Best Time to visit Thailand
When is the best time to visit Thailand? In fact, it totally depends on the region you’re planning to visit, the length and type of your trip. I love Thailand. With so many national parks, beautiful beaches and cultural experiences, there is never enough time to explore every corner.
You have probably heard that the best time to visit Thailand is from November to February. If you go during this time, chances are you will catch wonderful weather, but some places can be crowded. If you’re planning to stay long-term in Thailand, then going in the shoulder or off-season can be your best bet, because during this time prices are much lower and even popular places are much less crowded.
Things to Know Before going to Thailand
There are three distinct seasons in Thailand: hot (March-May), wet (June–October), and cool (November–February). While it may sound simple, weather does vary from province to province, and when they say “cool weather”, expect the temperatures to range anywhere from 15 to 31 degrees Celsius (59°F to 88°F). You should also remember that during wet season Thailand’s climate is heavily influenced by monsoon rains that often come in the form of very heavy downpours lasting a couple of hours. That being said, seasons in Thailand differ from each other with sunshine hours during the day and temperature, making any travel experience unique there.
Best Time to Visit Thailand by Season
This is the hottest time of year in Thailand when everything is dry and temperatures range from 30 to 35 degrees Celsius (86°F to 95°F). I once traveled to northern Thailand and have experienced days when the mercury reached 40 degrees Celsius (104°F). During this period sightseeing might not be as pleasant as during winter. Thus, my choice was to stick to shopping malls with air conditioning on weekends and spend the rest of the time in the shade.
April and early May aren’t affected by the monsoon, so you can expect little or no rain. Southeast Thailand and the islands of Koh Samui, Koh Tao, and Koh Phangan are just great before the rainy season, which occurs here in July. If you’re traveling in March, add the Andaman Coast to your bucket list. Get the less crowded beautiful beaches all to yourself. April is the time for Songkran, or Thai New Year, which is usually accompanied by the Songkran Water Festival and elaborate parades.
This is the wettest time of year in Thailand. From June till September, North Thailand is affected by the southwest monsoon, with daily showers and high humidity. In Central and South Thailand, the monsoon season occurs a bit later. While showers and humidity usually occur in September and October, on the eastern coast monsoon season lasts till December.
What Should You Expect from Rainy Season?
In fact, it won’t rain all the time. Rainy season in Thailand doesn’t mean a constant downpour or drizzle. It rains almost every day, but it lasts only a couple of hours in the morning and in the afternoon, often followed by sunshine. I can hardly remember a time when it rained the entire day. I’ve had a great time hiking in Doi Khun Tan National Park in September, though. I spent a week in Lampang with hardly a drop.
Why Travel to Thailand During Rainy Season?
If you’re not into having a beach holiday, then visiting Thailand during the rainy season is something you should consider. When you go for at least a few weeks, you increase your chance of having more sunny days. Daily showers will then less likely to affect your trip negatively. Traveling outside the high season can help you in getting better prices and avoiding crowds.
On the other hand, July is the time for two important festivals for all Buddhism Thais. One is Asalha Puja Day which also known as Dhamma Day, and another one is Buddhist Lent Day. You’ll see people attending worship services and praying at temples, offering flowers to monks, and lighting candles at nightfall.
Starting from mid-September the temperatures go down and you can go virtually anywhere in Thailand. It is a pleasant time for any activities. You can expect around 25 (77°F) degrees Celsius during the day and as cold as 15 (59°F) degrees at night. If you’re planning your trip to Thailand during this time consider visiting islands, including Phuket, Koh Phi Phi, Koh Lanta. February is the best time to go to Koh Samui, Koh Tao, and Koh Phangan.
Chiang Mai, Bangkok, and even Phuket can be your destinations during the Chinese New Year Celebrations (because it is based on the lunar calendar), which fall in late January. Streets are filled with locals, decorated traditional red lanterns are everywhere.
Thailand is an astonishing country. It is filled with awe-inspiring temples, gorgeous beaches, and breathtaking landscapes. As soon as you land there you will discover these smells – strolling the streets in Thailand is like smelling fragrant jasmine and pile of trash at the same time. That is why Thailand is a land of diversity.
Thailand climate is diverse too. Heavily influenced by a monsoon, the country suffers from constant downpour and drizzle during hot summer days and sees a lot of sunny days when the monsoon goes away. But still, there is no simple answer to: “what is the best time to visit Thailand”. It also depends on your budget, things you want to see and do.
If you’re coming to Thailand for the picture-postcard perfect photos, I wouldn’t recommend going there during the rainy season. Seeing something apart from sunshine and clear blue skies could be disappointed. On the other hand, if you can tolerate short bursts of rain, you can stretch your dollar a lot further and explore places less crowded.
I hope you found this guide revealing the best time to visit Thailand useful. I have loads more content on my Travel Blog. Thailand’s awesome regardless of the time of year. However, if you’re looking for a bit different experience, maybe as a solo traveler, consider visiting Vietnam. This country is arguably easier and often cheaper!