Whether you want to hit the beach, experience an ancient culture, or try some local cuisine, you can find it all in Thailand. It's no surprise that Thailand has become such a popular destination over the past decade for every type of traveler. Whether you're looking for luxury or for a backpacker’s paradise, Thailand has it all.
If you want to get the best out of your journey in Thailand, it is important to see it under the best of circumstances. Visiting during the high season allows travelers not to worry about the weather and instead focus on their experiences in a new and exciting country.
This article will explain everything you need to know about visiting Thailand during the high season, including the weather, the cost, the crowds, and the things that you can only do and see at this time.
When Is the High Season?
Thailand has three distinct seasons: the high season, the hot season, and the rainy season. In most of Thailand, the high season lasts from November to early March, while the hot season is from March to May and the rainy season lasts from May to October.
Although the high season lasts from November to March, the peak season in Thailand is typically from January to March. Throughout the high season, there is good weather, but the peak season is probably when the weather is most comfortable for westerners.
What Is the Weather Like?
The high season in Thailand is the time of year with the least rainfall and the most comfortable temperatures. The temperatures during the day are usually around the 70s or 80s Fahrenheit and the humidity is comparatively low.
It rarely rains in Thailand during the high season, and if it does, it is usually only a short spurt followed by blue skies. The weather during this time of year is perfect for traveling as it is still warm enough to be on the beach during the day; but it cools down enough at night to be comfortable.
Costs in the High Season
Because the weather is so beautiful in Thailand during the high season, the country often sees an influx of tourists at this time, causing a rise in prices. In general, the cost of accommodation, flights, and tours will be about 30% higher in the high season than in the low season.
For reference, if you are a frugal traveler who plans on living and spending like a local, you will most likely need around $600 USD a week in Bangkok during the high season.
If you are looking for a more luxurious experience with better quality accommodation and food then you'll need a larger budget. Our experts can help you decide on what level of quality you're looking for.
Differences in quality have a huge impact on prices in Thailand, especially when it comes to accommodation. In Bangkok during the high season, the average price of a 3-star hotel is around $70 USD a night, a 4-star hotel costs $100 a night, and a 5-star hotel costs $200 a night.
Flights within Thailand also go up in price during the high season. International flights during the Christmas or New Year holiday period are often more expensive than at other times of the year.
Crowds in the High Season
The high season is the most popular time of year for people to visit Thailand. Therefore, during this time places such as the main tourist attractions draw bigger crowds.
In the major cities, the crowds are less dense because there are more main attractions and activities to split up all the visitors.
However, some of the most popular vacation spots in Thailand such as Phuket and some of the other islands can get very crowded during the high season. If a beach stay is part of your trip, then it may be important to book accommodation and transport in advance.
Tips for Avoiding the Crowds
If you dislike busy places and would like to avoid them, there are plenty of ways to beat the crowds.
One way to beat the rush to the main attractions in Thailand is to make sure you arrive just as the attraction is opening to the public in the morning. As most people visiting Thailand are on vacation, many don't want to get up early, so arriving early is a great way to make sure you see everything before it starts getting busy.
Another great way to avoid the crowds in Thailand is to visit during the shoulder season; the period of time on either side of the high season, such as March to May or September/October. The weather isn't as good during this time, but there are fewer people.
Top Activities in the High Season
If you are considering visiting Thailand during the rainy season or shoulder season, it is important to make sure that you will still be able to see everything you want to. There are certain activities that depend on the weather and are often only available during the high season. Here are some of the most popular high season activities.
Explore the Floating Markets
The floating markets in Bangkok and the surrounding areas are a great way to experience the ancient tradition of selling goods from boats in the waterways. You can book your own boat for exploring the canals and buying some goods. The floating market also makes for great photographs.
Visit the National Parks
There are many incredible national parks in Thailand such as Khao Yi and Khao Sok, where visitors can hike and catch a glimpse of the country's diverse flora and fauna.
Many national parks in Thailand are famous for their incredible views, including caves and striking waterfalls. Some national parks even have night tours so that travelers can observe nocturnal animals.
Visit an Elephant Sanctuary
Elephant rescue centers and sanctuaries have been increasing in number and popularity in recent years, due to their ethical treatment of elephants and their volunteer programs. Depending on which sanctuary you choose, you can spend a day with the elephants, bathe them, or even trek with them.
Sunbathe on Famous Islands
Thailand is famous for its incredible beaches and world-famous islands, with great resorts, restaurants, and scenery. Some of Thailand's islands have a different high and low season than the rest of the country, but most of the islands have the same seasonal patterns as the mainland.
If you are looking to sunbathe or swim, then it is best to visit the beaches and islands of Thailand in the high season. The summer monsoons make the seas rough and unsafe for swimming or watersports.
Visit Thailand with Asia Highlights
Want help finding the perfect time to visit Thailand? Our experts at Asia Highlights can help you plan your trip and create the perfect itinerary to make sure you get what you want out of Thailand. Send us an email to get started.