Best Time To Visit Thailand – Perfect Season & Month To Go

The best time to visit Thailand is to pick the most ideal season to travel. November to March is the most cooling in the North. However, the south western side gets the heaviest rainfall in April and September while November is the wettest on the south eastern side especially on the Gulf of Thailand.

Thailand is the Numero Uno holiday destination in Asia and most western tourists will visit Bangkok, the heartbeat of Thailand. Bangkok is the capital and biggest city with a population of 10 million+. The Metro city has a mixed population majority Buddhist and the rest are minorities.

best time to visit Thailand

“In essence, the Thai people are not materialistic at all. They’re not in the least driven by the kind of ambition that drives us. The more I got to know them, and the more time I spent with them, the more I understood that this was a totally legitimate attitude to life, and why not?”
– John Burdett

This post will provide you with all the necessary information that I had experienced on the best months to visit Thailand which will pretty much make your travel plans easier.

The Best Time To Visit Thailand

The below chart shows the best time to visit Thailand top tourist destinations. Most of the hotels, resorts and similar type of accommodations follow these standard practices for seasonal rooms booking.

thailand tourist infoSource: The Yard Hostel

Weather Overview Thailand

Thailand climate is humid, typically of a tropical country. It’s pretty much accessible to most provinces unless you are planning a trip to the islands and beaches.

The rainy season might dampen your beach vacation where choppy water and higher sea level will cut off ferry and boat schedules, closes resorts and F&B establishments.

The 3 seasonal categories are HOT, RAINY & DRY.

  • Hot: March – May. Average temperature 29°C – 38°C largely in Central Thailand.
  • Rainy: June – October. Average temperature 26°C – 32°C whereby the rain are quick and short downpours.
  • Dry: November – February. Average temperature  19°C – 30°C and get even colder at attractions like Doi Ithanon National Park in Chiang Mai.

Weather Forecast: The best month to visit Central Thailand is favorably in the Dry season where the average temperature is around 30°C from November to June with paltry or no rain in some areas.

After the chilly dry or winter months, March will see the thermometer start rising up to 40°C somedays until the Rainy season with high humidity making outdoor activities uncomfortable.

Bangkok

 
 
 
 
 
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Damnoen Saduak Floating Market is just an hour from Bangkok and the most popular amongst tourists

Bangkok is the stepping stone for tourists from all over the world. International and domestic airports are lined next to each other making transit and transferring a breeze. Low-cost and cheap International flights are super plentiful.

The land & air transportation system is inexpensive and easy to access. From Bangkok, you can take an overnight bus to the northern provinces or catch a train to the southern islands.

The best activities I would recommend….

  • Rooftop Bar: The Millennium Hilton has a stunning 360° rooftop view of Bangkok and Chao Praya River. Perfect for sundowner with live music and never crowded.
  • Chao Phraya River: On a Chao Phraya River cruise at night, take in views of Bangkok’s beautiful landmarks with buffet dinner.
  • Plane Night Market: This new novel night bazaar is a decommissioned passenger plane smacked in the center of Chang Chui night market.

Weather Forecast: The Gulf of Thailand has few primary phases. You should expect sunny weather from December to February (dry season), with little rain and breezy winds that helps to keep you cool indoors as well as outdoors.

Due to the breezy and sunny weather, seaports activities are great at this time. March to May you will notice a constant rise in temperature averaging at 32°C.  June and July have beautiful sunshine with short downpours creating the perfect beach picture postcard scenario.  

Koh Samui

 
 
 
 
 
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Koh Samui is best to visit from November to February which is considered the dry season. This time is also the super peak season whereby cost of accommodations starts to soar. Favorite month for Italian to visit Ko Samui is on August where most of the accommodations are fully book and favorite long-stay tourists are from Sweden.

But, if you want to escape the high season, Koh Samui can be visited all year round. However, from November to January, boat trips for scuba diving and snorkeling to Koh Tao from Samui can be cancelled due to choppy waters from the Monsoon season.

 
 
 
 
 
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Samui can be categorized into 2 different groups of tourists. Central Chaweng is the most popular beach and are preferred by younger crowd while Lamai beach is more favored with the older set.

The best beach I would recommend….

What I like about Koh Samui is that you can explore the whole island on your own without getting lost. It’s because there is only a main ring road running along the coastline and it take about 45 mins by jeep or bike to complete the circle. All the inner streets, lanes and tracks leading to your resort etc are displayed with signboards.

