best place to go in asia during august?

Old Feb 22nd, 2006, 07:50 PM
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best place to go in asia during august?

Hi there! I'd like to take a trip to Asia for 10-14 days during August. I originally wanted to go to Thailand, but I've read that it's too rainy and muddy to trek through Chiang Mai in August.

Soooo, I was wondering what kind of itinerary the experts here would recommend. My husband and I enjoy variety: culture, adventure, outdoors, and even *a little* beach time.

Thanks so much!
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Old Feb 22nd, 2006, 07:55 PM
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my friends worked in mongolia and they loved it. they also said its a great place to be in during august. A lot of asia will still be humid and hot (take mossie repellant)
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Old Feb 22nd, 2006, 08:37 PM
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Yes the monsoon will be moving through parts of north SE Asia so places like Thailand, Vietnam and even parts of China like Beijing can be quite rainy.

If heat is OK with you, most of Indonesia is great in August esp Bali. Virtually no rain in those places.

The east coast of Malaysia is also wonderful, a chance of rain, but great beaches, and personally I think watching the black and purple clouds boil up for a late afternoon thunderstorm over the gorgeous seas with the little islands rising out of them is kind of wonderful. Doesn't last long either. If you stay further south like no further than Mersing you are better off, the further north you go closer to Thailand the better chance of rain (although statically Hua Hin and Koh Samui have little rainfall in August so go figure). You could combine beaches with time inland in a national park like Tama Negara. The island of Kalimantan (i.e. Borneo) gets the least rain in the summer months that it gets most of the year, so it is good time to go there. Some good walking there, even in heat, and you can climb Mt Kinabalu, not a hard climb and you do most of it before sunrise anyway.

If you want to escape heat, consider Bhutan or places in the hills of India like Ladkah. Both are great for trekking, although I think you may still have rain issues in August, esp in Bhutan, do some checking. I think I would choose Bhutan over India mostly because I would avoid India in August generally as it is so hot, and would save India for another trip in cooler weather.

Consider northern Japan for cool, don't know about rain patterns there or beaches.

Take a look at for the various countries you would be interested in. A place like Singapore which is pretty much the same weather all year will be hot and a bit rainy but not bad at all, the worst months are November to Feb.

Mongolia is actually fairly rainy in August according to, but it is relative at 3 inches, that is about what London gets in the winter months.

I would avoid Hong Kong, its typhoon time and really the rainy season. We get 14 INCHES that month on average, and it is REALLY hot and humid. I would avoid Phuket. Bangkok is a toss up as it will be rainy but no typhoons and if you are early in August you will avoid the heavier rain which comes in September.
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Old Feb 22nd, 2006, 08:45 PM
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Bali has everything you are looking for and the weather is awesome in August. with two weeks, you could spend a few days at the beach, a few days in the eastern area of Bali and do some hiking there, then some time in the Ubud area where you can get as much cultural experience as you want. If you do a search on Bali here, you'll find lots of great information, including our trip report from last year - we did hands on learning of batik, wood carving, cooking, dancing, music, painting among other cultural things...
For some ideas of what you can see and do and experience in Bali, has a very comprehensive website which outlines tours, courses and sightseeing...and incidently it is where we stayed and will stay next time.
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Old Feb 22nd, 2006, 09:35 PM
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thanks for the informative responses!
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Old Feb 23rd, 2006, 12:39 AM
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Weather patters 'do' vary a great deal, like anywhere, as far as Thailand is concerned these show you some of the variations ( these are in inches per month average ) rainfall:-

For: May/Jun/Jul/Aug/Sep

Bangkok: 7.5 / 6.0 / 6.2 / 7.4 / 12.6
Chiang Mai: 6.0 / 5.3 / 6.6 / 8.9 / 9.9

Phuket: 13.7 / 8.4 / 10.4 / 10.3 / 16.5
Samui: 6.9 / 5.3 / 5.7 / 5.6 / 7.6

Pattaya: 6.3 / 4.4 / 4.6 / 5.1 / ?

Hua Hin: 4.3 / 3.1 / 3.1 / 3.5 / 5.4

Kanchanaburi / River kwai area:
6.0 / 3.2 / 3.7 / 4.0 / 8.6

So in August:
Bangkok 7.4
Chiang Mai 8.9
Phuket 10.3
Samui 5.6
Pattaya 5.1
Hua Hin 3.5
River kwai 4.0

So, if you were choosing Thailand you could do your elephant treks/jungle/river raft and kayak etc around Kanchanaburi and River Kwai area which is just a couple of hours from Bangkok and for beach time keep around the north of the Gulf of Thailand area, e.g Koh Chang south east from BKK for tropical island quiet or you can head south along to the coast to Hua Hin along coast a couple of hours by cab, also pranburi and then you could continue down to Koh Tao island for diving.

