When is the best time to travel to Thailand? A run down on weather, festival, seasonal food
Thailand is a great destination all year round. However, visiting Thailand at a different time of the year will definitely give you a different experience. Learn more about different factors that can help you determine the best time to travel to Thailand.
Table of Contents
Best time to travel to Thailand for the best weather
Thailand is hot all year round with the temperature ranging from 20 to almost 40 degree Celsius. In Thailand, there are 3 seasons: summer, rainy and “winter”.
The summer season is from February till April, with April being the hottest. Temperature of a Thai summer ranges from 25 to 37 degrees.
Coming next is the rainy season that starts from May to mid-October. While the temperature tends to be cooler (24 to 33 degrees), there is also 2-3x more rainfall relative to other seasons. We would recommend you to not travel in August or September. These two months usually have the heaviest rainfall. You can check this site before your Thailand travel/trip for the rainfall trend in Thailand
The “winter” in Thailand is from mid October to January. Temperature during this season ranges from 21 to 30 degrees Celsius.
The best time to visit Thailand from the weather standpoint would be from November through to January. This period is usually the highest season for tourism as well with December being the peak.
Northern Thailand is slightly cooler
Northern Thailand enjoys slightly cooler temperatures than the rest of the country (about 1-2 degree lower). The effect is greater in Winter which is about 3 degree cooler than other parts. Normal temperature can get as low as 17 degree during winter in Northern Thailand. You can visit famous cities like Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai to enjoy some chilly, mountain weather.
Go visit the official Amazing Thailand travel website to check the temperatures of different places in the country ahead of your travel.
Visitors should plan their trip ahead to optimize their experience in Thailand.
Best time to travel to Thailand for the unique experience
Thailand has many cities and unique local cultural festivals to enjoy. However, there are some more well-known ones that both locals and tourists enjoy which we will highlight here.
Songkran or Thai New Year is Thailand’s biggest festival. It is usually celebrated by everyone in Thailand from 3 days up until a week. Traditionally, Songkran is a cultural event where families gather and visit temples together. In the temple, they will follow a ritual of pouring water on Buddha figures. Nowadays, while family gatherings still take place, Songkran has turned into a big water festival. Crowds will close down the streets to enjoy splashing water onto each other. For many foreigners travelling to Thailand, this can be a very unique experience.
Loy Krathong (November)
Loy Krathong is another festival that is celebrated throughout Thailand. Thai people have depended on water for their livelihood since the ancient time. Loy Krathong is a tradition where Thai people pay respect to the river and ask for forgiveness. In most parts of Thailand, people would float “krathong” onto the river. Krathong is (and should be) a biodegradable object made out of banana trunk/leaf, flower and candles. In northern Thailand, people light up lanterns instead of krathong. This was the start of the lantern festival where thousands of lanterns would lit up the sky on this night.
International and Chinese New Year (December / February)
International New Year (Dec 31/Jan 1) and Chinese New Year are not specific to Thai culture but Thai people also celebrate them. For the New Year, you can expect similar celebratory events like in any other part of the world (with fireworks and all that!). Chinese New Year is not as big of a holiday when compared to how it is celebrated in Mainland China. You will find the biggest buzz during Chinese New Year in the Chinatown area. In Bangkok’s Chinatown, you will be able to watch the dragon dance performance and also see firecrackers everywhere. But the highlight is definitely the street full of food vendors.
Most foreigners love the cultural exposure from taking part in these festivals. Experiencing these festivals first hand can easily be the highlight of their Thailand travel. So, you might factor in the timing of these festivals to determine the best time to travel to Thailand!
The best time to travel to Thailand if you love tropical fruits
Thai people love their tropical fruits. The country is bountiful of fruits, many of which visitors may have never seen and would find “exotic”.
- Banana, oranges and coconuts are mostly available all year round.
- Mangoes and papayas can be found all year round as well but they are more available from November to April.
- Rambutan, durian, longan and mangosteen are often considered exotic and they are only available from May to September.
Fun facts: durian is also often called “king of fruits” and mangosteen “queen of fruits”, and both can be found easily in Thailand with good quality!
You can always find these fruits in supermarkets or local markets, however one more place that you can explore is the export-quality fruit market. This place is not widely known by tourists but you can find a lot of very good quality fruits and also local food there. One example is Or Tor Kor Market which you can easily visit after you are done with Chatuchak – they are near to each other!
Thailand trip cost
A trip to Thailand is relatively inexpensive for most tourists especially if you come from countries with stronger currencies (US, Europe and some major economic powerhouses in Asia). However, during high season like December or during large festivals like Songkran, accommodation prices tend to go up fast. So, if you plan to travel during those periods, book early to keep your Thailand trip costs reasonable.
So, when is the best time to travel to Thailand?
Well, you can do your Thailand travel all year round. However, in some months you may get to enjoy cooler tropical weather, and in some other months you may have a higher chance of being stuck in the rain when going outdoors. So depending on what kind of travel you are doing, you decide when is the best time!
Moreover, by planning ahead, you can coincide your travel with some exotic fruit seasons and local festivals. Remember that Thailand trip costs always increase nearing the popular festivals like Songkran and Loy Krathong. If you plan ahead you can still enjoy better pricing.
Having said all this, unfortunately Thailand is facing the third coronavirus wave at the time of writing. You might want to postpone your Thailand trip until the coronavirus situation gets better. You can check out our other articles about the current Thailand travel restriction and also Thailand coronavirus situation.
Check out our other articles on Thailand!