Month by Month Recommendations for Your Asia-bound Holidays with Secret Retreats
*Spoiler alert: Really, when it comes to Asia, there’s never a bad time to visit.
From the spectacular fall foliage of Japan to wonderful wildlife safaris in Sri Lanka and the magnificent and almost otherworldly mountain scenery of Ladakh, Asia is a continent full of wonder. When it comes time to choose an Asian destination from so many fantastic options however, the seasons can be a great way to create your dream Asia-travel shortlist.
From the highest mountains in the world, the Himalayas, to the barely above sea-level islands of the Maldives, Asia’s variety of environments and climates ensures that travel is possible to this fascinating part of the world 365 days a year. Whatever your style of travel, or preference in holiday activities, Asia really has it all. And all year round.
Over 2 newsletters, the team at Secret Retreats are sharing with you our shortlist for travel ideas throughout the year in a month-by-month format. Starting in this newsletter with the 6 months from January through June. Here are our recommendations for your Asia travel shortlist for each month. Enjoy!
Siem Reap – Cambodia
Choosing the perfect time to visit Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, can be a bit tricky as without careful planning you can end up with rain and muddy temple grounds or very hot and sunny weather with crowds of tourists filling your camera lens.
January is our pick of the months to visit Siem Reap. With the lowest rainfall, lowest humidity and lowest temperatures in December and January, blue skies are also guaranteed.
And thanks to the cooler temperature making long days exploring one of the world’s wonders, Angkor Wat, far more comfortable, although lunch time shade is still most welcome. Angkor Wat has been attracting travellers to marvel at its beauty and complexity for centuries but timing your visit for a January stay can also miss the crowds too. Plan your trip with the Secret Retreats concierge’s assistance and ensure those enigmatic Tomb Raider – Indiana Jones style photos without tourists crowding in the backdrop.
Luang Prabang – Laos
If you plan to travel to the mountainous north of Laos, dry days and cool temperatures make February an ideal month for trekking this region. And pack for cool nights as temperatures can drop at night and warm clothing is still recommended. In February, Luang Prabang experiences a pleasant, moderate climate with daytime temperatures averaging 24°C and nights, especially in the hills, dropping by 10 degrees or more.
Laos, and Luang Prabang and Northern Laos in particular, epitomize the philosophy of Slow Life. The eternal and spiritual UNESCO World Heritage town of Luang Prabang still lives today to the rhythm of its Buddhist monasteries. Witness the famous daily Alms Ceremony, explore the many sights and temples of the town and take a lazy cruise on the Mekong, there cannot be a more perfect time to do it than in February. You can complete your journey with an extension in Siem Reap or Bangkok.
Sabah – Malaysia
Malaysia is a tropical country with a rich culture and even richer natural landscapes. If you’re looking for grand adventures in the great outdoors, then head to Sabah in March where some of the best retreats in Malaysia to enjoy the incredible natural scenery await you. A land for curious travellers in search of adventure both at sea and in the jungle, a stay in Sabah makes for a trip of a lifetime for lovers of the natural world. Head to the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Kinabalu National Park to climb Southeast Asia’s highest mountain, Kota Kinabalu. Local experts generally recommend the months of March to September to walk the mountain trails or make a climb to the peak. After climbing or trekking take some time to relax either beachside on the delightful Manukan Island or at the hot springs within Sabah’s pristine rainforest. Witness local traditions and customs, shop for traditional handicrafts and taste the local cuisine. All these unique experiences and more await you!
Ladakh – India
Ladakh’s Spring, from April to June, is the time when its famous apricot trees burst into bloom and the valleys come alive with their beautiful pink flowers. The blooming display starts from the end of March through April but it varies with altitude.
The temperatures are most pleasant, ranging between 15 and 20°C during the day. Occasionally you can still see some snowfall in April but only at higher altitudes, above 4,000 metres.
Ladakh is renowned both for its stark almost otherworldly mountain scenery, and the unique culture of the region. And there can be no better way to experience this rugged and untamed region than touring with Secret Retreats to explore the variety of landscapes from valley floor to high mountain pass while staying in unique accommodation from the palaces of the Ladakhi royal family to traditional houses set within Ladakh’s famed apricot orchards. Take in the Himalayan scenery, visit ancient Buddhist monasteries, marvel at the breathtaking Himalayan panoramas, and visit local villages to see and learn about the traditional lifestyles of the Ladakhi people. For a guided Ladakh experience in one of most unique places in India, look no further than Secret Retreats.
Darjeeling – India
May in the Himalayan foothills of Darjeeling is just about perfect holiday weather for visitors to the region. Falling between the first flush and second flush tea harvests, temperatures range between 10 and 20°C, perfect weather for enjoying the outdoors during the day and swapping stories by an open fire during the cool evenings.
Join Secret Retreats on a magnificent escape to the best Darjeeling experiences. The town is nestled amongst the magnificent Himalayan mountains, with the snowy peaks of Mount Kanchenjunga – India’s tallest and the world’s third tallest mountain at over 8,500 metres high – towering in the distance. Darjeeling is a historic Victorian British colonial hill station in the Indian state of West Bengal. Known around the world for its tea plantations, the Darjeeling hill station was originally developed by the British in the mid-19th century as an escape from the summer heat. Today, the region still holds onto its refreshing charm, lush vistas and exotic appeal. We recommend taking a ride on the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, a UNESCO World Heritage-listed miniature, the much loved ‘toy train’ chugs its way through the incredible scenery, a not to be missed activity. Stay at a family-owned tea plantation and sample some of Darjeeling’s world-renowned tea, explore local temples, visit museums and monasteries, and immerse yourself in the vibrant local culture and stunning natural beauty of this region, with a cup of the world’s best and most refreshing beverage always close to hand of course.
Bali – Indonesia
Spread over a vast expanse, the 17,000+ islands of Indonesia span one-eighth of the earth’s circumference running east from North Sumatra more than 3,300miles to Irian Jaya in Papua New Guinea. Crossing or close to the equator Indonesia’s climate is tropical with temperatures fairly even throughout the year from average lows of the mid 20s°C to average highs in the low 30s°C. And two seasons, where for most of Indonesia the dry season falls between May and October and the wet season between November and April.
For a visit to Bali the best time is generally during the summer months of June, July and August when the weather is perfect for beach life, mountain or volcano treks, water sports and exploring the villages and forests of Bali off the beaten path. Bali is also renowned as one of the world’s top destinations for many watersports, from kayaking to surfing to snorkeling and diving. Favourable boating and diving conditions can be enjoyed in other parts of Indonesia in June with the Komodo National Park and the Gili Islands really not to be missed.
Additionally, Indonesia has to be on one of the best places in the world to take a private yacht charter or cruise. You can expect clear, warm waters and incredible reef and marine life. Or perhaps you are just looking for simple relaxation in a tropical paradise to unwind from the pressures of life and work. Bali, the island of the Gods is an island rich in fascinating cultures and traditions, stunning natural beauty, and an Indonesian holiday paradise where the Secret Retreats concierge is ready to plan for you the essential Indonesian experience.
By booking directly with Secret Retreats you can travel easy, safe in the knowledge that our professional teams on the ground in each of our Asian destinations are there to support you. Giving you the peace of mind that is so essential when travelling in today’s fast changing world. Contact our concierge to plan and book your Asia holiday now!