Summer in Asia: where to go according to travelers

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When we think of summer, we dream of warm temperatures and long sunny days. But traveling to Asia during the summer months can be tricky : most Asian destinations are hot, sticky and humid. You might also experience lots of rain or even typhoon from June to August. But because of our current jobs, summer is the only season when we can take a whole month off to explore faraway destinations in depth.


So, we’ve decided to ask our fellow travel bloggers to share their favorite destinations in Asia during the summer season.


Siquijor Island, Philippines

By Craig from Vagabond Disposition



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One of my favorite spots in all of my Asian travels is Siquijor Island, Philippines. I had originally planned to stay just a few days, however I ended up spending nearly 2 weeks there! For that reason, Siquijor holds a special place in my heart.


Siquijor is sheltered inside the Central Visayas region of the Philippines, which makes all the waters surrounding the island very calm and glassy. For this reason, the scenery is gorgeous. And snorkeling opportunities are abundant just off the beach, especially in the San Juan region of the island. This area is also where I’d highly recommend staying, particularly at JJ’s Backpackers or Charisma Beach Resort. Both of these accommodations open up right onto the beach and the water is very shallow, even 100-200 meters out. Past that, the sea bottom drops off and you can discover tons of coral housing hundreds of fish. I spent 3 separate days total exploring this area and I still didn’t feel like I’d seen it all!


Away from the beach, there is also what I consider to be one of the most beautiful waterfalls I’ve ever visited in all of my travels! Cambugahay Falls is a 3-level waterfall nestled into the side of a lush-green mountain, with powder-blue waters and lots of spots to jump from. There are even a few rope swings set up as well!


Siquijor Island can be mainly reached from Dumaguete port. Though you can also depart from Cebu and Bohol (Tagbilaran) as well. Overall, even in the Philippines’ categorized “monsoon” season, Siquijor is worth visiting. It typically receives rain year-round and as long as you can catch 3-4 sunny days, you can easily see all of the beauty Siquijor has to offer. Make your way there and see for yourself!


Cat Ba Island, Vietnam

By Penny from Globe Trove



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One of my favourite countries in Asia is Vietnam. And if someone had to ask me which spot in the country I loved the most, it would without a doubt be Cat Ba island. Located in Halong Bay, this island is a refuge from the hectic chaos of the Vietnamese cities. While I still love them, the change in pace was a great way to mix up our vacation. One of the advantages about staying on Cat Ba island is that it offers a cheaper alternative to the Halong Bay tours which can get very costly especially during summer when the weather is good.


In addition to this, there are so many things to do on Cat Ba Island. From trekking to riding your bike on the winding roads and catching some gorgeous views. The island even has its own role that it played in history and you can see that part of history when you visit Cannon fort. There are a number of tour companies that take you for trips into different parts of Halong Bay. Try and pick one that allows you the flexibility to head out when the weather is good. It is a beautiful trip with snorkelling, kayaking, cliff jumping and exploring caves. One that I highly recommend.


On of our favorite places in Central Vietnam is definitely Hoi An. Check out how to visit Hoi An in 24 hours.


Ha Long Bay, Vietnam

By Kenny from Knycx Journeying



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While beautiful beaches, diving spots, and 5-star resorts are the obvious choice for a tropical holiday in Southeast Asia, the Ha Long Bay Cruise in Vietnam was one of my favorites in summer.


I had heard quite a lot of amazing things about Ha Long Baybefore I went, and the dramatic landscape and scenery didn’t disappoint me. Ha Long Bay is a UNESCO World Heritage site that spans over 1,500 sq. kilometers with rocks, caves, island, and beaches scattered in the area. The best way to explore Ha Long Bay is to spend two or three days on a cruise, and you will get to see different faces of the bay from day to night.


Departing from Hanoi, we were transported to the Tuan Chau Pier. There are a lot of travel agencies in Hanoi that you get to choose your favorite cruise based on your budget and preference. The room size and food may differ, their schedules are generally quite similar. As the cruise left the pier, we had lunch and then sunbathed on the roof-top deck.


Once we reached the Surprise Cave, we went ashore to explore the cave and then headed to the Ban Chan Beach for a dip. In the evening, the crew prepared cocktails for happy hour, and we learned how to make Vietnamese rice paper rolls. At night, we went squid fishing and lied down at the balcony of our suite and looked at the stars. The next day, we went kayaking after breakfast and visited the Vung Vieng fishing village before heading back to Hanoi.


In general, we saw and did a lot in two days and the weather was perfect. We truly saw the best of what Ha Long Bay had to offer, especially during sunrise and sunset.


Sapa, Vietnam

By Emily from Wander-Lush



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Sapa in far-northern Vietnam is beautiful at any time of year. Having experienced Sapa in July, I highly recommend it for travel during the summer months.


I first visited Sapa at the end of July, when I was living in Hanoi. Noticeably cooler than the capital, the northern mountains are the perfect place to escape for a few days and chill out. Sapa is a short van ride or overnight train from Hanoi, making it a very convenient retreat. Traditionally home to some of Vietnam’s ethnic minority groups including the Hmong, Sapa was developed as a hill station during the country’s time under French occupation. City dwellers would retreat to the lush mountains and valleys of Sapa for a break from the repressive Hanoi heat.


Sapa is popular with locals and expats during the ‘rainy season’ months; but tourists are far less likely to travel to Northern Vietnam at this time of year. Sapa is noticeably calmer as a result. You can get good low-season deals on accommodation and trekking packages, and find the Bac Ha market and other cultural attractions relatively quiet.


