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Thailand Rainy Season: When It Is and 5 Best Places to Go

By CindyUpdated Jan. 29, 2024

Mention the words 'rainy season' or 'monsoon season' to most people and they picture great sheets of water endlessly pouring from the sky for days on end. It is a big misconception when it comes to Thailand's wet season. Though most travelers do not count the rainy season as a good time to travel to Thailand, you can still have an amazing time by visiting great places and picking exciting experiences that can't be ruined by the rain.

The Best Time to Visit Thailand & Rainy Season

In general, the best time to visit Thailand is between November and March. This is when most of the country experiences the dry and cooler season. The temperature ranges from 23 to 33°C (73 to 91°F) on average. It is the busiest tourist time in Thailand.

Thailand's climate is influenced by two monsoons (the southwest and northeast monsoon). In most of Thailand, the rainy season takes place from May to October, with September and October experiencing the highest rainfall.

The south's east coast (including Koh Phangan, Koh Tao, and Koh Samui) is different! It experiences heavy rainfall from October to December. See the best time to visit Koh Samui.

average-rainfall of thailand

It's true that downpours are common during the rainy season. However, in most places, it rarely rains all day.

The days are warm and sunny most of the time, then when it does rain it is in short and sharp storms. Rains usually last around one or two hours at a predictable time (usually in the afternoon or evening).

If you don't mind braving the rain in the low season, you can benefit from great value offers and quieter attractions.

Must read: How to Plan Your First Trip to Thailand — 7 Easy Steps.

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The Best Places to Visit in Thailand during the Rainy Season

Below is our list of spectacular monsoon destinations in Thailand. These are the places where you can enjoy vacations for relaxing, sightseeing, and adventure accompanied by some raindrops.

1. Bangkok


In Bangkok, it will rain almost every day during the rainy season, but it rarely rains all day. This means that many activities can be planned around the weather. Rain or shine, the famous attractions such as the Grand Palace and Wat Arun can be visited. Besides, you can get a spa treatment, get lost in a museum such as the National Museum, go shopping, and take a cooking class.

Suggested reading: Best 3 Thailand Itineraries for 12 Days

2. Chiang Mai

chiang mai

Chiang Mai is one of the best destinations to visit during the rainy season. Due to its high latitude, it is cooler and drier than Bangkok. You will experience the downpours, but they usually occur for only a few hours in the late afternoon and early evening.

The rains bring the region's natural vegetation to full-blown bud and bloom. You can revel in the vibrant landscapes of the rice fields and the lush greenery of the mountains. It is also great to pay a visit to the Elephant Sanctuary.

3. Pai

Pai of northern thailand

About four hours north of Chiang Mai, Pai is a quiet peaceful village in between the valleys of the mountainous region. Its beautiful location, laid-back vibe, and organic cafés are what draw tourists from around the world to this quiet place.

You can find a nice café to enjoy a secluded nap during an afternoon downpour. You can go on jungle treks, swim in Pam Bok waterfall (and enjoy it in full flow), or swim in the Sai Ngam hot springs.

4. Koh Samui

koh samui

Koh Samui's climate is different from Phuket and other western parts of Thailand's peninsula. It is one of the driest destinations among all the tourist areas during the west coast rainy season (May–October), making it a good beach alternative.

Koh Samui's rainy season is usually from October through December, which is very wet, and generally not a great time to go.

The nearby islands of Koh Phangan and Koh Tao are also great places to go during the May–October period. Koh Phangan is famous for being the home of the hedonistic Full Moon Party. Koh Tao is best known for its diving and snorkeling sites.

5. Phuket

It should be noted that Phuket's rainy season is much wetter than for destinations further north in Thailand, though it covers the same months.

While the majority of Phuket tourism is centered around beach-going and outdoor activities in pleasant weather, the rainy season does not curtail this entirely, with often half of each day when this fun can still go on. Phuket may still be good value if half price in the wet season, though you would need a longer time there to enjoy the same amount of sun.

The nightlife, massages, cafés, bars, and most shopping, being indoors, can still go on, though, of course, there is less of an atmosphere in the low season.

If your holiday falls during Thailand's rainy season and you don't want the rain to spoil your holiday, you can consider other island destinations, such as Bali.

Travel Tips for the Rainy Seasons in Thailand

Here are a few additional tips that will help you navigate Thailand's rainy seasons more comfortably.

1. Stay Flexible

Keep your itinerary flexible during the rainy season. Something like a sudden thunderstorm might make your plans go awry. Flights can be delayed or ferries might be out of service due to heavy storms. Leaving one or two flexible days per week can make your trip go at a leisurely adaptable pace.

2. Plan Ahead

Our team are experts at dealing with situations such as cancellations and sudden changes and can be on-hand to reorganize trips and shuffle things around. Planning ahead means we have the flexibility to adapt to any emergency or slight inconvenience accordingly. Contact us and start to plan your unique tour now.

3. Check the Weather Reports and News

Make sure you do this, especially if you are visiting a hilly region or island. Hilly regions tend to have mudslides or landslides during heavy rainfall while low-lying areas tend to flood up. In bad weather, avoid island hopping. So, it is best to check the news to avoid anything hampering your venture.

4. Avoid Booking Hotels Affected by the Weather

Avoid booking hotels on outlying islands where you must travel by boat, as ferries between islands may be canceled due to bad weather.

5. Pack Waterproof and Quick-Drying Items

Pack items that can help to keep your belongings, and person, dry under the rain. Waterproof bags, for travel and daily activities, will help to keep your belongings and clothes dry from place to place. A reliable travel umbrella is a must. Opt for a water-resistant watch or cellphone case.

Lots of lightweight clothing and quick-drying fabrics are needed in case you do get caught in the rain, as well as non-slip shoes.

6. Buy the Right Insurance

Before you travel, verify that your comprehensive travel insurance plan has the coverage you may need for possible delays and interruptions. If you are mentally prepared and covered by insurance, you'll experience less stress on your trip even while traveling in rainy weather.

Monthly Weather and Travel Information for Thailand

Learn about the weather in Thailand for 12 months and find out the best places to visit each month.

Visit Thailand with Asia Highlights

Interpreting how Thailand's rainy season will impact your travels can be difficult and time-consuming. Our experts can help by tailor-making your trip to be amazing even with a little rain.

At Asia Highlights we have lots of experience planning trips in Thailand during both, the high and the low seasons, and we know all the tips and tricks to make your journey unforgettable.

To get started, send us an email!

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