January Travel Guide for Southeast Asia

Here are our recommendations for where to go and what to do during 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, the date varies between January and February each year. Chinese New Year over the next few years is 1st February 2022 (Tiger), 22nd January 2023 (Rabbit), 10th February 2024 (Dragon) and 29th January 2025 (Snake).

Thailand

Generally lovely weather in all south coast destinations although some years the rainy season may just be creeping into the new year. Nice temperatures and a cooling breeze make January a popular month in beach resorts.

Bangkok tends to be dry and warm.

The north of Thailand is pleasantly cool (for Thailand) and dry making it a popular destination.

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.

Second Saturday of January is Wan Dek or Children’s Day with festivals throughout Thailand celebrating children and their future role in Thailand.

Picture Chiang Mai, Thailand. Credit Flyingdog Travel

Malaysia

Most of the country 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.

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

Picture Sabah, Malaysia. Credit Hugo D on Unsplash

Cambodia

January sees excellent weather throughout the month, temperatures are cooler than other times of the year but are still pleasantly warm and virtually no rain.

Temperatures can drop at night in the far north.

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.

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

Vietnam

Dry throughout most of the country 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 suitable beach destinations.

Vietnamese New Year is like a combination of Christmas, New Year and Easter in western countries. Dates are the same as Chinese New Year but the holiday will spread 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.

2023 21st to 27th January. 2024 9th to 15th February.

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

Singapore

Although there does not tend to be a bad time to visit Singapore, January is one of the wettest months of the year due to the Northeast monsoon.

1st January is celebrated as New Years Day in Singapore. If it falls on a Sunday the public holiday is on the next Monday.

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

Indonesia

One of the wettest months in Indonesia and rain, often very heavy, can be expected in most areas. Temperatures tend to average in the mid to high 20°C range.

There is generally less rain in Flores, Sumba and Nusa Tengarra.

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

Philippines

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.

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

Dry and comfortable temperatures mean that January is peak weather time in Laos. Temperatures are higher in the south of the country.

New Year’s Day is a holiday in Laos. 1st January (2nd January 2023).

Picture Thakhek, Laos


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