With weather that ranges from warm to hot to hotter, Thailand is a destination that you can visit at any time of year (so long as you can stand the heat). There are months when rain is more common than others, but with showers often falling in short bursts and offering a much-needed respite from the humidity, visiting during these periods can have its advantages. Ultimately, Thailand’s tropical weather is predictably unpredictable, so as long as you prepare for warm temperatures and wear lots of sunscreen you can enjoy a fantastic Thai holiday year round. Here we run through this Southeast Asian gem's three seasons and where to go when.
Cool season: November to February
Don’t let the name fool you, the cool season in Thailand isn’t really that cool. It’s just the time of year when the heat and humidity are at their lowest in Thailand and thus the best time to go. During this season temperatures in Bangkok fluctuate greatly – 18-32°C – while Phuket experiences clear blue skies and calm seas. As this time of year offers the best weather for much of the country, it’s also the most popular time to visit with Christmas, New Year and Chinese New Year (January) holidays.
Best places to visit in the cool season:
Hot and dry season: March to May
In March things heat up in Thailand, with temperatures soaring up to 40°C in Bangkok and Chiang Mai. April in particular is the hottest month in Thailand. It’s also when Thailand’s traditional New Year’s celebrations take place, Songkran Festival (where locals take to the streets for a series of high-octane water fights) is one of the most popular. To experience Songkran in more manageable temperatures, the islands in the Gulf of Thailand like Koh Samui or Koh Phangan experience temperatures around 24-33°C, not to mention clear blue skies and plenty of lagoons to cool off in. This time of year is also a great time for seeing whale sharks at Angthong Marine Park.
Best places to visit in the hot and dry season:
- Koh Samui
- Ko Phangan
- Angthong Marine Park
Wet season: June to October
June in Thailand marks the wet season and when monsoons usually hit the Andaman Sea and Gulf of Thailand. The months of September and October usually experience the heaviest rain. While the wet season is considered Thailand’s low travel season with some islands shutting down, rain often only falls in short bursts, so it is possible to enjoy a holiday here at this time, and for a fantastic price. The wet season is also a great time to visit the north of Thailand when the countryside is thick and lush from the rain and the weather is neither too hot nor too cold.
Best places to visit in winter:
- Chiang Mai
- Mae Kampong
For more ideas on visiting Thailand, see our tailor-made Thailand holidays.