The British summer time is often the best time of year to travel, particularly for those who are travelling with the family. But it is worth bearing in mind that there are only a handful of destinations in Asia that have good weather in August and September. Temperatures can soar to unbearable heights and the monsoon rains can threaten to make your holiday a washout. Thankfully, we know about the exceptions which we can highly recommend for a fabulous holiday during the British summer months.
1. Sumba Island, Indonesia
Summer in Indonesia is the very best time of year to visit, when temperatures remain at a balmy and consistent 28°C throughout the region. But whilst the crowds head for more popular destinations, there’s an exclusive island hideaway in remote eastern Indonesia which is the ultimate in privacy, romance, and with views of one of the most stunning locations on earth.
Sumba Island is one of the few islands in Indonesia where you really feel as though you are perched on the edge of the world. Wild, rugged scenery, fertile jungle and unspoilt beaches, it’s where the majority of the population still follow the ways of their ancestors, and is possibly Asia’s dreamiest and unlikeliest beach destination. Nihi Sumba Island has the winning dose of luxury combined with tribal edginess, and its reputation is unrivalled. World class fishing, surfing, and diving are right on your doorstep, not to mention unforgettable activities that are absolutely beyond compare.
2. Ladakh, Northern India
Ladakh in Northern India is another one of our summer favourites. In August the remote Himalayan desert basks in brilliant sunshine under stunning clear blue skies, with vistas fringed by soaring Himalayan mountains and dotted with Buddhist temples. The milky blue Indus River weaves its way through the valleys, much like the ubiquitous ancient Tibetan culture through the region, and colourful patchworks of apple and apricot orchards are scattered along the riverbanks.
During the Summer months stay at The Ultimate Travelling Camp for the ultimate in luxury glamping, combining the nomadic lifestyle with all the accoutrements of a super-luxury stay. Or do a Shakti Village Walk experience for a local yet stylish taste of this unique Himalayan region.
3. Central & East Coast Sri Lanka
Weather patterns are changing all over the world, and we can no longer rely on certain months of the year for guaranteed sunshine and warm weather – just look at this August we are having! However, generally speaking the weather in Sri Lanka is dictated by two monsoon seasons; one from May to September on the west and south-west, and the second rules the east coast and northern region from October to February.
Central and east coast Sri Lanka has warm and sunny tropical weather in August and September, and some excellent hotels have opened up here in recent years too, such as Ulagalla in the Cultural Triangle and Jungle Beach near Trincomalee, making for a perfect itinerary combining beach and culture. The east coast is also perfect for whale watching at this time of year, a perfect opportunity to tick off Sri Lanka’s Big Five from your bucket list. Sri Lanka’s south coast is also lovely from mid-August, the ideal bolthole for lounging on the beach and whiling away the lazy days.
4. Bali, Indonesia
Despite being one of the more popular areas of Indonesia, Bali hasn’t become too touristy and still remains one of the most sought-after holiday destinations for people seeking a luxurious getaway. For a cultural and uplifting experience, you should include Ubud into your itinerary.
The Ubud Monkey Forest Sanctuary is a stunning nature reserve where you can explore temples and play with monkeys, (make sure you take some bananas to give them). There are plenty of places to see art in Ubud, one of the best being the Neka Art Museum which is home to a whole variety of paintings and sculptures that will inspire you.
5. Central Vietnam
Our final recommendation is Central Vietnam, another great choice for escaping the British summer. The curvaceous S-shaped country is ruled by all weather patterns at any one time, so whilst the south is mid-monsoon, Vietnam’s central beaches promise intense sunshine and the odd refreshing shower in August.
Two of Vietnam’s finest beach resorts are also located in this region: Amanoi and the Six Senses Ninh Van Bay and it’s interesting to note that this is both the general manager’s favourite time of the year to be in the region too. Amanoi is situated in such a perfect location, at the edge of the Nui Chua National Park, you would be hard pressed to find a more perfect resort in the area. As for the Six Senses, this unique resort, only accessible by boat, takes full advantage of the setting, surrounded by impressive rock formations, white sandy beaches and towering mountains, it all adds to the sense of being luxuriously at one with nature.
James Jayasundera is Founder and Managing Director of Ampersand Travel.
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