Best Time To Visit Thailand

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The best time to visit Thailand never depends upon the temperatures. Thailand’s latitude is such that there is minimal difference between the hottest part of the day to the coolest part of the night.

Unlike all its Asian neighbours, Thailand, originally Siam, never had colonial conquerors. Influences in Thai culture came from those neighbours, Burma (Myanmar), the Khmer Empire, today’s Laos and Cambodia, and the movement of people. India and China, much larger states, gave Thailand religious and traditional elements as well.

Thailand’s emergence as a major tourist destination came when air travel became more widespread and affordable. Its extensive coastline offered and still does, lovely beaches and warm seas. They were the basis of resorts that attract huge numbers of tourists each year. While plenty of travellers head straight to the beaches, the national capital, Bangkok, offers many famous landmarks.

Thailand has three seasons in most of the country, varying by region. Hot, rainy and cool best describe these seasons. In central and northeast Thailand, hot runs from February to June, rainy follows until October and cool fills the months until February. In contrast, in the north, at altitude, the hot season is shorter, with rains from May to September and a longer cool season. In the south, the important factor is east or west-facing coastlines. Only two seasons, wet and dry, describe the weather.

Best Time To Visit Thailand

Thailand (June to August)

what is the best time of year to visit thailand Bungalows and green coconut palms on tropical beach.
The best time to visit Thailand for an island vacation on Koh Tao is February to April but you might also want to escape to paradise between June and August.

The three months from June to August are largely wet, which you may think poses a problem for families whose children’s main holiday is in July and August.

The Gulf Coast of Thailand facing east is an exception.

Here it is the dry season with the top resort choice for those seeking a beach holiday, probably Pattaya, but don’t expect a quiet time.

Bangkok is a hectic place with some stunning landmarks, notably the Royal Palace and the temples hosting impressive buddhas.

There is the solid gold buddha weighing several tonnes in Wat Traimit, the emerald buddha in Wat Phra Kaew and the massive reclining Buddha in Wat Pho.

The floating markets are interesting, while the choice of restaurants is amazing.

Thailand has several international airports for foreign visitors, some who never get close to Bangkok if they are looking for a resort holiday.

Rain can be destructive and sometimes cause problems for visitors who plan an overland itinerary.

Here are some guideline stats but remember there are regional variations:

  • June (Sunrise 0550, Sunset 1850, Average Low Temperature 26C (79F), Average High Temperature Average High 34C (93F))
  • July (Sunrise 0555, Sunset 1850, Average Low Temperature 26C (79F), Average High Temperature 33C (91F)
  • August (Sunrise 0605, Sunset 1840, Average Low Temperature 25C (77F), Average High Temperature 33C (91F)

Five Things to Do in Thailand (June to August)

1- Visit Pattaya
best time to visit pattaya thailand
The best time to visit Pattaya if you want to go during low season is from May to October. Pull up a beach lounge on Na Jomtien Beach.

Pattaya was a small fishing village half a century ago. This once quiet place is now filled with hotels, bars, clubs, and shopping malls.

Golf courses and local temple landmarks add to the attractions.

If you want a lively holiday, Pattaya may just be for you.

2- Explore Bangkok’s Temples
best time to visit bangkok thailand
There’s no best time to visit Thailand to explore Bangkok as it’s steamy any time of the year.

Bangkok has many attractions, and on rainy days, there are plenty that will keep you indoors.

Thailand’s traffic is hectic, but there are waterways as well as the Skytrain with its 64 stations which helps you get around amidst the crowds.

Bangkok’s temples and museums are fascinating, with rain an inconvenience, but not much more.

3- Visit The Bridge Over The River Kwai
best time of year to visit thailand
Huay Mae Khamin Waterfall in Kanchanaburi fills up after the rains, so the best time to visit Thailand to see gushing waterfalls is July and August.

The rains see some of the National Parks at their best.

Waterfalls are full and everything looks fertile and truly lush.

Khao Yai in Kanchanaburi is the first one to investigate.

The location is in the northwest, where you will find the World War II Death Railway linking Thailand to Burma.

This is “The Bridge over the River Kwai.”

