Picture Bangkok, Thailand credit Geoff Greenwood on Unsplash
Travel to Southeast Asia in early 2022 is starting to look more promising as the worldwide Covid-19 vaccination programme starts to gather pace.
We have the first indications that international borders are starting to reopen.
Thailand starts to reopen without quarantine, for vaccinated travellers, in Phuket from July, in five further provinces from October and throughout the country from January 2022.
Bali is hoping to reopen from July this year and there are hopes that other countries including Singapore and Malaysia will have relaxed restrictions by the start of 2022.
Here is the first in our series on the best places to travel in Southeast Asia.
Holidays in January
1st January is celebrated in many countries especially in areas with high numbers of western tourists.
Chinese New Year is celebrated in many countries in Southeast Asia, the date varies between January and February each year. Chinese New Year in 2022, the year of the Tiger, is 1st February.
Vietnamese New Year (Tet) is like a combination of Christmas, New Year and Easter in western countries. Dates are the same as Chinese New Year but the holiday spreads over an extended period. In 2022 Tet (the year of the Tiger) holidays are 31st January (Tet eve), 1st February (Tet), 2nd February, 3rd February and 4th February.
Victory Day is a national holiday in Cambodia, celebrated every 7th January to commemorate the fall of the bloody Khmer Rouge regime that committed genocide on millions of Cambodians.
Best Places to Stay in January
An excellent time to visit Thailand with all areas experiencing excellent weather although the rainy season in southern areas can sometimes spread into January.
Average daily temperatures range from 21.5°C (70.7°F) in Chiang Mai (which can get cool in the evening) to 28.1°C (82.6°F) in Phuket and Khao Lak. Bangkok tends to be dry and warm.
In Cambodia the weather is excellent throughout the month, temperatures are cooler than other times of the year but are still pleasantly warm and virtually no rain. There is a risk of temperatures being cool overnight in the far north.
Dry throughout most of Vietnam although temperatures vary widely from hot temperatures in the south to cool in the north. The far north can be quite cold, especially at night. Central areas become more pleasant and beach destinations are stating to get busier.
Dry and comfortable temperatures mean that January is peak weather time in Laos. Temperatures are higher in the south of the country.
Most of Malaysia will be experiencing sunshine and dry weather although it will be hot and humid with short, tropical showers possible in the afternoon. The east coast will be wet and windy however.
An excellent time to visit the Philippines with very little rain and pleasant temperatures in most areas although they can exceed 30°C in the south.
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