When is the Best Time to Visit Thailand | Thailand Weather | Weather & Climate
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The best time of year to visit Thailand is between November and April. For most of the country, this is the driest period, the majority of businesses in tourist areas are open, and there are plenty of festivals taking place.
But you can visit Thailand at any time of year. Although not all activities and services aimed at travellers are available in low season, if you're prepared to dodge the showers or just stay close to your resort, you can find good deals on holidays, and temperatures will always be pleasantly warm.
Weather in Thailand across the year
Thailand has three main seasons. May to October is the rainy season — although that doesn't mean it's always raining; on one day it could be completely sunny, while the next might bring a short tropical downpour or a couple of hours of steady rainfall.
There are some regional variations. The southwest monsoon influences the main rainy season, which affects the Andaman (west) coast, and north and central Thailand, but a different monsoon brings rain to the southern Gulf of Thailand, including Koh Samui, from October to December.
November to February, the cool season, is a good time to visit Thailand. The main rainy season is ending, and the heat and humidity are less oppressive, making it an ideal time to get out and explore. In some areas, it can even feel wintry; so while it's positively balmy on an evening in Phuket, at exactly the same moment the temperature could be close to zero in the hills of the north.
The hot season, which runs roughly from March to May, sees daily maximum temperatures of 32-36°C around the country, making it a great time to visit Thailand if you want perfect beach weather, and are not planning on doing much sightseeing.
Thailand in January
When new year arrives, conditions in Bangkok are perfect for celebrating in one of the city's many rooftop bars, as night-time temperatures dip to around 22°C. It's also pleasant time for sightseeing in the capital, with maximum temperatures of about 32°C, and low humidity and rainfall. In Andaman coast destinations like Phuket and Krabi, it's a great time to head to the beach, with plenty of sunshine and temperatures reaching the low 30s.
In the north, temperatures reach the high 20s in Chiang Mai, while the mercury drops to around 15°C at night, so take a sweater or jacket if you're heading out for the evening. In the surrounding mountains, freezing night-time temperatures are not unknown — something to consider if you're doing a hill trek. In southern gulf islands like Koh Samui and Koh Phangan, the rainy season has drawn to a close, and daytime temperatures reach the high 20s.
Thailand in February
Tourist hotspots are getting busier as temperatures continue to rise, and for many places, it's the driest and sunniest time of year. Seas are warm and calm, making it a good time for diving and snorkelling trips in popular spots like Koh Tao and the Similan Islands National Park.
In Bangkok, temperatures regularly reach 33°C, so you can make the most of the Chinese New Year celebrations (which take place in late January or February). In the north, conditions are perfect for the Chiang Mai Flower Festival, with temperatures up a degree or two on January.
Koh Samui records some of its lowest rainfall levels of the year, while temperatures around 33°C and low rainfall mean the Andaman coast is perfect for beachgoers.
Thailand in March
Thailand's hot season is beginning, which means it's peak season in beach resorts. Koh Samui and Phuket experience a relatively dry and sunny month, with temperatures reaching 33°C.
In Bangkok and central Thailand, temperatures rise to 35°C by day, only dropping to the mid 20s at night, so it's a good idea to avoid the city if you don't like the heat. Nearby coastal destinations like Koh Samet and Pattaya are a degree or two cooler than the capital.
In the north, expect temperatures to reach as high as 34°C by day and as low as 20°C at night, while humidity is low and there are usually only a couple of days with rainfall.
Thailand in April
April tends to be the hottest month across Thailand, although rainfall levels tend to rise a little. Temperatures in the Bangkok area can reach 36°C, and not drop below 27 at night. It can get just as hot up in Chiang Mai, though the night-time lows are more pleasant.
Beach resorts get busy, so book ahead. Phuket is a few degrees cooler than the capital, and you can expect more than six hours of sunshine per day. Songkran (Thai New Year) celebrations include water fights — getting involved in one is a great way to cool off.
Rainfall in the southern gulf coast is lower than Phuket, so consider heading somewhere like Koh Samui or Koh Phangan for optimal beach time.
