When you are planning a trip to Thailand, timing is of importance: What is the best time to visit Thailand? The one thing you should consider, is the weather. The Thai climate has roughly three “seasons”. The rainy season, the winter and the summer. The temperatures and weather also depend on where you are: in North, South or Central Thailand. I will talk about all seasons, and tell you their pros and cons.
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Rainy season in Thailand (May – Oct)
Just like most Asian countries, Thailand has a rainy season, from about May till October. Although the intensity varies a lot, it’s definitely not full time rain from beginning to end. The rain just sort of comes to force in June and July, gradually growing towards the peak in September & October. However, even in its peak months, you won’t be experiencing rain every single second of the day. It is actually mostly at night, or just a one or two hour intense rain fall in the afternoon.
7 Island Tour, Thailand. Rain storm incoming in 3, 2, 1…
So is it possible to travel there in the rainy season?
It is definitely not be the very best time to visit Thailand, but it is possible to travel there during the rainy season. I actually did this myself. I was there for about three weeks in September, and another two weeks in November. Was there rain? Yes, but hardly, so I was very lucky. It was a bit more cloudy at times and I remember going on a 7 island tour which ended with a huge rain storm, but other than that, the weather was great.
Tip: If it rains on the main land, go visit Koh Tao, Koh Samui or Koh Phangan. I remember leaving the main land while it was very cloudy, and arriving at these Thai islands with blue skies and sun.
Koh Tao in September, the so called “peak of the rainy season”. No rain for us!
Keep in mind though: unpaved of badly paved roads will be muddy and/or sandy by the end of the rainy season. This can be dangerous when driving a scooter (believe me, I can tell because we crashed our scooter in Thailand for that exact reason).
Winter: the best time to travel to Thailand (Nov – Jan)
The cool season (winter) is actually not as cool as you’d think. Temperatures during the day can still rise up to 30 °C / 86 °F in whole of Thailand. But in the far north, the temperatures can drop to a mere 15 °C / 59 °F, so take some warmer clothes for the nights in the north or when you go trekking in the highlands.
All in all, these are the best temperatures to be able to have a diverse holiday in Thailand. And it’s also nice that there’s hardly any rain in these months, plus it’s a bit cooler at night so you might be able to sleep a bit better.
Winter (November) on Koh Phi Phi – The best time to visit Thailand
Summer (Feb – April)
I can handle the heat pretty well, so I’m not put off by some high temperatures: I’d still do that hike or book that day trip. But even for me 40 °C / 104 °F is just a little too much. It’s definitely not the best temperature do be very active. It’s more of a “let’s go to the beach and don’t do anything” kind of weather. On average, the temperatures during the summer months in Thailand are between 24 °C / 75 °F to 38 °C / 100 °. Especially April can be scorching hot.
Conclusion: what is the best time to visit Thailand?
If you have the chance to choose your perfect month, go for November to January. These “winter” months don’t have a lot of rain, they have the best day temperatures so you will be able to get the most out of your Thailand trip.