A museum and cemetery are true reminders of those terrible days.

4- Relax On Koh Tao
best time to visit thailand tripadvisor Row of oxygen tanks and diving equipment placed on modern boat in rippling ocean near Koh Tao resort, Thailand. Concept of tourist sports extreme entertainment, adventure and new experience
The best time to go diving in Thailand around the islands is from March to September.

Water sports enthusiasts will find excellent diving near Koh Tao, an island in the Gulf of Thailand.

Divers can explore tropical coral reefs with the chance of seeing marine life such as whale sharks and rays.

Equipment is available for hire, so there is no need to take yours with you.

The tourist infrastructure is excellent, with plenty of bars, restaurants and nightclubs.

The beaches are great for the less energetic who simply want the sun’s rays and a swim.

5- Attend The Por Tor Hungry Ghost Festival

Phuket in the Andaman Sea is a popular resort with much more than beaches to enjoy.

Por Tor Hungry Ghose Festival in August celebrates ancestors, which are so important in Thai culture, though initially Chinese traditions were its origins.

Top tips:

  • You need a light showerproof jacket, good footwear and something to protect your pack from the rain.
  • Think about your itinerary because travel within the country can be slow with the rains making some roads virtually impassable.
  • Research Thai culture and ensure you respect the country’s traditions.

Thailand (September To November)

best time of year to visit thailand beaches
There’s no best time to visit Thailand for a beach holiday. Go now!

The mountainous northern region of Thailand, while cooler than other parts of the country, sees rains recede, leaving a fascinating place to explore.

Chiang Mai is its focal point, a city with good domestic connections with Bangkok.

Thai riverboat races take advantage of the water in its rivers, with plenty of other attractions taking place alongside the rivers themselves, such as street food, games and performances.

Visitor numbers rise in October in Bangkok and points north, but there are still not the numbers expected in a matter of weeks.

In the south, several provinces hold vegetarian festivals popular with those interested in food.

Such festivals are full of colour.

Soon it is the best time to enjoy the country’s beaches with the Eastern Gulf at its best.

Here are some guideline stats but remember there are regional variations:

  • September (Sunrise 0605, Sunset 1820, Average Low Temperature 25C (77F), Average High Temperature Average High 33C (91F))
  • October (Sunrise 0605, Sunset 1800, Average Low Temperature 25C (77F), Average High Temperature 33C (91F)
  • November (Sunrise 0615, Sunset 1750, Average Low Temperature 25C (77F), Average High Temperature 33C (91F)

Five Things to do in Thailand (September To November)

1- Float A Lantern During Loy Krathong
the best time of year to visit thailand buy flowers and candle to light and float on water to celebrate the Loy Krathong festival in Thailand.
The best time to visit Thailand for a festival is during Loy Krathong.

Loy Krathong Festival in November is famous for its lanterns that give thanks to the water spirits for a good harvest.

Chiang Mai is a great place to watch this floating lantern ceremony because it also hosts another festival at that time, Yee Peng, which is unique to the north.

Its date follows the lunar calendar, the full moon in the 12th month, usually November.

2- Eat At The Phuket Vegetarian Festival
best time to visit thailand in the year
One of the best times to visit Thailand if you’re a vegetarian is during the Vegetarian Festival in October.

Phuket Vegetarian Festival includes a variety of rituals, including fire walking.

It lasts for nine days and originates in the Chinese community that settled there.

Its purpose is to seek a healthy life and a good future.

Events during the festival include parades and worship.

It is very colourful, and participants abstain from meat and alcohol for the duration of the event.

3- Enjoy The Bangkok International Festival

The Bangkok International Festival over a few days attracts large crowds.

Music and dance are central to the celebrations, with opera and ballet prominent and a diverse range of entertainment.

International performers play a prominent role in the event, which is now an annual event in its third decade.

4- Cheer On The Longboats In Surat Thani
best time to visit thailand Thai traditional long-tail boat on a lake with mountains at Ratchaprapha Dam or Khao Sok National Park
The best time to visit Thailand’s Khao Sok National Park in Surat Thani Province is from June to September.