Sapa has become more touristy in recent years, but it still remains one of the best places in Vietnam (and the whole region) for trekking. Once you get out of Sapa town and into the villages, you’ll find glorious rice fields and rolling hills. In July, the wet season, everything is at its greenest and most verdant – another reason why summer is a great time of year to go. It is more likely to rain, but usually in short, heavy bursts in the late afternoon or early morning.


I recommend spending at least two nights in Sapa so that you can enjoy the landscapes the area has to offer. I highly recommend staying at a homestay so you can get to know the local culture better.


Orang-utan trek in the Sumatran jungle, Indonesia

By Becki from Meet Me in Departures



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In terms of wildlife experiences in Asia, not much pips seeing wild Orangutans in Indonesia. The two islands you need to put on your radar to do this are Borneo and Sumatra. Borneo always seems to be the obvious contender and probably the easier of the two to get to. However, if adventure is right up your street then I can 100% vouch for Bukit Lawang on Sumatra Island.


I chose this destination to do an Orang-utan trek based on what other travellers had said and also that it can be a bit of a challenge to get too. The nearest airport is Medan. Medan is a 4-hour taxi ride to Bukit Lawang or the best part of a day navigating a series of local buses. Because of the location, some travellers are put off – don’t be !


The UNESCO listed Gunung Leuser National Park is where the gentle giants reside. Initially set up as a rehabilitation in the 70s by two Swedish zoologists who took care of injured and orphaned Orang-utans, it’s a product of the nearby palm plantations. Bukit Lawang is a small village built on tourism. And the sole reasons for being there is to go on an Orang-utan Trek. The village is on a river and most of the jungle treks end with Tubing. Tours range from just day-trekking, one or two-night camping trips and full on jungle submersion over extended stays. The trips can be arranged and tailored to your own spec while you are there.


Because of the nature of rain forests, whatever time of the year you visit, including in summer, the likelihood of rain is going to be fairly high. However, it’s hot and humid so the cooling rain is well received. If you happen to spot an Orang-utan during a downpour, check out how adorable they are when they make ‘umbrellas’ out of leaves. An overall memorable adventure into the jungle that you won’t regret.


Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

By Erin from Never Ending Voyage



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July and August are the best months to visit Bali as the weather is cooler, drier, and less humid. The early mornings can even be pleasantly chilly—perfect for a walk in the rice fields or a sunrise yoga class.


Our favourite place in Bali is Ubud, a small town in the centre of the island. The scenery is just gorgeous—vibrant green rice fields, lush jungle, and even volcano views when the sky is clear. It’s more traditional than the beach towns in Bali and you’ll come across many offerings of flowers and incense left for the gods along the streets. If you’re lucky you’ll also see one of the frequent temple ceremonies where locals in traditional dress parade through the streets accompanied by traditional music.


The town centre is busy and touristy. So I recommend staying a little out of town where you can find many guesthouses or villas with pools and rice field views. There are many things to do in Ubud including classes in yoga, cooking, batik, jewellery-making, painting and more. You can visit nearby temples and waterfalls, brave the Monkey Forest, get a massage, visit an art gallery, or do a downhill cycling tour starting at the Mt Batur volcano. The food in Ubud is amazing and there’s lots of choice from simple warung (local restaurants) to fancy fine dining. It’s very vegan and gluten-free friendly with lots of healthy and raw restaurants.


The easiest way to get to Ubud is to fly into Ngurah Rai International Airport then get a taxi to Ubud, which takes 1.5 hours and costs 300,000 IDR ($21). I would stay at least three days, but you could easily spend much longer, especially if you want to create your own yoga retreat.


Nusa Penida, Bali, Indonesia

By Louis from The Northern Boy



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Do you lustfor amazing paradise islands, awesome culture and breathtaking beaches? Then, you need to visit the island of Nusa Penida in Bali, a backpacker’s paradise that every traveller needs to visit at least once in their life.


This island was a hidden paradise, until social media allowed the world to share the beauty that is offered on Nusa Penida. It is now a popular place to visit when staying in Bali, travellers usually visit here then head towards the Gili islands or opposite route.


You could spend a lifetime on this island, however, let’s be realistic. So you should aim to stay here for at least 3 days. This gives you enough time to visit all the best things to do on Nusa Penida. The island is not small compared to the Gili islands. It’s big enough to make driving around on a scooter all day very tiring. Whilst on the note about the scooter, this is by far the best way of getting around the island.


Nusa Penida has some of the most stunning beaches in Bali, so, let’s look at some of them. Kelingking secret point beach is one of the best beaches to visit in the world right now, you will have seen this whilst scrolling through social media. Broken beach is another stunning and unique beach, the rock formation is absolutely crazy. One for the Instagram! Nusa Penida is one of the number one destinations to visit in the world right now! It’s a backpacker’s heaven.


Luang Prabang, Laos

By Mervin from Pinoy Adventurista



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The UNESCO heritage town of Luang Prabang is a good starting point when traveling to Laos. Located at 700 meters above sea level in northern Laos, it was the royal capital of the country until 1975. Known for its many Buddhist temples, it is consdered as one of the “hidden wonders of Southeast Asia.”


Like most Southeast Asian countries, Luang Prabang in Laos experiences two seasons – wet and dry seasons. I visited Luang Prabang in July 2018 where we experienced days of heavy rains. When visiting Laos, always bear in mind that the rainy season in Luang Prabang typically happens from June to September, while the dry season falls between October to May.


Despite the rains, there are many attractions that you can visit and things to do in Luang Prabang such as visiting their intricately decorated temples and shrines, shopping at the night market, trying out the local food at the morning market, witnessing the daily alms giving ceremony along the streets of the town, climbing Mount Pho Si and seeing Luang Prabang from above. Due to heavy rains, some attractions cannot be enjoyed fully. Such as crusing along the Mekong River and swimming at the Kuang Si Waterfalls.


