We're very happy to have found this insightful forum. Thank you everyone for the information.
We are a married couple currently living in NYC (originally from Brasil and Israel) and have began to plan our six month excursion in SEA. We plan on leaving NY in mid-January .
The dilemma: We wish to visit a number of destinations in SEA: Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia as well as 6 weeks in Nepal and parts of northern India.
Could anyone give us a suggested route to take advantage of weather conditions both in SEA and Nepal? From what we've read it would be better to cover the tail end of the trip in SEA as opposed to Nepal as the July weather is less severe there. Should we cover Nepal and India first and do the SEA part from March through July? Or should we possibly begin in SEA and then fly over to Nepal? Perhaps break the SEA part in two?
Any details regarding the top nature destinations would be awesome.
Thanks in advance. We appreciate the advice.
Nepal and northern India are usually best April/May, after cold season but before monsoon season. March/April is one of the worst times for northern Thailand/Laos due to smog from farmers buring their fields combined with high temperatures. Rains usually come around May or June and is a very welcome reflief (don't be afraid of rain, it is your friend LOL). Jan/Feb is the sweet spot for most of SE Asia with mild temps and clear skies. June/July can be rainy in much of the region, but being the tropics it is quite unpredictable day-by-day. For example where I live in Chiang Mai it's been quite cloudy with random evening showers but for a couple hours now and then the sun cracks through and it's very hot. Very mixed bag. Anyway I can see your dilemma in chosing where to go when.
You might break the SE Asian trip in half around April and fly to Kolkata or Delhi relatively cheap on http://www.airasia.com if you buy well in advance. Then overland via Varanasi to Kathmandu can be an interesting trip. Direct flight Bangkok-Kathmandu is convenient but also very expensive.
I would lean toward doing north Thailand, Laos and Vietnam in Jan-Feb for the ideal weather then head south in March, hop over to Nepal in April or May then come back for Malaysia and maybe Borneo in June/July. East coast of the Malay peninsula is good then (Perhentian Islands, Tioman). Bali/Lombok is also good June/July, tan up before going home.
@lizzy... thanks for the heads up. We'll be sure to take that into consideration.
@Captain... Awesome detailed explanation and it goes along our trains of thought. Could you please let us know a little bit more about the conditions of Thailand and Malaysia in June/July as we would love to spend a few weeks scuba diving and in general on beaches and we can imagine that rough weather can make this difficult.
Thanks for your help with this!!!
So it looks like we will be spending February and March in India and Nepal.
Could you please suggest a route through southeast Asia (Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand and Malaysia) from April through mid-July?
We were thinking to start from the northern areas of Vietnam and Laos and head south through the trek - ending up on the eastern side of southern Thailand and Malaysia in mid-June - July.
It seems we'll be hitting some hot and rainy patches for sure but perhaps a well planned route could help...