Best Time to Visit Thailand: When to Go & When to Avoid

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Thailand makes an excellent destination for backpackers, vacationers and digital nomads year-round. However, the seasons vary widely from region to region and coast to coast. We’re going over the seasons of each region to help you determine the best time to visit Thailand for your travel needs!

Best Time to Visit Thailand | Two Wandering Soles

Located smack dab in the center of the mainland Southeast Asia, Thailand makes an excellent destination throughout most of the year.

However, in order to avoid monsoon rains and smoke season, you’ll want to be sure to do a little research and planning before packing your bags so you are sure to visit the right places at the right time.

That’s why we’re here!

With such a diverse landscape throughout the country – from the mountains in the north to the islands in the south – the climate in Thailand varies widely from region to region.

Plus, the seasons are not as straight forward as in other places in the world. Instead of winter, spring, summer and autumn, the Thai seasons are best described as “cool”, “hot” and “rainy”.

In this article, we’re going over the seasons of each region to help you determine the best time to visit Thailand for what you’d like to see and do on your trip.

When is the best time to visit Thailand?

In general, you’ll find the most comfortable temperatures across the country, with little chance of rain, from November – February. 

Now, let’s break it down by region…

Bangkok and Chiang Mai

Bangkok and Chiang Mai have the best weather from November – February. Outside of these months, you can expect heavy rains and extreme heat, with lots of smoke in the north of the country.

Andaman Sea

If you plan to visit the Thai islands, the best time to visit the Andaman Sea (Thailand’s southwest coast) is November – April. Monsoon season is May – September in this region, so you will likely want to avoid it during this time.

Thailand’s Gulf 

Thailand’s Gulf Coast will have its best weather from December – March, but the summer months (July – September) are also a decent time to visit and the crowds tend to be fewer. Monsoon season in the Gulf is much shorter than the Andaman Sea, generally lasting from October through the end of November.

Best Time to Visit Thailand | Koh Lipe Beach

When should I travel to Thailand?

As with any destination, there is no straightforward answer to this question. But we’re not going to leave you hanging…

Our personal pick would be to visit Thailand between November and February, as you’ll have great weather all around the country.

In this article, we’ve organized Thailand’s seasons by region, and listed some of the best things to do during each season all over Thailand. We hope reading through these suggestions will help you decide the best time to visit Thailand for YOU.

Answer these questions to get started:

  • What region of the country do you plan to visit?

  • Do you mind a bit of rain?

  • Are you easily bothered by crowds?

  • Are you negatively affected by high humidity?

  • Do you prefer to spend your time outdoors hiking?

  • Are you planning to do some scuba diving while in Thailand?

Thinking about your answers to these questions is going to help you start to determine when to visit Thailand.


Table of Contents: Best time to visit Thailand

General Thailand Weather Info

Know where you’d like to go in Thailand? Jump to that section of this article so you can quickly see what time of year will bring the best weather.

Seasons by Region

Where to go during each season

Not sure where you’d like to go, but know what time of year you’ll be traveling? Click on the months so you can see which destinations will be best during that season.

Overall BEST Time to Visit Thailand

Want a quick recommendation? Jump down to see our advice for the best time to visit Thailand. Plus, we’ll share what times of year we’d avoid visiting!


Thailand Geography Overview

Thailand is a country in the middle of mainland Southeast Asia with nearly 320,000 square miles (513,120 km²) an odd shape with a long tail leading down towards the equator.

Thailand has everything from high mountains and an upland plateau in the north, to central plains and tropical islands in the south.

Weather in Thailand

Best Time to Visit Thailand | Long tail boat in Koh Lipe

The weather in Thailand varies from region to region with the north experiencing the greatest fluctuation in temperatures throughout the year and the south experiencing very little variation the closer you get to the equator.

The climate is mostly tropical with warm temperatures throughout the year (with the exception of the mountains in the far north).

