The Best Time to Go to Bangkok
Bangkok by seasons
If you like the heat, then you’ll be in your element in Bangkok. Based on average annual temperatures, the city is officially the hottest in the world, and at the height of the hot season can be a steamy, sweaty urban jungle. Unlike milder cities, Bangkok experiences three seasons: hot, wet and dry, with the more moderate cool season being the most popular time to travel, especially over the festive period.
March to May
The hot season is just that: hot. Temperatures average at about 35°C but often lie closer to 40°C. There’s very little rain at this time, making it a good time for sightseeing, although it can get pretty sticky at times. When the midday heat is at its strongest, Bangkok has plenty of air-conditioned malls to choose from, or choose a hotel with a pool.
Royal Ploughing Ceremony: in May dress in your Sunday best as royality attend this prestigious event marking the beginning of the new rice planting season.
Songkran: The Thai new year falls in April and brings much excitement to Bangkok’s streets as the residents enjoy a mass water fight as they splash each other to wash away sins.
June to October
The southwest monsoon arrives in Bangkok towards the end of May, and rainfall increases steadily towards September. Storms are usually short and loud, lasting a couple of hours at the most, so it’s still very possible to explore the city at this time. Best of all, there are fewer people around and you can nab some real bargains on hotels and tours.
Vegetarian Festival: Veggie or not, this is a fun festival celebrating non-meat dishes that centres around Bangkok’s Chinatown in October. Look out for sizzling vegetable noodles and silky tofu.
Hungry Ghost Festival: this traditional Buddhist and Taoist festival is celebrated in late August. The ghosts of deceased ancestors come back to earth for the day, and are honoured with edible offerings.
November to February
The cool season is ideal for exploring Bangkok on foot. Temperatures and humidity levels drop to the mid-twenties and the chances of rain are very low, bringing bright, blue sky days and cool and pleasant evenings (sometimes below 20°C) where you might even need a jumper. This also means that it’s the most popular time to visit, so be prepared for hotels to be full and attractions to be busy.
Christmas: Christmas may not be a Buddhist festival, but it is still celebrated in Bangkok. The city is decorated with lights, and shopping, eating and partying take precedence.
Chinese New Year: With a sizeable Chinese population, Bangkok’s Chinatown is a great place to join in with the dragons, firecrackers and parade that fills the street, not to mention all the food.