Winter in Southeast Asia
September 18, 2006 9:14 AM   Subscribe

Southeast Asia in January + February: too cold/rainy?

I'm considering a trip to Thailand, Vietnam and Laos during Janurary and February. While outside the Fall monsoon period, some pages say it is too rainy from the winter typhoons. And how cold is Winter in that region in general?

Any first-hand advice?

Thanks, AskMeFi
posted by cgs to Travel & Transportation (5 answers total)
Hanoi is effing freezing from mid-December to the end of January. It is amazingly weird in my experience in that region of the world and I've 2 winters there. It is the best time to be a walking tourist.

The rest of the year it's the 'regular' tropical hot and steamy, but it can get down to 10deg C (50F) in the winter --- I was there xmas night 2003 when it got down to 8deg C, the coldest temp in Hanoi in 20 years. That weather pattern holds for the rest of North Vietnam and obviously the mountain regions are cooler anyway.
posted by peacay at 9:28 AM on September 18, 2006

Technically I don't think SE Asia has a winter, as it's tropical; just rainy season (divided into very wet and not so wet) or not rainy season. If I recall correctly from my time there, anywhere not too high up is certainly warm enough for fun, though I wasn't in north Vietnam at that time of year. From memory, I think you'd generally be happy in Thailand, Cambodia, most of Vietnam, and probably Laos. It's certainly nice to be there off-peak, and you'll find the January/Febuary rain quite easy to avoid, as it's usually discrete downpours. Something like the Lonely Planet guide will have actual temperature and rainfall data, or just look around the web, but I was around the area for a good while, and the temperature and rain never seemed like a big deal.
posted by MetaMonkey at 11:44 AM on September 18, 2006

I was in Thailand in mid January 2005 for only 4 days but the weather was great. Warm, even hot, and not rain once. This was in Bangkok... YMMV...etc.
posted by shokod at 2:08 PM on September 18, 2006

Average weather conditions for Vientiane, Laos. Doesn't look particularly cold in Jan/Feb, and there's next to no rain. Ditto for Bangkok. It's a different story in Hanoi, though - cold with lots of rain.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 6:44 PM on September 18, 2006

I travelled from Hanoi, through Vietnam, into Cambodia and over into Thailand in late January / Early February 2005. Pretty much everywhere was pleasant to Goddamned hot.

There was very little in the way of bad weather, and it was a really great trip.

Hanoi wasn't cold and didn't have lots of rain the week or so I was there. But then again, that was a week out of however long that season lasts. Definitely go to Hanoi though, regardless of the weather, because it's a pretty damn incredible city.
posted by taschenrechner at 7:49 PM on September 18, 2006

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