The seasons in Thailand can be categorized into three main groups: Cool, Hot and Rainy.

Though somewhat unpredictable, and varying from coast to coast and by region, they follow the general pattern below.

  • Cool season: November to February; also peak tourist season

  • Hot season: March to May

  • Rainy season: June to October

The cool season is felt most distinctly in the far north, but temperatures hardly change in the south.

The hot season is essentially the dry season where central and north are at their highest temperatures with clouds of dust gathering in the air.

The rainy season is caused by the southwest monsoon, which is unpredictable. However, the Gulf Coast is effected less by the southwest monsoon and more by the northwest monsoon, causing November to consistently be its wettest month.

We’ve broken down the seasons by region below to give you a better idea of the climate in specific areas.


Everything you need to pack for Thailand

SE Asia Packing List | Two Wandering Soles

Seasons in Northern Thailand

Best Time to Visit Thailand | View from our apartment in Chiang Mai

The weather in northern Thailand tends to be less humid and experiences the greatest rage of temperatures throughout the year. During January, the average low temp in Chiang Mai is 59ºF (15ºC). On the flip side, during hot season, the north of the country is dry and dusty and temperatures can skyrocket.

  • Hot Season: February – April

  • Rainy Season: May – September

  • Cool Season: October – January

What to pack for visiting Northern Thailand

  • Lots of layers for cooler nights and warmer days

  • Good hiking shoes or Chacos sandals

  • Swimwear – even though you’re not by the water, there are plenty of pools and waterfalls!

Seasons in Central Thailand

Best Time to Visit Thailand | Bangkok's Grand Palace

Central Thailand experiences the country’s three seasons fairly equally throughout the year. The one constant is humidity, which makes the air feel hotter than it should.

  • Hot Season:  March – June

  • Rainy Season: June – October

  • Cool Season: October – February

What to pack for visiting Central Thailand

  • Loose, lightweight clothes & layers

  • A shawl or scarf to cover your shoulders when entering temples and religious sites

  • An insulated water bottle to stay hydrated

Seasons in South Thailand & the Thai Islands

Best Time to Visit Thailand | Mu Ko Lanta National Park

Temperatures in southern Thailand are more consistent throughout the year, with less variation the closer you get to the equator. There is really only 2 seasons down here: wet and dry.

The climate does vary from coast to coast in the south based on the different monsoons. Which is why we’ve split up the coasts below to show seasonal variations.

A Note About Diving: Diving and snorkeling will be at it’s best during the winter months. December and January will be more crowded since it’s the peak season. If you want to see some mantas and local whale sharks, it’s best to plan your trip around February to April. 

Phuket, Krabi & Andaman Coast (Southwest Coast)

  • Wet Season: April – October/early-November

    • The wettest months are September and October
  • Dry Season: mid-November – March

Koh Samui, Koh Phangan, Koh Tao (Gulf of Thailand)

  • Wet Season: October – December

    • The rainiest months are October and November
  • “Shoulder season” (not too much rain): January and February
  • Dry Season: January – August

    • May – October can be windy

What to pack for visiting Southern Thailand

Cool Season in Thailand: November – February

Best Time to Visit Thailand | Doi Inthanon

November

Peak of the dry season in most parts of the country, November sees cooler temperatures and plenty of sunshine. The western Thai Gulf coast is the only part of the country still experiencing rain.

December

Getting into the peak of tourism season in Thailand, weather is great all over the country and temperatures are relatively cool. There is little to no rainfall and tourists flock to the beaches for plenty of sunshine.

January

Peak tourism season and great weather all over Thailand. Accommodation will be at premium prices, and you should book well in advance. The cooler temps in the northern region are great for hiking in the mountains and trekking through the jungles. 

February

Still peak tourism season all over the country. The Chinese New Year typically happens in February (thought it follows the lunar calendar and the exact vary from year to year).

