Escape the Mid-Year Heatwaves in Singapore: Top 8 Cold Weather Getaways in Southeast Asia

Deborah Gan

Deborah Gan

Last updated 18 October, 2023

Want a short getaway to a cold country but have limited annual leave? Let these places in Southeast Asia be your inspo for your next trip!

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Ah, Singapore, the land of perpetual summer, where the words "sweater weather" are practically foreign concepts. If you've ever wondered whether you took a wrong turn into an endless sauna, you're in good company.

But the reality is that not every one of us can afford to take a plane down under to relish in the cold temperature, while some of us may have limited annual leaves to take.

If that is you, fret not. There are actually places you can visit in Southeast Asia that experience cool weather all year round, where your sweaters can finally be taken out of your wardrobe. Here’s a list of the best places you can visit the avoid the heat for a short getaway, even if it's just for a couple of days.

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1. Cameron Highlands, Malaysia

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If you’ve got a few days of annual leave to spare, and don’t want to travel too far but can’t stand the sweltering heat, then we have the perfect place for you. 

Cue Cameron Highlands, located at the tip of Pahang, featuring cool weather all year round. You can expect the weather to range between 17 to 26 degrees Celcius. Why? As the name suggests, it’s situated on high ground, between 800 to 1,600 metres above sea level.

Cameron Highlands is great for nature lovers, offering endless luscious greens where you can hike in comfortable weather at Mossy Forest on Mount Brinchang, go strawberry-picking in Tringkap and pick tea leaves at the Bharat Tea Plantation.

Average temperature: 20° Celsius


2. Baguio, Philippines

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Known as the summer capital of the Philippines, Baguio was awarded with its title because it is one of the coldest places you can find in Southeast Asia, boasting temperatures between 18 to 20 degrees all year round.

As the city of arts, it hosts the annual Baguio Arts Festival and is known for its numerous artistic works and gorgeous architecture. It is even home to the majestic Mount Cabuyao, standing over 2,000 metres above sea level.

Be sure to visit Burnham Park, where you can enjoy the greens and glistening lake, as well as the Our Lady of the Atonement Cathedral, sporting a rose-hue exterior.

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Average temperature: 18° Celsius


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3. Tagaytay City, Phillipines

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Located near the capital of the Phillipines, Manila, Tagaytay City is a place you shouldn’t miss if you want to keep cool during the hot summer months. Boasting temperatures between 22 and 25 degrees, you wouldn’t need to wear too many layers of clothing here.

It’s known for its breathtaking scenic views, including the famous Taal Lake and Taal Volcano. There are also many photo spots strewn all over the island to take pictures of the awe-inspiring landscape, making this a haven for photography and nature enthusiasts. 

Beyond that, Tagaytay also offers a wide range of activities. From zip-lining, horseback riding and hiking in the nearby mountains to indulging in spa treatments, the place caters to all kinds of travellers and their varying interests.

Average temperature: 25° Celsius

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4. Sapa, Vietnam

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Sitting at around 1,500 metres above sea level, Sapa is another place that enjoys cold weather all year round, ranging between 17 to 21 degrees Celsius between March and May. If you’re a nature-lover, you’ll be thrilled to know that Sapa sports abundant terrace rice fields, lush valleys and mist-shrouded hills.

Relish in the fresh, cool air as you hike or trek along the picturesque trails, littered with quaint villages, magnificent waterfalls and breathtaking viewpoints. Do it yourself or participate in hotel-led ones that may even require overnight stays in the various villages.

Sapa is also rich in culture, as its multi-ethnic population consists of the Hmong, Dao, Tay, and Giay, who bring so much culture to the table with their distinct traditions, clothing, and crafts. Be sure to drop by Cat Cat Village, home to the Hmong people that promises an eye-opening experience!

Average temperature: 17° Celsius


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5. Chiang Mai, Thailand

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Chiang Mai is located in northern Thailand and is known for its rich cultural and historical elements that exude rustic charm. 