Surat Thani’s longboat races are just one of the similar events on Thailand’s rivers.

Surat Thani is a long way south of Bangkok, faces east into the Gulf of Thailand and is the gateway to several popular tourist destinations such as Ko Samui and Ko Tao.

The races are a reason to stop en route.

5- Visit The Islands

Andaman Coastal beaches in November are at their best.

There are several popular islands, an example Koh Chang, one of Thailand’s largest islands which has dense jungle to explore as well as beaches and reefs to enjoy.

Top tips:

  • Wherever you intend to go in Thailand, pack to cater for expected, and even unexpected, weather conditions.
  • Avoid rush hour times if you intend to explore Bangkok.
  • Respect local traditions, especially those relating to Buddhism, Thailand’s religion, even if you are in a predominantly tourist area.

Thailand (December To February)

best time to visit thailand phuket Aerial view of Naka Island near Phuket Thailand, a tropical Island in Thailand with beach chairs in the pool.
The coolest season and best time to visit Phuket is between November and February.

December to February is the high season in many parts of Thailand.

Popular places will be busy and anyone wanting a quiet holiday may find it difficult to find somewhere suitable.

In general, humidity falls during these months, making the temperature more comfortable, and Bangkok is a place to explore, even though there will be crowds and traffic.

Why not choose the waterways to get around and get a different perspective of the city?

Thailand has plenty of festivals throughout the year, and the winter months offer several that provide visitors to Thailand with memorable experiences.

Here are some guideline stats but remember there are regional variations:

  • December (Sunrise 0630, Sunset 1755, Average Low Temperature 22C (71F), Average High Temperature Average High 32C (89F))
  • January (Sunrise 0645, Sunset 1810, Average Low Temperature 22C (71F), Average High Temperature 32C (89F)
  • February (Sunrise 0640, Sunset 1825, Average Low Temperature 24C (75F), Average High Temperature 33C (91F)

Five Things to do in Thailand (December to February)

1- Go To The Beach
thailand best time of year to visit
The best time to visit Thailand is when you have enough time to slow down and savour a delicious Thai meal by the beach.

December and January are the peak months for going to the beach, but you need to be happy in crowds and prepared to face the highest prices of the year.

2- Go Trekking In The North
best time of the year to visit thailand
Looking for the best time to visit Thailand for a festival? See hand-painted cotton umbrellas in assorted colours with flower motifs at a handicraft festival in Bo Sang Umbrella Festival in Chiang Mai.

The cooler north is excellent for trekking. While in the north, in January, there is the Umbrella Festival in Bo Sang, close to Chiang Mai.

3- Celebrate Chinese New Year
best time to visit china and thailand red lanterns
The best time to visit Thailand for activity and colour is during Chinese New Year.

Chinese New Year is usually in February or late January.

It is far more important than Christmas and the New Year celebrated on 31 December or 1 January.

CNY celebrations last for days, with streets decorated in bright colours and it’s a great time for shopping because the shops offer attractive discounts.

The Chinatown district in Bangkok is the place to experience the celebrations.

4- Celebrate Makha Bucha
what is the best time to visit thailand giant buddha
The best time to visit Thailand is during a festival, such as Makha Bucha in Phutthamonthon in Thailand.

Makha Bucha Day provides a chance to observe an important Buddhist celebration.

Wat Saket in Bangkok is one opportunity if you are in Bangkok, but there are other places across the country.

This national holiday takes place based on the lunar calendar, and you can expect processions, chanting, prayers, and food offerings.

5- Visit Sam Phan Bok
what's the best time to visit thailand Beautiful amazing of rocks, Natural of rock canyon in mekhong river ,
One of the best times to visit Thailand’s northern regions is between March and May. Here’s Hat Chom Dao in the Ubon Ratchathani province of northeast Thailand.

Sam Phan Bok in Ubon Ratchathani is only accessible in the dry season, so do some research.

It’s Thailand’s Grand Canyon on the iconic Mekong River.

The name translates into “3,000 shallow lakes” in the Isaan language of northeast Thailand.

It is a wonder that is still not on the bucket lists of mass tourists and is accessible by longboat.

