When is the Best Time to Visit Thailand?
Best Time to Visit Thailand? This question repeats time and again, and surely for families, the answer is affected by holidays and school vacations. However, there are other factors that will influence the timing of your trip, the level of satisfaction you will gain and the budget you will need. This article will review the seasons in Thailand, and detail their advantages and shortcomings, so you can take the weather conditions and implications into account, among other factors, when considering the timing of your trip.
The two main factors that will significantly influence your trip to Thailand, both in terms of your satisfaction and in terms of the budget you’ll need, are a. seasons and weather (heat on the one hand, and pouring rain on the other), and b. the high season / the low season of travel.
What’s the best time of year to go to Thailand ( Best Time to Visit Thailand )?
Before I discuss these topics in detail, let me say this: you can definitely visit Thailand throughout the entire year, but it is highly recommended to know and prepare in advance to the weather in different regions. It may considerably influence your plans, just like the high/low tourist seasons (including the holidays), which can certainly impact your travel budget.
FYI What’s the best time of year to go to Northern Thailand ? : When it comes to Northern Thailand (Chiang Mai and its surroundings) – March-April are known as the worst months possible to visit the area due to aridness and multiple fires, which result in heavy air pollution including a high increase in the frequency of lung diseases in the area. Therefore, you should probably avoid visiting Northern Thailand during this time of the year.
Best Time to Visit Thailand? – Thailand weather
As a general rule, you can say that Thailand consists of 2 climate types – tropical in the south and savanna tropical in the north. In the northern, north-eastern and central parts of the country, there are 3 distinct seasons, classified as hot, wet and cool.
The hot season – from March-May typically features a high temperature of some 35 degrees Celsius (95 degrees Fahrenheit) or 40 (104 F) in April. Now and again, it may rain during this season.
The wet season – typically starts by late May and continues (with brief pauses here and there) until November. The common temperature is around 30 degrees (86 F) but the humidity is very high, and may reach 90%. Although this season is known to have heavy showers, it’s rare to see it rains all day. Starting from July, it rains every day for 3-4 hours, usually during the late afternoon or evening. At the beginning of the wet season, the rain is not very strong, yet hard to predict, as it appears all of the sudden. As the wet season progresses, we see stronger rain showers, and by July/August – October reach their peak. During these months, storms are to be expected, and floods may also take place in different regions of Thailand.
The “cool” season – Best Time to Visit Thailand . the word “cool” is in quotation marks as the weather is not chilly, but rather spring-like at best. While in Northern Thailand, and particularly in high places, the temperatures may be low during the night/evening, in most parts of Thailand, the weather echoes what most people consider as spring – warm (and even more) during the day, and very pleasant at night. The “cool” season begins on November and lasts until February.
Best Time to Visit Thailand? – Southern Thailand
The weather in the southern parts of Thailand is divided into 2 seasons – the hot season and the wet season. There is no ‘cool’ season and the temperature difference between the 2 is hardly significant. It’s important to notice that the wet season in the southern parts of Thailand differs in the west side (Andaman) vs. the east side (Gulf of Thailand).
At the east side – (Gulf of Thailand) Koh Samui, Ko Tao, Ko Pha Ngan – most of the rain showers between October – December / January.
Best Time to Visit Thailand, In conclusion: the holiday resorts, beaches, and islands of the west side (Andaman sea with Khao Lak, Krabi, Koh Lanta, Ko Lipe and more) are far preferable than the east side islands (Koh Samui, Ko Pha Ngan etc.). In the summertime, the weather in the eastern islands is better, but if you arrive at Thailand during October – May – the western side is far better. The wet season in the eastern islands stretches from October to January, and it’s a terrible season to visit them.
Many tourists choose to visit Thailand between July to September and are tempted to fly to Koh Samui after hearing the urban legend that it rains the least there during this season.
However, you should keep in mind:
* From July-September – the average rain amount at Hua Hin beach resort (Prachuap Khirikhan) is lower than in places such as Koh Samui and Ko Pha Ngan, as a short look into interactive weather map will show you.
* In Northern Thailand, the average rain amount during July/August is also much higher than in central Thailand (regions such as kachumbari for instance).
Take into account that various agents with different interests are active in Thailand discussion groups and forums and that they try to steer tourists in specific directions that best serve their agendas and/or businesses. Therefore, it’s important that you will receive updated, reliable information from different sources and thoroughly consider your travel routes in the summertime – during the monsoon months. You should also think of the weather conditions in the different regions across Thailand.
Travel Seasons in Thailand
The travel season (high/low tourist season) has 2 significant implications – it influences the prices of hotels and other tourist services, and affects the crowding in tourist attractions and popular sites.
The high/busy season in Thailand stretches between November – February (the winter months in Europe and the U.S.A). It is the most convenient season weather wise in most of the regions in Thailand. During this time, the hotel prices soar (especially in the beach and holiday resorts), and most of them are fully booked. So if you are planning to visit Thailand during the high season – make sure to book your tours, hotel rooms etc. sufficiently in advance. Additionally, pay attention to holidays such as Christmas and New Year’s Eve, as prices skyrocket during these times.
There’s also a ‘mini-peak’ during July-August, the months of school vacations in Europe and the states. Despite the uncomfortable weather, the prices at this time tend to rise higher, and the tourists are crowding popular attractions and famous sites.
The low/off season – despite a certain discomfort as a result of the weather, visiting Thailand at this time has its advantages, including cheap hotel prices and low-priced tourist services, uncrowded beaches, islands and other attractions – that thus become more enjoyable to visit.
Best Time to Visit Thailand, In conclusion: here, are a few guidelines to keep in mind when planning your visit to Thailand
– You can visit Thailand and enjoy this wonderful country throughout the entire year, but it is highly recommended to plan your visit, the tours and activities in advance, according to the expected weather in the region you plan to visit. Take into account that monsoon rains can certainly interrupt and change your plans.
– Try to refrain from visiting Northern Thailand (Chiang Mai and its surroundings) from March-April, since the aridness and multiple fires during these months, result in heavy air pollution including a high increase in the frequency of lung diseases in the area.
– Thailand is a tropical country, and it can rain every day of the year. No place in Thailand is rain-proof, and “rainy months” merely refer to average amounts of rain; no one can guarantee a specific weather at a certain time and place.
– If you are planning to visit Thailand during one of the season peaks – make sure to place your orders of hotels, tours and attractions ahead of time – or else you might miss out and have to change your plans. Instead of getting what you want, you’ll have to settle for what was left, and pay a very high cost for it.
– If you plan on visiting the southern regions of Thailand – pay attention to the different weather conditions in the western side (Phuket, Krabi etc.) and the eastern side (Koh Samui, Ko Tao, Ko Pha Ngan etc.). During the monsoon season at these regions, sailing to different islands can be unpleasant and even dangerous. In many cases – cruises and day-trips can be cancelled.
– To those who plan diving and snorkeling in Surin and Similan islands (the best in Thailand, and some of the best in the world for these purposes) – the season begins in November and ends towards late April/early May.
Best Time to Visit Thailand, To sum it up : a trip to Thailand is quite an expense, so you should thoroughly consider where and when to travel!! Don’t listen to travel agents (hidden or not) who will try to direct you according to their own, personal interests. Search the internet for informative, useful websites, that will assist you in choosing what’s right for you.
After all that has been said, I’d like to wish you a wonderful trip to Thailand!! Enjoy your stay in this beautiful land!!