December Travel Guide for Southeast Asia

Here are our recommendations for where to go and what to do during December in Southeast Asia.

Thailand

Cool season in the north with daily highs of around 30°C/86°F. Temperatures in the mountains will be significant cooler so dress appropriately. Even at lower levels night-time temperatures can dip so you may need an added layer on your night out. Rainfall is uncommon.

The most popular time to visit Bangkok is during the cool season between when temperatures are still warm between 21°C/70°F at night and 33°C/91°F highs. December is the coolest month. This period also has low rainfall.

His Majesty the Late King’s Birthday, Bhumipol Adulyadej, is on 5th December. The day is a public holiday and the holiday is on the following Monday if the birthday falls on a weekend.

Peak season on Koh Samui is December to February when rainfall is low (around 30mm in February), up to 8 hours of sunshine per day with maximum temperatures around 30°C/86°F.

Peak season for the Andaman Sea resorts when the weather is at its driest and temperatures are coolest as well, with highs of 34°C/93°F and never getting below around 23°C/73°F at night. Sea temperatures are nice and warm. Any showers are likely to be short and heavy.

Constitution Day on 10th December celebrates the adoption of the country’s first permanent constitution in 1932. The holiday is on the following Monday if the date falls on a weekend.

Picture Chiang Mai, Thailand. Credit Flyingdog Travel

Malaysia

The weather on the east coast becomes windier and wetter meaning that many people avoid the area during this part of the year.

Over on the west coast islands the weather is almost perfect with drier and sunnier weather as peak season comes into effect.

Christmas Day is a national holiday celebrated each year on 25th December.

There are a number of regional holidays in Malaysia during December.

Picture Sabah, Malaysia. Credit Hugo D on Unsplash

Cambodia

Excellent weather throughout Cambodia with virtually no rain and comfortable temperatures. However the crowds start to return so popular attractions can start to get crowded at times.

Picture Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia. Credit Flyingdog Travel

Vietnam

Winter arrives in the north and temperatures at times can fall relatively low, so bring a jumper. Rainfall is low however.

December is the coolest month of the year with lows averaging below 20°C/68°F and average highs temperatures are still around 25°C/77°F. Still very much in rainy season and cyclones and significant flooding is possible until the middle of the month.

Finally dry season in the south and December tends to be the coolest month of the year, averaging daily highs of around 30°C/86°F, with lows around 22°C/72°F.

Picture Ha Long Bay, Vietnam. Credit Taylor Simpson on Unsplash

Singapore

There is not really a bad time to visit Singapore, December is one of the wettest months of the year as the Northeast Monsoon takes effect.

Christmas Day is celebrated in Singapore on 25th December, holiday on the 26th if Christmas falls on a Sunday.

Picture Super Tree Grove, Singapore. Credit Coleen Rivas on Unsplash

Indonesia

Rainy season is in full effect and it can be very wet for extended periods of time. Bali and the Nusa Tenggara islands have the best weather but still no guarantee of sun or that you will miss heavy rainfall.

Christmas is celebrated by the 25 million Christians in Indonesia and is a public holiday on 25th December (24th December 2021).

Picture Nusa Penida, Bali, Indonesia. Credit Ella Hanson on Unsplash

Philippines

Peak holiday season as rainfall, apart from in some eastern regions, is much lower and temperatures are very pleasant.

8th December is Immaculate Conception Day and is a national holiday.

Christmas Day is celebrated every 25th December.

Dr. José Rizal is a National Hero and 30th December is a national holiday to commemorate him.

The Philippines celebrate New Years and both New Years Eve and New Years Day are public holidays.

Picture Small Lagoon, Philippines. Credit Jules Bss on Unsplash

Laos

Very much dry season now and the chance of rainfall continues to decrease. Temperatures are still moderate making travelling and trekking very enjoyable.

2nd December is National Day which commemorates the creation of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic in 1975. Holiday on 4th December 2023.

Picture Thakhek, Laos


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