January is one of the best times of the year to visit Thailand. High season is in full effect with perfect weather in just about every part of the country. It's cooler than other times of the year, especially up north around Chiang Mai where January ties with December for lowest average temperatures. The Chinese New Year often falls in January, and when this happens, it brings all sorts of delightful festivities and celebrations (the only downside being larger crowds and pricier hotels—book in advance!).
Thailand Travel Advice
Customize your trip with help from a local travel specialist.
February is one of the best times to visit Thailand. In addition to all-but-guaranteed spectacular weather, it's the month of the famous Chiang Mai Flower Festival, a vibrant three-day celebration full of parades and dancing. The weather is dry and not as unbearably hot as it is during other times of the year. The only drawback is that the crowds are considerably thicker and lodging tends to be more expensive.
March is a fabulous month to visit Thailand. The weather is still pleasant, especially in the first half of the month, although the southern beaches will start getting some rain along the Andaman Sea. It's also the beginning of mango season, and throughout the country, the colorful fruit is piled high at roadside stands and on people's plates mixed with sticky rice. Best of all, the hot season hasn't arrived yet (which is often uncomfortably warm) so you can walk around outside without being miserable.
Depending on the type of vacation you're looking for, April can be a great month to visit Thailand. Yes, the hot weather deters many tourists—but it's also the month of the Songkran festival, one of Southeast Asia's biggest celebrations, which brings in masses of tourists to celebrate. In the major tourist centers, these two factors sometimes cancel each other out. Choosing to come to Thailand in April isn't for everyone, but it can be an amazing cultural experience.
May is the beginning of the rainy season in Thailand and, in most parts of the country, it rains at least half the month. In Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and the western Andaman coast, downpours are often heavy—though they usually only occur in the afternoons or early evenings). Mornings, in fact, are often dry and can surprisingly be a great time for sight-seeing or other tourist activities. What's more, the hotels are extremely cheap this time of year so if you don't mind a little rain, it can actually be a good month to visit.
June is a wet month in Thailand. The rainy season arrives in full force and most of the country becomes affected by the monsoons, particularly along the Andaman coast. That said, the rain doesn't necessarily make it a bad month to visit. Rain showers, though fierce and heavy, don't usually last long this time of year—instead, they come in short bursts in the afternoons. Plus, the hotels are cheaper and the tourist attractions are much less crowded.
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.
Expect heavy rain in Thailand during the month of August—but that doesn't necessarily make it a bad time to visit. While it's right in the middle of the wet season. temperatures stay warm and the extra precipitation makes the countryside come alive with plants and foliage. Even better, the rain deters many travelers, so you'll have lots of regions to yourself (especially the beaches).
The scenery is beautiful in Thailand during September, however, the weather is wet. In fact, it ties with October for the wettest month of the year in almost every major tourist region including Bangkok, as well as both coasts. The monsoons affect virtually every part of the country, bringing rain through the north and central mainlands, as well as the southern peninsula. The upside to the rain is that the crowds are minimal and most hotels offer significant discounts on lodging—it will be cheaper to stay and you won't encounter big lines or crowds at the tourist attractions.
October is a wet, rainy month in Thailand—but it signals the end of a long monsoon season, lending a celebratory air as people begin to anticipate the fairer weather to come. Bangkok and Chiang Mai begin seeing drops in precipitation, though there's still significant rain. In the south along the coasts, the monsoon patterns of September continue. Temperatures begin dropping slightly this month, making it less stifling and more pleasant.
November marks the end of the rain, once again entering the high tourist season in Thailand. The beaches along the southern peninsula remain wet and rainy, but the rest of the country sees dramatic drops in precipitation (and temperature), especially toward the middle and end of the month. It's a great time to visit just about anywhere in the country—the weather is rapidly improving, and most tourists haven't yet arrived.
December is one of the best months to visit Thailand. The temperatures have cooled down so it's not miserably hot, and the rains have stopped just about everywhere (although some of the beaches still get storms, especially on the Gulf of Thailand). It's hot but not scorching and everything is open again. The only drawback: stellar weather draws lots of tourists, so you'll contend with more lines and crowds—still, it's a fantastic time to plan a visit.