Planning to visit the Land of Smiles anytime soon? Learn more about the best time to visit Thailand for a family vacation here.
Thailand is a beautiful country in Southeast Asia with a rich history and interesting culture. Over the years, the region invested in improving its infrastructure and enriching its tourism to support its economy.
In 2019, about 40 million tourists visited and explored Thailand, with most visitors coming from neighbouring countries, such as China and Japan. Thailand is also a popular destination for more tourists from South America, North America, the Middle East, and Central America.
Based on several data, most of the people visiting the country are from polar regions who want to enjoy the islands of Thailand east coast, such as Koh Samui, for some summer fun.
Aside from visiting Central Thailand, you can also enjoy the Land of Smiles by exploring some of the best places for tourists. Southern Thailand, for one, is among the must-visit destinations in the country for its famous resorts west-facing the Andaman Sea coast and east-facing Gulf of Thailand coast south of Chumphon.
If you have plans of visiting Thailand on your next trip, here are some things you should know about the best time to visit Thailand:
What Are the Best Months to Visit Thailand?
One of the most popular tourist destinations in the world is Thailand. The country offers an experience with its culture and tradition with great hospitality and incredible architecture. Seeing these spots in person will open your eyes as to why many people take inspiration from the landscapes of Thailand.
Get the real deal instead of just seeing Thailand from Getty Images. Many tourists would want to visit their stunning coast, superb landmarks, and festive activities. Touring in Thailand has its peak months to visit. Here are some travel tips to know more about the best time to visit Thailand:
Best Time to Visit Thailand for Ideal Weather
The best months to travel to Thailand is between the end of November and early April because there are less rain and a good amount of sun, but you can expect a cooler temperature. If you plan to go swimming and sunbathing in some of the best islands on the Thai coast, it is best to go between January and April to experience Thailand’s beautiful beaches. The months of December, January, and February are ideal for tours and sightseeing. The rainy season in Thailand is from July to October.
Thailand is a tropical country in Southeast Asia, which makes it warm through the year with temperatures as high as 32-40ºC, and its coldest temperature averages 26-28ºC. It is one of the reasons why some factors in Thailand weather when planning the time to visit the country. The months of June to October bring rain in the north and west sections of the country, while the east has showers from November to March. One of the best destinations to visit from November to February is Ubon Ratchathani. You can do well exploring the many temples and sites because the weather is highly suitable. Visiting Ubon Ratchathani is also suitable in April and October.
If you are heading to Eastern Islands, like Kho Pha Nga and Koh Samui islands it is best to avoid it in November, as this month is the wettest in the area while the rest of the country is not.
Tourists also need to know that they should book their hotels early, especially when their travel date falls on the Chinese New Year celebration, Kin Jay Festival, and Christmas season in December and January. Try to make hotel reservations two to three months before their travel dates in peak season and about one to two months for the down seasons.
Best Time to Visit Thailand for the Beaches
Some tourists would love to surf in Thailand’s beautiful beaches. Surfers need the perfect weather to achieve the best surf ride. It all depends on the surfer’s destination, whether it is to the west coast or the east coast of Thailand. The west coast offers the best time to surf from April to October, while the east coast has a great surfing environment from October to December. Authorities also remind surfers to be aware of places with very shallow coastal reefs that can be dangerous during mid-tide.
If you plan to visit Hua Hin, do so from November to February as these months come with pleasant weather with dry sunny days, allowing you to explore the stunning beaches of Hua Hin. You can also explore Koh Phi Phi during this dry season. In fact, it is one of the best places if you want to explore one of the many islands in Thailand. That said, you should also prepare yourself to mingle with other tourists as the beaches can be crowded. Koh Phangan is another one of the best destinations, particularly if you want to visit Thailand in June as this area is best explored during the hot season.
It is also okay to go swimming and snorkelling throughout the year in Thailand, except when there are thunderstorms in the rainy season. The months between November to April are ideal for a sea adventure. Another activity that Thailand coasts can offer is dolphin and whale watching. Tourists can witness Bryde’s whales and other dolphins go near Bangkok’s shores from September until December for anchovy feeding.
