Thailand’s Weather

Thailand is famous throughout the world for its bustling cities, tropical offerings, delicious cuisine and friendly locals. When speaking of travel hotspots in Asia, it has long since been one of the world’s favorites. When it comes to weather in Thailand, things stay pretty simple for the most part: there’s the hot, dry season, and the wet season. Straying from the standard is the far southern region of the peninsula, where monsoon seasons arrive at varying times compared to the rest of the country.

While not every day is a beach day, Thailand’s various weather patterns don’t hinder travellers from enjoying their time in the Kingdom. Even when it’s raining, there are still plenty of options for things to do!

North & Central Thailand: Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai, Bangkok, Kanchanaburi & Isaan

Northern and central Thailand’s dry season, where little to no rain is expected, spans between November until the end of May. The coolest months are during the winter time (getting as low as 17 degrees at higher altitudes), and temperatures begin to rise around late January, reaching their peak (up to 40 degrees) between April and May.

The monsoon season generally begins around June (temperatures around 30 degrees), with the arrival of short-lived downpours. The sporadic bursts of rain slowly progress as the months carry along, reaching their peak in August and September. By the time November rolls around, the rainfall and humidity decrease, with dry weather coming back on the map in the following 6 months.

Southern Thailand: Along the Gulf: Hua Hin, Cha Am, Koh Samui, Koh Phangan, Koh Tao

Along southern Thailand’s eastern coast, there is a gradual development between the warm, hot and humid, and monsoon season. The best weather falls between December and February, when sunshine, warm temperatures and little to no rain is expected. When March hits, the temperatures slowly begin the climb, with averages around the low to mid 30s. Peak temperatures hit between April and May, when the heat can climb to the upper end of the 30s.

By the beginning of June, the rains slowly start to move into the region, coming in short squalls that usually make way for breaks of sunshine. By the end of the summer months (August/September), the region is in full monsoon season with daily rains and high humidity. Rain reaches its peak around October, finally breaking towards the latter half of November for the better part of the season. Straying from the norm, Hua Hin and Cha Am only experience heavy rains between September and October.

Southern Thailand: Along the Andaman: Phuket, Krabi & Khao Sok; Koh Phi Phi, Khao Lak, Koh Lanta

Thailand’s coast along the Andaman enjoys its best season between November and March. Temperatures are warm, however constant sea breezes keep things relatively cool, with average temperatures hovering around high 20s. As March leads into April and May, the temperatures rise and the breezes cease, bringing more humidity with the warmth. Temperatures during this time creep into the mid 30s, which still prove to be ideal for beach goers.

Towards the end of May, the weather starts to make a change for the worse, with the monsoon season kicking into full force. Rain can be expected across the region up until October, with peak rains falling in September. Outside the heavy rains of September/October, rains generally come in short bursts, particularly in the afternoon. Despite being slightly inland, Khao Sok National Park observes similar weather patterns as its Andaman-hugging neighbors. Being one of the wettest parts of the country, it experiences some form of rainfall year round, which, ironically, makes for the best wildlife spotting.
What is the best time of year to visit Thailand?

The high season for travel in Thailand in general is between November and February. For northern Thailand, the dry season lasts from November until May, with most of the rainfall occurring between June and October. October to January marks the coolest period in the north, with lower temperatures proving to be ideal for travel.

In southern Thailand, the wet months span between April and October, while the eastern parts of the country experience the heaviest rainfall from September to December. Outside these wet months, the country experiences hot, relatively dry weather

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The ideal time to visit Thailand is from November to early April, during the cool and dry season, with temperatures ranging from 29°C to 34°C. However, you can explore the country throughout the year.

In the south, the climate varies between the eastern and western coasts. The west coast is preferable in winter, offering the best conditions for diving and snorkeling.

On the east coast, the weather is generally good for most of the year. Rainfall is lowest in January and February, while it is highest in November.

The Ultimate Month-by-Month Thailand Travel Planning Guide

January Overview

For travellers seeking the ‘best’ time to visit Thailand, January often comes out on top. One of the most popular months to visit, weather is enjoyable throughout the country and tourist numbers are at an annual high.

In the north, conditions are cool and dry, which prove to offer ideal conditions for trekking and adventure sports. From the Golden Triangle region in the northeast to the mountains of Chiang Mai further west, temperatures hover in the low to mid 20s, with evenings dropping towards the cooler end of the spectrum.

