Just before the June holiday travel season kicks into full gear, and hot summer days are upon us, it’s time to head out of the city for a break. Here are some places to visit this month.
Trip Planner: Where to travel and when’s the best time to go?
Here’s our top picks of where to go in May for enjoyable holidays. Go where the weather is great and fun events are happening in May. Read on to find out what makes these destinations the best places to travel this month.
Beach, Please. Ko Samui, Thailand
Great for: Beaches, Spa, Yoga, Water sports, Short trip from Singapore
May typically sees some rain in Ko Samui, but on the bright side tropical showers never last for too long and you’ll get the benefit of cloud cover. At the same time, the crowds are thinner, so you’ll have more privacy on the island’s stunning white-sand beaches.
This island is a great destination if you’re in need of some rest and relaxation, with plenty of wellness activities such as yoga lessons, detox meals and, of course, spa sessions.
For more active pursuits, hop on a sailing tour of nearby islands and go snorkelling in the crystal-clear waters. If you’d like a glimpse of the lush tropical rainforest, go on an adrenaline-inducing zipline adventure over the jungle canopy.
Weather in Ko Samui
The Weather in Koh Samui in May
Average Temperature: 26°C – 33°C
Hot and dry season.
What to Pack: Lots of swimwear and sunscreen.
How to Get There: Fly direct to Ko Samui (USM) on SilkAir or Bangkok Airways.
Average Flight Time: 2 hours.
Where to Stay
Enjoy Fresh Mountain Air in Kathmandu, Nepal
Great for: Adventure seekers, the simple life, UNESCO sites
With warm, balmy weather and lesser tourists to deal with during this shoulder month, May is a great time to visit Nepal, the land of the Himalayan Mountains and ancient UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Although the country was greatly affected by the earthquake in April 2015, the tourist infrastructure is back up and running, and its friendly denizens are welcoming travellers back with open arms and wide smiles.
Capital city Kathmandu is the best place to base yourself when you arrive, with plenty of guesthouses and hotels, and well-stocked shops selling trekking gear should you need to stock up before you head into the mountains.
Spend some time exploring this historic yet bustling city, with highlights that include Durbar Square, Bhaktapur and Boudhanath stupa. To escape the crowds, take a bicycle tour through rolling hills and mountain vistas to the outskirts of the city, where you can visit Kirtipur, an 11th century town that’s lined with stone streets and traditional buildings.
With the majestic Himalayan mountain range bordering the country, there’s a wealth of treks to embark on, no matter whether you’re a novice or seasoned mountain climber. Popular treks include Everest Base Camp, Poon Hill and the Annapurna Circuit.
Weather in Kathmandu
The Weather in Kathmandu, Nepal in May
Average Temperature: 15°C – 29°C
What to Pack: Sturdy hiking boots.
How to Get There: Fly directly to Kathmandu on SilkAir.
Average Flight Time: Approximately 5 hours.
Where to Stay
Savour Classical Music in Prague, Czech Republic
Great for: A romantic holiday, classical music aficionados
Every May, the picturesque, fairytale-worthy streets of Prague, capital of the Czech Republic, comes to life with the sound of music. During the Prague Spring International Music Festival, the world’s top classical musicians and orchestras converge on the city for a line-up of performances that is sure to impress audiophiles.
When you explore the romantic medieval streets of the Old Town, be sure to keep your camera handy for snaps on every corner, with historic highlights including Charles Bridge, Wenceslas Square, the Prague astronomical clock and Prague Castle. Many of the city’s cathedrals also hold regular orchestral and opera performances if you haven’t had your fill of culture.
When you get tired from skipping over cobblestone streets, duck into one of the city’s many beer halls (those in the side streets away from the tourist thoroughfares offer the best food and lowest prices). After a glass or two of excellent Czech beer and hearty fare of dumplings and pork goulash or schnitzel, you’ll be ready to start all over again.
Weather in Prague
The Weather in Prague in May
Average Temperature: 8°C – 18°C
What to Pack: A warm jacket, as it tends to get chilly at night.
How to Get There: There are no direct flights to Prague (PRG), but flying with Lufthansa or British Airways means a stopover in either Frankfurt or London, respectively, so you’ll get to enjoy two European cities in one trip.
Average Flight Time: 24 hours.
Where to Stay
Explore Exotic Istanbul, Turkey
Great for: Experiencing the crossroads between Asia and Europe
With warmer weather and longer days of sunshine during the last month of spring, May is the perfect month to pay a visit to sophisticated Istanbul, a city that showcases the best of Europe and Asia.
You must take a cruise on the Bosphorus, the strait that divides the European and Asian halves of the city. On land, Istanbul abounds with plenty of stunning architectural masterpieces, including the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace – a city tour takes you to these top sights with zero fuss.
Nothing beats a Turkish-style night out with entertainment that comes in the form of vibrant belly dancing and plenty of local cuisine such as kebabs and mezze dips.
Venture further afield to see the historic ancient city of Ephesus, which boasts a treasure trove of Greek and Roman ruins; the otherworldly rock formations of Cappadocia; or the chalky white hot springs and travertines in Pamukkale.
Weather in Istanbul
The Weather in Istanbul, Turkey in May
Average Temperature: 12°C – 20°C
What to Pack: Modest clothing that covers your shoulders and knees for visits to the mosques.
How to Get There: You can fly direct to Istanbul (IST) on Singapore Airlines or Turkish Airlines.
Average Flight Time: Approximately 12 hours.
Where to Stay
Stay in the Sultanahmet area to be within a stone’s throw of Istanbul’s most beautiful tourist sites.
Experience the Best of Latin American Culture in Mexico
Great for: An exotic bucket-list vacation
Cinco de Mayo is an annual celebration in Mexico that commemorates the victory of the Mexicans over the French in 1862. Although this occasion is celebrated to greater fanfare in the United States, you will experience some unique highlights only in Mexico.
Head to the UNESCO World Heritage city of Puebla, where the battle took place, to see a massive street re-enactment of the feud. The city is also known as the gastro capital of Mexico, so fill up on tacos, burritos and the local specialty of mole poblano, a fascinating dish made of ingredients including chili and chocolate.
In Mexico City, soak up the best of its cultural and historical heritage at the Plaza de la Constitucion and the National Palace. The Museo Nacional de Antropologia will give you some excellent context to the history of the country.
You’ll want to spend some time among the Aztec pyramids too, so hop on a tour that will take you to Toetihuacan, where you can climb up the Pyramid of the Sun. You’ll also get to stop by the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe – one of the largest shrines in Mexico.
Weather in Mexico
The Weather in Mexico in May
Average Temperature: 24°C – 33°C
Season: Late spring
What to Pack: A paper fan and facial mist – to help you cool down when the temperature rises.
How to Get There: Fly to Mexico City (MEX) via London with British Airways.
Average Flight Time: A day and a half, including a stopover.
Where to Stay
Live like a lord at the St. Regis Mexico City, which overlooks the historic Plaza de la Reforma, and is walking distance from exclusive art galleries and boutiques.