18 Best Asia destinations in January of 2018

If you are thinking about an Asia holiday in January, you are in luck. This is literally the best weather month in the majority of the famous destinations such as Bangkok, Singapore, and Goa. Below you'll find out picks for the 18 best destinations to consider for an Asia trip in January, and it's easy to combine many of them because they are close neighbors.

Those lucky enough to be staying for at least two weeks should definitely see more than one country. You can book a cheap flight into Hong Kong, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, or Singapore from almost anywhere, and then book cheap flights from there to visit anywhere else.

18 Best destinations in Asia for January

Bangkok, Thailand

  • January avg high: 90°F/32°C
  • January avg low: 70°F/21°C
  • January avg precip: 0.4″/1.0cm

January is the perfect month to visit Bangkok or pretty much anywhere else in Thailand for that matter. The city is almost always both scorching AND humid and January is one of the few months where it can feel at least bearable outside. This is one of the busier months, of course, but once you get here pretty much everything is cheap by international standards.

Bangkok is also the ideal starting point and hub for any exploration of southeast Asia. The large airport has cheap flights coming in from all directions, as well as cheap flights out to everywhere worthwhile in the region.

>>>Bangkok prices and travel tips


Phuket, Thailand

  • January avg high: 89°F/32°C
  • January avg low: 74°F/23°C
  • January avg precip: 1.2″/3.0cm

As the largest and most famous of Thailand's islands, Phuket is justifiably popular in January, but there are many others to choose from with similar good weather. Perhaps Phuket's biggest positive is that it's got its own international airport so you can fly in directly from long distances rather than having to change planes in Bangkok as you do with other islands.

This month Phuket is mostly filled with Europeans and a few Aussies, with groups of men mostly focusing on the Patong Beach nightlife. Families usually feel more comfortable in Kata or Karon Beach, just to the south of Patong. Overall value is very good, but beachfront hotels are expensive and so are most tourist restaurants.

>>>Phuket prices and travel tips


Chiang Mai, Thailand

  • January avg high: 84°F/29°C
  • January avg low: 57°F/14°C
  • January avg precip: 0.3″/0.8cm

Those wanting to spend time on the beach will head south of Bangkok, but those who want to explore the country and culture usually head north to Chiang Mai. It's north enough and a high enough elevation that evenings are actually cool in January. If you are on a longer trip around southeast Asia you'll really appreciate that for at least this part of your trip.

Chiang Mai is also famously one of the world's cheapest cities for tourists. Hotels are amazingly cheap for what you get, and it's quite easy to find cheap meals and drinks as well. The city itself isn't Thailand's most photogenic, but the surrounding area has many great things to see and do, including some top notch trekking.

>>>Chiang Mai prices and travel tips


Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

  • January avg high: 90°F/32°C
  • January avg low: 73°F/23°C
  • January avg precip: 6.7″/16.8cm

Not only is Kuala Lumpur hot and fairly humid every day of the year, but it also gets a good bit of rainfall every month of the year as well. But don't let that stop you from enjoying arguably Asia's most interesting city. It's very well built for the heat, as well as for the quick downpours that can happen a few afternoons each week.

This city is a very modern mix of Malay, Chinese, and Indian influences, and since English is one of the official languages it's much easier to visit than most others on this list. KL, as it's called locally, is also a nice and exotic mix of what you will find in Bangkok and the more modern things you'll find in Singapore, and at a surprisingly reasonable price as well.

>>>Kuala Lumpur prices and travel tips


Singapore

  • January avg high: 85°F/29°C
  • January avg low: 75°F/24°C
  • January avg precip: 9.9″/24.8cm

As Singapore sits just a bit north of the equator, it's yet another that is hot and fairly humid every day of the year. January is actually one of the slightly cooler months, although it's not one of the dryer months. Still, similar to Kuala Lumpur, this modern city is well built for the quick rain showers, so they are very easy to avoid.

As its popularity has steadily increased, Singapore has actually become the most expensive city for tourists in Asia, but it's small enough to see in 2 or 3 days and once you have your hotel booked it's possible to find great and cheap food. The airport is also so nice that it's worth a visit all by itself.