For me, the best things about visiting Luang Prabang during the rainy season are that the weather is quite cool and pleasant, the town is not crowded, restaurants are not full, and hotel accommodations are more affordable.


We really enjoyed our trip to Luang Prabang! I fell in love with its serene and quiet ambiance. Don’t miss to include Luang Prabang in your Indochina itinerary!


Before going, make sure to read what you should NOT do in Luang Prabang


Kanchanaburi, Thailand

By Fiona from Passport And Piano



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The province of Kanchanaburi, north of Bangkok, is one of my favourite destinations, particularly in the summer months.  While the temperature remains hot throughout the year, the rain begins to fall in July and August although it’s not the wettest month. This means that the waterfalls of Erawan and Soi Yai National Park begin to flow more substantially after the dry season and the lush green landscape looks vibrant in the surrounding jungle.


To reach the area, many tourists book a Bangkok Kanchanaburi tour, more often than not just for the day. However, a day is not enough if you want to really explore the area. You can easily catch the train to the province from Bangkok. There are two departures a day from Thonburi station, and the journey takes approximately two and a half hours.


There’s plenty to see, including the Bridge over the River Kwai which is the number one attraction here. My favourite place to stay is on the river near Nam Tok. Nam Tok is the station at the end of the Death Railway, and there are several floating bamboo houses that you can stay at close by. These floating river houses are simple, but they provide both a relaxing and restful place to stay. For me, there’s nothing better than unwinding on a bamboo raft and drifting down the river while admiring the breathtaking scenery.


Erawan Falls makes for a beautiful day out from Nam Tok, and you can cool down by taking a swim in any of the 7 pools. The water is a lovely turquoise colour, and the view from the 7th tier is magnificent. This time of year is an excellent time to walk the full length of Hellfire Pass as the temperatures are slightly lower in July and August, plus the rain keeps the humidity lower. The walk along the pass is both poignant and stunningly beautiful. There’s also plenty of temple caves throughout the province, and it’s worth visiting at least one if you’re in the area. I’d recommend at least 3 days in the Kanchanaburi Province, it’s the perfect country escape from the hustle and bustle of Bangkok.


Borneo, Malaysia

By Margarita from The Wildlife Diaries



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Lying off the coast of Malaysia, Borneo is the third largest island in the world. It is home to some of the world’s oldest rainforests inhabited by unique wildlife.


One of the best places to see Borneo wildlife up close is the lower Kinabatangan River, near the village of Sukau. There are a number of accommodation options on the river from the award-winning luxurious Borneo rainforest lodge to the rustic Kinabatangan jungle camp. But the main draw of Kinabatangan is the river cruises that bring you up close and personal to some of the most iconic wildlife of Borneo.


On my trips to the river, I have seen Orangutans, Borneo Pygmy Elephants, the odd-looking Proboscis monkey that occurs only in Borneo, four different species of hornbills, crocodiles, kingfishes and many other Borneo creatures. If you are a keen wildlife watcher, a night river cruise is a must. This is when you can see the more elusive wildlife. Buffy fish owls, Tarsiers, Slow lorises, civets, leopard cats are just some of the animals you can spot at night on Kinabatangan. And if you are lucky, you may even find the endangered Flat-headed cat.


One thing to consider when planning a trip to Borneo is that it is one of the wettest places on earth. It can rain anytime. And when it rains in Borneo, it really pours. But for your best chance of avoiding the tropical downpours, visit between June and August. A side benefit of visiting in the dry season is that it coincides with the flowering and fruiting season, which means that your chances of spotting wildlife will be higher.


If you’re curious about visiting rainforests, read about Kerstin hiked through the Ecuadorian jungle


Genting Highlands, Malaysia

By Anjali from Cheerful Trails



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Genting Highlands is a beautiful hilltop resort city and one of the most popular tourist attractions in Malaysia. With a pleasantly cool environment, scenic surroundings and gorgeous strawberry farms, this city is bestowed with nature’s best endeavours.


Genting Highland’s Resorts World Genting is famous for hosting the only legal casinos in Malaysia. In addition to this, the resort is home to a world class indoor theme park, gaming arenas, restaurants offering a variety of cuisines, spa centres, live shows and various shopping outlets.


The best time to visit Genting Highlands is March till September, when the temperature is the cool and there is very less rainfall. Your adventure starts right at the onset of your trip through Awana Skyway cable car ride which takes you from Kuala Lumpur city to Genting Highlands. The awe-inspiring beauty of the green valleys, forests and hills unfold before you and leave you mesmerized.


Once you are at the Resorts World Genting, participate in the plethora of entertainment activities. Some of the best activities are Ripley’s believe it or not, Snow World, Bowling Arena offering Glow in the Dark bowling after 6 PM, Jurassic Research Centre and Alive Museum showcasing 3D optical illusion arts. There is also a central arena hosting live shows which is designed based on New York City’s Times Square and has a replica of the Statue of Liberty. This arena has all the popular food outlets offering mouth-watering cuisines too.


Apart from Resorts World Genting, make a visit to the marvellous strawberry leisure farms, Arena of Stars – a musical amphitheatre, Sky Avenue Concept Mall or enjoy the cool climate at the green spaces which are closely located to the resort. You can easily send atleast a week at Genting Highlands and would want to come back for more.



By Christina from Travel 2 Next



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Macau is a Special Administrative Region of China (SAR) that can easily be visited as a day trip from Hong Kong. Even though it’s small, there are so many interesting places to visit in Macau  thatit would be worth spending a few days there or even a week. My favorite thing to do in Macau is to explore the Historic Centre of Macau, which is a World Heritage site.