Lying at the heart of Chiang Mai is its historical old city, complete with ancient walls and moats, where you can relish the magnificent views of their temples. Some of those include Wat Phra Singh, Wat Chedi Luang, and Wat Phra That Doi Suthep. While you’re there, be sure to partake in their religious festivals and rituals to get a glimpse of their vibrant culture. 

You can also find an abundance of night markets and artisan villages where you can purchase handmade crafts like wood carvings, textiles, clothes and knick-knacks, offering the best place for souvenir shopping.

The best part of all? Chiang Mai is situated on elevated ground, so it can get quite chilly at night. The temperature does become a little hotter during the summer, ranging from 23 to 32 degrees — so be sure to bring a cardigan with you!

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Average temperature: 27° Celsius

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6. Chiang Rai, Thailand

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Not be confused with Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai is also located in northern Thailand and can be worth a trip if you’re already planning on heading to Chiang Mai. They both share similar weather conditions, with a temperature between 23 to 32 degrees during June.

While you’re here, don’t miss out on the famous Wat Rong Khun, also known as the White Temple, featuring intricate designs of the Buddhist culture on the snow-white exterior. It also consists of mirror decorations and ornate reliefs, easily making it one of the most beautiful temples in Thailand.

vibrant markets and hill tribe villages, where you can take a peek into their rich culture and also shop for uniquely handcrafted souvenirs to take home as a memento. 

If you’re a fan of street food, you’ll definitely want to visit The Night Bazaar and the Saturday Walking Street Market, where you can get a taste of Thailand’s iconic street snacks and shop for knick-knacks.

The Doi Tung Mountain and the Kok River are also sights you have to see, offering breathtaking views to soak in all of Mother Nature’s allure. To experience three cultures in one place, you’ll have to check out The Golden Triangle, where the borders of Thailand, Myanmar, and Laos meet.

Average temperature: 26° Celsius

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7. Wonosobo, Indonesia

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If you’re a huge fan of the outdoors and pretty views, Wonosobo is the place to be at. During the months of June to September, the weather typically ranges between 15 to 25 degrees Celsius, making it a perfect place for a short getaway.

One of the main places of interest here is the Dieng Plateau, an upland volcanic plain that is home to a collection of small ancient Hindu temples and is a place of cultural significance. Look forward to unmatched views of sulphurous springs at Sikidang Crater and the vibrant Telaga Warna and Telaga Pengilon twin lakes.

If you're itching for a hike, you can climb up Mount Sindoro, standing at 3,150m or Mount Sumbing, standing at 3,371m, which are both equally as rewarding once you conquer them. If you ever feel like giving up, just remember that the views at the peak will all be worthwhile.

Aside from hiking, you can also drop by to see the Candi Umbul Temple and the Curug Lawe waterfall.

Average temperature: 24° Celsius


8. Cipanas, Indonesia

Source: Shutterstock

Cipanas is located in West Java, Indonesia, and is known for its natural beauty and cool climate. Offering temperatures of 18 to 24 degrees during the months of June to August, it serves as a peaceful and cooling respite away from the summer heat.

Just like Singapore’s Istana, Cipanas also has its own Presidential house of their known, commonly known as the Cipanas Presidential Palace or Istana Cipana, where you can get a taste of their political heritage and history.

Soak your worries away in one of Cipanas’ hot springs, which are believed to have healing properties. Check out the Cipanas Hot Springs or the Ciater Hot Springs full of minerals to reduce stress and detox your body amidst the natural surroundings. 

If you’re an outdoor junkie, head over to the Mount Gede Pangrango National Park, which has various trekking trails offering unparalleled views of the stunning landscape, including magnificent waterfalls like the Cibeureum Waterfall, and lush greenery. 

Average temperature: 24° Celsius

 

A mahjong addict with an undying love for dogs, Deborah is always on the hunt for cheap deals because she is always broke. That is why she is attempting to be more financially savvy to be.. less broke

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