Singapore’s eternal summer gets a little much at times. Escape the heat at these cool (Pun intended!) destinations in Southeast Asia.
Sat on a mountaintop blanketed by greenery, the weather in Cameron Highlands is cool throughout the year, with an average temperature of 18°C. Take in the view at the tea plantations, pick fresh strawberries from the fruit farms, or discover the tranquil town’s colonial history through its Tudor-style architecture. Not without stopping for some cream-slathered scones – a tribute to its British colonial history.
NEXT: Da Lat, Vietnam →
First established as a holiday resort for French commanders, holiday-seekers love this sleepy highland town that’s equal parts zen monasteries waiting to be discovered, French-style cottages, and doses of nature generously splashed across the city, like the Thai Phien Flower Village (pictured). Tip: Stay till night falls, when the shimmering lights give an ethereal quality to the sparkling flower garden.
NEXT: Chiang Rai, Thailand →
The cold season lasts from late November to late January, when temperatures average about 20°C. All the better to head out exploring, as Chiang Rai’s got some of the most iconic temples in Thailand. A must-visit for the culture vultures: the Wat Rong Khun (pictured), awash in an immaculate porcelain white – after all, it’s also known as “the White Temple”.
NEXT: Sapa, Vietnam →
In the winter, from December to February, the weather in Sapa becomes very cold – it’s even seen snow! Want cool, but not, you know, frostbitten cold? From March till May, springtime brings cool breezes and ornaments the town with fresh blooms – quite a site to behold. Different hilltribe minorities that inhabit this hilly town; watch them at work in the lush rice terraces, at the markets in town, or even in their villages (best to hire a trekking guide).
NEXT: Cipanas, Indonesia →
Bubbling lakes, sulphuric hot springs and other-worldly geothermal wonders pepper this hilly village in West Java, whose name means “hot spring” in Sudanese. And with the year-round cool climate, it’s a perfect getaway popular amongst neighboring Indonesians looking to escape the heat. But keep it a secret from everyone else to enjoy it as the private, exclusive retreat that it is.
NEXT: Bukit Tinggi, Malaysia →
This French-themed holiday village sits on natural forestland some 1,000 metres above sea level. With the caress of the cooling breeze as you stroll through the cobblestoned resort, it’s not hard to imagine yourself as holidaying in a European town. Great for a quick weekend getaway!
NEXT: Tagaytay, Philippines →
Picture this: fly through a breathtaking, gaping ravine enveloped with nature’s beauty (and across a volcano, too!), cutting through fluffy clouds and cooling 24°C air. Kids get to ride too – strap them on safely to your back! Or, explore the secluded waterfalls, century-old trees and medicinal (so said!) pools at the Hidden Valley Springs. This resort town is all about wellness and going back to nature, with none of the sweat-inducing heat when trekking and getting around, of course.
NEXT: Cameron Highlands, Malaysia →
By Pinky Chng, last updated November 2017 / Updated by Melodi Ghui, July 2019
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