Green Season in Southeast Asia
10 Reasons why Thailand, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam are at their best between April and September.
Travelers are sometimes hesitant to book a trip to Southeast Asia between April and September. It is believed that the rain might spoil the holiday. Not so. At Khiri Travel we believe April to September is the time when many Indochina destinations are at their best.
Here we list a few destinations in the region that are well visited in the ‘green season’. And the best part, you will be one of the few that is able to make recommendations to clients, allowing them a unique experience that few travelers will have access to.
Visit in the Green Season
Besides the fact that visitors will experience thinner crowds at Angkor – now surrounded by green vegetation and moats filled with water – also flora and fauna is in full bloom in August and September. The rivers have filled up with water and therefore this period is the perfect time for traveling Cambodia’s lakes and waterways. Offer a homestay in a stilt house in Kampong Khleang, recommended by our branch manager in Siem Reap for example. Routes from Siem Reap to either Battambang or via the Tonle Sap Lake to Phnom Penh can only be traveled from July until October and travel options include speedboats, slow boats, and luxurious classic cruise vessels. Guests can even travel all the way to Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam.
The period from May until September offers additional great opportunities for travelers to benefit from. Rain showers are usually just short and infrequent, and luxurious beach resorts like Song Saa Island and city hotels like the FCC and Aman come with unique deals.
Clients can join one of the Boun Bang Fai (Rocket Festival) celebrations to welcome the rain. Dates vary per location – always around May and June – but please contact our Laos office to find out which village celebrates at the time of your client’s visit. Homemade bamboo rockets are fired and lots of music and dance is going on. In the Northeast of Thailand, rocket festivals also take place.
A visit to the 4000 islands (Si Phan Don) in the south of Laos, allows travelers to experience impressive waterfalls from July to October. At this time of year waterfalls are fuller and more impressive.
Sun worshippers should visit Myanmar in months like April and May when the weather is dry and few other travelers go to the beach. We recommend, for example, Ngapali Beach – with Maung Shwe Lay – and Ngwe Saung.
In Upper Myanmar (Northern Shan State, Bagan, Kalaw, Inle Lake and Mandalay) it only rains, on average, every other day. This area is very well traveled from June until September as temperatures are between 25-35¬˚C and it is the driest region of the country.
In Thailand we have a beach for every time of year. Guests traveling in the region could opt for one of the beaches below, which we have selected for their best time to visit.
In April, Phuket beaches are still good. Places like the Surin and Similan islands and Khao Lak have the best weather of the year in April. And don’t forget Phuket town for its Sino-Portuguese heritage, culture and a great place to eat.
From May to October we recommend the Gulf of Thailand, such as Koh Samui or Cha-am or Hua Hin. Or a new beach destination along the coast, south from Koh Samui. Khanom district has plenty of nice beaches, with numerous options of day trips to see pink dolphins, pancake rocks, or Nakhon Si Thammarat town, where shadow puppet master Suchart has his workshop.
The islands of Samui, Tao and Phangan are great to visit in July and August. The weather is perfect and they’re easy to travel to – even for guests coming from Indochina or Myanmar. Likewise, the coast stretching from Cha-am and Hua Hin to Pranburi sees dry and sunny weather in these months. On the route between the mainland beaches and islands, lies Khlong Noi – a lively community in the mangrove forests near Surat Thani.
Central Vietnam is best visited from April until September. This is when the area sees sunny dry weather and guests can enjoy the hills of Dalat, ancient architecture of Hoi An, and beaches of Nha Trang best. The weather is great, with no rain and pleasant temperatures of around 30˚C.
Clients who have already witnessed the water festival in Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar, have plenty of festivals to choose from in Vietnam in April, May and June, such as the Hoi An Lantern Festival or Hanoi Giong Festival.
Learn about Khiri Travel’s list of 10 reasons why people should travel to Southeast Asia during the green season:
1.) Landscapes and paddy fields are at their best — green and bright! Even dry and dusty destinations in the winter, such as Bagan and Northeast Thailand, have turned green.
2.) Comfortable temperatures in the day time — not too hot; the sun is not shining the whole day, and it’s not too cold (e.g. in the hills in Shan state – Myanmar, or Luang Prabang in Laos). So travelers can leave their winter clothes at home.
3.) Space to breathe — no queuing at sights, no hordes of tourists walking in front of guests’ cameras spoiling that unique photo moment.
4.) Affordable — visitors benefit from avoiding the high, peak and New Year surcharges or compulsory Christmas dinners.
5.) Choice — receive confirmation for the hotel and room type that your clients request, not just any available option.
6.) Personalized service — hotel and restaurant staff are not too busy and can take extra care of your clients. They’ve recovered from the peak season, have spent some time with their families, and are back at their best.
7.) More spontaneous moments — if it rains for a short while and your clients find themself sheltering from the rain as all the locals do, they can make the best out of it as this is often the best time to talk to the locals.
8.) Discover ingenuity – no people on earth know how to repair and recycle umbrellas like the people of Myanmar do; it’s something unique that can only be found in the green season.
9.) Dramatic pictures — blue skies, brilliant sunshine and green vegetation make for great picture opportunities, almost like a painting. The air is softer and cleaner and there are often dramatic sunset clouds at sundowner time.
10.) If these nine reasons still don’t convince you, the last one will. In Upper Myanmar and Laos it only rains, on average, every other day during the green season. Central Vietnam sees almost no rain at all. And when it does rain it is mostly at beer o’clock — the right time to sit back, have a drink and watch the rain pass by.
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