One of the world’s most popular destinations, Thailand can be visited year-round. It offers something for everyone, from culture vultures and foodies to outdoor adventurers, partiers and those seeking enlightenment. It’s not a question of whether to go, but when is the best time to visit Thailand.
Overview of the Best Time to Visit Thailand
Many feel the best time to visit Thailand is from November through March. The monsoon season has passed, leaving the landscape lush and green, while the weather is more pleasant, with little rain to interrupt days at the beach and other activities, or prevent you from reaching areas that may not be accessible due to flooding. The downside is there will be more tourists here than any other time of the year, so accommodation rates may be higher, and you might have to battle the crowds, depending on your destination.
The next best times to visit Thailand are the shoulder seasons, April, May and June, or September and October. April and May can be great months for visiting coastal areas, while September and October are ideal for visiting the north and the gulf coast. The shoulder seasons see fewer visitors, bringing more opportunities to discover a slice of tranquility.
High Season: November through March
The most popular time to visit Thailand, in November the sun returns after the monsoon season, so you’ll have little rain to contend with. Daytime temperatures average in the 90s Fahrenheit in Bangkok, so it will be warm, but you can escape the heat by traveling north to enjoy a cooler mountain climate. It’s a good time to time to go to the beach and enjoy the clear, warm waters. If you visit during the beginning or end of the season, there won’t be as many tourists. Come around Christmastime, however, and you’ll see the biggest crowds of the year. If you plan to come during the high season, be sure to book any tickets and accommodation in advance to ensure availability.
Shoulder Season: April through June, September and October
The shoulder season months can be a good time to come to avoid the monsoons and enjoy some discounts without having to battle the crowds. In the spring, the heat really begins to rise, and by May it will be hot inland, with temperatures averaging 98 to 101 degrees Fahrenheit in Bangkok. The closer you are to the coast, the cooler it will be, thanks to the sea breeze. This is a good time to visit popular destinations like Phuket, Chiang Mai and the capital with fewer tourists and lower accommodation rates. September and October can be rainy in some parts of the country, including the south-east coast, Koh Samui and Krabi. If you want to avoid it and plan to visit then, head to the gulf coast or the north. It will be cooler; however, with average daytime temperatures of 93 to 94 degrees Fahrenheit.
Low Season: July and August
July and August bring incessant rain, which tends to keep the tourist away – that means lower prices and more opportunities to enjoy the country without rubbing elbows with so many others. It’s not the best time to go to the beaches along the southern coast in particular as they get significant rainfall during the monsoon season. August is the rainiest month, especially in Chiang Mai and the Golden Triangle. The better news is that the east coast beaches experience more sunshine now and you can enjoy a cheaper holiday too. It’s also the best time for diving at Koh Tao. In Bangkok, the average daytime temperature this time of year is 95 to 96 degrees Fahrenheit.
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