traveller, those are just the standard spots to tick off the list, with plenty more to be discovered.
The far northern provinces of Phongsali, Luang Nam Tha and Udomxai offer exciting possibilities for independent trekking. The industry is fledgling and infrastructure is still developing, so trips tend to be challenging but infinitely rewarding. In the mysterious northeastern Plain of Jars and north to Hua Phan, you’re in the midst of what was Pathet Lao heartland — an area that the United States tried to bomb back to the stone age and which, 30 years later, is still trying to get back on its feet.
The far south of Laos is also slowly emerging as a trekking centre. Although many shoot straight down to Si Phan Don, hanging out on Don Khong, Don Dhet and Don Khon for a taste of lazy island life and a spot of dolphin watching. There is a lot to see and experience in between for the more intrepid. Tha Khaek and Savannakhet offer nascent trekking and caving, while Attapeu, Pakse, Champasak and Salavan are all worthy spots to while away a few days exploring.
Destinations aside, Lao food also entices. Spicy meat salads, sticky rice, noodles, curries and fish tempt right alongside culinary remnants of French colonial occupation. Crunchy baguettes stuffed with pate and salads are standard market fare, while upper-end French restaurants offer delights at astounding prices. And of course, ice-cold Beerlao — considered Asia’s best by some — is stocked right across the nation.