A good reason to visit Macau in summer is that there are many vibrant festivals and a lively atmosphere of lion dances and festivities in the historic enclave. These festivals have parades, events and celebrations, that makes it a fun time to visit Macau. One such event is the Macau International Dragon Boat Race in June, which is so well-patronized it’s a public holiday in Macau. This is when teams race in wooden boats across Nam Van Lake.  The atmosphere is electric and filled with fun and good cheer. Also in June, in contrast to the noisy Dragon Boat Races, there’s the serene Lotus Festival, when key places in Macau such as the Taipa Houses Museum and Lou Lim Leoc Garden are decorated with colorful displays of lotus flowers.


There are also other festivals in Macao celebrating Chinese culture in summer such as the Feast of Na Tcha, when Na Tcha temple near the ruins of St Paul’s becomes a hive of activity, the Feast of Kuan Tai and the Feast of Hungry Ghosts.


Macao is growing so fast that it’s one of those places I enjoy going back to gawk at the newest attractions. Each year, new integrated resorts pop up and they get bigger and better each year. The Cotai Strip is well and truly living up to its label of “Vegas of the East”. And it’s fun to check out the dazzling developments, which include The Parisian’s Eiffel Tower, The Venetian’s reproduction of the canals of Venice and other themed attractions.


Alishan, Taiwan

By Mariza from Hoponworld



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Taiwan’s beautiful mountainous area, Alishan, ticks all the boxes for those looking to immerse themselves in nature.


The Alishan National Forest Recreation Area is undoubtedly the star attraction in Alishan and a popular go-to destination for outdoor enthusiasts. Strolling along misty forest trails lined with towering red cypress trees, catching one of the best sunrises in Taiwan, exploring hidden temples and hopping on the iconic little forest train are just a few of the amazing things to do in Alishan!


If you have a bit more time, drop by one of the small tea farming communities nearby, such as Shizhuo or Fenqihu. Apart from the rolling hills filled with tea plantations and rustic tea houses brewing up Alishan high mountain oolong tea, there are also a number of themed must-do trails through the tea plantations.


Alishan is not the easiest place to travel to in Taiwan, so it’s best to spend at least 2-3 days here to make the trip worthwhile. You can reach Alishan by bus or private shuttle bus from Chiayi. But, the two-hour journey follows a winding road lined with lush forests, towering bamboo stalks, and tea plantations… so, don’t forget to bring some medication along if you are prone to motion sickness.


Taiwan’s summers are hot and humid, but seeing that Alishan’s elevation ranges from 300 to 2600m, you will enjoy much cooler temperatures here. The best time to visit is during late summer as temperatures start to cool down islandwide and the typhoon season nears its end. But just a tip – always keep an eye on the local weather forecast before traveling to mountainous areas in Taiwan. Alishan is a great add-on to any Taiwan itinerary and an absolute must for nature lovers!


Taipei, Taiwan

By Constance from The Adventures of Panda Bear



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Every time I go to Taipei I’ve coincidentally visited in the month of August. But this is because the city is a great place for a quick summer trip. Though it’s more of an urban Asian destination, Taipei has a lot to offer in culture, food, and art.


A weekend in Taipei is definitely enough for you to get a taste of the city. You’ll be able to visit the main parts including Ximending, Taipei 101, National Palace Museum, Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall, and Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall. And don’t forget the night markets! Shilin Night Market is one of the most popular night markets in the city for its amazing street food. If you’re able to make the trip a long weekend, or even a 5 day trip, you’ll get a chance to explore areas near Taipei, including the fishing village of Tamsui, or further out to Jiufen or Shifen.


The best way to travel to Taipei is to fly to Taoyuan International Airport, located approximately 40km (or 25 miles) from Taipei City. It is Taiwan’s busiest and largest airport, serviced by major airlines including Air France, All Nippon Airways, Cathay Pacific, China Airlines, Emirates, EVA Air, United Airlines, and more.


During the summer, the weather can very warm and muggy. Also due to the island of Taiwan’s geographic location, it can be prone to typhoons. Keep in mind that typhoon season ranges from June until October, with typhoons commonly occurring during the months of August and September. However don’t be deterred by the storms, usually after the typhoon passes the city is back in operation, plus they’re not always severe enough where the most of the city is closed. Don’t let the weather discourage you, Taipei is an amazing destination for a summer trip!


Seoul, South Korea

By Marie from Be Marie Korea



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South Korea is not really known as a great summer destination, but nothing is less true. South Korea has so much to offer during the summer months, from stunning beaches to beautiful nature and the many outdoor night markets.


It gets quite hot and humid in Korea during the summer months, but it is also a great time to explore the many outdoor food markets. Along the Han River, in Myeongdong shopping street and in the many parks. All these places are easily accessible using public transportation like bus or subway. Apart from food night markets there are other great summer activities to do in Seoul like the outdoor swimming pools, the water gun fight festivals, colour runs, water sports and so much more.


Summer gets hot and humid, packing tshirts and shorts is highly recommended. In Korea it is not really accepted to show too much shoulders and chest, so make sure to wear appropriate clothes. Seoul is a major city with so much to offer, so it is recommended to stay at least 4 days. From Seoul it is also easy to go on some day trips to other places in the rest of the country. During summer it is recommended to visit some of the islands of the west coast like Muuido Island or go to one of the water parks like Caribbean Bay. You won’t see any Koreans wearing bikinis as they cover up with swim tshirts and shorts. If you do decide to wear a bikini, you will get stared at.



