When to Visit Thailand? The Best Time, Cheapest Time and Worst Time
Thailand is a hot spot destination for all kinds of travelers. For beach aficionados, there are white sandy beaches, surrounded by clear blue sky and sea. Nature lovers seeking for serenity can find a retreat in mountainous northern Thailand. And tons of ancient remains sit in central Thailand waiting for history buffs to explore.
As everyone knows, weather plays an important role when you are hitting any tourist destination. Good weather brings sufficient ray of light, which is crucial to take a great photo. I believe all of you prefer an excellent weather to record your memorable travel moments.
The following content explains the weather in Thailand. Also, read to know when is the best time to visit Thailand, the cheapest time and the worst time.
Weather in Thailand
Basically, Thailand has three seasons in a year. The hot season is from March to May, the rainy season is from June to October, and the cool season is from November to February. The best weather is between November and February, however, the climate differs in different regions of Thailand.
Northern Thailand experiences dry season from November to May. Between November and February, the weather is cool. From March to May, the weather gets hotter gradually. And due to the influence of southwest monsoon, May sees the beginning of heavy rainfall, lasting until October.
Southern Thailand receives more rainfall than the north. However, the weather on different sides of the peninsula vary. The west coast is hot most of the year and the winter months' weather is more favorable. The weather of the east coast is good all year round, however, October and November encounter the heaviest rainfall.
When is the best time to visit Thailand?
Generally, the cool season from November to February is the best time for a Thailand tour. The northeast monsoon brings refreshing winds that keep temperatures cool. Rainfall is little and the sun is not so bright.
But the exact time depends on where you go and what you do. The following is a detailed exploration of the best period to visit Thailand for different purposes.
Best Time to Visit Thailand for Surfing
Although Thailand is not a world class surfing destination, for locals and visitors, getting some surf here is an icing on the cake. And compared with other surfing locations that have reefs or rocky areas, Thailand’s sandy shores assure less chances of injury. Phuket on the west side of the mainland facing the Andaman Sea has the most surfing available.
Phuket has the most surfing available in Thailand.
The best time for surfing in Phuket is found after the peak tourist season. From June till October, the wind and waves are most consistent, waves rising up to 3 meters high. And more importantly, most beaches and islands of Phuket are empty. With fewer tourists, there is a lesser chance of colliding with people that are having their water fun.
Best Time to Visit Thailand for Snorkeling
Basically, Thailand’s clear waters assure snorkelers up to 3 meters of visibility and the sea is warm the whole year. The best time for snorkeling in Thailand differs on the west coast or the east.
Enjoy snorkeling in Thailand to explore its underwater world.
The west coast along the Andaman Sea sees the best snorkeling time in the drier months between November and April and Similan Islands are the premier underwater destination. Koh Phi Phi and Khao Lak are good for year-round snorkeling.
On the east coast along the Gulf of Thailand, the months from May to September are the best time to snorkel and Koh Tao, Koh Samui and Koh Pha Ngan are the three key destinations. There is an exception that Koh Chang sees the best time for snorkeling from October to April when the climate is at its driest.
Best Time to Visit Thailand for Whale and Dolphin Watching
Whale watching is one of the most surreal experiences in Bangkok. You can spend a day boating to the Gulf of Thailand to spot the Bryde’s whale.
The best time to watch the Bryde’s whale goes to the months between September and December when a ton of them come close to Bangkok’s shores. At this time, the Irrawaddy River dolphins can be found in the Chao Phraya River.
Best Time to Visit Thailand for Hiking
Mountainous northern Thailand offers the best hiking trails. For example, located in the Omkoi Wildlife Sanctuary near Chiang Mai, Doi Mon Jong is one of the best hiking spots. The trail is full of beautiful scenery and takes only 3-4 hours to get to the highest peak that shapes like a lion's head.
Hike to Doi Mon Jong to discover the beautiful nature.
As mentioned earlier, northern Thailand experiences a cool season from November and February. The sunny and cool weather is super important for hiking in the mountains. No raindrops block your way and winds blow away heavy clouds so that you can expect stunning sunrises in the early morning.
March to May is OK to hike as well. At this time, the weather gets hotter gradually. So remember to pack plenty of water, sunscreen and mosquito repellent always. And try to start your hike early in the morning to beat the heat.
When is the cheapest time to travel to Thailand?
As mentioned previously, November to April is usually the best time to visit Thailand. However, peak season brings more visitors, especially between November and February, which is the most expensive period.
Many hotels and guesthouses offer higher rates and you might sometimes pay two times more for a room. Between mid-December and mid-January, particularly around Christmas and New Year, the price is at its peak.
For a cost-effective tour in Thailand, you can choose to visit in the rainy season between June and October. The rains may be sudden and abundant, often late in the afternoon or early evening. Between two rain showers, still you can enjoy your trip. The weather can be a little bit hot, so remember to protect yourself from getting sunburnt.
Traveling to Thailand in rainy season is not bad.
The prices are very advantageous and you are possible to negotiate prices due to the inconvenience caused by rainfall. The beaches and attractions are less crowded. And the countryside is lush and laid-back.
But if it’s the first time for you to travel to Thailand, you’d better come during the dry season. And before setting out, you may wonder whether Thailand is safe to travel or how many days are needed for a Thailand tour.
What month should you avoid Thailand?
Well, there really isn’t a bad time to visit Thailand. But for a perfect weather condition, you can avoid visiting Chiang Mai in March and early April when the weather is relatively hot and air quality is quite bad.
Avoid beach tour of Phuket, Krabi, Koh Phi Phi and Koh Lanta on the west coast along the Andaman Sea during rainy season from May to October. The rainfall of the east coat along the Gulf of Thailand, covering the islands of Koh Tao, Koh Chang, Koh Phangan and Koh Samui, is heaviest in October and November and you can avoid that period.
When to visit Thailand? Generally speaking, for a great weather, the best time to go is between November and February.
And for different travel focus, the exact time varies. For example, the best surfing period in Phuket is in off season from June to October. To save your travel budget, the rainy season from June to October is a not bad option as the rains often occur late in the afternoon or early evening, which is hard to influence your trip.