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Weather & when to go: January

Our best destinations in January

Sri Lanka

A great month to travel in Sri Lanka, with the beaches along the southern and western coast all expecting plenty of sunshine and minimal rainfall throughout the month, and temperatures averaging at around 30 °C.To the east, the north-eastern monsoon should be starting to wind down, meaning that the National Parks of Yala and Wilpattu will also be hot and dry. The centre, Kandy and the hills of the central Tea Country, and to a lesser extent the Cultural Triangle, are likely to be receiving a little rainfall. Whilst the usual warm weather is expected in the Cultural Triangle, temperatures in the Tea Country, especially around Nuwara Eliya, remain cooler due to the higher altitude (avg temp: 20 °C)...

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Thailand

North Thailand is likely to be cool and dry, enjoying a refreshing breeze, perfect conditions for visitors in need of a break from the heat further south. Bangkok is also dry although warmer due in part to its lower altitude. In the south, conditions on the beaches are similar from one coast to the other, however whilst on the west you can expect little if any rain, the east will most likely be feeling the tail end of its rainy season and therefore the odd short shower is to be expected, especially early in the month. On both coasts you can expect a cooling breeze...

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Vietnam

Vietnam returns to its best with dry conditions expected throughout much of the country. Both the north and south enjoy sunshine whilst the central region steps out of its wet season, meaning the beaches of Hoi An, Danang and Nha Trang are back on the menu (joining the in season Phu Quoc, Phan Thiet & Mui Ne). There is a variation in the temperature from one end of the country to the other with the south being close to its hottest and the north experiencing cooler weather.

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India

January is amongst the best months for travel in India with excellent weather throughout other than the Himalayan region where some parts are inaccessible due to heavy snow…

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Cambodia

Throughout January you can expect good weather conditions throughout Cambodia, with blue skies, little or no rain and pleasant temperatures (avg temp: 26 °C). Slightly cooler temperatures can be experienced in the more hilly regions of Mondulkiri and Ratanakiri.

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Laos

The dry season continues during the month of January in Laos, promising premium travelling conditions. Comfortable average temperatures, plenty of sunshine, and minimal rainfall can be expected across the country. 

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Malaysia

January is a great month to visit most of Malaysia, however the east coast destinations such as Tioman Island, Perhentian Islands, Terengganu and Redang Island will still be gripped by heavy rains and strong winds.

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Myanmar

Excellent conditions are expected throughout Myanmar in January as temperatures begin to rise and the dry season continues. In the south and along the west coast the beaches will be basking in sunshine, whilst the chill in the foothills and Shan region starts to lessen. The central plains will also be dry and hot although more manageable than in the months to come...

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Also expecting good weather conditions in January

Nepal

Whilst January is one of the coldest months of the year in Nepal it can be a good month to visit. Typically the days are cold but see plenty of sunshine in cloudless skies. It's low season, so there are fewer tourists around, meaning you can soak up the timeless atmosphere of places like Kathmandu in peace and tranquillity. Trekking is possible, but probably best left until later in the year as there's snow at high altitude and temperatures frequently dip below zero...

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Tibet

It may be mid-winter, with night time temperatures plummeting far below zero in some parts of the country and many areas inaccessible due to snowfall, but January is still quite a popular time of year to visit Tibet. Visitor numbers tend to be significantly reduced, and in lower altitude destinations such as Lhasa the weather is usually quite pleasant. This is the coldest, windiest month of the year in Tibet, but the skies are beautifully clear, allowing for some truly sublime mountain panoramas...

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Destinations with mixed weather conditions in January

Bhutan

January is mid-winter in Bhutan, and typically the coldest month of the year. Temperatures can fall well below zero at night, especially in the mountainous north and the west, and heavy snow makes some more remote areas difficult to reach. Yet rainfall is typically low during winter, and skies clear, allowing for magnificent views. There is much to recommend a January holiday in Bhutan, especially if you stick mainly to lower elevations...

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South Korea

Be prepared for freezing temperatures and a blanket of snow across much of South Korea during January. Temperatures in Seoul in the north of the country will range from -7°C to 3°C, whereas the southern coast is milder, with Jeju Island expecting a minimum of 5°C and a maximum of 11°C. It may be cold but it will be dry as there is very little rain in the South Korean winter...

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Destinations expecting poor weather conditions in January

Borneo

January is one of the wettest months of the year in Borneo, particularly in Sarawak. Torrential downpours are the norm (making trekking activities problematic) and sunny days are few and far between. However, travellers to Borneo at this time of year will benefit from fewer crowds and discounted rates. 

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Indonesia

Whilst much of Indonesia experiences very wet weather in January, the further east you look the brighter the outlook gets - visitors to the likes of West Papua, Raja Ampat and the Moluccas Islands are in for a real treat.

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Japan

You may not find much sunshine in Japan during January, however the Winter Wonderland scenery is spectacular, and for any ski aficionados and photographers the snow, Mount Fuji landscape and hot springs in the mainland make January a very tempting option. Likewise if warm weather isn’t your style anyway then the crisp weather in Kyoto and Tokyo make it a great time for some sightseeing with lower crowds and some iconic views.

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