Thailand is a magical country and loved by everyone who visits. The beauty of the country cannot be described in words, and a visit is a must. Boasting a rich heritage and culture that dates back several centuries, it has progressed into a very modern country while still retaining its charm, values, and beauty. But before we can get into the details of when to visit this country, let’s understand the country first.
Thailand, previously known as Siam, is officially known as the Kingdom of Thailand. It is located in South East Asia and covers an area of 513,120 square kilometers (198,120 sq mi). The country is not very large, but its borders cover a lot of areas vertically. From the mountainous Thi highlands in the north to the beautiful coastline in the south bordering Malaysia. It has the best of mountains, rivers, lakes, beaches, and islands. This is probably one country in the SE Asia region with so many huge islands. Without any doubt, these islands bring in a lot of tourists in themselves.
Thailand enjoys a tropical climate, and the country is classified as a tropical savanna climate. Thailand has 3 distinct seasons. First, the summer season lasts from February to May, then followed by the May to October monsoon season. There is hardly any winter from September to January, but it is relatively cooler than the summer months. Winter is only noticeable in December and January in the mountains in the north. As we have understood the facts about Thailand, let’s dive into the details.
When is the best time to visit Thailand?
The best time to travel to Thailand will depend on several factors. The most important factor is the activity you are planning. If you are planning to go hiking, mountain climbing, or island exploring, the monsoon seasons are the ones you should avoid. Let’s discuss more the travel seasons in Thailand.
The high season
The high season will start from November and last until April. It spans the range from the start of the winters to almost the end of summers which promise great sunny weather all day, low humidity, amazing Thai festivals to enjoy, and much more. This season draws the most crowds, although you will still find a sizeable tourist population all year round. This season also includes the Christmas, New Year, Chinese New Year, and Songkran festivals which are an added attraction. So it’s 6 months when something is happening every month. As usual, expect the flights and hotels to be expensive with the highest rates and low availability. So choose your dates carefully and plan.
The Shoulder Season
There are two shoulder seasons, and they last from April to May and September to October. These are the transition months when the weather is actively changing every couple of days from Sunny to Rainy or the rainy season is ending. Many tourists find this change interesting as it offers the best of both seasons and it suits their plans very well. E.g. if anyone is planning to enjoy the island life as well as spend some time in the mountains to cool down, they can start in April in any of the beautiful islands and over the next couple of days move to the mountains where it would be cooler and also start raining. Another benefit is that the prices are comparatively lower, many of the attractions are not crowded or too touristy, and planning is far easier.
The Low Season
The low or off-season is from May to September, which I am really surprised because even in that season, there are tons of things to be done in Thailand. The best part is that the number of tourists falls by a large amount, giving you the much-needed comfort while visiting any destination. Sea and sea-based excursions do continue, but they remain at the mercy of the weather gods and so it possible that your plans can get canceled last minute. But you can have the weather app handy and check out the weather predictions for the next couple of days before making any plans.
The only negative part about this season is that even though it rains, it can still be very hot. Due to this, humidity levels are at an all-time high. So there might be a short spell of showers, and then the hot weather makes everything humid. But there are a lot of tourists who enjoy it and often seek comfort and peace in the mountains and enjoy several waterfalls. It’s extremely cheap to stay, eat and travel during this season. You can easily expect prices lower by 20-40% on average.
From a tourist’s perspective, Thailand can be divided into 3 distinct regions for tourism. We can find out the best season for being there.
The season depends on the activity that can be done. Undoubtedly one of the most exciting areas if you love the nightlife, islands, beaches, and the sea. This region extends down from Surat Thani province to Phuket and Krabi. It boasts of the very best in islands, national parks, virgin beaches, and excellent nightlife, sea, and water sports. This is probably one region you can explore for up to 6 months easily if you have the time. Both the Andaman Sea on the West and the Gulf of Thailand on the East have access to the most beautiful islands in Thailand. The best places to spend time here are the cities of Krabi, Ao Nang, and Phuket. They have close access to airports, national parks, beaches, and some of the best resorts. The best time to visit south Thailand is any month, excluding the off-season.
Central Thailand can be best described as the region including Bangkok, Pattaya up to the Cambodian border where the island of Ko Chang lies. This is predominantly a metropolitan area but still has access to national parks, floating markets, shopping malls, riverfront, large outdoors like the Asiatic, religious sites like Ayutthaya, city life, and a lot of other attractions. Most of these attractions are outdoors, and so you should avoid the rainy season. This area will give you an urban feel and should be avoided if you don’t find city and urban areas appealing. Bangkok and Pattaya are also known for cheap but good quality shopping and boast of the best malls in SE Asia. To reach the mountains and waterfalls near Bangkok, you will have to take a short train ride.
This part of Thailand is completely different from the rest of the country. High mountains covered in green, mild weather patterns that get cold during the winter nights, moderate rainfall are what describes this region and its weather patterns. It feels a little special during rains, and so you should spend time here during the monsoon and enjoy nature at its best. It boasts of numerous long hikes, beautiful bike rides in the mountains, and stunning jungle waterfalls. Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, and Pai are the 3 cities you must enjoy in this region.
Thailand is a great country to travel to in any season. There are a lot of activities that you can indulge in at any time of the year. Among a few things that you can do all year long are indulge in the famous Thai food. It has so many varieties that you will still be tasting a new dish every day even after a month. You can also spend time in inexpensive street-side shopping which sells good products. You can also visit some night markets that Thailand is so famous for even though you do not buy anything. The experience is wonderful. Check out the numerous golden and colorful temples, each with its distinct persona and different from one another. You can also indulge in their rich history and culture and visit several popular religious sites like Ayutthaya.
Traveling is not an issue in Thailand as most places are covered by Trains, Buses, and Flights. So you can take whatever options suit you. In the interiors, busses and trains go to the last towns and beyond which you can use the local taxis to get around. Thailand is also one country where it is very easy to rent a motorbike and boasts of the best roads which make it safe to ride and explore on your own. When it comes to islands, they are connected by long-tail boats, ferries, and high-speed boats that run regularly. You can book most of the tours and travels in and around Thailand online at any time of the year.
Overall, you can enjoy Thailand in any season. There’s always a lot of activities to do and things to explore. It depends on your choice of preference and also the time you can travel to Thailand. We would advise you to make a list of activities and plan according to them. With cheap flights operating from all the cities, you can travel from one end of the country to the other in a matter of hours and still have enough time to do a lot more. We hope this information has given you enough information to help you plan your trip.