Further south towards Bangkok, the temperatures are equally as pleasant, though a bit on the warmer side (sitting in the high 20’s). The city experiences relatively dry weather, barring some the usual humidity of the tropics.

Continuing even further south, Khao Sok National Park enters into one of its driest months in January. While this doesn’t always prove to be ideal for wildlife spotting, it is still a pleasant time to visit. Additionally, being one of the wettest regions of the country, Khao Sok also may still experience some rainfall during this time of year.

In the far south, along the Gulf of Thailand and Andaman, the weather is very similar which proves to offer ideal conditions for beach goers. While the occasional rain may fall, particularly in Koh Samui and Koh Phangan, days generally offer ideal beach weather (temperatures hovering in the high 20s). For those seeking to do a bit of diving during their southern holidays, water clarity is peak around Phuket and Krabi.

Best places to visit in January

 for rain. This month is another excellent time for adventure activities, combining sunny days with bearable temperatures much lower than in the southern part of the country.

In Bangkok, the weather starts to creep up slowly, but is still very bearable compared to some of the months to come. Temperatures still stick around the high 20s and humidity puts a sticky atmosphere in the air. Visitors generally won’t have to worry much about rain during this period, as things stay pretty dry.

In the Khao Sok region, temperatures still stay similar to what they were in January, with February being another dry month. Being a dense rainforest region, however, the area is still bound to get some rainfall, even when things are dry elsewhere. Temperatures in the area are also at a seasonal high during February.

In Thailand south, the weather only improves with temperatures climbing and blue skies a standard for every day. Rainfall is unlikely across the south (even the odd rains of Samui and Phangan have dissipated), and temperatures hover in the high 20s to low 30s. Diving conditions along the Andaman are still ideal (Krabi and Phuket) and warm temperatures make for great beach weather. Straying a bit from the standard are the islands of Koh Chang and Koh Kood, which hug Thailand’s far side of the Gulf. While weather conditions are still idea, the islands may experience the odd rain now and again- but nothing that would spoil a vacation!

 

Best places to visit in February

March Overview

March marks the first real rise in temperatures across Thailand, with the ‘cooler’ weather of the first two months of the year slowly disappearing.

In the far north, between the Golden Triangle, Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai, temperatures slowly begin to creep up and cans sometimes hit the mid 30s. While conditions are still dry, the higher temperatures can prove to be a bit more trying for adventure activities.

Farther south in Bangkok and the central regions of the country, the temperatures also rise, with average daily temperatures in the mid 30s. While conditions stay relatively dry, the high temperatures can make sightseeing a bit more challenging, so be sure to hydrate more often and seek the shelter of shade… and air conditioning!

For those visiting the Khao Sok region in March, expect temperatures in the low to mid 30s. Conditions remain dry, but humidity is on the rise which can prove to be quite heavy in the already humid rainforest region.

In the far south, the higher temperatures are still warmly welcomed, making for ideal beach weather. While the days hover in the high 20s and low 30s, rain is relatively non existent and the waters are warm and clear. On the Andaman side of the south, temperatures are generally a bit higher than they are on the Gulf side, however both offer excellent beach climates. For those planning diving excursions in the south, March continues to offer ideal conditions.

Where’s that haze coming from?

If you visit the north or more rural areas in Thailand during March/April, you may notice a heavy haze drifting over the region. This is due to the farming techniques still practiced in the countryside, known as slash and burn. After crops have been harvested, the land is quite literally set alight, burning off any leftovers in the fields. The ash settles down after the fires, nourishing the lands and getting them ready for the next planting season. The smoke, however, lingers heavy in the air and often obstructs views across the country.

Best places to visit in March

April Overview

April traditionally marks one of the hottest months of the year in Thailand, with temperatures reaching seasonal highs across the country. The high 30s are the order of the day across Thailand and humidity makes things a bit… sticky! Bangkok and central Thailand bear the brunt of the heat, which can make travel and sightseeing a bit more difficult. Rains do come now and again, but for the most part the weather stays dry… until Songkran!

