When is the best time of year to visit Thailand?
This is a popular question that people have been asking us since we arrived in this tropical country.
Chiang Mai in the rainy season
Firstly there are three seasons in Thailand…..Cool, Hot and Rainy.
The Cool season, winter, is generally from November through to February.
This time of year is when there is the least amount of rainfall, most hours of sunshine per day and the temperatures are more moderate, yet still hot, but with less humidity.
For this reason, the cool season is the most popular time to visit the country and is Thailand’s peak tourist season.
The popularity around this time of year has pushed the hotel and guesthouse prices up to almost double, especially over the Christmas and New Year period. Flights into the country are more expensive than at other times of the year and the tourist attractions and beaches can become crowded and busy.
The Hot season is around March to May.
The hot season in Thailand isn’t called hot for no reason, with temperatures reaching 40 degrees+ and humidity levels on the rise. Especially around April, the hottest time of the year, and during the Songkran festival.
Going out during the day time at this time of year needs to be thought out, walking around all day and seeing the sites of Thailand wouldn’t be advisable, sticking to early mornings and evenings.
Making sure you always have a bottle of water with you is essential as dehydration can be upon you quickly.
A/C over fan only, would be the preferred option for when booking hotel rooms ect
Rain and thunderstorms are more common during these months than in the cool season, though the rain is welcome to cool down the air and gives a break from the heat.
The Rainy season begins from June till October, although this is the least predictable of the seasons and varies each year, starting earlier or ending later.
The temperature in Thailand at this time of year is still hot, though noticeably cooler than the previous months of the Hot season.
Don’t be put off by the term ‘Rainy’ season. Though it does rain more at this time of year compared to almost no rain at all in the cool season, it is not every day and the rain showers are heavy and fast, clearing up almost as quickly as they begun.
The benefits of travel at this time of year are countless. The landscape is at its peak, the country is lusher, greener, the waterfalls come alive and are more forceful and majestic.
There are less tourists which not only means hotel rooms and flights are much cheaper, with accommodation up to half price than in the peak season, but the popular tourist attractions are quieter and less crowded.
If you are a beach lover and are after the three S’s – Sun, Sea and Sand, sunbathing and hanging out on the beach all day on one of the many lovely islands in the South of the country, the cool season is best time for that. April would be a no go month for spending hours on the beach. Although it doesnt mean that it is impossible. There will definitely be days when laying on the beach is do-able, there just may be more cloudy days than sunny ones.
Azure oceans and tropical blue skies
However if you want landscapes, quieter sites, cheaper hotels, less crowds and don’t mind a bit of rain now and again, June or July could be a good time for you.
Moody skies of Northern Thailand out of ‘peak’ season
The North of Thailand has always slightly cooler temperatures than the South, no matter what the season. December in Pai was very cold and I needed a jumper and jeans on in the evenings! Don’t be suprised to see Thais wearing ear muffs, scarves and woolly hats in the cool season.
In my opinion there is no ‘best’ time to visit Thailand. Any time is good – Visitors should come to Thailand year round, it is a diverse country and not all about the beaches!
We have lived in Thailand through all the seasons and personally I have to say the rainy season is my favorite, although this is coming from Chiang Mai in the north of Thailand. Stunning landscapes, moody skies, and cheap travel, you really can’t beat it!
There are negatives and positives for all the seasons, it just depends on what you want from your trip to Thailand.
Sacha El-Haj – 8 Miles from Home
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