By Annalisa from Travel Connect Experience



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Summer is the preferred period to visit the Tibetan Autonomous Region in China, that we commonly refer to as “Tibet”. The main centers of the region lie on the Tibetan Plateau at about 3600 mt altitude. This makes the destination the perfect refugee for the travelers that are happy to wear a sweater in the evenings even from June to August.


Tibet is not as accessible as it was 10 years ago. To enter the main city, Lhasa, you need a travel permit, and to get around, you must be escorted from an official guide from a travel agency. You also need to have a general tourist visa for China. But the organizational hassle is worth the visit, even if you decide to do a 4-day tour of Lhasa, which is one of the most popular tours in Tibet.


It is a cultural experience to see the thousands of pilgrims that travel from remote places to the hub of the Tibetan buddhism. They devote themselves completely to practices like repetitive bowing, crawling around the pagodas, whirling prayer wheels and so on. Western buddhist has a lot to learn from the Tibetan locals in terms of devotion. In Lhasa and around, the highlights are the massive temple and monasteries: the Potala Palace and the Jokhang Temple (both Unesco heritage sites), the Drepung Monastery and the Sera Monastery (where it is possible to have a look at the morning ritual debates of the monks).


Another rewarding tour in Tibet is the 7 day tour from Lhasa to the Everest Base Camp (5000 mt altitude). This tour is a road trip that stops at the pristine sacred Lake Namtso and lets you enjoy the rough Himalayan landscape. If you want to travel further in Tibet, you can also join an organized trekking Tibet experience. The traditional pilgrimage route from Ganden Monastery to Samye Monastery is a 3 and a half day trek among Tibetan nomads villages, yaks and more wildlife immersed in an environment that looks like just one step away from the clouds.


Almaty, Kazhakstan

By Ellis from Backpack Adventures



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My favourite destination in Asia in summer is Almaty in Kazakhstan. While in South Asia the monsoon is raging and everywhere else it is heating up, Almaty offers plenty of opportunities to cool down with the snowcapped peaks of the Tien Shan visible from the city.


Almaty itself can be pretty warm in summer too, but it is easy to head out in the mountains to escape the heat. Medeu and Shymbulak are a popular way among the locals for some fresh air. From there you can make several hikes. From easy trails for beginners to more challenging multi day treks to high peaks.


Another popular destination near Almaty are the turquoise blue waters of Big Almaty lake. It is often frozen until April or May, but by June you can be sure to see the lake in all its glory with its deep blue colour and gorgeous setting.


If you have enough time at your hand there is more nature waiting for you. The red rock formations of the Charyn Canyon and countless lakes make for great daytrips from Almaty. This way you can easily spent a week here. June, July and August are the best months to go, because they offer the best weather at the higher altitudes.


Just don’t forget to explore the city itself. Almaty is an interesting and dynamic place. Its old Soviet heritage makes it great for those that love architecture and broad leafy avenues. However, it is also a young city ruled by a new generation with hip cafes and restaurants. There is always something to do in Almaty, especially in summer when everyone enjoys the great weather.


Riding the Karakoram Highway, Pakistan

By Marco from Monkey Rockworld



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One of the best trips one can take in Asia in the summer is riding a motorbike on the Karakoram Highway in North Pakistan. The Karakoram Highway is 1300km long and connects Pakistan’s capital Islamabad with Kashgar in Xinjiang Province, China. The summer months are just perfect to cruise on a motorbike along the highest motorable road in the world, enjoying perfect road conditions, seeing snow-capped mountains, while still having sunny days and fresh nights. Even the Khunjerab Pass, the Karakoram Highway’s final stretch into China, which ends with the highest international border in the world, is free of snow and at its best in the summer.


The Karakoram Highway starts near Pakistan’s capital Islamabad, but it doesn’t really become stunning until you reach Gilgit-Baltistan and the town of Gilgit. Most travelers come here by bus from Islamabad and rent a motorbike in Gilgit. Karakoram Bikers, with prices starting at PKR 1500/day, is a recommended tour operator I also used.


Real highlights on this route are turquoise Attabad Lake, which was born in 2010 out of a tragic landslide, and yet became one of Gilgit-Baltistan’s most visited sights. The viewpoint at Eagle’s Nest over Karimabad, with its two UNESCO-listed ancient forts of Baltit and Altit, is also unmissable. At last, the eerie rock formations outside Passu, that jut out of the scorched earth like the fangs of a stone dragon, are some of the most incredible sights in Central Asia.


The Karakoram Highway from Gilgit to Khunjerab Pass can be visited in a handful of days, but reserving a week allows for slower exploration and taking side trips to the Passu Glacier, and maybe the remote valleys of Shimshal and Chapursan. But one could easily spend weeks in this area, gaping at the otherworldly scenery, and being spoiled by the incredibly hospitable locals.


Pamir Highway in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan

By Erika’s Travels 



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The Pamir Highway is one of the world’s most stunning roads. Connecting Osh in Kyrgyzstan with Khorog in Tajikistan, it passes by soaring peaks, yak-studded valleys and glistening lakes.


The Pamir Highway boasts some of the most impressive scenery I’ve ever encountered. From the golden Valleys of Kyrgyzstan to the lunar landscapes, fertile valleys and abandoned forts of Tajikistan, a road trip through the Parmirs affords spectacular views at every bend. Along the way, it is possible to glimpse snapshots of life across the river in Afghanistan.


The Pamir Highway is a road trip for adventure seekers and nature lovers. The journey can take anywhere between four and twelve days, depending on number of stops. Due to its high altitude and harsh climate, the Pamir Highway is best explored in summer, when temperatures are warmer and the road is still passable. Those who visit the area in colder months runs the risk of roadblocks, landslides and inclement weather.


