Travelers often say to us, “I have a 2-week vacation in March. Where can I go then?” Well, with a few exceptions, you can visit most countries year-round. Ultimately, the best time to visit Asia is whenever you can go.
However, if you aren’t limited by school vacations or holiday seasons, there are better times to visit than others. You’ll want to consider the weather, of course, but other ingredients include festivals and months that may be less crowded than others.
We have created a table that sketches out the best times for varied adventures and major festivals in Bhutan, Nepal, India, China, and Sri Lanka. Remember, however, that mother nature operates on her own schedule, keeps us on our toes with sudden changes, and this table is not the final word in weather. Be sure to download the complete PDF to help you plan your next trip!
Best Time to Visit Bhutan
The same latitude as Florida and rising from 100’ above sea level to 24,840’ Kula Kangri, Bhutan’s temperature varies with the seasons and with altitude. If you’re hoping to attend a Bhutan festival, they occur year-round.
Spring in Bhutan
- Rhododendrons and other flowers begin blooming from the lower hills up to the mountainsides.
- Temperature is comfortable and gets warmer towards later spring.
- The air is clear but tends to get dustier in May.
- March and April are good for lower treks, May is good for higher ones.
Summer in Bhutan
- Early June may have showers, but fewer tourists.
- July, August, and most of September are rainy.
- Good wildflowers.
Fall in Bhutan
- The Thimphu Tsechu in September marks the beginning of fall.
- Skies are generally clear, although brief but fierce storms can suddenly arise.
- Good time for treks.
Winter in Bhutan
- Good time to visit newly opened Manas in the south of the country on the Indian border.
- You can also visit other areas, but the weather can get cold.
- Snow might cover passes and basic lodges may not have heat, but fancier hotels are fine.
Best Time to Go to Nepal
Like Bhutan, Nepal is the same latitude as Florida and goes from 100′ above sea level to Mt. Everest at 29,029′ in less than 100 miles. Famous for trekking, now Nepal also has new roads opening up exciting less-traveled areas for non-hikers. Every season has something to celebrate in Nepal from Holi or Shivaratri in spring to Tihar and Dasain in fall.
Spring in Nepal
- For animal lovers, late January – early February is grass cutting season in Chitwan and good critter viewing.
- Late spring is hot.
- Low treks are good in February.
- The Annapurna area is good March – April and gets hot and dusty in May.
- Late April, May, and June are good for Everest treks.
- Mustang is good from May on.
- Spring boasts colorful festivals such as Holi and Shivaratri.
Summer in Nepal
- Summer is monsoon season in most of Nepal and not good for trekking.
- Mustang is on the other side of the Himalayas, and summer is an excellent time to trek there.
- Dolpo in far west Nepal can also be okay for trekking with possible showers.
Fall in Nepal
- September is still good in Mustang, but too hot and rainy in other trekking areas.
- Fall is festival season and ideal for most trekking, drives, and visits to Chitwan.
- Roads may be bumpy because of summer rains.
- Watch for surprise storms on treks that sweep up from the Bay of Bengal.
Winter in Nepal
- Winter brings snow to the higher areas.
- Although trekking is still possible, be prepared.
- Chitwan is warm and pleasant, but animals sleep late in the cold.
- Pokhara is lovely, warmer than Kathmandu and a winter home for many hill people.
Best Time to Travel to India
A vast country, India has temperatures varying from warm, to hot to hotter, depending on where and when you go. The exceptions: hill stations high altitude mountains in the north and Ladakh across the Himalayas. Festivals occur in different places year-round, so most of the time you can find something to celebrate.
Spring in India
- Early spring is perfect for visits to most of India from Kerala to Rajasthan and up in the hills.
- April is lovely in hill stations or Sikkim/Darjeeling.
- By May, places like Dehli, Agra, or Varanasi become unbearably hot and dusty.
- By May, Ladakh is thawing, Kashmir is in bloom, and heavy tourist season has not yet begun.
Summer in India
- In most of India, summer is monsoon season. Exceptions are the Ladakh/Kashmir/Spiti areas which are wonderful for touring and trekking and rife with religious festivals and tribal fairs.
- Ladakh is known as “Little Tibet” and has maintained the integrity of its Buddhist culture.
- August can also be a good time to visit Kerala, as the monsoons finish early, prices are low, and tourists are few.
Fall in India
- Monsoons and heat persist in much of India through September, but Ladakh is still perfect and host to the colorful Ladakh festival.