>>>Singapore prices and travel tips


Siem Reap, Cambodia

  • January avg high: 89°F/32°C
  • January avg low: 69°F/21°C
  • January avg precip: 0.1″/0.3cm

While Bangkok might be the best place to start a southeast Asia visit, Siem Reap might end up being your favorite stop. This small town built at the entrance to the amazing Angkor Wat temple complex is mellow enough that it's a pleasant place to hang out for a week or more, and things here are so cheap that you might have trouble leaving.

You'll want to set aside at least one full day and probably the evening before to visit Angkor Wat, and the perfect January weather will make it all the nicer. You can get in by bus from Bangkok or Phnom Penh, but those in a hurry will probably want to fly in.

>>>Siem Reap prices and travel tips


Luang Prabang, Laos

  • January avg high: 82°F/28°C
  • January avg low: 58°F/14°C
  • January avg precip: 0.5″/1.3cm

Another town in the north of the region where January evening temperatures are actually pleasantly cool, Luang Prabang is the best stop to check Laos off your list. It's a charming town with wonderfully low prices on most things, and the slow pace compared to most other Asian cities is also very welcome.

Some people arrive on the famous slow boat that takes 2 full days from the Thailand border, and that is an interesting experience by itself. But you can also arrive by bus from Vientanne if you don't want to fly.

>>>Luang Prabang prices and travel tips


Hanoi, Vietnam

  • January avg high: 66°F/19°C
  • January avg low: 58°F/14°C
  • January avg precip: 0.8″/2.0cm

If you are touring around southeast Asia any time of year you are bound to get tired of the relentless heat every day. Hanoi in January is a wonderful rest from that because it's actually cool during the day and still mild at night, which gives it a very interesting and more European feel.

Hanoi is also the culinary capital of Vietnam, which has arguably the best cuisine in all of Asia. Things here are also amazingly cheap, so it's a popular place for long-term travelers to stay for a while. The nearby Halong Bay is a must-visit, as you can take a 2-night or 3-night sightseeing cruise for next to nothing.

>>>Hanoi prices and travel tips


Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

  • January avg high: 89°F/32°C
  • January avg low: 70°F/21°C
  • January avg precip: 0.6″/1.5cm

You can see the huge difference in temperatures between Hanoi (above) in the north of Vietnam, and Saigon in the south. This city is much larger and more spread out, and a bit less charming for most of us as well. Still, it's exciting and interesting, and in January the temperatures are at least pleasant most of the time.

Ho Chi Minh City has a large airport so you can fly in from any major city in the region and even some large cities from much farther away. Many people fly into Hanoi and then take the train south to Ho Chi Minh City, or the other way around. Things here are a bit more expensive than in Hanoi, but still cheap by any other standards.

>>>Ho Chi Minh City prices and travel tips


Hong Kong

  • January avg high: 66°F/19°C
  • January avg low: 57°F/14°C
  • January avg precip: 1.0″/2.5cm

A bit like Singapore, Hong Kong has grown so much in international prominence that it feels like it's own world now. January is fairly cool here, but at least it's also mostly dry. Those on longer trips around Asia to visit other places on this list can often get a cheap flight into Hong Kong and then cheap flights to smaller cities from here.

Hotels in Hong Kong are quite expensive for Asia, but it's still possible to get reasonable deals at hotels with good locations on Hong Kong Island itself. The restaurant scene and nightlife here are also both among the best in Asia, though you do have to prepare to spend a bit to participate.

>>>Hong Kong prices and travel tips


Boracay Island, Philippines

  • January average high: 82°F/28°C
  • January average low: 73°F/23°C
  • January avg precip: 3.7″/9.3cm

In case you haven't heard of it before, Boracay Island is one of the Philippines' top holiday destinations, and January is the prime season. This is the kind of place that you visit once and then want to come back every year after because it's friendly and far more mellow and pleasant than Phuket or most other larger resort areas.

Hotels on Boracay Island aren't exactly cheap, but that's partly because nearly every one of them is directly on the beach or only a 1-minute walk from the sand. This long and thin island has a gorgeous beach along most of its west coast, so when you look at it on a map you'll discover that every hotel is very well located. The eastern coast is home to some of Asia's best wind surfing, in case that appeals to you.

>>>Check Boracay resort deals


Malé, Maldives

  • January avg high: 84°F/29°C
  • January avg low: 77°F/25°C
  • January avg precip: 4.5″/11.3cm

Malé is the capital city of the Maldives, but honestly you don't want to spend any more time there than you have to. The reason to visit the Maldives is for a holiday of a lifetime in a water villa on one of the Maldives 150 or so private islands. January is one of the busiest months, particularly for European visitors, but the weather is pretty much perfect.

