When to visit Thailand
When to visit Thailand
Best time to visit Thailand
As one of the world’s most popular travel destinations, Thailand can be visited year-round and truly offers something for everyone.
The recognised best time to visit Thailand is from November through to March. The monsoon season has passed, leaving the landscape lush and green. There is little rain to interrupt cultural sightseeing, outdoor adventure, or long days on the beach. The downside is that 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 at key sites such as Bangkok’s Grand Palace or Chiang Mai’s Doi Inthanon.
The peak of high season falls over late December and early January. As much of the northern hemisphere suffers from the cold and dark of winter, these weeks – with the extended Christmas school holidays – offer an enticing escape to welcoming tropical climes. Thailand’s biggest beach resorts – Phuket, Krabi, Hua Hin – are at their busiest and you’ll need to book early to secure first choice accommodation.
Thailand’s shoulder seasons fall over April, May and June (when the weather is mostly hot but dry) or September and October (when it’s fresh but changeable). 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 tranquillity.
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Thailand is a truly compelling destination, and with a varied climate which has something offer all around the year. We’ve put together an overview of climate season-by-season and region-by-region below.
High Season: Mostly excellent nationwide
October to March
The ‘winter’ months are the most popular time to visit Thailand, when the sun returns after the monsoon season and temperatures are hot but manageable. Daytime averages in Bangkok are around 90F, but you can escape the heat by traveling north to Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai to enjoy cooler mountain air. These months are especially good for Thailand’s beaches, with long, sunny days and clear, warm water. The excellent water clarity is advantageous for diving and snorkelling, while the cooler weathers make adventures in Thailand’s jungles and national parks more palatable.
Shoulder Season: Hot but dry
April to June
As the year moves through to April and May the heat really begins to rise, with inland temperatures averaging 98 to 101F. If you’re happy with the heat then these shoulder season months can be a good time to come to avoid the monsoons and enjoy both discounts and thinner crowds at tourist sites. Remember that the closer you are to the coast, the cooler it will be thanks to the sea breeze. The eastern Gulf islands Koh Chang, Koh Samet, and Koh Kut are especially nice during these months.
Wet Season: Good for Samui; Wet everywhere else
July to September
The heat is broken in July and August by incessant rains. The wet weather tends to keep most tourists away – which means lower prices and more opportunities to enjoy the major sites crowd-free. There are dry pockets in southern Thailand: the western Gulf coast is shielded from the worst of the rain, with mainland resorts Hua Hin and Khanom, and islands Koh Samui and Koh Tao, generally pretty good. An exciting family itinerary can be plotted through Bangkok, Kanchanaburi, Sam Roi Yot, and Cha Am.
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