There’s one thing that is quite universal in Southeast Asia: it is warm almost all year round. However, you can counter the heat by escaping at some cool elevated destinations that promises to be welcome reliefs no matter what time during the year.
Bangkok is no stranger to warm, balmy and humid days. In fact, the World Meteorological Organization once named Thailand’s capital as the world’s hottest city. Luckily a cool escape is within short reach of the capital. About 3 hours to the northeast is Khao Yai National Park. It is a nature reserve, so you will be amongst an abundance of animal and plant species in addition to being in altitude, ranging from 400-1000 meters above sea level.
Many hill station towns in Southeast Asia were built by the Europeans for the sole reason of escaping the balmy weather. Some even replicate the aura of Europe itself. In Vietnam, about 5 hours by road from Saigon, the 1500 meter high town of Dalat is renowned for its French-Alps like atmosphere and scenic golf course. Pyin Oo Lwin, just an hour from Mandalay and situated on a plateau over 1000 meters above sea level features many English-inspired buildings, lush mountain foliage and a pleasantly cool climate.
A former French community is one of the highlights of Bokor National Park, not far from Sihanoukville and Kep. Built during the 1920’s it is now abandoned, but still a remarkable and cool site amidst the 1080 meter above sea level position. There are also several trekking routes and waterfalls nearby.
Putao in Northern Myanmar offers travelers a unique experience unlike anywhere else in Southeast Asia. Located on the edge of the Himalayan mountain range, the town is within sight of Hkakabo Razi and several other mountains, all of which are snow capped. A stay in the northern town also promises unrivalled luxury at Malikha Lodge, featuring a vast wooden open-plan room with two massive pit-style fire places.
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