Water villas in the Maldives start at around US$300 per night, but you can get a huge water villa with a private Jacuzzi on a private deck starting at around US$500 per night with all meals included at Meeru Island Resort. Those on tighter budgets can get island rooms at these same resorts starting at around US$100 and going way up from there.

>>>Malé prices and travel tips


Pokhara, Nepal

  • January avg high: 61°F/16°C
  • January avg low: 39°F/4°C
  • January avg precip: 0.7″/1.8cm

Pokhara may be another town you've never heard of, at least up until you start researching a trip to Nepal. People generally fly into Kathmandu for a few days and then head to Pokhara by bus or plane from there. This is Nepal's trekking capital, and January is a busy month in spite of the chilly evening temperatures.

If you just want to chill out and relax in a fun town, Pokhara is perhaps the cheapest city in the world to do that. The trekking adventures that most people come here for aren't quite so cheap though, so it can balance out.

>>>Pokhara prices and travel tips


Colombo, Sri Lanka

  • January avg high: 88°F/31°C
  • January avg low: 72°F/22°C
  • January avg precip: 2.3″/5.8cm

Similar to Malé, Maldives above, the capital of Sri Lanka is crowded and lacks charm for the most part. January is a perfect month to visit Sri Lanka and then explore the hill regions as well as the beaches along the southern coast. Those who are familiar with India will find some of this familiar, but the crowds even in Colombo aren't so overwhelming.

The tourist infrastructure of Sri Lanka lags behind many others in the region, and that's partly why there are very few hostels and cheaper hotels. The good news is that there are plenty of mid-priced hotels that offer good value, so it's still a very affordable destination for most of us.

>>>Colombo prices and travel tips


Taipei, Taiwan

  • January avg high: 66°F/19°C
  • January avg low: 56°F/13°C
  • January avg precip: 3.4″/8.5cm

Another Asian city that actually has a bit of a winter, Taipei is sub tropical so the year-round weather is pretty nice. If you know much about Taipei you probably want to plan a trip here for the food alone, but there is a lot more going on than just that.

As a relatively rich country, Taipei is a bit more expensive than most of China and many of its other neighbors, but it's also very modern with a lot to see. The main museum here has more Chinese art and artifacts than any museum in China itself, for example.

>>>Taipei prices and travel tips


Delhi/New Delhi, India

  • January avg high: 70°F/21°C
  • January avg low: 43°F/6°C
  • January avg precip: 0.6″/1.5cm

Delhi is one of the world's largest and most crowded cities, and if you visit during the hot months it can seem even more overwhelming. So a visit during January, when days are nice and nights are a bit chilly, is actually a much better idea. There is a lot more to see here than in Mumbai, and of course this is also where most people come to do the day trip to Agra for the Taj Mahal.

Nearly everything here is cheap, although some hotels in the nicer parts of New Delhi are on the pricey side. The airport is new and modern, and the metro system is as well, making getting in and out and around much easier than just a few years ago.

>>>Delhi/New Delhi prices and travel tips


Goa, India

  • January avg high: 89°F/32°C
  • January avg low: 67°F/19°C
  • January avg precip: 0.1″/0.3cm

As you can see above, the January weather in Goa is pretty much perfect for a beach destination. You can expect gloriously warm days and mild nights, with almost no chance of any rain. Of course January is also the busiest month here, so you won't be alone.

Goa is actually a state rather than a city, and it has about a dozen different beach areas to choose from. Some are famous for beach parties and electronic music, while others are better for families. Choosing your actual area is key, but once you get there pretty much everything is fabulously cheap.

>>>Goa prices and travel tips


Mumbai, India

  • January avg high: 87°F/31°C
  • January avg low: 62°F/17°C
  • January avg precip: 0.0″/0.0cm

Mumbai is India's financial center and also the center of its world-famous film industry, but it's actually not a great tourist town. If you fly into Mumbai it's probably worth spending two or three days looking around, though it's not advisable to stay longer than that.

One challenge is that the tourist-friendly parts of the city are surrounded by water in the south, so real estate is limited and hotel prices are fairly high. At least January has fantastic weather, which helps take the edge off of the crowd situation.

>>>Mumbai prices and travel tips





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