Let’s start the year with a Big Bang! Are you planning your New Year Resolution? Is Traveling and experiencing the world in your plan? We put together a list of 12 destinations in Asia for you to travel for each month.
Jan: Phillippines by Katherine from Tara Lets Anywhere
January is a good month to visit the Philippines for various reasons.
One, good weather is almost always guaranteed, with minimal rainfall and cool temperature.
Two, it’s that sweet spot after the holiday season and before summer, so there are few tourists in most attractions in the country. This means it’s the perfect opportunity to go island hopping, enjoy the beaches or do other activities – mountain climbing, trekking through rice terraces and many others. If you’re lucky, you can even haggle down on tour rates.
In addition, there are various colorful festivals held in the Philippines in January: Ati-Atihan in Aklan, Dinagyang in Iloilo and Sinulog in Cebu. These festivals involve elaborate costumes, street parades and other cultural performances that are particular to the Philippines.
Visiting the Philippines in January is the perfect start on a year of traveling.
Feb: Myanmar by Taylor from Travel Outlandish
The rest of the world may spend February shoveling snow and shaking off the holiday hangover, but winter in Southeast Asia is quite alright. Burma is a pretty legendary travel destination at any time of year, but going in February will ensure you moderate temperatures and a relative dryness that you won’t get in other months. The tourist high season in Burma runs from December-February, so go on the tail end of the month to enjoy the perfect mix of pleasant climate and light crowds.
By visiting Burma in February, you’ll beat the hottest time of year in sprawling cities like Mandalay, and get to see the Land of a Thousand Temples when skies are clearest and Balloons over Bagan are still flying. You’ll have the opportunity to trek through remote towns on your way to Inle Lake without worrying about sunburn, and you’ll even have the timing right to experience the very fun Shwedagon Pagoda Festival in Yangon.
Can’t get there in February? Tourism in Burma is growing fast, so we say go when you can, regardless of the weather. Burma is authentic, beautiful, and one of the most unique places to travel in all of Asia!
Mar: Vietnam by Edwina from Traveling German
Vietnam is one of my favorite places in Asia. It has everything. Beautiful beaches, bustling cities, rich culture and history and last but not least, amazing food. Saigon and Hanoi are the best cities for exploring Vietnamese cuisine and history. Adventurers can’t miss the Phong Nga caves, Halong Bay or the rice terraces in the Central Highlands.
And after all of that, the islands of Con Dao and Phu Quoc offer pristine beaches for a few days (or weeks) of relaxation. Even though both islands are becoming more popular with international travelers, you can still find exotic beaches and have them all to yourself for the day (the locals prefer to hang out on the beach in the evening once the sun is gone).
March is a great time to travel Vietnam because it’s dry season, so you can enjoy the street food and beaches without worrying about umbrellas. It’s also off-season for most international travel, meaning the tourist resorts are both less crowded and less expensive. And finally, by March, Lunar New Year (in Vietnam it’s called Tet), when practically every Vietnamese person is traveling home to see family, is definitely over already.
Apr: Iran by Sebastiaan from Lost With Purpose
Considered a no-go zone by many until the nuclear deal of 2015, Iran is quickly becoming a popular holiday destination. The combination of thousand-year-old historical sights, tasty Persian food, grand Islamic architecture, and some of the friendliest people in the world is a winning one. If you’re considering visiting Asia in April 2017, don’t leave Iran off your list.
Iran has four distinct seasons, ranging from snowy and freezing to sunny and boiling. In winter, parts of the country are inaccessible due to snowfall, and in summer, temperatures can exceed 50°C (122°F)!
In April, however, the entire country is accessible, and the temperature is moderate throughout most of the country. From the grand bazaars of Tabriz and Tehran to the magnificent mosques of Esfahan and Shiraz, or the oasis town of Yazd to the otherworldly sandcastles of the Kaluts desert, you’ll find marvels wherever you go (without having to worry about heatstroke). 2017 is the year to visit Iran, and April is the month to do it.
May: Malaysia by Gábor from Surfing the Planet
Malaysia is one of the most amazing countries in Southeast Asia, where you can find all kinds of attractions you need for a complete travel experience.
On the West coast of Malaysia, you can visit the modern metropolis of Kuala Lumpur, and the colonial cities of Melaka and George Town. In these cities, you can experience the cultural mixture of this country, which is reflected in the architecture, cultural events, and cuisine, too. In Malaysia Chinese, Indian, Malay, and other ethnicities live together, which turned this country into the melting pot of Asia.
The country is also very rich in natural sights. In Peninsular Malaysia, you can find Taman Negara, the oldest rainforest on our planet or the Cameron Highlands with beautiful tea plantations. In Cameron Highlands, the temperatures are cooler, which makes it an ideal place to escape from the warm and humid climate that you can find in the rest of country. Malaysia also has a very long coastline and loads of beautiful islands. The best of them can be found near the East Coast of the country. Traveling to Malaysia in May is the perfect moment since the eastern monsoon season that affects the East Coast terminates around March-April. Therefore in May the weather is already great, so you can enjoy one of the tropical islands there (our favorite is Pulau Perhentian), but the high season hasn’t started yet so that you can find cheaper accommodation on these islands.
Jun: Sri Lanka by Hannah from Getting Stamped
This year I spent 3 weeks in June exploring the best of Sri Lanka, and I think it’s the best time to visit. June is considered low season in Sri Lanka which in my eyes is when it yields the best time to visit. Prices are much lower than high season, and there aren’t nearly as many tourists. It only rained one day, and it was a night in Colombo, so I just planned indoor activities.
