The best time to visit Thailand
Thailand’s tropical climate means it can be visited year round, but plan your route around the country’s three distinct seasons: dry, wet and hot.
The best time to travel to Thailand is from November to February, when you can expect to enjoy dry, sunny weather. March and April are ideal months for beach holidays on islands such as Phuket, but it can be oppressively hot in the cities. Thailand’s rainy season begins in May and is wettest in August and October when trekking becomes difficult and some journeys can be affected. The good news is that the seasons are staggered on the east and west coasts, so as long as you do your research you can always find a sunny beach somewhere. Our guide to when to travel to Thailand ensures you always know what to expect in the ‘Land of Smiles’.
When is the best time to visit Thailand’s beaches?December to April is the best time to go to Thailand’s beaches, with Christmas and Easter (the latter slightly less expensive) both popular with families. March, April and May are the hottest months of the year in Thailand, so the coasts and islands are glorious, and very busy. The islands on either side of the Kra Isthmus which separates the Andaman Sea and Gulf of Thailand tend to experience different weather. Koh Samui in south-east Thailand, for instance, is usually rainy in December and January, but a good option in July and August, when it’s still sunny compared with Phuket on the west coast.
A month by month guide on when to go to Thailand
January in Thailand
February in Thailand
March in Thailand
April in Thailand
April is great for volunteering at an elephant sanctuary
May in Thailand
May is great for a small group tour of Southeast Asia
June in Thailand
I like going in the rainy season from May to September. It’s quieter, Thai people are happier, and it’s unheard of for it to rain for days on end.
– Lesley Schofield from our partner All Points East
July in Thailand
August in Thailand
September in Thailand
October in Thailand
November in Thailand
December in Thailand
December is great for a self-drive tuk tuk tour of Thailand
Bangkok Weather Chart
Our Thailand Holidays
If you'd like to chat about Thailand or need help finding a holiday to suit you we're very happy to help.
Best times to visit Thailand for festivals & events
Chiang Mai Flower Festival (first weekend of February)Each year on the first weekend of February, Chiang Mai becomes a riot of colour with flower beds in full bloom, flower vendors setting up shop across the town, and – on the Saturday – the Flower Festival Parade. There are decorated floats, hill tribes in a rainbow of costumes and traditional dancing and music.
Thai New Year (13-15 April)The traditional Thai New Year – Songkran – is celebrated countrywide, with the biggest festivities in Chiang Mai. Appropriately for the hottest time of year, water throwing – often ice-cold – is popular, and you may get smeared with colourful talc as a blessing. Elders are honoured, and there are music and dance performances.
Ngan Bun Bang Fai (May)The Fire Rocket Festival is a Buddhist event celebrated by the ethnic Lao people of north-east Thailand at the beginning of the rainy season in May. Elaborately decorated rockets are paraded on oxcarts and floats, leading up to the competition on Sunday, where rockets compete on height, distance and beauty of vapour trails.
Phuket Vegetarian Festival (September or October)Anyone thinking a festival celebrating vegetarian cuisine and the health benefit it brings would be a peaceful, bloodless affair, think again. As part of efforts to purify the body and soul, many worshippers put themselves through some gruesome body mortification rituals. Ironically, though, the worst injuries are usually caused by errant firecrackers.
Festival of Light (November)Not all of Thailand’s festivals are wildly hedonistic. The Festival of Light – Loi Krathong – is held to give thanks to the Goddess of Water each November. Lotus-shaped crafts draped with flowers and candles float down the rivers in Sukothai and Chiang Mai in this beautiful, spiritual celebration.
Our travellers also ask...
What are the best months to travel to Thailand?The best time to go to Thailand is from November to February, when there’s sunny, dry weather that’s not too hot – though December gets very busy and correspondingly expensive around Christmas. If you don’t mind the occasional shower, we’d also recommend May and June. These shoulder months are typically quiet, pleasantly warm and dry for the most part, and prices tend to be very reasonable too.
When is the best month to visit Phuket?The best time to go to Phuket tends to be from November to February, the winter months in Thailand when you can expect pleasantly mild weather. Think manageable temperatures around 30°C, sunny skies, and low humidity with little chance of rain. Make sure you reserve your sunbed early though, because this is naturally peak season on Phuket.
During what month should you avoid Thailand?Many people think the worst time to visit Thailand is August and September due to the high rainfall and humidity. But while you’re probably not going to be doing much trekking, and your beach options are limited, August and September can still be good months to travel. It’s much less crowded for one thing, and you can find some excellent deals on flights and accommodation. Plus, while you can expect some heavy showers, it’s not raining all day every day, so city touring is perfectly fine.
When is the best time to visit Thailand and Vietnam?November to February is usually the best time to go to Thailand and Vietnam on a combined holiday. You can expect, warm, dry and sunny weather for the most part. Happily, these are also ideal months to visit Cambodia and Laos too, so if you’re planning a wider Indochina tour you’ve got a lot of options.
When is it quietest in Thailand?The quietest months in Thailand are August and September, the height of the rainy season. January, and May and June, tend to be good bets if you want more peaceful beaches and cities but with nicer weather to enjoy them in.
What month is hottest in Thailand?The warmest months in Thailand are March, April and May, just before the rainy season arrives. Expect temperatures up to around 35°C which some people relish, others find quite oppressive. Whatever your opinion, seek shade around midday and keep hydrated (our partners will often provide safe drinking water that you can use to refill bottles).
What is the rainiest month in Thailand?Rainy season in Thailand is between May and October, though showers are likely in the late afternoons and evenings from April through to November, depending on where you are in the country. April and September are the wettest months in Thailand and likely to be most disruptive for travel and trekking, while coastal areas such as Krabi typically see more rain than the interior.
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