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July: where to take an Asian travel adventure?

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July: where to take an Asian travel adventure?

Old Apr 11th, 2006, 09:01 AM
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July: where to take an Asian travel adventure?

My husband and I are hatching a plan to take a few weeks to travel in July. We've done very little research but to dream about some places in Asia: NE India (the seven sisters) and Bhutan, or Vietnam, or China. We are both in our mid-30's, active, have traveled extensively, and are comfortable traveling on the cheap though some splurges in-between are always welcome. Any inital guidance on what parts of Asia will have decent (non-monsoon) weather in July? Another criteria is that we'd like to visit places that are likely to change dramatically in the next few years so we might get a chance to see them today.

Thanks!
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Old Apr 12th, 2006, 02:15 AM
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July normally is a monsoon season to almost all the places you want to visit. Except if you travel to Leah in the extrem north of India. Bhutan is expensive to travel and is likely to change in few years time!
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Old Apr 12th, 2006, 06:46 AM
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Much of Indonesia and part of Malaysia has good weather at that time of the year. Check www.weatherbase.com for all the stats on temps and rainfall for any destination you are considering. Asia is a huge area, so there are places with good weather at every time of the year!
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Old Apr 12th, 2006, 04:03 PM
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July is an excellent time to visit Bali or (as Kathie just said) elsewhere in Indonesia. Their rainly season is in December-February.
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Old Apr 20th, 2006, 02:29 AM
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I myself would be intrigued by Bhutan due to the change factor. That said I have no idea about weather at that time of year.
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Old Apr 20th, 2006, 03:10 AM
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China does not have a monsoon season other than Hong Kong which has a typhoon season, a very different thing. Hong Kong in July is pretty hot and humid, but liveable. Hong Kong is unlikely to change in the near term so might not fit your criteria.

Bhutan is great, I would disagree that it is likely to change, I think it is more resistent to change than other places due to its rather restrictive government, and July is a good month there as I recall. Take a look at weatherbase.com for precise info. A trip here can easily be combined with a trip to Thailand, as flights from Bangkok are frequent. Thailand would be hot and humid, but not really monsoonal in July. Thailand may not meet your "likely to change soon" criteria, as it has changed a lot already and getting off the beaten path there can be difficult, but is still and interesting place. Ankor Wat is also a short trip from there and might be worth seeing now rather than later.

Parts of China are very likely to change in the future, mostly smaller towns (like less than 5 million people that's a small town really in PRC terms) and places like Beijing which are being reshaped for the Olympics. Shanghai has already changed beyond recognition even for me who had not been there in like 5 years until recently. The Silk Road area would be very interesting and likely to change but temps would be very very hot in July, you might do some research into this and consider. Overall, July is not a great month for the main tourist areas, its just too hot IMO. YOu could try cooler hill areas, other than Kunming I don't know much abut them. Not sure I would recco Kunming and skipping Beijing though.

That being said, all of Asia is changing quite rapidly IMO and I am not sure what you are looking for. It changes and yet it remains the same. If you want pictures of people with water buffaloes then that is one thing, if you want culture I think you will find that is essentially unchanged while on the surface things are modern and everyone has a cell phone; that to me is one of the more interesting aspects of Asia. The cell phone with a 88 phone number is worth more because that is a lucky number, that's the kind of modern and ancient that you see all the time.

Anyway if you are looking for the water buffalo kind of thing in July then consider part of Indonesia lke Java and Sumatra which are not touristed (basically not mentionened here). Sulewesi (formerly Celebes) might be another place. Take a look at the Lonely Planet books, they are better on off the beaten track places than Fodors or Frommers.

India is just too hot in July. If by "seven sisters" you mean some towns in Rajasthan (not sure where in NORTHEAST India you would be referring to, most of Rajasthan is west; do you mean Lucknow? Varanasi? Kolkata?), IMO it is far too hot to attempt this in July. While Ladakh would certainly be the exception, to go all the way to India just to go there would kind of be shame, IMO. YOu could possibly combine this with a trip to Kerala if you oculd time this to see the monsoon break, which would be very interesting I would think (certainly on my list of things to do at some point). But if you want to avoid rain, then July is not a great time in India otherwise, as the monsoon is breaking over most of India.

Vietnam is pretty rainy in July.

I would suggest the Jan and Feb for many of these places, when the weather is much drier and better. Those months are great in India, Thailand and Vietnam. China is of course cold then but also not crowded at all.

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Old Apr 20th, 2006, 05:42 AM
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July is a good time for Borneo. You may have seen my trip report about Borneo, posted 12/2005.
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Old Apr 21st, 2006, 06:59 AM
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Thanks! By NE India (sometimes called the seven sisters), I meant the states on the other side of Bangladesh - Mizoram, Nagaland, etc. I thought they, along with Burma and Bhutan might be an interesting trip.

I'll take Vietnam off the list due to the rain.

Thailand is off the list since I've been a few times (by no means enough, but with so many places in SE Asia that I haven't been to...)

I'll investigate China, Indonesia, and Borneo some more. And get a Lonely Planet guide...

Thanks!
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Old Apr 21st, 2006, 12:53 PM
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Great information! Can I expand the timeframe a little? What about August for China (Yangtze River - 3 Gorges - now that's a place that's going to change a lot soon, Bejing, Hong Kong or Shanghia) and Tibet?

Cicerone, you had some great info on the area. I'd love to hear what you think.

Thanks.
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