Asia is really varied in March, there is definitely something for everyone. Like February, there are lots of festivals and activities to follow and the weather continues to be reliably good too.
So grab a coffee and browse our favourite things to do in Asia in March.
June onwards recommendations are all coming soon, but you can always leave us a note in the comments or email us if you have questions.
See you soon…
Our top picks for great weather….
If it’s a sun-drenched holiday with clear blue skies and white sand you’re after, the Philippines in March is stunning. March is generally the driest month of the year making it ideal for island-hopping, sun-bathing, and all things beach-related. With more than 7,000 islands and most of them fringed with sand, it can be hard to pick one.
We love this two-week itinerary that takes in three different islands including the jaw-droppingly gorgeous Palawan.
If we had to pick one month of the year to book a trip to Vietnam it would be March. Why? Well the country has three different climates and whilst we won’t bore you with the details we will tell you that March is when all three are happy and sunny! Not many people realise but the north has a winter and March is when it starts to get warmer in the north again, but it’s before it gets too hot in the south (hello April!) – we told you it was a tricky beast! And in March you can throw down your beach towel anywhere you like!
We love this Culture and Coast Tour in March.
March is a brilliant month to visit Thailand, one of the best of the year actually.
Although the weather is still great and dry, the beaches are less crowded. But, the best is that the mango season is starting in March. Streets are filled with vendors selling raw mangoes or using the mangoes in a variety of dishes, my favourite being Mango with sticky rice, a heavenly creation involving fresh and juicy mango, sweet coconut milk and sticky rice – something you will want every day once you have tasted it (it was even the desert at Eva’s wedding).
The hot weather continues in the Maldives making March a great time to visit for a luxurious and sun-drenched holiday on a picture-perfect island.
March also brings the start of the surf season to the area. It can get pretty busy surfing in the Malé atolls, so consider heading to the central and southern atolls to avoid the crowds. By boat is increasing popular, or pick a luxury resort as your base and take daytrips.
With the peak of winter past, the stage is set for new beginnings as Japan eases into spring. Beautiful Plum blossoms can be enjoyed in some parts of central Japan and further north. The world famous cherry blossoms start blooming in Tokyo and other warmer locations at the end of the March creating one of the most stunning natural spectacles if the world!
If you’re interested in Sumo, Japan’s national sport, March is a great month to attend “the March Grand Sumo Tournament” in Osaka and see the giant wrestlers in action.
If you’re looking for an active holiday….
Mount Kinabalu, the tallest mountain in Southeast Asia, is located on the island of Borneo and climbing it is an epic experience you won’t soon forget. Historically April was considered the best month to climb with a good chance of a clear sunrise but the world is changing and March is now just as likely to bring bright morning light as it is rain – and so is April. So why not get ahead of the crowds and climb in March?
This 10-day trip gets you up the mountain, out to a beach, and includes time to look for orangutans.
March is a great time of year to go trekking in the more mountainous parts of northern Laos like Huay Xai, Luang Nam Tha, Phong Sa Ly, Pakbeng and Oudomxay, which are freezing cold during the winter months from December to February. Meanwhile on lower ground temperatures are pretty high before the country cools down with the Monsoon rains that fall towards the end of April and into May.
Take a peak at this Highlights of Laos with a Rural Focus, perfect for a Laos holiday in March.
This is the last month of the year you can be sure of good conditions to climb Sri Pada (also known as Adam’s Peak), one of the most scared spots in Sri Lanka. You are well rewarded for your 5000+ step climb to the top with beautiful views.
Then hop over to the Cultural Triangle and explore Polonnaruwa by bicycle, float over Dambulla in a hot air balloon and visit the southern beaches for whale watching before they head over to the west coast. Take a look at our 10 day Active In Sri Lanka itinerary for more detail, the perfect balance of culture and activity.
If you’re chasing culture and festival fun….
March marks the month of Holi festival where people all over the country celebrate the victory of good over evil. To celebrate the streets turn into a huge festival where colourful paint is thrown over everything! It is great fun and a fantastic festival to be part of – just remember to wear clothes you don’t mind getting covered in paint.
As well as this, it is a great time to travel with great weather in the north and the south and so our Rajasthan and Kerala itinerary could be the perfect holiday combining culture, relaxation and an Indian festival!
Fancy catching hot air balloons over the rivers, ornate mosques, and elegant architecture of Malaysia’s administrative capital? Every March the Putrajaya International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta runs for four days with entries from around the world. While there are plenty of colourful traditional balloons, you’ll often catch a few unique entries: perhaps an octopus, Darth Vader, or a robot-shaped hot air balloon will slide into the sky. Located on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur, we recommend staying at the beautiful Villa Samadhi in town and visiting the balloon festival one evening or early morning. In 2020, the event takes place from the 12th through the 15th of March.
March is one of the best times to visit Singapore with younger children when the Singapore Festival of Fun takes over Clarke Quay for 9 days. Street performers and buskers including clowns, acrobats, jugglers, and musicians put on shows throughout the day and evening.
In 2019, there was a big top tent and entertaining games which we expect will make a comeback next year. In 2020, the adults get a bit of fun as well with an International Comedy Festival and live music. Our favourite luxurious place to stay is the newly-renovated Raffles Hotel Singapore where many suites can comfortably sleep a family of four and the service is unparalleled.
The most thrilling annual traditional war games are held on Sumba Island, East Nusa Tenggara, where the breath-taking Pasola Jousting Festivals take place in several villages on the island on different dates in February and March. Although this tradition may seem to be full of violence, Pasola is about maintaining peace, not hostility. This war games are thought by some to have been invented as a sort of dispute settlement mechanism -a bellum pacificum or peaceful war through games. You may want to visit the island and stay in a barefoot luxury resort of Nihi Sumba, voted the best resort in the world three years running.
If you want to embrace cultural festivities in Myanmar then you will be glad to know one of the country’s biggest festivals takes place in March! The full moon of March see hundreds of thousands of pilgrims arriving to the mighty Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon with offerings of water, candles and flowers – quite a sight to behold! It brings a whole carnival-like atmosphere to the city with traditional drama, music, dancing and plenty of delicious street food. Heat and humidity is on the rise in March so also a good option for those who are feeling heat-starved after the long cold winter! Take a look at our Essence of Myanmar tour.
If you love heading off the beaten track…
March is the perfect month for getting off the beaten track in Cambodia and exploring the Cardamom jungle, which has now had a few months of dry weather – making it more accessible to trek (and of course less mosquitos to encounter). It’s also a great time to get out into the northeast of the country for the same reason. The country is basking in sunshine in March but the peak season crowds of December to February are thinning out, making it a little quieter.
It is the perfect time of year to embrace our favourite off-the-beaten track itinerary From Jungles to Temples and Paradise.