Top tips:

  • This is high season in some parts of Thailand, so book in advance to avoid disappointment at popular resorts.
  • Light cotton clothing is the most comfortable in warm weather, with beach wear disrespectful in the streets themselves
  • Think about carrying a mosquito spray and simple first aid things if you are going to remote regions.

Also read:

Thailand (March To May)

best time to visit phuket thailand
Explore the islands on a traditional wooden longtail boat and discover beautiful beaches. The best time to visit Thailand for an island vacation is during the shoulder season from April to June.

Temperatures start to rise as spring approaches, with divers likely to enjoy the Andaman Coast.

Even though the seas are now warm, they will certainly cool you off if you are spending time on the beach.

This is not the ideal time to see the main attractions in cities, especially Bangkok, but if you have no choice but to be there, and you want to tour, it makes sense to organise a local tour and move around in air-conditioned transport.

Hotel air-conditioning will be working overtime so you will be comfortable in your accommodation.

In April, the Thai New Year is holiday time, and the locals have an answer to the heat, water fights which are friendly and an excellent way to cool down.

They form part of a three-day celebration in the middle of the month.

Here are some guideline stats but remember there are regional variations:

  • March (Sunrise 0625, Sunset 1830, Average Low Temperature 26C (79F), Average High Temperature Average High 34C (93F))
  • April (Sunrise 0600, Sunset 1830, Average Low Temperature 27C (81F), Average High Temperature 35C (95F)
  • May (Sunrise 0550, Sunset 1840, Average Low Temperature 26C (79F), Average High Temperature 35C (95F)

Five Things to do in Thailand (March To May)

1- Eat Thai Cuisine
thailand best time to visit Assorted Thai food
There’s no best time to visit Thailand to taste the food, such as tom yum, tom kha gai, pad thai noodles, thai fried rice with pork and vegetables, khao phat mu, green papaya salad som tam and fruit.

Chinese cuisine was the first to spread widely, but Thai cooking is now not far behind.

It has distinctive elements such as lemon grass and relies upon four basic tastes: sweet, sour, salty and spicy.

Make sure you eat Thai in different places in the country.

2- Listen To Music At The Pattaya for its International Music Festival

Head to Pattaya for its International Music Festival, which lasts three days every March, and is free.

It takes place on the beach, so it would be hard to charge admission anyway.

Music in many styles plays throughout the event, ranging from jazz and R&B to reggae.

The music performances start in the early evening and continue until the early hours.

3- Join A Water Fight

You can choose from Bangkok, Phuket and Chiang Mai if you want to participate in the water fights, which take place in one of the hottest months of the year.

In mid-April, there are three days of public holidays, so everyone is likely to take part, and nothing stops you from doing so.

It’s a great way to cool off.

4- Eat Durian At The Chanthaburi Fruit Festival

The Chanthaburi Fruit Festival in May involves plenty of activities.

The fruit that highlights the festival is the durian, which has a soft creamy taste but a dreadful smell.

You will not be allowed on public transport with a durian that has been opened, and hotel reception is likely to stop you as well.

Try it, even if you may have to hold your nose.

5- Enjoy The Slow Pace In Isaan

With hot weather everywhere, you should look for a place with a laidback lifestyle.

Isaan in the northeast is rarely busy because there are no beaches and few major landmarks.

However, it is an interesting agricultural region (Thailand’s rice bowl), with friendly locals and a quiet pace of life.

Enjoy the temples and countryside at your own pace, and perhaps do a little fishing?

Top tips:

  • Be prepared for hot weather so keep access to water, especially if you intend to do any exploring.
  • With fewer crowds, lower prices are a feature so check for available savings.
  • Be careful about spending too much time out in the sun. You’ll get a suntan without trying but have sun lotions to hand at all times.

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Steve Smith is a widely travelled man who has lived on the South West Coast of Turkey since 2008. He hails from North East England where he lived most of his life but has been to every continent of the world, with a particular love for Southern Africa and its wildlife. He lists Argentina, India, and Vietnam as other favourite places that he enjoyed greatly while sport is also a passion, cricket and golf as a participant, rugby union and soccer as a spectator.