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Spring weather in Southeast Asia and the Indian Ocean

Where to find the best of the weather throughout Southeast Asia and the Indian Ocean in spring.

Spring is a great time to dive in the Philippines (image courtesy Shutterstock).


Cambodia

Expect hot and dry weather across the whole country in April which will make excursions to tourist sites such as Angkor Wat hard going.


It’s not an ideal time to go waterfall hunting as the country is very dry at this time of year. However, if you’re looking to hit the beach, head south to Sihanoukville and the islands, such as Koh Rong.


As April moves along, expect the odd tropical storm. Moving through May and into June, temperatures will remain high with rain spreading to the south coast and Cardamom Mountains. If you’re heading north, check road conditions before you go in case of flooding.


Indonesia

Bali enjoys drier weather this month with less and less rain as the month moves into May and then June. Temperatures are rising and dive conditions are good at this time of year.

In Nusa Tenggara, expect dry conditions with plenty of sunshine. Again, there are great diving conditions in Lombok, Gili islands and Komodo National Park. The blue skies and sunshine continue into May.


In West Papua and Raja Ampat there are more great diving opportunities in April and May. However, May does welcome in the southeast monsoon across Raja Ampat with rainfall in higher areas.


Laos

The heat is on in Laos in April - think temperatures as high as 40 degrees in some parts. However, expect a more agreeable 30 degree average in Vientiane and Luang Prabang. The country is very dry at this time of year which means river cruising is not advisable.


Wetter weather moves in towards the end of April with longer downpours in the south and by June, the rain has taken hold with short and sharp showers and temperatures in the mid- to high-20s. As a general rule, the higher you are, the wetter it is. If you’re looking for adventure in Vang Vieng, the waterfalls come to life at this time of year and the countryside turns lush and green. It is possible to travel around, but wet conditions will make more rural areas inaccessible.


Malaysia

The rainfall is low in Kuala Lumpur and the Cameron Highlands and on the east coast, such as Tioman Island and Perhentian Islands. The east coast is reaching peak season with little rainfall and great ocean conditions for snorkelling and diving.


However, Malaysia is a country of two halves and over on the west coast, including Langkawi and Penang, the southwest monsoon is bringing heavier rainfall, stormier seas and hot and humid conditions.


Maldives

Expect wonderful hot and sunny weather in April, although there may be a few showers by the middle of the month. Dry season begins to make way for the wet season and the humidity rises slightly. Water visibility remains good, so it’s a great month for diving.


The wet season officially begins in May and by June expect peak rainfall. However, there’s still a lot of blue sky and sunshine around and downpours can be short lived. Temperatures hover around the 30 degree mark and there’s plenty of sunshine (around seven hours) each day.


Philippines

April is one of the most popular times of year for a visit to the Philippines. Expect hot sunshine and great diving conditions in the holiday resorts of El Nido, Boracay, Mactan and Siargao.


The good weather continues throughout April and into May, but as the country edges towards June the rain makes a comeback, lowering temperatures slightly.


In June the wet season takes hold, starting in the north and working its way south. Flash flooding and landslides can occur so check before you head off on a trip.


As with everywhere else in southeast Asia, the rain turns the landscape lush and green and the Chocolate Hills of Bohol lose their brown hue.


Seychelles

The weather in the Seychelles remains fairly constant throughout the year. However, April is one of the hottest months with temperatures rising to around 32 degrees.


In May, winds blow in from the southeast with an accompanying drop in humidity. Temperatures remain around the 30 degree mark. This is a great month for diving with good visibility and lovely warm waters.


In June, temperatures drop slightly - think mid-20s - and as the wind picks up, surfers and windsurfers can be seen on the beaches.


Sri Lanka

Soak up the sunshine on the beaches on the south and west coasts, although seas can be rough and swimming is not recommended during May. This is also a good time of year to head inland to the Cultural Triangle and Tea Country as rainfall is very low.

Over the mountains on the east coast, the rain is clearing and May offers some good sunshine opportunities.


By June the summer monsoon has started to move in, so expect increasing wind and rain in western and southern coastal areas. It’s chillier up in the hills and the north and east coasts remain dry and bright.


Thailand

The heat is on in Thailand throughout April. It’s oppressive in Bangkok but slightly cooler and breezier if you head south, particularly to the east coast beaches. Dive visibility is great; see if you can spot the whale sharks at this time of year around Koh Tao and Koh Samui. While the east remains sunny, there’s more chance of showers on the west side, including Phuket, Krabi and Khao Lak.


Moving through May and into June, the weather remains reasonably good but with an increasing chance of rain. Temperatures hover around 30 degrees and the best of the sunshine is to be found on the east coast.


Vietnam

Temperatures rise in the north as the country heads towards summer. There’s some rain around as April moves into May. Walking conditions are good in April if you’re heading into the mountains around Ha Giang, Mu Cang Chai and Sapa.


Central Vietnam in April is sunny and blue - it’s a good time to enjoy the beaches around Hoi An and Nha Trang.


Down south in Ho Chi Minh, Ho Tram, Con Dao and Phu Quoc, expect hot temperatures and clear skies.


June is a bit of this and a bit of that - hot and dry in the centre while the wet season is beginning to bite in the south. If you’re hoping for a beach holiday, your best bet is probably the central coast areas including Hoi An, Nha Trang and Dalat. The south coast beaches will be a mixture of sun and showers. Hiking in the northern mountains is not recommended in June.


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