Best Time to Visit Thailand for Cheap Finds
The shoulder season is the best time to visit Thailand for discounts. During this time of year, from April to May and September to October, tourists can find the best rates for hotels and flights, particularly because there are less demand and competition. Thailand’s shoulder season is often the best time to visit for those who don’t want to spend a lot of money and still enjoy the cool season with occasional rains. You can take advantage of this time of year to book some cheap rates from March to May to grab annual seat sales and hotel deals. For most experienced tourists, visiting Thailand in March and exploring the best places and tourist destinations should be on top of your consideration.
If you want to avoid the surge of other tourists, the months of April, May, September, and October are quiet months for tourism.
What Month Should You Avoid Thailand?
Thailand has so many activities and tourist spots to offer throughout the year. They have different weather conditions and seasons, depending on the region. The country’s northern areas can experience flash floods, flooded roads, and thick mud during the rainy season. Due to heavy rains and storms, tourists should avoid the months of October and November. The authorities usually close the Similan Islands between November and March. Tourists should also avoid Koh Chang and the Andaman Sea during June and July, where heavy rains and storms cause choppy sea conditions. If you have plans of exploring the gulf islands or the gulf coast, including Koh Samui, it is best to choose a different time of the year. The best time would be during the summertime when the west coast is calm.
Central Thailand can be unforgiving during the hot season, while Northern Thailand can be chilly with its cool season. The burning season in Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai occurs from February until April, bringing thick smoke in the air and decreased air quality.
Commonly, the most expensive time to travel is during the peak season. Some tourists would prefer travelling during the shoulder season rather than the cool season to keep their expenses down.
What Is the Rainy Season in Thailand?
You can still make some plans for some activities all year round, but you need to understand and accept that bad weather throughout the country will somehow interrupt your schedule. While you can plan for your itinerary during the dry season or hot season, doing so during the rainy season can be a bit tricky.
August is a month of occasional and uncertain rains. There are days when the rains seemed like infinitely pouring, and there could be thunderstorms. While there are times that you are certain that it will rain but, it will end up being a cool and dry day. August has the worst rainfall for Thailand, bringing heavy downpours and strong winds. If you are in Thailand during this time, pay attention to news reports more to somehow predict the weather.
The month of September also brings heavy rains with lightning and thunder nearly every day. The northern and central parts of Thailand bring heavy rains in the morning, then light showers in the evening. The sky is overcast producing humid air.
October rains can be predictable already. The start of the month has continuous rains with almost all throughout the day.
Thailand’s rainy season happens from July to October. The coast, particularly of the Gulf of Thailand and the Andaman Sea is usually rough, which makes their beaches dangerous because of the large waves and powerful storms.
What Is the Cheapest Month to Fly to Thailand?
All year round, Thailand is a cheap country to visit. However, tourists can find the cheapest flights going to Thailand from the months of May to October because it is during this time when there is a lesser demand for airline tickets. The reason for this is the southwest monsoon season, which occurs from mid-June and stays for the whole summer. Not many tourists are willing to stand the hot weather and rainstorms. There are plenty of great bargains available if you could endure the hot and humid temperatures and also tropical rainstorms during your vacation.
Tourists must also identify the events, festivals, trade fairs, and weather seasons, where airline ticket prices have their lowest prices when fewer tourists are coming to Thailand.
Festivals to Explore When Visiting Thailand
Thai New Year
Thailand never runs out of activities for its guests and has one of Asia’s best tourist destinations. The country offers beautiful beaches, exciting nightlife, and loads of fun adventures on their festival celebrations and other great attractions. The Songkran Festival is one of the most popular reasons to visit Thailand and is also known as the Traditional Thai New Year. Thailand celebrates its new year during mid-April, and it is the country’s grandest and most important event every year. If you want to celebrate it in Thailand, it is the best time to visit Thailand. The Songkran Festival welcomes the festivities with local performances and more entertainment, which lasts between three to ten days.
The Songkran Festival features the cleansing with a mixture of water and Thai fragrance on Buddhist images. People also perform bathing rituals by pouring water on the senior Buddhist monks, in which the Thai people believe they will receive good luck. The chief monk will then give a sermon to those who participated.