The Pamir Highway is a challenging destination to visit and tourist amenities are scarce. Most travelers visiting the Pamirs choose to hire an experienced driver and stay in family-owned homestays enroute. Along the highway, food and accommodation options are rudimentary and public transport is almost nonexistent.

The Pamir Highway is not designed for inexperienced travelers or those accustomed to luxury on the road. However, those willing to stray off the beaten path and brave a few discomforts, will be rewarded with unparalleled scenery and warm hospitality.


Munnar, India

By Helene from Masala Herb



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Munnar is South India is known for its greener than the green landscapes of tea gardens. The Indian summer can be relentless hot and Munnar, situated at 1500 meters above sea level, is the place you will want to frequent to escape the heat. This area is also known as the Nilgiri tea gardens and is situated in Kerala.


The best way to get there is to travel to Kochi by train or flight and then hire a cab or rent a car to drive from Kochi to Munnar. You will know when you are in Munnar because you will be crossing endless tea gardens on your left and right. The place is cool but not cold and the air is pleasantly fresh. A mist travels upwards across the tea gardens by 3 pm which turns the area into a mysterious magical place.


Travel to the valleys to unearth hidden waterfalls and spots. You can visit the tea garden museum to learn about the history and the making of tea. Some of the tea gardens are known to be the highest organic tea gardens in the world and this particular tea is quite different in taste, kind of light and I had the impression as if each sip was rich in oxygen. To get the most of Munnar, stay at least 2 days to explore the area. We stayed for about 5 days back in May when the Indian summer was taking over the rest of the subcontinent but Munnar has a lot to offer so you might enjoy some more time off there.


Ladakh, India

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The barren yet beautiful moonscapes of Ladakh, also known as the Land of High Passes, perched at an altitude of 3,500 metres attracts substantial visitors in India. Summer is the best time to visit the Ladakh region and visit the monasteries, nomadic communities and understand their mixed cultures, mostly Tibetan Buddhism. One can easily spot ancient Buddhist rock engravings and even visit the massive 17th century Leh Palace, modeled after the Dalai Lama’s former home – Tibet’s Potala Palace which overlooks the old town bazaar and zigzag lans.


The rugged terrain even attracts intrepid hikers and has some of the most spectacular hiking trails in India. From hiking the Stok range – the highest in the Ladakh region – or even taking on a stunning voyage via the Parang La trek to visit the wild villages of the Changtang region that was first settled by the Tibetan nomads.


And that’s not all to this place. Cycling or even biking on a Royal Enfield as you roar into the wilderness is one of the best ways to see some of the highest passes in the world. You get a kick from carrying whatever little belongings as you move on your own to towns and horizons that are often unheard of in this rugged landscape.


To get to Ladakh, Leh town, you can take an hour long flight from New Delhi via GoAir to skip the madness of the roads and hover over the Himalayas and its vast mountainscapes. But if you like adventure, you can opt to take the bus from New Delhi ISBT station, but it might take you 2 days to reach this high plateau due to landslides, bad roads and traffic.


Due to the cloud covers in this region where the Himalayas create a rain shadow, denying entry to any monsoon clouds, this places receives no rain, and mostly sunshine in the months of summer. The best time to visit is in July or August where the weather is cool ranging from 18 to 23 degrees.


Kerala, India

By Priya from Outside Suburbia



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Often called God’s own country, Kerala is a great place to visit in India during the summer months. One of our favorite places is Alleppey. Called the Venice of the East, it is a beautiful area with lovely lakes, beautiful lagoons, and freshwater rivers. The Backwaters of Kerala is a network of interconnected canals, rivers, lakes, and inlets formed by more than 900 km of waterways. These backwaters present a unique ecosystem where freshwater from the rivers meets the seawater from the Arabian Sea.


The best thing to do while visiting Alleppey (Alappuzha) is spending some time on a houseboat. While most people like to spend a day and stay overnight in a house boat, we like to go for a day trip. You can get there in under an hour from Kochi. This is a major city well connected by International flights, trains, and buses from other parts of India. If you are visiting during the 3rd week of June, you can see a thrilling event on the Pamba River in Alappuzha district, where boatmen in snake boats, compete for a trophy. You can combine your trip with a visit to tea estates and hills of Munnar. Or stay in a tree house near a lake in Thekkady. You can easily spend a week here if not more.


These 100-foot-long boats have been adapted into fully furnished houses ranging from one to four bedrooms. Most boats have open-air living rooms, AC in the bedrooms and western style bathrooms. Each boat also comes with a captain and a chef who will prepare fresh Kerala style meals. Whether you choose to spend the night or not, while on the houseboat you can enjoy the views. Taking in the scenery of lush greenery, coconut groves, small rice fields and see how people live on the backwaters.


Spiti Valley, India

By Suruchi from All Gud Things



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“Spiti” Valley, which means the middle land, is a land between India and Tibet. It is a cold desert mountain valley located high in the Himalayas in Himachal Pradesh, India. The journey to Spiti Valley brings you close to never-ending landscapes, ancient monasteries, gushing wide rivers, crystal clear lakes, snow-capped peaks, glaciers, and clear blue skies. In the valley, each carved mountain, treacherous roads, and innocent villagers have their own story to tell. The travelers get mesmerized by the beauty and plans to stay here forever.


There are two routes to reach Spiti Valley. One can enter from Shimla and exit from Manali or vice versa. We did a complete circuit, starting our journey from Manali and took an exit at Shimla. Route from Delhi: Delhi – Chandigarh – Mandi – Manali – Rohtang Pass – Gramphu- Kunzum La- Kaza – Tabo – Nako – Sangla – Rampur – Shimla – Chandigarh – Delhi.


