Southeast Asia in December: A thorough guide for your ideal holiday escape

Southeast Asia in December

As the calendar flips to December, Southeast Asia transforms into a captivating destination for those seeking to embark on Asia travel. Shedding the heat and humidity, Southeast Asia in December unveils its most pleasant weather, creating an ideal setting for a memorable winter escape.

1. An overview of the weather in Southeast Asia in December

As you plan your Asia travel itinerary, December emerges as the prime month for exploring Southeast Asia considering Asian weather. Southeast Asia in December offers the most favorable weather conditions, characterized by rain-free days and cool temperatures. However, it’s crucial to note that island countries like Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia experience their rainy seasons in December.

Southeast Asia predominantly witnesses two seasons throughout the year: the rainy season and the dry season. The equator-aligned tropical rain belt influences the tropical and subtropical climate, resulting in hot and humid conditions for most of the year. Notably, the only two subtropical regions in Southeast Asia with a cold winter are found in Northern Vietnam and the Myanmar Himalaya.

Southeast Asia in December

Southeast Asia in December marks a comfortable month for travel, free from the concerns of rain and heat. The weather conditions are especially conducive to enjoying a range of activities. Whether you fancy a day on the sunny beaches or a trekking adventure through the jungles, Southeast Asia beckon with sunny days and cool nights.

Here is an overview of the average temperature in Southeast Asia in December:

  • Thailand: 31°C – 33°C
  • Vietnam: 26°C – 29°C
  • Laos: 29°C – 34°C 
  • Cambodia: 30°C – 33°C
  • Indonesia: 27°C – 30°C
  • Myanmar: 24°C – 31°C

>>> Check out our suggested Southeast Asian travel itinerary!

2. Is it recommended to travel to Southeast Asia in December? 

Embarking on a trip to Southeast Asia in December is a resounding yes! This month presents an unparalleled opportunity for a Christmas holiday like no other. While much of the world experiences freezing temperatures, Southeast Asia in December promises perfect weather with sunny blue skies and refreshing cool breezes.

The allure of spending Christmas in Southeast Asia lies in the contrast between basking in the sunshine while witnessing festive decorations and light shows in major tourist hotspots. With over 640 million friendly neighbors to choose from, deciding on your next destination becomes a delightful challenge.

Southeast Asia in December

In this diverse region, where Buddhism and Hinduism dominate, Christmas is particularly significant in the Philippines, where around 90 percent of the population is Christian. Despite being a minority religion in other countries like Vietnam or Thailand, the Christmas spirit is warmly embraced, making Southeast Asia in December a fantastic destination for the festive season.

Moreover, December hosts a myriad of festivals across Southeast Asia. Here are some prominent December Asian holidays:

  • Hmong New Year – Laos, Vietnam, and Thailand: A unique celebration for the Hmong people, this New Year event varies each year based on rice harvesting times. Lasting over six weeks, it features traditional performances and activities, providing a chance for singletons to meet their prospective spouses.
  • River Kwai Bridge Week – Kanchanaburi (Thailand): Commemorating the world-famous River Kwai Bridge, this week sees cultural performances, folk dances, and a carnival atmosphere in Kanchanaburi. Historical exhibitions shed light on World War II history here, with a captivating light and sound presentation.
  • Christmas (or Hari Natal) in the Philippines: Although Christmas is not officially celebrated across Southeast Asia, parts of the Philippines, East Timor, and Indonesia host traditional Christmas celebrations (Hari Natal) among their large Christian populations.

Southeast Asia in December

>>> Discover some popular Asian tours!

3. The best places to visit in Southeast Asia in December

3.1. Vietnam

Where to go in Asia in December? December is a splendid time to explore Vietnam and partake in the atmospheric Christmas and New Year celebrations here. Vietnam temperature in December is also mild with dry weather.

So, where to go in Vietnam in December? A quintessential Vietnam travel should encompass the charismatic Hanoi, the picturesque Ha Long, the relaxing Hoi An, the bustling Ho Chi Minh City, the vibrant Nha Trang, and the beautiful Phu Quoc. In these destinations in December, you can feel the festive atmosphere in major tourist hotspots, which are adorned with sparkling light decorations and glittering Christmas trees.

To enhance your Vietnam experience, consider exploring the accommodation services offered by Vinpearl‘s hotels and resorts. Vinpearl also boasts world-class amenities, including rejuvenating spas, delectable restaurants, and much more. 

