July can be a good time to visit Thailand, but you'll need to be prepared for rain. It's the middle of the wet season and most of the country experiences significant showers and thunderstorms from the southwest monsoons. The plus side is that the crowds are negligible and the prices are reduced. As a bonus, the rain makes the countryside lushly picturesque, and also creates perfect conditions for harvesting durian fruit. 

Weather

You're not going to find many places in Thailand in June that are completely free of rain. Most of them get hit fairly hard in the afternoons with turbulent downpours that often have spells of thunder and lightning, too. Roads can wash out and occasionally areas get evacuated. By and large, however, most of the main tourist attractions are still pleasant most of the morning (as well as scattered times throughout the day). If you're someone who doesn't mind the rain too much, it's a great time to take advantage of the minimal crowds. 

The northern part of the country and the southern west coast beaches get the most rain with about 18 wet days a month in Chiang Mai and roughly 16 to 17 rainy days on the coasts. Phuket and the islands along the Andaman Sea tend to be wetter while the areas around Ko Samui and Hua Hin on the Gulf of Thailand are usually drier. Temperatures are hot everywhere, averaging lows around 75 degrees at night and daytime highs of about  90 degrees. 

Crowds and Costs

The beautiful part of July is that the crowds largely disappear. Bangkok and Chiang Mai are still fairly busy because those cities always have crowds; however, the coasts clear out, along with many of the lesser-traveled parts of the north like Pai and Mae Hong So. It's also an excellent time for your wallet, as hotels runs tons of low season specials, often reducing their rates up to one half. Food and drinks cost roughly the same but often you can find discounted tours, too.

Where to Go

Bangkok is a great place to be this time of year. Most of the attractions there are indoors anyway so you won't feel like you're always taking cover. Not only that, the central region gets less rainfall to begin with—with 13 rainy days on average, more than half of the month is completely dry. It's an excellent time of year to explore the city's famous food scene or check out its ornate temples and palaces.

Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, and Pai are all extra wet in July, so lots of tourists stay away. However, if you're not bothered by intermittent showers, it's actually one of the most beautiful times of year up there. The rain makes the foliage lush and fruits such as durian and mangosteen are in season. It's a wonderful time to trek through the mountains or hike through the canyons. Just be sure to bring high-quality rain gear, and have plans for places to take cover should you get stuck in a major storm. 

The beaches on the Gulf of Thailand can be good spots this time of year too as long as you prepare for some afternoon rains showers. The sun is usually out in between showers and the weather is warm. It's perfect beach-going weather and there are hardly any people. Just stick to the east coast, as the western Andaman side is wetter and more prone to flooding and washed out roads. 

What to Do

If you go to Bangkok, head over to the famous Grand Palace, a major tourist attraction where Thai kings once lived that has a large complex of pavillions and gardens. Wat Pho (the "Temple of the Reclining Buddha") is another popular attraction that houses a giant reclining Buddha that measures 50 feet tall and 150 feet long. When you're done there, grab  dinner in the hip Thonglor or Sathorn neighborhoods, or check out the historic Scala Theater.

Up north, visit the rescued elephants at the Elephant Valley Thailand sanctuary in Chiang Rai where you can watch the large animals roam in a natural habitat or get baths from their mahouts. In Chiang Mai, drop by the Night Bazaar to shop for handmade souvenirs or take a trip to the mountaintop Doi Suthep temple. Outside Pai, check out the scenic Pam Bok Waterfall

If you're seeking beaches, skip Phuket and instead go to Ko Samui where you can snorkel, scuba dive, surf, or swim. July is an especially great time for sea kayaking through the mangroves because they will be lush and green. If the rains starts coming down, take a cooking class or get a massage.

Events in July

Asalha Puja: This sacred Buddhist holiday (which is also called Asanha Bucha) takes place on the full moon day of the eighth lunar month which usually falls in early July. The public holiday honors the Buddha's first sermon, kicking off the three-month Buddhist Lent.

Khao Phansaa: The day after Asalha Puja, the period of Khao Phansaa begins which is known as the Buddhist Lent. Throughout the country, numerous candle processions take place to kick things off and devotees donate wax candles to the monks and create elaborate sculptures. 

His Majesty the King's Birthday: On July 28, the Thai people celebrate the birthday of their current leader, His Majesty King Vajiralongkorn. The event is a public holiday where offices and government buildings shut down in honor of the special day. King Vajiralongkorn took the throne in 2016 after the death of his father, King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who was born on Dec. 5. Although the King's Birthday celebration was moved to Jul. 28, the Dec. 5 occasion remains a public holiday too in honor of the former leader. 

Traveling to Thailand in July? Check out this great itinerary

Family Adventure in Chiang Mai – 7 Days. The great thing about this seven-day tour is that it forgoes the rainy beaches of Phuket and the Andaman Sea in favor of the Chiang Mai region, making it ideal for a July visit. Highlights include a hike up Doi Suthep Mountain, a cycling trip to the Baan Tawai craft village, and a kayaking excursion in Si Lanna National Park.

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