Thai people also parade Buddha images in some parts of Thailand and allow Thai people to spray them with water. Younger people pay respect to their elders by performing a sacred ritual, which is the pouring of scented water on their hands and giving them new clothes. Thailand’s festival presents offerings to monks, merrymaking, freeing of birds, creating sand pagodas, respecting elders, hearing sermons, and splashing water.
Chinese New Year
Apart from celebrating the traditional Lunar year, some Chinese residents in the country also celebrate the Chinese New Year festival. It is even considered a public holiday in which people gather to enjoy some Chinese-themed menu. You can see that most of the celebrations are in Yaowarat Chinatown or Bangkok Chinatown, where a large concentration of Chinese people resides in Thailand. Pray at Wat Leng Noei Yi or Wat Mangkon Kamalawat and explore the street food menu at some of the famous shops in Chinatown. You can also watch some Chinese opera shows and watch dragon parades. Note that most of the plays took have heavy Chinese inspiration. Main events would usually start at lunchtime.
Chiang Mai Flower Festival
Chiang Mai Flower Festival is an annual three-day event held every February at the end of the cool season of Thailand weather. Celebrations typically involve festive displays of the Damask Rose, which can only be found in Chiang Mai. Expect to find an abundance of colour and massive displays of more flowers during the celebrations. If you are looking for destinations to visit during the winter months, this is your perfect excuse. Many of the flower displays take inspiration from nature and incorporate them into the country’s unique culture. You can find that many of the costumes of the Chiang Mai locals used Damask Rose as an inspiration, mainly for their creativity.
Also known as the Festival of Lights, the Loy Krathong is one of the most picturesque events in Bangkok. You can expect people to gather around the lakes, canals, and rivers to pay respects to the water goddess. Locals and tourists will release stunning lotus-shaped rafts adorned with incense, candles, and flowers on the water. The event is celebrated annually during the 12th lunar month, often falling in November, usually when the rainy season has ended, and the full moon lights up the night sky. You can time your visit so you can join in on the festivities and see Bangkok in a different light.
Phi Ta Khon Festival
One of Thailand’s most popular festivals, the Phi Ta Khon Festival has plenty of naughtiness, ghostly costumes, and colourful parades. It also consists of religious roots in Buddhism and the cultural origins of the event. The celebration runs over three days between March and July, in which the exact date depends on the town’s mediums. The festival often showcases a procession participated by individuals wearing masks made of palm leaf stems. Over the years, more and more participants have been encouraged to join in on the fun.
Bangkok’s Vegetarian Festival or the Tesagan Gin Je occurs in late September or October where its exact dates change every year due to the Chinese lunar calendar. Chinatown Bangkok or Yarowat offers rows of stalls selling meatless snacks, dishes, and sweets. The ideal time to visit the stalls is around five in the afternoon and watch some Chinese opera performances. Note that most Yarowat stalls follow festival regulations.
Dragon Boat Festival
For gamblers visiting Thailand, one of the perfect excuses they can come up with is to join in the dragon boat festival. Culturally, the Duanwu Festival or Dragon Boat event is held to commemorate the life of Qu Yuan. Over the years, it became an event where people from different countries come together to celebrate camaraderie and friendship. For some individuals, it is an excellent opportunity to place bets on boat races. While this event is not commonly celebrated as a festival in Thailand, the country has served as a host for many events.
Best Time to Play Poker in Thailand
Online poker is extremely popular in Thailand. In fact, Thailand is a haven for online poker players who want to make it big in the scene. That said, if you plan to go to Thailand to play poker, the best time would be any time that you are able. In fact, you don’t even have to buy a plane ticket anymore because you can play poker online. If you want to take advantage of your game, note that Thailand is at least 14 hours advance of EST and six hours ahead of CET. It also helps to know that poker grinders would typically start their games by 6 in the morning and work their way by noon time.
Thailand is a country in North Asia that has been favored by more tourists as one of its top destinations for its beautiful islands and rich culture. If you plan to visit the country, check out the weather, such as the southwest monsoon and the areas you plan to explore depending on the time of year. Check out the west coast, but also set aside a time to visit Northern Thailand.