Southeast Asia in December

To add an extra layer of excitement to your December getaway, come to the entertainment paradise of VinWonders. This system of entertainment complexes, synonymous with fun and adventure, awaits your discovery. 

>>> Book rooms in Vinpearl Phu Quoc, Vinpearl Nha Trang, Vinpearl Resort & Golf Nam Hoi An, Vinpearl Resort & Spa Ha Long for a pleasant stay in Vietnam!

3.2. Thailand

Thailand is one of the cheapest countries to travel in Asia, an ideal destination for many visitors. Thailand in December beckons with a daily temperature averaging from 23°C to 29°C, offering typically rain-free days for Christmas celebrations with family. 

First-timers will be enamored by the bustling city life of Bangkok. Another option is to delve into the local culture in Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai. Or, you can seek tranquility on Thailand’s stunning islands, like Phuket with its abundant beach activities and Koh Samui with its tranquil vibe.

Despite Thailand’s predominantly Buddhist population, the holiday spirit comes alive in December, with shopping malls dazzling visitors with gorgeous decorations and displays.

Southeast Asia in December

3.3. Cambodia

Where to travel in Asia in December? Like other countries in Asia, December graces Cambodia with cool temperatures and dry weather, which provides an excellent backdrop for exploration. Some famous destinations include Siem Reap, where you can marvel at the majestic temples of Angkor Wat. Couples can take a romantic sunset boat trip, while families with teenagers can enjoy a thrilling quad bike ride. Beyond Angkor Wat, consider venturing to Cambodia’s capital city, Phnom Penh. Here, you can participate in a blessing ceremony conducted by the local monks.

3.4. Indonesia

Among Indonesia’s many popular islands, Bali stands out as one of the best places to go in Asia in December. This island boasts breathtaking natural scenery with its stunning beaches. December brings light rain, but it doesn’t deter tourists from gathering on the island for the Christmas festivities. Bali is truly a haven for beach lovers, offering opportunities for surfing, swimming, or simply sunbathing. 

Furthermore, Indonesia’s rich cultural heritage is prominently displayed in the central Java region, where the magnificent Borobudur Temple, the world’s largest Buddhist temple, stands tall. For a mesmerizing experience, visit Borobudur early in the morning to witness the sunrise over this ancient monument.

Southeast Asia in December

3.5. Laos

December graces Laos with pleasant weather, characterized by lower humidity and little to no rainfall. Luang Prabang takes center stage as the captivating centerpiece of any journey to Laos. The town seamlessly weaves together traditional culture and architecture. It is a must-visit destination for those seeking the splendor of Indochina. All in all, Laos is an ideal answer for people curious about where to go in Asia in December.

>>> Explore the best countries to visit in Asia!

4. Helpful tips for your trip to Southeast Asia in December

Southeast Asia in December offers a tempting escape from the gloomy winter, beckoning travelers to vibrant islands and sensational bays. Here are some essential tips for your visit to these Asian destinations.

What to pack: 

  • Southeast Asia in December is warm during the day and chilly at night. Therefore, pack lightweight clothing for the day and jackets for the evening. 
  • Remember to carry essentials like sunscreen, water bottles, and insect repellent.
  • Bring an umbrella to use against unexpected showers.

Southeast Asia in December

What to eat: Southeast Asia has many signature dishes that vary between countries.

  • Vietnam: Pho – rice noodles with a delicious broth, served with basil leaves, bean sprouts, and lime wedges.
  • Thailand: Pad Thai – stir-fried rice noodles with egg, bean sprouts, and shrimp, topped with ground peanuts.
  • Indonesia: Nasi Goreng – fried rice with sweet soy sauce, served with a sunny-side-up egg.

Customs: If you are a first-timer in Southeast Asia, familiarize yourself with these customs to avoid culture shock.

  • Public displays of affection, like hugging or kissing, are uncommon in most Southeast Asian cultures, so it’s advisable to avoid them.
  • Thai people hold their monarchy and religion in high regard. Show the utmost respect especially when it involves the royal family. Avoid any disrespectful behavior, such as drawing on currency notes with royal portraits.
  • Always wear proper attire when visiting temples or you may not be allowed to enter. This simple gesture shows respect to the local traditions.

Southeast Asia in December

Southeast Asia is where winter embraces the region with open arms. Southeast Asia in December promises an unparalleled experience for those seeking warmth, adventure, and a touch of magic during the holiday season. So, come revel in festive celebrations, explore diverse landscapes, and create timeless memories in this enchanting part of the world.

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