When to Go to Thailand
Thailand by season
Thailand has just three seasons: hot, cool and wet. The weather varies considerably across the country, with the best time to visit depending on your interests and itinerary. Peak seasons are April and Christmas time, but consider visiting in the shoulder seasons either side of these periods for considerable savings.
March – May
The hot season is exactly that: hot. After the cool season, temperatures climb rapidly towards the mid-30s (°C), bringing blissfully warm and sunny days and making this the ideal time to escape the city and hit the country’s islands and beaches. Low levels of rain in April make it a particularly popular month to come, while further into May a scattering of showers slows down the visitor numbers slightly, especially on the west coast beaches where rain is more likely.
National Thai Elephant Day: on 13th March, the Thais celebrate their national animal and raise elephant awareness with Buddhist ceremonies and grand feasts held in their honour.
Songkran: from 13th-15th April, Thai New Year, scented water is thrown into the streets and at people to wash away their sins and remove bad luck.
June – October
During the wet season, the annual monsoon brings rain showers, but don’t let that put you off. Plenty of sun can still be found in June, especially on the east coast, but by July the temperatures start to drop and the wind increases. During August and September it’s best to avoid the beaches and instead head towards the lush jungles of the north. The rains continue into October but the temperature and humidity drops, making for a more comfortable visiting time, especially towards the end of the month.
Hungry Ghost Festival: in Phuket, Chiang Mai and Bangkok, in mid August to early September, residents head to the shrines to make offerings to the ghosts that return to earth for the day.
Vegetarian Festival: join the parades and watch the fire-walking as Phuket’s Chinese community goes vegetarian for nine days.
November – February
At the start of the cool season, beach-lazers return to the west coast as warm sunny days return, albeit with chilly evenings and mornings. By December, the Christmas peak has arrived, and the weather is glorious across the country, with little chance of rain. To avoid the festive rush, stick to the cooler north. The hot and dry weather continues countrywide through to February, making this an ideal time to visit.
Loi Krathong: in November, candles and lanterns light up country, celebrating the Festival of Light.
Chinese New Year: in January or February, welcome in the new year with the rest of Bangkok with parades, parties and feasting.
Chiang Mai Flower Festival: on the first weekend of February, marking the end of the cool season, head to Chiang Mai for parades, blooming flowers and the annual cherry blossom display.