While the central and northern parts of the country are baking in high temperatures, the southern part of Thailand enjoys some excellent weather. Beach goers find ideal coastal temperatures with daily averages between the high 20s to mid 30s. On the Gulf side of the south, things stay relatively dry for the month, while on the Andaman side, the occasional rains pass through Krabi, Phuket and Khao Lak, particularly during the latter half of the month. For those diving, the ideal conditions are found on the eastern (Gulf) side of the south.

Songkran

April in Thailand marks the Songkran period, which is a combined New Year’s celebration and Water Festival. While the entire country enters holiday for the better part of the Songkran week, the main days of the festival are marked by giant ‘water fights’. No matter where you go, expect to be met with water guns, buckets of water and giant water hoses cooling… and soaking everyone down! This is a great way to get to know the fun-nature of the Thais, but be sure to leave the passport and smart phone at the hotel… they will get soaked!

Best places to visit in April

May Overview

After the high temperatures of April, May starts to see things cool down a bit, but not as much as some would hope. Highs in the mid 30s are still a reality and rainfall becomes more common throughout the country. While the rains are more prevalent, May is still a great time to visit the country, particularly in certain southern regions of the country.

In the north and central regions of the country, temperatures slowly start to decrease with the more common rains. The Khao Sok area during May is particularly warm and wet, with high humidity, which can make for great wildlife viewing. Farther south, there is a high chance of rain along the Andaman beaches of Phuket and Krabi, while more northern beach escapes (Hua Hin and Cha Am) can still guarantee sunseekers plenty of rain free days. Similarly, on the Gulf side, the islands of Koh Samui and Koh Phangan enjoy more rain-free days than their counterparts on the other side of the peninsula.

Best places to visit in May

June Overview

June is known to be one of the more wet months in Thailand. Rains are a common occurrence throughout the country and temperatures still hover in the low 30s. While the rains are almost a guarantee, they still only come in short-lived bursts, which leaves plenty of time for sightseeing and exploring.

In the north, the rains bring back the lush, verdant landscapes which dried up with the hotter parts of the year. While this can make for some great trekking experiences, conditions are guaranteed to be a bit muddy (particularly in the Golden Triangle area), which can prove messy for some travellers. Further south (Bangkok and surrounding), conditions are quite similar with more steady rainfall throughout the region.

In the southern parts of the country, weather patterns are warm and wet from Khao Sok all the way to Phuket and Krabi. Rain is a common theme and beach weather can be a bit iffy during this time. On the same note, the farther Gulf islands of Koh Chang and Koh Kood experience similar rains. Luckily, the inner Gulf escapes of Koh Samui, Koh Phangan, Hua Hin and Cha Am offer plenty of beautiful, rain-free days which prove ideal for travellers still seeking a bit of sun and sand. For clear diving experiences, the waters around Koh Tao are ideal during this time.

Best places to visit in June

July Overview

July marks another transitional period in Thailand, when temperatures finally start breaking from the 30s. Creeping down into the high 20s, the rains get stronger and longer lasting, which extend all the way into August.

The north moves into one of its wettest months of the year in July, which proves to make trekking very difficult, if not impossible in some parts. Despite the wet conditions, the rains create for much more lush conditions which prove to be beautiful during this time of the year. This is also a great time to see waterfalls and rushing rivers at their best. Similar weather patterns creep all the way down the country to the Bangkok region, which is also experiencing high rains at this time.

The southern regions are split between the rains, with Koh Chang, Koh Kood, Krabi, Phuket and Khao Lak all experiencing heavy rainfall. On the other side of the peninsula, however, Koh Samui, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao still enjoy relatively dry conditions, offering an oasis of sun and dry weather to beach-going travellers. Again, July marks an excellent time for diving in the waters surrounding Koh Tao.

Best places to visit in July

August Overview

August is traditionally the wettest month in Thailand, with temperatures hovering in the mid 20s to low 30s. Rainfall is at its heaviest across the north, with downpours covering the area between the Golden Triangle and Chiang Rai all the way west to Chiang Mai. Trekking is exceedingly wet during this time of the year, and can prove to be impossible in some parts of the country. For those seeking to trek in the north during this time, be sure to speak ahead of time with our representatives to see where it is still possible.

In the beach getaways of Koh Kood, Koh Chang, Krabi and Phuket, the weather still is at its worst, with heavy rains covering the region. For those planning a beach getaway, it’s best to move plans to the other side of the peninsula, where sunny, dry days are still a common occurrence. From Koh Samui and Koh Phangan to Hua Hin and Cha Am, this is one of the final dry months for beach weather.