Always booked your rental jeep with leading booking sites for insurance coverage incase of breakdowns and accidents. Some local shops providing rental vehicles will offer you a cheaper rental price. But insurance are sometimes not in proper order.

  • Best For Sunset View: Thong Krut Beach, near Baan Taling Ngam where most of the private villas and resorts on a hillslope offering beautiful sea view and nearby islands. A peaceful fishing village with shallow waters and muddy sea bottom, not recommended for swimming but stunning sunset where you can escape the crowd.
  • Best For Beach Activities: Chaweng is best for it’s diverse activities catering to the younger visitors with nightlife, parties, beach entertainment etc.  But from November to January, choppy waters and waves also bring in dirt and mud affecting the eastern coast of the island.
  • Best For Swimming: Choeng Mon Beach is a small lagoon but wide enough to accommodate tourists who likes strolling along it’s fine sand shoreline. The sand is light and doesn’t burn your feet which is super perfect for tanning.

Koh Phangan

 
 
 
 
 
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Thanks to it’s distinct island topography that fits all types of visitors including female solo travelers. Only 30 mins ferry ride direct from Bophut Beach, Koh Samui island, Koh Phangan can be visited all year round just like Samui.

Fame for it’s monthly Full Moon parties, the island is a favorite for Israelis to visit. Phangan is also a hotspot for Yoga retreats. At yogaretreat-kohphangan, programs such and detox and fasting are popular with visitors from 3 to 14 days. It’s founders and teachers are all long term westerners.

The best beach I would recommend….

  • Bottle Beach: For it’s sun-kiss white sand and clear turquoise color waters.
  • Hat Sadet: Rows of beachfront coconut trees makes this beach like you see in the movies. Super relaxing and great tanning spots as well.
  • Secret Beach: Every holiday beach destinations has it’s own sunset view to chill out and this beach has one of the best in South East Asia.

Things to know about Full Moon Party: 

There are Full Moon beach parties at Bali, Koh Toch in Cambodia and other top beach destinations but Phangan’s takes the cake.  Phangan’s full moon parties stretches almost the entire 2km of Haad Rin beach with more than 10 bars and clubs participating with top local and International guest DJs.

full moon party koh phanganSource: fullmoonparty-thailand

This 24hrs non-stop party-till-you-drop event starts as early as in the evening until the next day. The music, dancing and boozing never stop flowing till late in the  afternoon.

The best months to experience this party are on peak season (November-February) when you’ll find thousands of tourists and locals partying together on Haad Rin beach. Both Samui, Phangan and nearby islands will be at a standstill on this occasion..

There is an entrance fee of 100baht and the most popular drink is the “bucket”. A combination of alcohol of choice with ice, coke and Red Bull starting from 200baht pack into a silver bucket. Most resorts in Phangan are full at this time and requires 3-7 days of pre-booking.

It’s unsafe to pass out or sleep on the beach. Ensure your accommodations are nearby incase you need to “crash out” of the party. There are tons of resorts and bungalows nearby. Suggest not to book your accommodations that’s too far away although there are taxis plying from the party to your resort starting at 100baht.

Weather Forecast: The most popular Andaman Islands has 3 particular season but November to March is pretty much the prime time for tourists to flock into this beach paradise.

At an average temperature of 30°C with breezing days and cool nights, humidity levels are kept in check for all activities.

The rainy monsoon season comes early on this western side of Thailand, arriving end of May until October. But don’t get dishearten as this period is a good time to visit Khao Sok National Park

Other than these months, the rest gets short and torrential downpours mostly around noon. Nevertheless, the Andaman is one of the best beach destinations to visit all year round, rain or no rain.   

Phuket

 
 
 
 
 
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Loh Samah Bay, Phi Phi island is my most stunning beach in Thailand with breathtaking cliff and super clear waters

Phuket is a provincial island roughly the size of Singapore and can be categorized into 2 seasons which are Dry and Rainy/Wet.

The island is influenced by the rain-drenched southwest monsoon from May to October and the sunny days of northeast monsoon in November triggering the high season.

The best beach I would recommend….

  • Northern Kamala Beach: On the west coast of Phuket lies a totally relaxing sanctuary for those who are looking for a more peaceful and quiet year round beach holiday. For cheaper meals and street stall, check out Kamala road.
  • Children-Friendly Beach: Most hotels and resorts in Thailand have a policy for family vacation. Mai Kong, Kamala and Karon are the best beach to book your hotel with kids in tow.
  • Near Nightlife: Patong beach is my number 1 spot for nightlight and most hotels here cater to visitors who wants a “good time” and fun party scenario.

