With millions of visitors coming to Thailand every year to enjoy this nation of so many beautiful sights, tastes and experiences it’s important to realise the ideal times to visit depending on your situation and what you enjoy.
For example your major concern can be the weather or the number of travellers at the height of the season plus higher prices.
There is a monsoon season in Thailand where it generally pours it down (usually just for an hour or two) and a dry season, a cooler temperature is always welcome because some months Thailand can be immensely hot and others just hot by Western Standards. Higher prices follow the cooler drier season so it’s a case of weighing up the weather vs the price and hustle and bustle.
Here are the main periods to consider based on location:
Chiang Mai (The North)
Best time to visit where it’s not raining and generally cooler is the beginning of November through to the end of April. During these months you will see far less rain than any other time of year and the temperature is kinder. Chiang Mai and the north in general also has cooler temperatures on average than the south so for those travellers looking for more comfortable conditions it’s definitely worth adding CM to your plans.
Bangkok & Pattaya (Central)
It may get hotter at all times of year in Bangkok and Pataya compared to Chaing Mai but it still shares similar weather patterns. Your best bet again is to visit between November and April. Interestingly enough Bangkok experiences more rain than Pattaya which is slightly further South. For example even though Pattaya is only roughly 2 hours away by car from Bangkok it experiences almost 100% less rainfall at times than Bangkok because it enjoys a sheltered location along the coast. This makes it worth considering during other months outside the popular period such as June, July and August.
Koh Samui (Thai Peninsular)
Known as the quiet version of Phuket don’t let it’s status fool you, it’s still a rather busy place in areas. Koh Samui experiences far more rainfall than Chiang Mai, Bangkok and Pattaya. Even in November, December and January you can expect heavy rainfall at times so the best time to visit is February, March and April. Koh Samui doesn’t really fluctuate so much in temperature all year around so there isn’t really a cooler time to visit.
Phuket (Thai Peninsular)
Phuket like Koh Samui has steady temperatures all year round. You are looking at only 1 to 2 degree difference from month to month on average. The best time to visit is definitely late December through to the end of March where rainfall is at it’s lowest.
Bear in mind during the most popular times of year mentioned above the prices for hotels increase substantially and you should expect to pay considerably more compared to low season. So if your willing to take a bit of a risk if you book just towards the beginning of the season or just after the end, you might find yourself saving a fair chunk of change!