Best Time to Visit Thailand | Grand Canyon sunset in Pai

Best places to visit during cool season in Thailand

  • Northern Thailand experiences the most comfortable weather of the year during this time. Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai and Pai are all great places to add to your itinerary.

  • Consider visiting lesser known destinations, as this time of year is peak tourism season.

  • Sam Phan Bok: A natural wonder only accessible during dry season. Found in Ubon Ratchathani, Isan, thousands of holes are scattered across the Mekong River bed. 

  • Bo Sang, a small village in the north hosts their annual Umbrella Festival on the 3rd weekend in January. 

  • Chinatown in Bangkok is a fun place to witness the Chinese New Year celebrations.

  • Visit some of the Thai Islands in the Andaman Sea such as Koh Lipe, Koh Lanta and Phuket.

Best Time to Visit Thailand | Wat Phan Tao Monks

Best things to do in Thailand during cool season

  • Celebrate the Yi Peng Lantern Festival in Chiang Mai in November.
  • Visit temples in Bangkok such as Wet Saket during the Thai national holiday of Makha Bucha to observe spiritual rituals.
  • Krabi Naga Fest, a music festival near Krabi.
  • Jai Thep Music and Arts Festival takes place in Chiang Mai in early February.
  • Loy Krathong festival is celebrated around the country by floating krathongs on the rivers to give thanks to the water spirits.
  • Ayutthaya World Heritage and Red Cross Fair boasts stunning light shows amid the ancient ruins.
  • Big Mountain Music Festival in Phetchaburi happens in December.
  • The Andaman coast is at it’s best in November, so it’s a perfect time to go island hopping.

Hot Season in Thailand: March – May

Best Time to Visit Thailand | Koh Lanta

March

Temperatures are starting to heat up all over Thailand, so it’s best to stay near the water. In the north, burning season is in full force, so you’ll want to avoid traveling there as much as possible. (Trust us, we lived in Chiang Mai during these months, and we would not recommend it.) Instead, this is prime time for diving in the Andaman Sea at popular locations such as the Similan Islands. 

April

One of the hottest months in Thailand. Be sure your accommodation has air conditioning if you are visiting during this month. Remember to drink lots of water and use plenty of sunscreen too. 

May

Another incredibly hot month in Thailand. With many public and religious holidays, it’s a good time to get off the beaten path and experience new and interesting cultural celebrations. 

Best places to visit during hot season in Thailand

  • The ancient city of Ayutthaya is a great place for boxing fans to visit on National Muay Thai Day

  • Bangkok, Phuket or Chiang Mai during Songkran Festival

  • Similan Islands liveaboard for scuba diving in the Andaman sea

Best Time to Visit Thailand | Songkran Festival in Chiang Mai

Best things to do in Thailand during hot season

  • Turtle Release Festival in Phang Nga in March

  • Thailand’s International Balloon Festival happens around this time in a different location every year

  • Pattaya International Music Festival: one of Thailand’s best, takes place over a 3-day weekend in March and it’s 100% free to attend!

  • Check out a Muay Thai demonstration on National Muay Thai Day on March 17

  • Songkran Festival is famous for it’s water fights in the streets takes place around the country in April during the Thai New Year

Rainy Season in Thailand: June – October

Best Time to Visit Thailand | Waterfalls around Chiang Mai

June

The start of the rainy season means you’ll want to carry an umbrella and wear shoes that can get wet. Take extra precautions on scooters as the roads can be dangerous when wet.

July

Wet and humid all over Thailand, you’ll want to pack and umbrella and wear plenty of bug spray! Be careful of leeches if you are planning on venturing into the jungle.

August

Typically the wettest month in all of Thailand. Come prepared for the rain and be sure to have a long list of indoor activities to entertain yourself during this month. 

September

This is the wettest time of year on the Andaman coast, but rains generally ease up in the north. 

October

Central and Northern Thailand will have dried up by October, but nearly all of the islands on both coasts will still be experiencing heavy rain.