The best time to do Spiti road trip circuit is between June and September. During this period, both Rohtang Pass (opens in May) and Kunzum Pass (opens in June) get functional. Around that time of the year, the day temperatures are around 5 to 6 degree Celsius. And the night temperatures can go as low as -2 to -3 degree Celsius.


In Spiti Valley, vistas change at every turn. So forget blinking your eyes or relaxing for a while, and be awake during the whole journey. Every place here seems like a must visit. But the top ones should be Kaza, Chandra Tal Lake, Kye Monastery, Hikim Village, Komic Village, Langza Village. As well as Lhalung Monastery, Tabo Caves and Monastery, Kumzum Pass, and Rohtang Pass. We advise you to spend atleast 10 days in the valley and for the same, check the detailed 10 days Lahaul Spiti itinerary.


Goa, India

By Rishabh from Gybsycouple



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Goa in India is known for its beaches and its casual vibe, but what the locals don’t share is its transformation to a green paradise in the months of June to September. The beaches close down. Most of the restaurants and entertainment establishments go into hibernation mode. And the sun plays peekaboo throughout the day. It might be summer in most parts of the world, but monsoons have set in here. And regular heavy showers are common throughout the day. However all of this is why it becomes such an amazing location to visit.


There are no tourists around and hotel rates are the lowest you can find across the year. Beaches are closed for their access to the sea. But open for long walks beside it with the cool monsoon breeze accompanying you. From our personal experience, this is incredibly romantic! The entire region becomes lush green and is incredibly soothing to the eye. Additionally, if you’re fond of adventurous activities like river rafting, hiking, kayaking etc, this is the best time of the year. We would recommend a hike to the Dudhsagar falls if you’re fond of waterfalls. It’s a hike with medium difficulty and there are several unofficial tours which take you there in this season.


Goa is well connected to international and domestic destinations via flights, train and road. Although we would recommend not travelling by road in monsoon as some patches might be in various states of disrepair during the season. Flights are generally reasonably priced from most domestic destinations in the country. And trains are usually the cheapest way to reach Goa.


Kasol, India

By Samantha from Intentional Detours



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If I had to pick just one Asian destination to visit this summer, Kasol, India would undoubtedly be it. Nestled below the Himalayas, Kasol is a magical, lush, green mountain town rife with epic views and relaxing days. I spent just over a week there last July sipping chai, visiting surrounding villages, walking along the Parvati River, and stuffing my face with the fried delicacy that is none other than the Mars Bar.


Being amongst the mountains, Kasol is frigid or dangerous to reach most of the year. But the months of June, July and August are the optimal months to visit. June will show out with clear skies and pleasant temperatures, making it a perfect time to go hiking or exploring. July gets a bit hotter. And by month’s end, the area is extra green as some mild showers start to hit. It truly looks like something out of a fairy tale!


To get to Kasol you have a few options. You can fly from New Delhi to Kullu, the nearest airport. You can also take a Volvo bus through the windy mountainous roads, or hire your own taxi. Or if you’re experienced with Indian roads, drive or bike it yourself!


I would recommend staying in Kasol at least a week, as there’s nearly half a dozen villages surrounding it that are worth a visit. This includes Malana – a remote, ancient town with a unique history. If you do make it to this little slice of paradise – enjoy it! Relax by the river, get lost in the villages. Connect with other travelers – and of course, revel in the distinct beauty of the Himalayas. While not the easiest place to get to, Kasol is well, well worth it.


Arugam Bay, Sri Lanka

By Danny from What’s Danny Doing?



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Arugam Bay, Sri Lanka, is an incredible place to visit in August. It’s situated on the south-eastern coast of the country and was one of the absolute highlights of my trip. This chilled-out stretch of coastline has something for everyone.


From lazy days spent soaking in the summer sunshine, and a plethora of bars and cafes to keep you occupied in the daytime, to raves at (the aptly names) Whiskey Point that last long into the early hours, there’s a lot to keep you occupied! Fancy a surf? Arugam has you covered there too. Indeed, people come from all over the world to enjoy the surfing opportunities there.


That’s not all though. Get out into the surrounding area to take in the breath-taking wildlife and views. A great option is to hire a moped to get yourself around. See some crocs through Panama Tank (around 15 minutes-drive away). Or head out to the Kumana National Park for a safari. Get to this beach-side paradise in a number of ways. Assuming you’re starting from Colombo, the easiest method is to grab your backpack and hire a van/taxi to take you the whole way. It’ll cost a little more, but will only take you around 6 hours, direct. By bus or train you can expect around 8-10 hours of cramped, sweaty (but cheaper) travelling!


Once you get to Arugam you could easily spend 3 to 4 days here. Any less and you’ll miss out on the fun. Any longer, and you may never want to leave!


Galle, Sri Lanka

By Claudiafrom My Adventures Across The World



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Without the shadow of a doubt, Galle is the nicest place to visit in Sri Lanka. Deciding when to visit is easier said than done, since Sri Lanka has two different monsoon seasons which imply regular heavy rains. August may be just as well. It’s hot, but the late evening rains give a bit of a break from the heat. And it’s not peak season so the city never feels crowded.


As opposed to most towns in the country, Galle is incredibly well kept and a real pleasure to explore. A colonial town, examples of its glorious past can be found in many places in the city. Yet, it’s Galle Fort – the historic center – that attracts most visitors. Inside, you’ll find a maze of narrow cobbled alleys and colonial mansions with beautiful and colorful gardens. The best attraction in Galle Fort is the ramparts, which go around most of it. Walking along is an absolute must. During the day, you’ll be able to spot kids playing in the sea right below, trying to escape the oppressive heat. In the late afternoon, locals and tourists alike gather there to admire the gorgeous sunset.