Hidden Gems

The southern eastern small islands are the best off-beat beaches to explore. Ko Hae, Ko Lon, Ko Mai, Ko Racha, Ko Yao, James Bond Island are some of the best offshore beaches with spectacular coral forest, limestone caves and super clear waters for sea activities.

The most popular scuba diving location – Similan islands which is a national park closes every year from May 16th to October 15th due to monsoons season. December to April is the high season where the waters are clear and the winds are totally calm.

Because of climate change, coral bleaching had taken place as early as 2010 and have not totally recovered. However, whale sharks and huge Manta Rays can sometimes be spotted here as well as clown and lion fish.

Krabi

 
 
 
 
 
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The best time to travel to Krabi is from November to March when the weather is sunny, cool and windy. Rainy days are few and brief. The offshore islands of Krabi are closed to visitors from April to October because of choppy waters making boat trips to outer islands risky and dangerous.

Despite being less popular than nearby Phuket, The island have all the beach holiday features to rival any top destinations. The karst limestone landscape of Phang Nga rising vertical out of the sea is a sight to behold.

With it’s natural attractions, top sea activities includes caves and waterfalls exploring, snorkeling, scuba and rock climbing.

The best beach I would recommend….

  • Ao Nang Beach: on the mainland is available to tourist arrivals all year. Although it has long stretch of shoreline with swaying palm trees, the waters are not ideal for swimming. Ao Nang is the stepping stone to all offshore islands and it’s the most developed with rows of bars, restaurants, hotels and all the touristy stuff.
  • Had Yao Beach: A hidden gem and a totally memorable view of Jum Mountain, Koh Phi Phi and cliff walls like in the King Kong movie. Around 7km in length with no rocky outcrop, this is the last of the pristine beach in south Thailand for travelers searching for a super relaxing beach holiday.

Weather Forecast: Up north to the Rose of Thailand, the weather conditions are pretty much the same as Central Thailand. It gets dry from November to May with limited rain. Sometimes, a torrential shower will hit the region but only for short period followed by sunny weather.

From March to May, the weather gets really hot and humid even though the region is densely forested with some of the highest mountain range in Thailand. The mercury level will start hitting 32°C to 35°C+ and that’s when you feel really sweaty and irritated.

The rainy seasons starts from May to October brought in by the south-west monsoon. The coldest months are from November to January. It’s also called a winter month whereby temperature can go as low as 10°C at Doi Inthanon National Park or Mae Hong Son province.

The worst time to be there is from mid March to end of April when farmers burn their fields for new crops planting season. The smog can get really terrible and blankets vast areas. Even wearing a mask won’t really helps. What we guys do is to escape to Krabi until it’s all over.

Chiang Mai

 
 
 
 
 
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The King’s and Queen’s twin pagoda are one of the top attractions in Doi Ithanon National Park 

Chiang Mai surrounded by the mountains of northern Thailand is a flourishing city often used as a base among both backpackers and tourists wishing to explore the lush landscapes, hill tribes and outdoor adventures of the region. The province is 700km up north from Bangkok and easy access by road and flight.

The best time to visit Chiang Mai is from middle October to February in the dry season. The weather is humid and warm but it gets chilly at night. November is a good time to visit top attractions.

The main attraction Doi Ithanon is best visited on November but due to Thailand’s local holiday season, expect heavy traffic jam leading to the National Park. The trick is to visit the park just before the Thai holidays.

The best attractions I would recommend….  

Chiang Mai is unique in the sense that most of the best attractions and sightseeing requires half or full day to complete because of the road trips along mountainous region and lush landscape. Check out my earlier post for full details on top attractions and activities.

TRAVEL TIPS: 10 Things To Do In Chiang Mai – Best Attractions

Unfortunately, the best month to travel to Thailand mostly falls on the peak season whereby tons of tourists will be flocking to all the popular destinations. But there are other similar holiday spots available on non peak season too.

You can save on travel costs, avoid crowds and most of all, having your trip all to yourself. Planning the best time to visit Thailand is not about a picture-perfect trip but it has to be safe, smooth sailing and a memorable experience to cherish.

Best Time To Visit Thailand – Perfect Season & Month To Go