Asian monsoons: a guide to the phenomenon


As Asian monsoons can directly influence travel planning across the continent. After all, no one wants to travel to the other side of the world and be stuck inside the hotel because of that rain, right?

However, to know exactly when you should book your trip to escape the rains, you need to understand what monsoons are and how they affect each country in Southeast Asia. Therefore, to help the lives of those who are planning a trip to the region, we have put together a Complete guide to facing the Asian monsoons in each country.

What are the Asian monsoons?

Asian Motions in Nepal

Asian monsoons in Nepal

Monsoons are a typical climate phenomenon in South and Southeast Asia. They occur because the region's climate is affected by air masses that arrive from the interior of the continent towards the coast and, at another time, by air masses that arrive from the coast to the interior of the continent.

These strong winds, which change direction at each time of the year, end up carrying humid air from the Indian Ocean to the continent and vice versa. This movement directly influences the rainfall regime of the affected countries and creates two seasons with well-defined climates: a winter marked by extreme drought and a very rainy summer.

It is estimated that around 25% of the planet's tropical area suffers to some extent from the monsoon regime. But it is in this region of Asia that the consequences are most felt.

The consequences of the monsoon climate in Asia

The Asian monsoon has natural, social and economic consequences for all countries affected by it. In countries where the regime is more intense, floods can close roads, destroy bridges and cause deaths and displacement. In other cases, rain can cause power outages in large areas.

Regions in which rainfall is not so intense, however, take advantage of the monsoon season to boost some economic activities, especially rice cultivation, which reaches its maximum capacity during the period.

During winter, agricultural production is affected and the extremely dry climate can help spread respiratory diseases and allergies.

Asian monsoons in India

What time of year do the Asian monsoons occur?

The Asian monsoons occur at different times in each country, depending on its geographical position and the sea it is bathed by. In some cases, when the country has two coasts on different seas, for example, there are two annual monsoon regimes, at different times. This is the case of Thailand and Malaysia, among others.

Some countries, such as the Philippines and Vietnam, face, in addition to the monsoons, the typhoon season.

See information about each country's monsoon calendar below. To follow the daily weather in each destination, we recommend the website

Is it possible to travel to Asia during the monsoon season?

Depends on the country. In some of them, the monsoons are not much worse than our well-known summer rains. They can be inconvenient and sometimes cause some damage, but they are not alarming. In others, the rains can be intense and last for days, causing floods and states of public calamity.

Which countries are most affected by the Asian monsoon?

India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. In these places, it is common for strong floods to affect the lives of local residents, causing the closure of streets and roads and landslides.

Which countries are least affected by the Asian monsoons?

Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos and China.

Asian monsoons in each country

Monsoons in India

Monsoons in India range from June to September. It is an extremely hot and humid time, with risks of flooding due to torrential rains.

A good time to visit India is from November to April, when temperatures are a little lower – in the north, from December to February, the winter is harsh, while further south, in Mumbai, the temperature is around 30 degrees. . It was exactly at that time that we were there, when we had no problems.

Read too: When is the best time to travel to India?

Monsoons in Nepal

Nepal follows the same monsoon regime as India, i.e. June to September. As it is a country where many people go hiking, the ideal is to travel there in a season that is not too hot, not too cold, and especially dry. October is the ideal month. We were there in May and the weather was great, but we didn't do any hiking.

Monsoons in Thailand

Rain in Phuket - ThailandThe monsoons in Thailand are a bit confusing, because the country has two coasts on different seas. At West Coast (Andaman Sea, where Phuket and Phi Phi are located), the rainy season lasts from April to October.

Already East Coast (From the Gulf of Thailand, where the islands of Ko Samui and Ko Tao are located), the monsoons go from September to December. The best time to travel there is November to February, because it doesn't rain and it's not that hot.

We were in Thailand in May, when we took the photo below, on a street in Phuket.

Read too: When is the best time to travel to Thailand?

Monsoons in Vietnam

Vietnam also has a very varied climate. In the North and South, the heat and rainy season lasts from April to October – being June, July and August the wettest months. In the central region, from September to December the monsoons attack – from August to November there is a high risk of typhoons.

Monsoons in Cambodia

Although it is also affected by the monsoons, in Cambodia they arrive much more lightly, usually with heavy rain that ends after a few hours – that is, it is not a trip-destroying event. For those who don't want to take the risk, avoid the country of May to October – especially the months of July, August and September, which are more humid.

Monsoons in Laos

The monsoons there are not that strong, but they can cause very annoying structural problems, such as closed roads. The months to avoid are May to October, with August the worst of them. The best time to go to Laos is November to February.

Monsoons in Indonesia

Monsoons in Indonesia range from October to March, but they are very light and don't usually bother those who go to the country to enjoy the sun and fresh water, with short rains at the end of the day. Our visit there, in June, went like this:

Where to stay in Bali

Monsoons in Sri Lanka

The monsoons in Sri Lanka are divided between those in the southwest of the country, which occur from May to August; and those in the northeast, of October to January. Although it rains a lot, it's nothing out of the ordinary and you can travel there during this period without too many inconveniences.

Monsoons in China

As China is a huge country, not all of its territory suffers from the monsoons. They mainly affect the south of the country, in a period ranging from April to September. At this time it becomes very hot and humid, with heavy rain. Better to avoid.

Monsoons in the Philippines

Monsoons in the Philippines usually come from May to October, bringing rain. Furthermore, the typhoon season is June to early December. In other words, avoid the Philippines at this time of year at all costs, because the consequences can be very serious. January to April These are usually the ideal months to visit the country.

Monsoons in Malaysia

It rains a lot November to March on the east coast of Malaysia. It's a good idea to avoid this region at the time, because the resorts and restaurants are all closed, meaning it doesn't have the slightest tourist facilities. On the west coast, the monsoon period lasts from May to Octoberbut there the effects are very light, with heavy and rapid rain at the end of the day.

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