Along the ramparts you’ll find the beautiful lighthouse. This dates back to the 19th century, though a fire destroyed it and it was rebuilt in 1939. Another unmissable place is the Clock Tower, which was built in 1883.


One more reason to love Galle is that – once again in striking difference from other places in Sri Lanka – it is packed with art galleries, fantastic boutiques, and delicious restaurants an cafés. Make sure to spend at least 3 days to explore the city, the beautiful surroundings (you can easily go to Unawatuna beach) and to enjoy all the restaurants and cafés in town.


Of all these awesome Asian destinations, which one would YOU like to explore during your next summer trip ?

Or which other places in Asia do you think it’s good to travel to in summer ?

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Travelers - Storytellers

Travelers at heart, Mei and Kerstin have been roaming the world together since 2002. Expats for over a decade, they used to live in Bordeaux, Paris, Athens, and San Francisco. Now back in their country Luxembourg, they continue to travel whenever they can, despite their full-time job. Their travel stories are meant to make you leave your couch and explore the globe.

21 Responses

  1. larissa
    | Reply

    I love your post, very helpful
    some good idea if you want to go to Indonesia, and maybe you can visit another places besides Bali
    maybe you can read this open trip bromo ijen
    thank you 🙂

  2. melody pittman
    | Reply

    What a fantastic list! I haven’t been to Asia so I really enjoyed reading all of the entries and seeing which place looks best to me. Ha Long Bay for the UNESCO sites would be my top pick with Seoul being a close runner up. Thanks for the inspiration and adding a few new places to my already huge travel bucket list. 😉

    • Mei and Kerstin
      | Reply

      Thanks Melody! Ha Long Bay is so beautiful, even if it can get touristy and crowded. We loved spending a night on a junk boat and doing yoga on the upper deck at dawn! ❤️

  3. Carmen Edelson
    | Reply

    We’ve had sunny and beautiful weather so far in Indonesia! I’m currently on a cruise that left from Bali and sailing around the East Indonesian Islands. Vietnam is next on my bucket list for sure! Thanks for inspiring me.

  4. mohanaandaninda
    | Reply

    A comprehensive list and all very wonderful choices. And details, all such well researched details. Might I suggest the North Eastern parts of India too, Darjeeling, and Sikkim to be specific. Wonderful spots, perfect for the summer. And thank you so much for sharing 🙂

  5. 100cobbledroads
    | Reply

    All wonderful choices for a summer holiday in Asia. Vietnam seems very appealing to me at this moment as well as a journey along the Silk Route. But one does have the heat to contend with.

    • Mei and Kerstin
      | Reply

      Yes… the heat… we’ll travel along the Silk Route next month, so let’s hope it’ll be OK with the heat!!

  6. FS Page
    | Reply

    I am so happy to see so many Indian destinations in the list. It’s glad to know that travellers from outside like to visit these. I see a lot of Indonesia in the list too which I will be visiting next year. Already excited! Great listicle.

    • Mei and Kerstin
      | Reply

      Thanks! Hope you’ll like Indonesia when you visit next year. And yes, many foreign travelers like to visit India. Well, it’s a huge country with so diverse landscapes, right?!

  7. Snazzytrips
    | Reply

    So many fabulous places in Asia, your post is very comprehensive. I’ve only been to 3 of these places, Bali, Genting Highlands and Borneo. But would love to see some of the others, Vietnam and India in particular are definitely on my list. Thanks for the great suggestions.

    • Mei and Kerstin
      | Reply

      You’ll love Vietnam! It’s such an amazing country! So how did you like Borneo?

  8. trimmtravels
    | Reply

    I learned SO much reading your post. I was surprised the best time to visit Bali was in July/August. I would have thought it would have been the worst time. I didn’t know that in Seoul you needed to have shoulders and knees covered. Would never have guessed that! And I didn’t know Tibet had become more difficult to visit. You have to be led around by a tour guide, wow! I wonder why? I still hate I missed out on visiting Macau when I was in Hong Kong. I loved it there and want to go back. This is a fantastic roundup of when to visit Asia. Oh and I MUST have that photo of Nusa Penida and see the orangutans in Borneo!

    • Mei and Kerstin
      | Reply

      We also missed Macau when we visited HK a few years ago! Next time hopefully! And yes the orangutans in Borneo look amazing, don’t they?! 😉

  9. Karie
    | Reply

    This is such a great list of places. Being from India I have visited Munnar, Allepey in Kerala and Goa and they are perfect destinations for summer. I would love to visit Ubud and Bali in Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia and Sri Lanka. Thanks for sharing!

    • Mei and Kerstin
      | Reply

      Ubud sounds interesting right?! 😉 Is it expensive to travel to Southeast Asia from India?

  10. MY RIG Adventures
    | Reply

    Wow, so many great places to visit one day! I haven’t even been to one of those, although my Dad used to live in Macau for a while. Asia is so gorgeous and diverse.

    • Mei and Kerstin
      | Reply

      Yes Asia is huge and diverse! How long did your dad live in Macau? Too bad you didn’t get to visit back then… hopefully you get to explore some of these places soon. 😉

  11. sunsetsandrollercoasters
    | Reply

    Such amazing destinations. We can only travel during school breaks so our major holidays happen in July and August. I’ve never even considered travelling to Asia but the destinations in Malaysia and Indonesia look incredible! They’re definitely on the list for next year!

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