- By October, the weather in the heart of India has cooled, the harvest is in progress, and fall celebrations are rampant.
- Fall is the perfect time to travel India’s heartland and desert areas.
Winter in India
- Winter is an outstanding time to explore most of India, from Kerala to Orissa to Gujarat. Just allow time for flight delays in the Delhi area and surroundings.
- Yes, you can visit Ladakh and track snow leopards, but it’s v-e-r-y cold!
Best Time to Visit China
Like India, China is huge. And, for every place, there is a season and season for every place. The greatest changes in climate are from north to south and east to west. At all times, there are festivals to see, whether traditional Chinese, Buddhist, or other ethnic celebration.
Spring in China
- Spring is the ideal time to celebrate the traditional Qingming festival or Sister’s Meal Festival in Guizhou or visit Beijing, Xian, and most parts of central and western China.
- Yunnan, Guizhou, Guanxi, and other parts are temperate and spring planting is in progress.
- Southern China is warm in the early part of the season but then gets very hot and humid by late April/May.
- Hong Kong may be cloudy.
- Overall, the Silk Road is pleasant in late April and May, with the desert areas being cold at night.
Summer in China
- Summer or monsoon rains can affect much of China from east to west, Hong Kong and South of the Himalayas.
- Weather is hot and muggy.
- Across the Himalayas. summer is the best time to visit Tibet for trekkers, tourers, and festival lovers. The snow has melted on passes and cars can get across. Everest Base Camp visitors can usually drive out into Nepal.
- On the Silk Road, the desert and Turpan can be very hot during the day with unremitting sun.
Fall in China
- Fall, like spring, is glorious in central and western China.
- Many harvest festivals take place throughout the country, along with the mid-autumn and Double Ninth celebrations.
- In Tibet, the season is unpredictable with possible snow block the high passes by October.
- Early fall is excellent for traveling the Silk Road with moderate temperatures and little rain.
Winter in China
- “Go south, you man,” could be a theme for winter in China. Temperatures in places such as Shanghai, Fujian, and Hong Kong are sunny and cool.
- Beijing, Xian, and much of central China can be cold, damp, and cloudy come winter.
- Snow can blanket higher parts of Yunnan, Sichuan, and Qinghai, leaving many roads and passes in Tibet blocked.
Best Time to Visit Sri Lanka
About 400 miles north of the Equator, Sri Lanka generally offers warmth and sunshine throughout the year. Temperatures average between 80-86 degrees in Colombo and one the coasts, and peak in April. Hill country is about 10 degrees cooler and the peak is in April. The country has two major monsoons – Yala or the southwest monsoon, bringing rain to Colombo and the south and west coasts in May/June, and Maha, affecting the north and east between December and February. On average, there is plenty of sunshine at all times of the year and the heaviest rain bursts are at night.
Spring in Sri Lanka
- Spring is a great time to visit the less traveled north and east coasts, stopping at places such as Jaffna and Trincomalee, and exploring Kandy and hill country.
- The southwest and locations such as Colombo and Galle are experiencing the Yala rains.
- Throughout the country, temperatures are at their peak in the high 80’s and humidity is high.
- The month of April is host to Sinhalese and Tamil New Year.
- The Festival of Light or Vesak occurs in May.
Summer in Sri Lanka
- Although Sri Lanka is always hot and humid, summer is a relatively dry time to visit almost any place in the country.
- During July and August, join the locals and celebrate the Esala Poya Perahera Festival at the Temple of the Tooth or Kataragama Perahera, also in Kandy.
Fall in Sri Lanka
- In fall, sometimes one runs into the inter-monsoon, with some rain at different times throughout the country.
- Warm, humid weather with sporadic showers tends to dominate the scene.
- Fall is the season of Eid-UlAdha, the Moslem Festival of Sacrifice, and Deepawali, the Hindu Festival of Lights.
Winter in Sri Lanka
- Beginning in November and running through February, the Maha or northeast monsoon affects the northeast part of the country, so go south to Colombo, Yale, Galle, and onward.
- You can join the pilgrims for their annual Sri Pada or Adam’s Peak pilgrimage or even celebrate Christmas with the Christian community.
Let the Experts Help!
Whether you’ve just begun researching for your next trip or you have all of the details down to a T, Myths and Mountains can help! Our travel specialists are prepared to assist at whatever capacity works for you. Contact us today to get started on your way to a journey of a lifetime.