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Traditional wooden longtail boats docked at the shore of a Thai beach.

Dreaming of a getaway to Thailand? If you’ve never been, you’re in for an unforgettable experience. It’s a staggeringly beautiful country, with stunning beaches, crystal clear waters and natural wonders aplenty. Thailand is also famous for its fabulous food, friendly people and hot weather. 

But when is the best time to visit Thailand? You’ll naturally want to time your trip so that you can see the country at its very finest.

Read on for some helpful tips on planning a dream holiday to Thailand.

Best time of year to visit Thailand

Thailand has a tropical climate and experiences monsoons at certain times of the year. It can also be very hot, as well as being a tourist hotspot.

So to make sure the conditions are comfortable and it’s not too crowded, you’ll need to know which times of year are best for your Thai adventure.

Generally speaking, November to early April is considered to be the best time of year to visit Thailand. Although it depends where you go. For example, if you’re heading to the east coast of Thailand, the best time to visit is between April and September.

We’ll get into some seasonal and climate specifics next.

When is hot season in Thailand?

The hot season in Thailand is between March and May. It may sound appealing if you’re dreaming of sunning yourself on a beach, but the heat can actually be pretty difficult to cope with.

Temperatures average around 37°C in April in northern parts of the country like Chiang Mai, and there’s hardly any breeze or rainfall to cool things down. Venture further south to places like Phuket or Koh Samui though and you should experience slightly cooler temperatures.

When is rainy season in Thailand?

Thailand has two monsoon seasons, affecting different parts of the country in turn. So, depending where you’re planning to go, you’ll want to fit in your trip outside of these times – or pack some serious wet weather gear!

The rainy season (also known as the wet season) is between May and October. This is caused by the southwest monsoon, which sweeps warm humid air in from the Indian Ocean. During these months, you can expect rain most days. It usually falls in the form of short, intense showers in the afternoons or during the night.

But if you visit during September or October, you can expect very heavy and more prolonged rain showers.

One upside of the season is the consistent winds on the Thai coast, which create fantastic surfing conditions. So if you’re hoping to catch some waves, this is a great time to visit.

The second monsoon season is caused by the north-east monsoon. This affects the east coast of the island, where there is consistent rainfall between October and January. November tends to be the wettest month. 

The good news though is that west coast destinations such as Phuket, Krabi and the Ko Phi Phi islands should be experiencing ideal conditions for a blissful Thai holiday.

What is the cool season in Thailand?

The cool season in Thailand is between November and February, and is considered to be an ideal time to visit. Temperatures are reasonably comfortable (although it’s still likely to be hot) and there’s less chance of heavy rainfall.

Just don’t forget about that north-east monsoon, which affects the east coast between October and January.

When is Thailand’s quietest tourist season?

So far in this guide, we’ve focused on the weather and the climate in Thailand. But there’s another crucial consideration to bear in mind, and this is how busy it is at different times of the year.

Understandably, the country is busiest during the cool season, when temperatures are bearable and there’s less rainfall. If you’re hitting a tourist hotspot like Phang Nga Bay, Railay Beach in Krabi or the thrillingly chaotic city of Bangkok, this could mean crowds. It could also mean that hotels and attractions are more expensive, although the cost of living in Thailand is generally pretty low.

If you’d prefer to swerve the crowds, the quietest time to visit Thailand is between May and September. You might also find accommodation a little cheaper then too.

The only drawback of course is that this is monsoon season. But depending on when and where you go, you may be lucky and experience just a few sharp showers – with the weather sunny and hot the rest of the time. Pack accordingly and you’ll be able to enjoy Thailand without the tourist crowds. You may even get some of its most beautiful beaches all to yourself.

Need help planning your Thailand escape? If you’re not sure exactly when or where you’d like to go, our travel experts are here to help. Get in touch to discuss your ideas and we’ll help you find and book an amazing holiday.

Book with confidence!

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