May is a fantastic time to go on holiday in Asia, especially if you are looking for some active fun. In the south, large parts of Southeast Asia and the Indian sub-continent are experiencing peak summer, with very hot temperatures. However, the weather across the Orient and in the high Himalaya is very pleasant and dry.
May is one of our favourite months for Japan, as the mad tourist rush during the Cherry Blossom season is over, the weather is warmer and drier, and the gardens are in full bloom. It is also an excellent time for hiking in the lush countryside and mountains. The conditions are similar in China with fairly uniform dry and warm weather across the country.
By May, the snow begins to melt in the northern Himalayan kingdom of Ladakh in India, making it accessible again. If it is the coast that you are after, especially for those travelling with kids, May is the beginning of the dry season on the islands of Bali and Java in Indonesia. It’s still not quite the peak season, so you will be able to beat the crowds.
The secret season! Mild spring gives way to a pleasant summer where flowers transform the beautiful gardens and lush countryside into a vibrant tapestry of colours. Temples and shrines are quieter after the peak tourist season and it is a wonderful time to go hiking in the pristine countryside or through lush forested mountains. If you love walking, a trip along the legendary Nakasendo Way or Kumano Kodo will allow you to immerse yourself in sublime nature and traditional way of life.
Excellent weather continues across China in May making it a very good time to visit the country. The first week of May is a popular Golden Week holiday, so it is best to travel after this period.
May is a perfect time to beat the crowds before the peak season begins in June. Admire the historic temples of Prambanan and Borobudur, hike an active volcano, cycle through the lush rice paddies of Ubud, catch a glimpse of the fabled Komodo Dragon, and dive and snorkel in the marine biodiversity rich waters of Flores Sea, Indonesia is one of Asia’s most varied and impressive destinations. If you wish to venture off-the-beaten-track, visit Sumba Island where you can ride horses on the deserted beaches, discover fascinating indigenous culture, and indulge in thrilling surfing as well as jungle hikes.
May is a great time to explore the untouched jungles of Borneo without the crowds. Experience one of the last surviving primary rainforests in Danum Valley Conservation Area, where you will have the best chance of seeing orangutans in the wild.
Stay in beautifully restored village homes and enjoy traditional Ladakhi hospitality by your very own private chef and butler; discover the Buddhist kingdom’s rich heritage; retrace the ancient Silk Route in the remote Nubra Valley; and trek amidst a surreal landscape of deep turquoise lakes, lush fruit orchards and towering peaks.