1. Cameron Highlands, Pahang
One of the most famous highland retreats in Malaysia, Cameron Highlands has so much to offer for any traveller. Fresh highland air, breathtaking vistas, rolling hills, expansive tea plantations, lush strawberry farms, colourful gardens, scenic hiking trails - the list just goes on and on! However, the ultimate thing to do in Cameron Highlands is to visit the local tea plantations (such as the Sungei Palas Boh Tea Centre and the Cameron Valley Tea House) for a heartwarming tea time amidst the wondrous surroundings!
A trip to one of its many strawberry farms is also a must as Cameron Highlands is among the few places in Malaysia where this cold-climate fruit can be cultivated. Its many gardens such as the much-loved Cameron Lavender Garden are also one not to be missed. Try their one-of-a-kind lavender ice-cream while you're at it!
2. Chiang Mai, Thailand
Chiang Mai is known for its temples, night markets, and beautiful scenery. But did you know that it's also a great place to escape the heat? With temperatures hovering around 25 degrees Celsius, you can explore this charming city without breaking a sweat. ?
One of the main reasons why Chiang Mai is a great destination for cooler vacations is its elevation. The city sits at an altitude of over 300 meters above sea level, which means that the temperature is generally cooler than in other parts of Thailand. During the daytime, temperatures can range from the mid-20s to low 30s Celsius, while at night, it can dip to as low as 15 degrees Celsius!
Another reason why Chiang Mai is great for cooler vacations is its location. The city is surrounded by mountains and national parks, which offer a range of outdoor activities and attractions. Visitors can go hiking, mountain biking, or zip-lining through the lush forests, or take a dip in a natural waterfall.
3. Dalat, Vietnam
Located in the central highlands of Vietnam, Dalat is another popular hill station that offers relief from the heat. With temperatures ranging from 15 to 25 degrees Celsius, you can explore the city's French colonial architecture, beautiful waterfalls, and vibrant night market! ?
Dalat is also known for its unique attractions, such as the Crazy House, an architectural wonder that looks like something out of a fairytale. Other must-visit spots include the Valley of Love, a romantic park with stunning views, and the Dalat Flower Park, which is home to over 300 different kinds of flowers!
4. Bohol, Philippines
If you're looking for a beach escape without the sweltering heat, Bohol is a great option. With temperatures hovering around 30 degrees Celsius, you can still enjoy the sun and sand without feeling like you're melting. Plus, Bohol is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the Philippines, as well as the famous Chocolate Hills.
Bohol is known for its stunning natural attractions, such as the Chocolate Hills, a unique geological formation of over 1,200 hills that turn brown during the dry season. Visitors can also explore the island's white sand beaches, go diving or snorkeling to see colorful marine life, or take a relaxing river cruise. ?
5. Siem Reap, Cambodia
Siem Reap is known for its stunning temples, but it's also a great place to escape the heat. With temperatures hovering around 30 degrees Celsius, you can explore the ancient ruins without feeling like you're in a sauna.
Known for its rich culture and history, primarily centered around the famous Angkor Wat temple complex, visitors can explore the temples' intricate architecture, learn about Cambodia's ancient history, or take a scenic bike ride through the lush countryside!
6. Kundasang, Sabah
Hailed as the 'New Zealand' of Malaysia, this quaint town of Kundasang is one of the famous chilly destinations in Malaysia. Popular among the locals for its sweeping view of green pastures, it's also spectacular to see the magnificent backdrop of Mount Kinabalu. This, combined with the cool surroundings are an ideal refuge from the hustle and bustle of city life.
A must-visit place in Kundasang is the Desa Daisy Farm, popular for its Friesian cattle as well as delicious gelato. As of August 2020, Desa Dairy Farm is temporarily closed during the Movement Control Order in Malaysia and we hope it reopens soon! Aside from that, you can also make a short historical stop at Kundasang War Memorial, a memorial dedicated to fallen British and Australian soldiers as well as Sabahan during the colonial era. Don't forget to stop by their Fresh Vegetable Market for some fresh produce.
7. Vientiane, Laos
Vientiane may not be as popular as other Southeast Asian capitals, but it's definitely worth a visit. With temperatures ranging from 25 to 35 degrees Celsius, you can explore the city's French colonial architecture, beautiful temples, and vibrant night market without feeling too hot.
If you love exploring, there are many temples, museums, and historical sites to explore. Visitors can admire the city's traditional architecture, learn about Laos' history and culture at the National Museum, or take a stroll along the Mekong River promenade.
8. Luang Prabang, Laos
Another great option in Laos is Luang Prabang. This UNESCO World Heritage city is known for its stunning temples, beautiful waterfalls, and relaxed atmosphere. With temperatures hovering around 25 degrees Celsius, you can explore the city without feeling like you're melting.
Luang Prabang also offers a variety of activities, including shopping at the night market, for window shopping, or taking a day trip to the nearby Kuang Si Falls. With its comfortable climate, cultural attractions, and natural beauty, Luang Prabang is a great destination for a cooler vacations!
9. Bandung, Indonesia
Bandung is a popular weekend getaway for locals in Jakarta, and for good reason. This hill station offers relief from the heat with temperatures ranging from 20 to 25 degrees Celsius. Plus, it's home to some of the best shopping and dining in Indonesia. ? You'll be spoiled for choice at the numerous factory outlets! Be sure to find time to indulge in the delicious local cuisine, or visiting one of the many hot springs in the surrounding mountains.
10. Janda Baik, Pahang
Tucked in a small valley enclosed by thick rainforest, Janda Baik is a much-visited getaway among city dwellers due to its close proximity to Kuala Lumpur as well as its inviting cool streams and waterfalls. Known as one of the chilly places to visit in Malaysia, it's a nice place for a riverside picnic or a barbeque party with friends and families amidst the soothing sounds of rushing water and peaceful greenery.
There you have it - budget-friendly destinations in to escape the heatwave this June holidays. Whether you're looking for a beach escape or a hill station retreat, there's something for everyone in Southeast Asia. So pack your bags, grab your sunscreen, and get ready for a cool and refreshing getaway! ?