Kham horseman in Tibet

At Myths and Mountains, we know by our ringing phones that many travelers were surprised that Memorial Day had come and gone, and their summer travel plans were still an open question! Europe is too crowded, National Parks hotels and campsites are booked, and a staycation is just not an option.

Well, if you don’t know where to go, here are some of our favorites in Asia that are perfect weather-wise and have wonderful summer festivals!


China is not immune to the effects of global warming, but for Tibet, summer temperatures range in the 70s-80’s during the day and the 40s at night. Although there may be a dash of summer rain, the monsoon that affects Nepal or Bhutan does not cross the Himalayas.

What to Do:

  • Summer months, June to September, are festival time in Tibet. Join locals at thangka unveilings at Drepung or Tashilumpo, horse races in Gyantse or Nagchu, and even bathing day said to prevent illness.
  • Summer roads over high passes in Tibet are clear of snow and perfect for a road trip. Try one of the world’s great drives on the Friendship Highway, dropping more than 12,000 feet from North Base Camp, through Kyirong off the Tibetan Plateau and down to Kathmandu.Tibet - Karen and Lady
  • Summer is perfect for Tibet trekking. Snow has mostly melted on the high slopes, herders and flowers are out, and yaks are grazing in the meadows.

Summer Travel Tips:

  • Book Lhasa accommodations now. All tours lead to Lhasa for the locals, too, and summer is prime time for vacationing Chinese students.
  • When planning your trip, consult us or another experienced Tibet operator before applying for your visa. Rules change frequently, and Tibet suffers from sudden closures.
  • Pack for cool nights and warm days since there are serious temperature swings even in summer.


ladakh yaks

You’re in luck if you go to Ladakh from May to October, when this high-altitude region of northern India enjoys its best weather and may be visited by H.H. The Dalai Lama. (Ladakh boasts an intact Buddhist culture free from a Chinese influence.)

Ladakh is the Indian part of Tibet and subject to the same weather patterns as the Chinese portion. You probably wouldn’t visit this mountainous area in winter, unless you are in search of a snow leopard, but average summer daytime temperatures are a pleasant mid-to-high 70’s and can drop to the 40s or colder at night.

Another summer advantage: The roads are clear of snow and ice and drives – say, from Srinagar to Leh and Spiti – are safe with glorious views atop the passes.

What to Do:

  • Brahminy Ducks by Nomadic Trek Ladakh, IndiaThere’s almost always a festival or fair going on somewhere. The Keylong, Karsha, Phyang, Lamayuru, Korzok, Dak Thok, Hemis and Ladakh Festivals are the most well-known.Book in advance to be in the right place at the right time to enjoy the festivities with the locals.
  • Go trekking! Ladakh is a trekker’s paradise with challenging trails, friendly people and a magnificent landscape.
  • Go rafting on some of Ladakh’s rivers.

Summer Travel Tips:

  • Get in shape before you trek.
  • Remember, you will be at high altitude, so plan a couple of days in Leh to acclimatize.
  • All you need for Ladakh is an Indian Visa – easy to get online.


Since this island nation off the southeast coast of India is close to the equator, temperatures are fairly constant most of the year.However, rainfall varies depending on when and where you go. Generally speaking, for beaches, summer is best on the relatively undeveloped east side of the island near Trincomalee or Batticaloa. The summer winds of June and July keep the monsoon rains away from the arid cultural triangle, and the area beyond Yala National Park is also experiences good weather. Lastly, Columbo, Bentota and the surrounding area tend to experience lower rainfall in August.

What to Do:

  • Many options – temple-touring, sightseeing, wildlife viewing, bird watching, trekking, surfing and kicking back on some of the world’s most beautiful beaches.
  • Summer boasts many festivals, such as Esala Poya, Kandy Perahera, Eid and Nikini Poya.

Summer Travel Tips:

  • Check festival dates. They change every year and lodging fills up months ahead.
  • Be prepared for high prices. Good hotels are springing up but are still limited. Some destinations, such as the north or the east coast are still fairly basic.
  • Pick and choose when planning your itinerary. There’s only so much you can do in a 10-14-day summer vacation.
  • You can get a visa on arrival, but to save time and complications, get your 30-day Sri Lanka visa before you go. After all, you may not want to leave!


south india

Crazily, summer may actually be the best time to visit South India, despite Internet weather comments. True, it’s hot—average in the 80’s—but July and August are not the hottest months; March is. And about those monsoons: Summer rains begin in June and, except for some showers, are often over by August. More important, showers and cloud cover are cooling.

What to Do:

  • Much of South India borders on both the Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal, benefitting from cool breezes wafting over the land. You do not have to sit on a beach to experience these winds.
  • Explore temples, cruise on a houseboat in Alleppy, kayak, visit hill stations and definitely sample some of the best Ayurveda spas and resorts.
  • Learn about Kathakali dancing and the martial art of Kalaripayattu, visit the spice market and explore the Jewish Temple in Cochin.

Summer Travel Tips:

  • Summer prices drop. Enjoy top hotels at bargain rates.
  • Women, leave the pants at home and pack breathable-fabric, full skirts. Men, take loose-fitting linen or cotton pants.
  • Shorts are fine for men, but still not for women.
  • Wear slip-on sneakers or sandals that are easy to remove when visiting temples.