The Best Time to Visit Southern Thailand & the Islands
Southern Thailand & the Islands by season
While Thailand as a whole has three seasons, hot, wet and dry, the south of the country only really has two: wet and dry. The climate varies between the Andaman and Gulf of Thailand beaches, with the wet season’s peak rains falling at slightly different times, meaning that it’s always a sunny day on the islands, if you know where to look. To help you decide when to travel, we've split southern Thailand into its two seasons.
November – May
The dry season is the most popular time to visit Thailand’s beaches, especially the Christmas period, which attracts sun-seeking Europeans and Americans escaping the winter. While the east coast can be a little rainy at this time, the Andaman Coast beaches around Phuket, Krabi and Ko Phi Phi are at their sunshiny best as temperatures approach the mid-30s (°C).
Outdoor adventures: warm sunny days are perfect for hiking in Khao Sok National Park or the interior jungles of Phuket, or climbing and kayaking in Krabi.
Songkran: otherwise known as Thai New Year, Songkran involves throwing scented water at people to remove bad luck, and is held from 13th to 15thApril all over the country.
June – October
The rains may start to fall during the hot and humid wet season, but sunshine is never too far away. In southern Thailand, most rain falls on the eastern Andaman Coast, making the western Gulf of Thailand around Ko Samui and Ko Phangan the ideal beach lazing spot. In Khao Sok National Park, the wet season is the best time to spot bears, birds, elephants or even tigers.
Sat Duan Sip Festival: in August, head to Krabi to celebrate the Festival of the Tenth Lunar Month, where families join colourful parades and make elaborate offerings to their deceased ancestors.
Phuket Vegetarian Festival: meat-eater or not, you can’t fail to be impressed by the fire-walking feats performed by Phuket’s Chinese community as they celebrate vegetarianism in October.