Thailand in May
This is shoulder season, so a good time to grab a holiday deal. Temperatures drop slightly due to the southwest monsoon, and on the Andaman coast, it's normal for two out of three days to have some rainfall. The southern gulf coast is drier, and temperatures reach about 33°C, so the Koh Samui area is a better destination for beach holidays.
In Bangkok and central Thailand, temperatures are still high, but humidity and rainfall are increasing, while in the north, 50% of days are likely to have rain.
Thailand in June
Across most of the country, temperatures continue to fall, while rainfall and humidity increase. Bangkok still has maximum temperatures of around 34°C, while in Chiang Mai it can reach 33°C, dropping to the mid 20s at night.
The Andaman coast experiences a similar number of rainfall days to May, though beachgoers can still expect around five hours of sunshine a day, as well as lower prices. Koh Samui and its neighbouring islands still provide the best conditions for beach holidays, with any rain showers likely to be brief.
Thailand in July
Rainfall and humidity are increasing across much of the country. In Bangkok and central Thailand, you can expect rain on 50% of days in July, while the north records its lowest levels of sunshine — about four hours per day. Although weather on the Andaman coast is not ideal for sunbathing, there's plenty of sunshine for beach lovers in Koh Samui, despite some showers — note it can get busy due to the school summer holidays bringing an increase in international tourists.
Thailand in August
It's rainy season across most of Thailand. Visitors to Bangkok can expect two out of three days to have rain, while temperatures continue to gradually decrease from the April high — although they can still reach 33°C. In the north, August is the wettest, most humid, and least sunny month, while maximum temperatures edge up into the low 30s.
In resorts on the Andaman coast, many businesses close during rainy season and boats to the islands can be cancelled due to rough seas, so consider heading to the southern gulf islands for a beach holiday and better opportunities for watersports.
Thailand in September
September is the rainiest month of the year in most of Thailand, although daily high temperatures tend to reach the low 30s. Resorts are quieter, so consider travelling at this time of year if you want to avoid the crowds, don’t mind the rain, and are looking for cheaper prices. In more remote areas, it can be difficult to get around as smaller roads can be turned into mud. Southern Gulf of Thailand destinations still tend to have the best beach weather.
Thailand in October
In October, most of Thailand experiences pleasantly warm temperatures, but it's still rainy, if less humid, so not the best time for going to the beach. Phuket has its highest number of rainfall days of any month, although this doesn't dampen spirits at the Phuket Vegetarian Festival. A significant drop in rainfall and humidity, plus an increase in sunshine, means it's a good time to head to the north. In Bangkok, meanwhile, rainfall is still high, but decreases towards the end of the month.
The northeast monsoon begins to affect the weather in the southern Gulf of Thailand, causing rainfall on two out of three days in Koh Samui, along with increased humidity and fewer hours of sunshine.
Thailand in November
With the weather shifting to cooler, drier, and sunnier conditions over much of the country, more businesses reopen in tourist areas, and an increasing number of special events take place including Loy Krathong and the Monkey Buffet Festival. It's a good time to see nature at its best, with waterfalls in good flow and flowers in bloom. Go early in the month for fewer visitors and lower prices.
The southern gulf is the exception, with destinations such as Koh Samui experiencing their highest rainfall levels of the year and choppy seas, while daily maximum temperatures stay below 30°C.
Thailand in December
December is a good time to travel due to the decreasing rainfall and humidity in much of the country. It's a popular time for winter-sun seekers; Phuket experiences rainfall on around one out of three days, but humidity levels are falling and sunshine hours are increasing. Over in the southern gulf, it's the tail end of the rainy season.
Night-time temperatures in Chiang Mai can fall to 15°C, while daytime highs around 28°C are common, and you can expect around eight hours of sunshine every day. The Bangkok area has its lowest temperatures of the year (up to 31°C by day, 22°C minimum at night).
Looking for travel inspiration? Search our collection of holidays to Thailand. For practical information about travelling in Thailand, check out our ultimate Thailand travel guide, and read about travel advice and passport requirements.
Nick Elvin contributed to this post.