Best time to visit Thailand
Thinking of taking a trip to Thailand and wondering when is the best time to go?
The ideal time to take a trip to Thailand depends very much on what you want to do and what you want to experience. Thailand has a tropical climate which means it experiences a lot of rain and has high humidity - whilst it can be worth considering the time of year when rain and humidity are lower, it’s not always about the weather - cost might be an important factor or finding a quieter time to go.
Thailand is a country with a huge amount to offer including fabulous food, beautiful scenery, a fascinating culture and some of the nicest beaches in the world to relax on.
If you want to get the most out of your trip, then choosing the best time of year to visit Thailand is well worth consideration - we have put together some useful information that we hope will help you to decide.
When is the best time to visit Thailand based on the climate?
As the climate is tropical, the weather varies from season to season but in the more southern parts of the country it also varies from east to west. The climate differs from the dry season with lots of lovely warm and sunny days to the monsoon season which brings with it lots of rain and high humidity.
For most of Thailand, the driest part of the year is between November and early April and many do consider this to be the best time to visit - with temperatures between 32 and 36 degrees, you can get up to 9 hours of sunshine a day.
However, the best time to visit Thailand will depend on where you are going and what you want to do.
When is the best time to visit Thailand for a beach holiday?
If you are considering a beach holiday in the southern regions of Thailand, then it is useful to know that the climate differs between the west and east coasts. On the east, the weather is favourable for most of the year with rainfall lowest in January and February and highest in November and December, whilst the west coast sees better weather during November through to March.
If you are not looking for a relaxing beach style holiday but more interested in experiencing and absorbing the amazing culture, seeing the historical sights, visiting some of the more than 100 National parks or maybe experiencing a festival, like the Songkran Water Festival, then other times of the year may be more suitable for you.
The High Season - November to March
If you want to visit Thailand when the weather is more pleasant, less humid and drier, then the best time is during the high season which is between November and early April, where temperatures range from 29 to 36 degrees. January is usually the least humid month with February and March the driest.
If you are the adventurous type and fancy some jungle trekking or river rafting, then this is the best time to go as it will be drier and safer than at other times of the year. Other than the climate, the benefits of travelling during the high season are that almost everything will be open with boats running to all those beautiful islands.
There is rainfall all year round in Thailand so don’t expect to stay dry all the time and be aware that the high season means it is also the most popular. The main downside to the high season is that it will be the most expensive for flights and accommodation. It's also the busiest time of year, so visiting temples and places of historical value may mean quite a bit of queueing.
The Low Season – July to October
This is the best time to visit Thailand if you are on a budget. The low season is the monsoon season which means it rains heavily almost every day, the temperatures are warm and it gets very humid.
However, it’s not as bad as it sounds, most rainfall arrives in short bursts in the late afternoon or early evening and clears the air, so afterwards it can be very pleasant and is a great way to stay cool. As it is the low season, you need to be aware that some of the services and hotels in many of the less popular places may close down, but in the main spots like Bangkok and Chiang Mai this will be less of a problem.
Be aware that some of the islands close down as boat services are limited due to the weather, although some will remain open and the gulf coast is the best place to avoid the rain.
The heavy rains ensure that the surrounding countryside looks amazing, green and lush and tour groups will be smaller and more personal. If you want to travel to other places in Thailand and are interested in the historical architecture and culture, it can be a very good time to go as it will be a lot less busy with the quietest times between May and September. Trips to waterfalls in the many national parks will also be at their best during this season due to the high levels of rain.
The Shoulder season - April to June, September to October
This can be a nice time to travel to Thailand when the monsoon is either just setting in or leaving, offering some of the same lovely weather as the high season but with fewer people and lower costs. The popular Songkran Water Festival, one of the world’s largest water fights, occurs in April, when the temperatures can be warm and the climate is much drier than in the low season. This also makes it is a great time to head to the coast as you will get the sea breeze to help cool you down and the beaches will be a lot quieter.
If the thought of high levels of humidity are a concern, you will be pleased to know that in most towns and cities air con is available in almost all hotels, apartments, restaurants and shops, so if the heat and humidity is becoming too much to bear you can escape it.
Be aware that the dreaded mosquitoes are prevalent in Thailand with the rainy season carrying the greatest risk. They are however a nuisance all year round especially in the more rural areas, so make sure precautions are taken to minimise the risk of catching Dengue fever and Malaria. Why not check out our anti-insect sleepwear to help protect you from the mosquitoes.