A route ideas to mix city with jungle plus some beach, diving and then lively beach could be:

BKK - River kwai ( couple of hrs road ) for jungle trek, river kayak and river rafts ( you can even stay on a/c river raft accommodation or along the riverside in nice places )
River Kwai - Hua Hin ( 3 hrs road ) for beach plus temples / history and rural Thailand
Hua Hin - Koh Tao Island ( 3 hrs road plus 1.5 hrs boat ) for snorkeling or scuba
Koh Tao - Samui ( couple of hrs boat )

Fly back from Samui to BKK 1 hr 10 / 1 hr 30.

Getting from place to place by car+driver is easy, comfortable and cost efficient, there are great advatages in having a porter load your baggage, sit back in a/c comfort and arrive at destination hotel in a few hours for portter to take bags to room, cuts out all airport check ins and transport either end etc etc.

You can also train BKK to Kanchanaburi and if quiet adventurous train Kanchanaburi to Hua Hin ( 1 change on route ).

So it 'is' possible to do/see all you want without worry about much rain.
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Old Feb 23rd, 2006, 12:57 AM
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here are some ideas of treks and soft adventure in and around Kanchanaburi / river Kwai

If you end trip on Samui you can add a few days on a 'lively' tropical island.

During Augusts hotel rates are much lower ( except Samui where it's a peak time ), this is more to do with Europeans tending to stay in Europe or sun themselves around the Med, North asia visitors it's summer anyway, though it's a popular time for Aus/NZ visitors as it's their winter, so if you stick to the drier areas you can benefit from everywhere being open yet not as crowded and hotel rates are low.
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Old Feb 23rd, 2006, 03:11 AM
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Definitely Bali. The weather is good and the island has everything you want. You could spend the whole time there or spend 11 days in Bali and a few days at Borobodour if you are interested in temples.
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Old Feb 23rd, 2006, 06:54 AM
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I do Bangkok in August and, overall, have had no major weather problems that would ruin my trip. I like August. There seem to be far fewer tourists. Happy Travels!
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Old Feb 23rd, 2006, 08:19 PM
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thanks for the ideas! we'll have to reconsider Thailand again!
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Old Feb 26th, 2006, 05:56 PM
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If you want a bit of everything, try my home state Perak in Malaysia.

It's deep rooted with history and has all modern amenities for the traveller. There are roughly 40 ethnic races living together; you can expect a myriad of foods, cultures and heritage.

The place can easily fill up 10-14 days of holiday with ...

- White water rafting in Gopeng's class-3 river.
- Kinta's limestone hill cave exploration
- Mangrove forest trekking and visiting quaint fishing village.
- Cameron Highland's farmland and Asia's largest tea plantation
- Pangkor Island, sun, sea and sand
- Lovely Batu Gajah, Pusing and ex-tin mining towns; the sites used to film Jodie Foster's "Anna and The King" blockbuster.
- Penang island city; listed in Patricia Shultz's bestseller "100 places to visit before you die".
- Taiping town; steeped in bygone English houses and way-of-life.

The famous actress Michelle Yeoh of James Bond movie and "Memoirs of the Geisha" fame was born and bred in my hometown.

Mid-year is the best time to come. Not much rain, you can trek miles of countryside - burn off loads of calories. And at night, enjoy many different meals dished out by various races.
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Old Feb 27th, 2006, 01:57 AM
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Mongolia or Bali, depending on your interests. I've been to both places in August and the weather was ideal. Both are amazing destinations.
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Old Feb 27th, 2006, 06:28 AM
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I've been in Thailand in August on several vacations and never had rain as an issue that ruined travel plans. Maybe I've been lucky??? If it rains a bit, we just find things to do inside. I agree with guenmai that prices are better in August and there are fewer tourists in Thailand at that time.

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Old Feb 27th, 2006, 07:16 AM
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I've been to Thailand a few times in August as well. We trekked in Chiang Mai during this time - the weather was fine whilst we were trekking although hot and the ground was not muddy. I do remember being caught in a downpour on the way to a temple in Chiang Mai after we had been on the trek though - but it was a short heavy downpour.

In August, we have been to Chiang Mai and area around there, Kanchanaburi, Bangkok and also the islands down the south off the east coast - Ko Samui etc.

Bali is lovely too however, and you can stay in a few places and get the variety you want without having to fly anywhere else. (In Thailand, I imagine you would want to take internal flights given your time there).

Happy planning
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Old Feb 27th, 2006, 09:33 AM
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