Make sure to head to Yala National Park for an amazing safari. You can go on game drives in the park and see elephants, leopards, and much more. The park has the highest leopard density population in the world; I saw leopards all both of my game drives several times in the park it was magical. My personal favorite night was the night I spent camping in the park under the all the stars. If you are a surfer, make sure to head to Argum Bay for some great surf. Sri Lanka a country that has so much to offer from friendly locals, tasty food, tons of culture, great hiking, beaches for days, and much more.
Jul: Mongolia by Jarryd from Nomadasaurus
By far the best month to travel to Mongolia is July. While winter brings brutal temperatures, summer allows for easy movement to the country’s best locations. July also happens to be when the largest event in the country, the Naadam Festival, takes place. Incorporating horse riding, wrestling, and archery, this spectacle can be experienced all over the nation but is best enjoyed in the smaller villages.
If you’re visiting in July, make sure you travel to Northern Mongolia to visit the Tsaatan reindeer herders, who live in the remote taiga near Khuvsgol Lake. Reaching them can only be achieved by riding horses for two days through sensational forests, and spending time with this nomadic tribe is one of the most amazing experiences in Asia.
Aug: Indonesia by Angeline from Travel Moments
The biggest archipelago in the world and with more than 18,000 islands, Indonesia definitely provides what a traveler’s heart desires. August in Indonesia is the dry season which is perfect for its many beaches and islands. One of the most popular islands to visit is Bali for surfing. However, go further to Ubud and explore its different temples and rice terraces and maybe encounter the monkeys at the Monkey temple.
If you’re thinking outside of Bali, maybe you want to see the Komodo Dragons and pink sand beaches in Flores. Island hop to the 3 Gili Islands and see how beautiful sunsets can be from one of its white sand beaches.
For the adventurous types, do you know that Indonesia is home to no less than 167 active volcanoes? Climb the second highest volcano in Indonesia located in Lombok and you’ll be rewarded with some of the most amazing scenes and sunsets you’ll ever witness. So why Indonesia? Because it is simply wonderful!
Sep: Kazakhstan by Kamila from My Wander Lust
Kazakhstan is 9th largest country in the world and while the majority of it is rather boring flat grassland the southern part of the country, around the former capital city Almaty, definitely deserves your attention.
The best time to go there is September when the weather isn’t crazy hot anymore, and you can enjoy the nearby stunning nature. Almaty can be your base to explore Tien Shan mountains (with the highest peak at 6995 meters above the sea level!), Big Almaty Lake or Charyn Canyon – all of these are true wonders of nature! Just at the outskirts of the city, you will find Medeo – the ice skating ring located the highest in the world! But Almaty itself is fascinating too, a vibrant city with a peculiar mix of wooden 19th century and recent Soviet architecture and an exceptional cafe culture. Of course there are other destinations to visit in the country – a brand new capital Astana, an old Silk Route town Turkistan or almost dried up Aral Sea just to name few.
2017 might be the best year to go to Kazakhstan as the visa regulation will be easier and numerous nationalities will be able to visit the country visa free!
Oct: Bhutan by Christian from Unusual Traveler
Bhutan. The land of the Thunder Dragon. Is the most overlooked country in Asia, probably due to the high visa fee. But if you overcome the high cost, you will discover the most authentic country in Asia.
A land that was closed for foreigner all the way up to 1974, and still see less than 50 000 tourists a year.
The few tourists that make the trip here every year will discover some of the most impressive buildings in the world, from the stunning Tiger´s Nest Monastery that located on the edge of a cliff. Or Punakha Dzong that dates back to 1638, a castle built completely without any help of modern tools and nails. Or visit a park during the weekend, and you will see important business people or politicians practicing the national sport, Archery.
If you are brave enough to hike the seldom visited part of the Himalaya will you come across people that still lives as nomads, far from the modern lifestyle that we are used to in the west.
Bhutan is by far the most authentic and friendly country in Asia.
Nov: Thailand by Ivana from Nomad Is Beautiful
November is one of the best months to travel to Thailand for a few simple reasons.
The first reason is the moderate temperature of 25-30C/77-86F. In November, the rainy season is usually over, and it’s perfect time for exploring the mainland of the country.
The other reason to visit Thailand in November is the Loi Krathong and Yee Peng festivals that happen during this time of the year. For the best experience, try to stay in the capital or in Chiang Mai city in the north, since these are the places where the most interesting events happen. There is nothing more spectacular than watching thousands of paper lanterns floating in the sky! Or you might want to release a lantern with a written wish on it up into the sky yourself!
And last but not least, in November you can find some areas of Thailand still without masses of tourists who tend to arrive in December and remain until the hot season that starts in March.
Dec: India by Monalisa from Monalisaborkakoty
To visit India in the official holiday season of the world is an exquisite idea. Apart from being friendly to your budget, it is also filled with beaches, mountains, river, rice fields and coffee plantations, lakes, temples, churches, 1635 mother tongues, cities of great food and 1.3 billion happy people. But fret not, because there are spots that can give your sojourn through India a memorable affair while making it not too noisy and commercialized.
The beaches of Goa and Gokarna are gleaming with happy faces. Foreigners and locals alike gather in the coconut and palm tree laid beaches and laze away in the shacks that serve you world cuisine.
Central India, which is Madhya Pradesh, will allow you to be away from the most frequented spots and give you an insight of India’s rich cultural heritage and it will be interesting to be amongst the statues depicting sexual positions at the monuments of Kamasutra.
The royal heritage of Rajasthan with its forts and deserts can give you a taste of the Maharajahs and the untouched beauty, that is North Eastern India, is a hidden marvel that can give you tales of mysticity for life. December in India is a colorful chaos.
What are your plans for 2017? Where are you heading in 2017?