Best Time to Visit Thailand | Khao Sok National Park

Best places to visit during rainy season in Thailand

  • National Parks such as Khao Yai National Park and Kanchanaburi’s Erawan National Park will be wonderful this time of year.

  • Koh Samui, Koh Phangan, Hua Hin, and Cha Am will be some of the driest beaches and islands to visit.

  • Bangkok for its magnitude of indoor activities and International festivals.

  • The small mountain town of Pai for its decent weather in October.

  • Visit the Mekong River in the north to experience the mysterious natural phenomenon known as Naga Fireballs of Nong Khai in late October.

Best things to do in Thailand during rainy season

  • Phi Ta Khon Festival in Dan Sai district of Loei province

  • Go chasing waterfalls! They will be at their fullest during the rainy season.

  • Visit the floating bungalows in Khao Sok National Park 

  • Ubon Ratchathani Candle Festival in Isan

  • Scuba diving in Koh Tao

  • Visit temples, museums, art galleries and malls to stay indoors as much as possible during the rain.

  • Experience long boat races on rivers all over the country in September.

The best time to visit Thailand in our opinion…

Best Time to Visit Thailand | Motorbiking to Pai

There really is no “bad” time to visit Thailand, but it’s a good idea to have the seasons in mind when planning your itinerary and activities you’d like to experience during your trip.

Visiting between November – January will give you the most flexibility in your itinerary in terms of enjoying the best weather all around.

When to avoid traveling in Thailand

  • Chiang Mai: If possible, avoid visiting from mid-February through early April. This is “burning season” and air quality can be quite bad.

  • Andaman Sea (Krabi, Phi Phi, Phuket, Koh Lanta): Rainy season is from May – October

  • Gulf Islands (Koh Tao, Koh Chang, Koh Phangan, Koh Samui): Rainfall is heaviest in October & November

  • Similan Islands: The National Marine Park is closed between the months of November through March.


Are you planning a trip to Thailand?

We have TONS of resources on travel in Thailand and destinations throughout the country. Check out our Ultimate Thailand Travel Guide for all the answers to your most burning questions, or read some of our favorite articles below.

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Best Time to Visit Thailand | Two Wandering Soles
Best Time to Visit Thailand | Two Wandering Soles

We want to hear from you!

Have you ever been to Thailand before? When did you go and what was your experience like? Leave your comments in the section below and we’ll do our best to respond to any questions!

Comments (5) on “Best Time to Visit Thailand: When to Go & When to Avoid

  1. Julius says:

    Hello Wanderers!
    I am planning to visit Thailand later in the year, after having been there back at the turn of the century. I was very drawn overall toward the culturally rich aspects of life. My query is related to the continuing Covid 19 pandemic waves, and the related fallout: sudden travel restrictions, new testing rules, already booked reservations, which one is then unable to fulfill. Is there a thing such as outright relevant cause to have some pre-booked accommodations annulled, due situations fully beyond a tourist’s control, like a cancelled / well delayed flight, or service shutdown. Wonder if you could share feedback. Cheers ! Julius

  2. Priya says:

    This is a useful blog detailing about the best time to visit Thailand. What I liked about it is the description about the climate region-wise that makes planning a trip easy.

  3. Veronica says:

    Hi, great page – comprehensive, yet easy to read, and great pictures. Maybe you can include a map of the country, making it easier for readers to see where these wonderful places are geographically located. Thanks.

  4. Deborah Tedman says:

    Been to Thailand Phuket before loved it. Coming back next year in August 2022. Can you tell me. Are we able to travel to phi phi island. , And I’m praying Phuket will be open for international visitors. From AUSTRALIA, That are fully vaccinated, Hopefully. NO. QUARANTINE,

  5. gmpanwa@gmail.com says:

    Similan Islands are closed from 1st May until end of October officially. In reality it however opens somewhere mid-October

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