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Weather & when to go: December

Our best destinations in December

Sri Lanka

December is an excellent time of year to visit Sri Lanka's western and southern coasts, and hill country as the rainfall brought in by the south-west monsoon is replaced by blue skies and sunshine. In contrast, the north and east experience frequent rainfall at this time of year…

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Rain will now be a distant memory across much of Thailand with bright weather more the order of the day. Temperatures remain relatively low across the north with Bangkok and the centre a couple of degrees higher. For beach lovers, the best weather will be on the western side of the peninsular although rainfall is also sharply decreasing on the east meaning that by Christmas you can choose your island freely...

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It continues to be good news for much Vietnam with optimum conditions in both the north and south, as well as an improving situation in central regions as the rains start to decrease. 

The pick of the beaches remain Phu Quoc, Phan Thiet & Mui Ne, and towards the end of the month Nha Trang becomes a good option again. In the mountains and highlands good conditions continue although temperatures are low, especially at night.

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December is amongst the best months for travel in India with excellent weather throughout the country although higher snowfall starts to rule out some parts of the Himalayan region…

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Cambodia in December is characterised by dry, sunny weather, low humidity and relatively cool temperatures (avg temp: 26 °C) throughout the country. It's no surprise that December is amongst the most popular months to travel to Cambodia. If you do see rain it would be unusual.

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In December, the dry season is in full swing in Laos and the chances of rain minimal, promising premium travelling conditions throughout. Temperatures will remain moderate (Luang Prabang & Vientiane avg temp: 24°C, further south avg temp: 27°C) with peak temperatures not expected until March. The waterways of Laos are in full flow, promising some of the best conditions of the year for river journeys across the country...

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December is an excellent month to visit Myanmar. Rainfall is unlikely and cool temperatures can be expected.

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Also expecting good weather conditions in December


December is a good time to visit Nepal, if you come ready for some colder weather. Snow at higher altitudes makes high level hiking inadvisable, but lower level trails are very walkable and wonderfully tranquil. It’s one of the driest months of the year, so the skies are clear and the visibility excellent. You'll be rewarded with ideal wildlife viewing conditions and ambient temperatures in the high teens for exploring historic sites like Patan's Durbar Square. Do pack warm clothing though as even on the plains temperatures drop towards zero at night...

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December is one of the driest months of the year across most of Japan. End of year celebrations are plentiful in December in Japan and the weather accommodates these well. Skiers can head to the north with the majority of people making their way to the mainland for Tokyo and Kyoto celebrations and sightseeing and southern islands see some of the mildest temperatures, keeping the beaches to yourself making it a great season to be visiting here also.  

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December is a great month to visit Malaysia’s west coast with plenty of sunshine and blue skies expected throughout. In contrast, over on the east coast the north-east monsoon brings heavy rain and stormy conditions almost daily.

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Destinations with mixed weather conditions in December


December is a pleasant time of year to visit Bhutan if you’re prepared to cope with the cold temperatures, which are particularly low in the evenings and at higher altitudes. Heavy snow in some remote areas can make travel difficult. The skies remain sunny and clear however, and in the south, the east and the valleys, temperatures tend to be a lot milder.

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South Korea

Winter in South Korea can get very cold indeed. Thankfully, although snow can be expected all over the country, it tends to be a dry winter with very little rainfall. Whilst December is nowhere near as cold as the depths of winter in February, you can expect some freezing temperatures, with Seoul often recording lows of 0°C. At its warmest, the capital will typically only reach 11°C during December. In the hilly interior, temperatures can be lower, whilst on the southern coast things remain more welcoming, with Jeju Island ranging from 10-16°C...

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December is a good option for a low-season holiday in Tibet. It’s cold at night, bone-chillingly cold, in the highest altitudes such as around Mount Everest National Park, but in Lhasa, the capital, the weather can actually be quite inviting and there is still plenty to see and do. Expect pin-sharp mountain panoramas on clear days, and powerful UV rays that will need to be countered with regular applications of suncream and a hat...

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Destinations expecting poor weather conditions in December


It’s tricky to avoid the wet weather across Borneo in December, making travel, trekking and wildlife spotting less than ideal. Temperatures remain high and occasionally the sun will break through the overcast skies. 

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Once again it’s the Moluccas and West Papua & Raja Ampat that are expecting to avoid the rains in December, with the November typically delivering high rainfall across the western and central Indonesian islands, as well as in Sulawesi.

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