After the longest winter ever (at least in my frosty neck of the woods), things are finally heating up in the Northern hemisphere – it’s summer, y’all!
While Australians and Chileans are pulling their parkas out of storage, business travelers from Iceland to Italy are gearing up for the sweaty months of June, July, and August, when the whole of Europe and North America emerge from hibernation.
If you’re travelling for business this summer, just be sure to steer clear of these 7 steamy cities, which take the term “fun in the sun” to a whole new level of uncomfortable.
#1: Miami, Florida
Miami is heaven for escaping cold winters and a total nightmare during July and August. Not only is it hot, it’s intensely humid. I’ll never forget moving there for fall semester at University of Miami, and seeing crazy locals wearing long sleeves and trousers in 31°C heat and three-thousand-percent humidity. Talk about loco!
#2: Siem Reap, Cambodia
I’ve spent time in Siem Reap during the months of March and October. Those months were so incredibly hot and uncomfortable that the thought of visiting between June and August is almost unfathomable. It’s so hot that the air conditioners in coffee shops can’t begin compete with the blistering fire invading from the outside. There is no escaping the heat, no matter where you go!
#3: El Azizia, Libya
This northern Libyan town was credited with the highest temperature on record for any city in the world (58°C). (And that was in 1922, before global warming had really taken off.) Even worse, the record temperature was set in September – can you imagine travelling to El Azizia in the middle of July?!
Death Valley, California has since reclaimed the record for the world’s hottest city, but it’s still probably worth rescheduling a summer business trip to Libya. And to Death Valley, for that matter.
#4: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
The entire Mekong Delta is a festering tropical jungle of extreme heat proportions no matter what time of year you visit. Ho Chi Minh City has the added heat of 8 million people riding 16 million motorbikes at all hours of the day and night (I may be slightly off on those numbers, but only slightly). In other words, this is not the place to be if you’re looking for a summer vacation that can be described by words like “relaxing” or “refreshing.”
#5: Taipei, Taiwan
I visited Taipei in August, and I was the only person in the entire city stupid enough to go sightseeing during the day. Imagine my surprise when the sun went down and the veritable ghost town finally came to life. The shrewd locals stayed indoors all day and finally emerged in the cool(er) dusk to shop, work, and visit family. If you have the misfortune of being in Taipei in summer, local custom dictates that you sleep all day and explore night markets all night.
#6: Marrakech, Morocco
Beautiful, majestic, and hot as hell, Marrakech averages 37°C in July. That’s the average mind you, not the high. Locals wake up early to work and shop before the crushing heat of the midday sun banishes them indoors.
#7: Samail, Punjab, Pakistan
If you’re travelling through Pakistan, save a trip to Samail for some other time of year. This tiny heat-seeking city lies several hundred kilometers south of Islamabad, and boasts average temps of 37°C++ in June.
Remember, average temperatures don’t give you a clear picture of how hot a place will really feel. Take into account things like humidity, weather, and the type of accommodations you’ll have before making your summer travel plans.
You should also consider culturally appropriate clothing – a summer in Riyadh will be that much hotter if you have to wear a black abaya all day long.
Rebecca Anne Nguyen is a freelance writer and the Founder of TheHappyPassport.com, an inspiration site for solo female travellers.