Even in February the weather in Thailand is warm, however, it's much cooler than during other parts of the year. In Bangkok, for instance, the capital averages lows of about 73 degrees Fahrenheit and highs around 91 degrees. The northern city of Chiang Mai, which is surrounded by mountains, has similar daytime highs, though the evenings dip down to about 61 degrees. There's almost no rain at all during the month of February in any part of the central and northern regions.
Down on the Kra Isthmus in the southern part of the country, the beaches get hit with mild stints of rain but it's usually brief. Highs in Koh Samui hover around 86 degrees while Phuket and other towns along the Andaman Sea reach about 90 degrees.
Crowds and Costs
You'll definitely encounter crowds if you choose to visit Thailand in February. Being high season, it's one of the busiest times of the year. If you venture into the capital, expect lengthy lines at places like the Grand Palace or Wat Pho (the Temple of the Reclining Buddha). The Chinese New Year is typically in January; however, sometimes it falls in February and if that's the case, you can count on even bigger crowds, especially around Bangkok and Chiang Mai.
On top of fighting crowds, you'll also have to contend with higher prices. It's not uncommon for hotels to charge double the off-season rate for rooms in February. Most use seasonal pricing structures which will be at their peak in February. The upside, however is that food and drinks will cost about the same. If you're traveling by train, be sure to book your tickets in advance.
Where to Go
The stellar weather conditions make February a great month to visit just about any part of Thailand. Daytime highs in Bangkok and Chiang Mai average about 90 degrees Fahrenheit, so it's a perfect time to head there to wander the cities without the oppressive heat. Stroll along the Chao Phraya River in the capital, or walk the perimeter of the wall to Chiang Mai's Old City. Farther north, Chiang Rai is fantastic this time of year, too. The elephant sanctuaries aren't too hot and it's almost unheard of to get rain in the mountains.
If you're hoping to escape the crowds, it's a great time to check out some of Thailand's lesser-known gems. Head over to the scenic towns of Pai or Mae Hong So along the northwestern border with Myanmar, or explore Isan, the northeastern region that's less prone to tourists. There, in addition to natural beauty like the Nakhon Ratchasima National Park, you'll find interesting cultures that resemble Laotian traditions.
The beaches are at their best in February, too. It's one of the few times of year when both coasts experience the dry season at the same time so you can check out both Phuket and Koi Samui in one trip. Ko Chang, Krabi, and Phang-Nga are also great during this season.
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
What to Do
In Bangkok, learn about Thailand's history and religious traditions at the Grand Palace—home to the Kings of Siam beginning in 1782, as well as Thailand's modern kings up until 1925. Or check out Wat Pho, the illustrious temple with the famous reclining Buddha that measures 50 feet high and 150 feet long. It's also a wonderful time to take a dinner cruise on the scenic Chao Phraya River.
Up north in Chiang Mai, stroll through the Night Bazaar to shop for trinkets, or explore the trendy restaurants and bars on Nimmanhaemin Road. Just outside town, the Doi Suthep temple offers exquisite views of the city, especially if you visit at sunrise.
Just a few hours north, you can visit the rescued elephants at the Elephant Valley Thailand sanctuary. You'll get to watch them bathe and some tourists get the opportunity to feed them bananas.
If you make it over to Pai, try a scenic trek through the beautiful Pai Canyon or hire a scooter to go to the Pam Bok Waterfall. As you cool off in the water, you'll be able to peer up through the jagged cliffs at the stunning scenery above. In the northeastern region of Isan, you can hike through a handful of national parks including Pha Taem, Phu Laen Kha, and Nakhon Ratchasima.
Down south, the beaches are stunning in February, too. Go snorkeling in Phuket or take a trip to Phang Nga Bay. If you don't feel like trip planning, this 5-day "A Taste Of Southern Thailand" tour will take care of the logistics for you. Among other things, the itinerary includes a snorkeling trip to Phang Nga and a kayaking trip through the tropical mangroves.
Events in February
Chiang Mai Flower Festival: During this colorful festival, the streets of Chiang Mai fill with flower vendors showing off their beautiful plants and orchids. Residents set out yellow and white chrysanthemums and Chiang Mai's Damask Rose can be spotted everywhere.
Chinese New Year: This weeklong event often occurs in January; however, some years it takes place in February, offering a great opportunity to see folks with Chinese ancestry celebrating their heritage. Head to Chinatown where you can enjoy a kaleidoscope of colors and lights as fireworks explode and dragon parades march through the streets.
Makha Bucha: On the full moon of the third lunar month, which often falls in February, Thai people celebrate Makha Bucha (also called Magha Puja). The public holiday honors the day that 1250 enlightened followers gathered with Buddha as early disciples.
Traveling to Thailand in February? Check out this great itinerary
Best of Thailand – 8 Days. Offering a small taste of everything, this eight-day trip takes you to all of the major tourist destinations in Thailand. It includes a visit to elephant sanctuary in Chiang Mai, temples and palaces in Bangkok, and picturesque white sands beaches in the Kra Isthmus.