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Why The Low Season Is The New High Season


“In the rainy season in Hue it rains twice per month, both times for 15 days.” – Local proverb in Hue, Vietnam.

Received wisdom is the curse of the travel industry. Perceptions of when certain destinations are better to visit than others can result in unintended consequences – hotels stuffed to the gills with soaked-through-travellers expecting sunshine, airfares to make you weep and bewildered locals scratching their heads at these crazy foreigners.

HueTake Hue. This beautiful town in central Vietnam, full of iconic sights and smells – scholars riding to school in white ao dais, boats plying the Perfume River, a whiff of incense in an old Merchant’s House – has somehow got itself a reputation for being to rainfall what Luxor is to sunshine. Impenetrable gloom and drizzle descend from around December to February (much like the UK…), and can spill over into the months beforehand too. Yet this is apparently “peak season”! The hotel staff find it, frankly, hilarious that we insist on coming in such high numbers in what they consider their low season. A cursory look at the weather charts shows that March to August is the best time of year to be there (likewise Hoi An, just to the south).

China has a slightly different problem – everyone thinks it’s Siberia in winter. However, many sights in China are based in the cities, which are essentially all-weather destinations, and even those sights that are in the countryside can be at their best in the winter.

DarjeelingIndia has that great, tourism-killing thing, the dreaded monsoon. Apparently going to India then is a total nightmare – though actually Darjeeling, Sikkim, Assam, Ladakh and Shimla are all at their best in our summer months.

So our top tip for today is that the high season is not all it’s cracked up to be, and in some destinations it is much better to go in the low season.

Make it happen

If you need information about weather in a particular country you can browse our country pages for Vietnam, China, India. All trips offered by our local travel companies are bespoke and private to you. Feel free to change and tweak your itinerary until it’s perfect. To talk to someone in the TravelLocal office, call 0117 342 7898.

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