Best places to visit in August

September Overview

Similar to August, September in Thailand is another of the wettest months to visit. Tourist numbers are at a seasonal low and great deals for low season can be found throughout the country. Rain falls heavily across the country and temperatures stay on a steady decline, generally sitting around the mid to high 20s. With peak humidity hanging heavy in the air, this is a big month for storms across the country.

For those still hoping to squeeze in a few beach days, southern Thailand’s offerings start to decrease. The rain-soaked destinations of Krabi and Phuket remain wet and the once go-to options of Koh Samui and Koh Phangan now move into their wet season. The resort towns of Hua Hin and Cha Am are the last places in the country to stay dry, but sun is never a guarantee during this time.

On a more positive note, while the Khao Sok area is entirely saturated in rain, September actually marks one of the best months to visit for wildlife spotting. The rains have turned the landscapes into vibrant green escapes, proving ideal for a range of the park’s exotic wildlife. While it’s necessary to bring appropriate rain gear, this is a great time to visit for those who are hoping to see some beautiful wildlife.

Best places to visit in September

October Overview

October marks another transitional period for Thailand. The months of rains start to slowly subside and the temperatures start slipping as the month progresses. In the north, temperatures begin falling lower, getting the region ready to move into its ‘winter’ season. Between Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai, daily averages are around the mid 20s.

For those seeking a beach holiday, October doesn’t have much to offer with sunshine and dry days. While the rains aren’t as heavy as they have been in the previous few months, conditions are still less than ideal. While almost all the traditional beach destinations are experiencing rains (Koh Kood, Koh Chang, Krabi, Phuket, Samui and Phangan), temperatures are quite comfortable in the mid to high 20s. Despite the seasonal rains of October, destinations such as Phuket and Krabi are slowly creeping out of their wet season, and as the month moves towards its latter half, nicer days are a more common occurrence.

In Khao Sok National Park, October again marks one of the wettest points of the year, which, as previously mentioned, also makes for some of the best wildlife spotting. For those who don’t mind donning raingear and getting a bit wet during their visit, their resilience will be rewarded with some great wildlife spotting. Temperatures hover in the mid to high 20s, which makes visiting quite comfortable… outside the wet conditions.

Best places to visit in October

November Overview

The transitions of October lead into November, which marks the end of the wet season in Thailand. Dry conditions slowly start returning, humidity is at a low and temperatures are all the more bearable.

For those seeking to visit the northern parts of Thailand, November is an ideal time to visit. In Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai and the Golden Triangle area, the rains have left behind lush landscapes which make for some beautiful touring. Temperatures are at an enjoyable low and outdoor activities are back on the menu again. In central Thailand, conditions are quite similar, which make visiting Bangkok and Kanchanaburi exceptionally enjoyable.

November also marks a great change for some beach destinations of Thailand, with the months of rain slowly fading away. Koh Chang, Koh Kood, Hua Hin, Cha Am, Phuket and Krabi all offer some of the region’s best weather, with little rain and temperatures hovering around the high 20s. On the other hand, the Gulf-side destinations of Koh Samui and Koh Phangan are in the middle of their wet season, and are best avoided during this time.

Best places to visit in November

December Overview

For travellers looking for an end of the year getaway, December marks one of the most ideal times to visit Thailand. Rainfall is minimal across the country, temperatures are moderate and enjoyable, and sunshine can be found (almost) everywhere.

In the northern regions, Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai are in their winter months, where cool temperatures and low humidity are contrasted with sunny days. With temperatures hovering in the low to mid 20s, this is an ideal time for trekking experiences across the north. Further south in the country, Bangkok and the surrounding regions also experience ideal weather during December, which makes it a great time to visit.

For beach goers, the best of the year is coming back on the map again with ideal conditions spanning almost the entire region. Temperatures can reach as high as the low 30s and sunshine and blue skies are to be expected. Koh Kood, Koh Chang, Phuket, Krabi, Hua Hin and Cha Am are all ideal to visit during this time. Alternatively, the Gulf-destinations of Koh Samui and Koh Phangan are slowly moving out of their rainy season. While the occasional rain will pass through, sunny days slowly begin to offset the precipitation.

Best places to visit in December

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