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Thailand Weather in January: Which Island/Best Places to Visit

Thailand Weather in January: Which Island/Best Places to Visit

By Mike HoUpdated Sep. 23, 2022

Planning to visit Thailand in January? Read our article for the weather in January in Thailand, including average temperatures and rainfall, as well as travel tips on best places to visit in January, best thai island to go, travel costs, and what to wear.

Thailand Weather in January Overview

  • Average temperature range: 24–32°C (75–89°F)
  • Average rainfall: 14 mm (½ inch)
  • Average rainy days: 8
  • Average sunny days: 22
Thailand weather in January

With its cool weather, January is one of the best months of the year to visit Thailand, with temperatures hovering between the low 20s (°C) and low 30s (°C) in most places. Most January days in Thailand are sunny and dry, which makes trips convenient and comfortable.

There are a few more rainy days at the east coast beaches (mainly in early January), such as Koh Samui, but the rainfall is still low. There is less rain in Phuket and Krabi. These two islands are more recommended if you visit Thailand in early January. (Phuket vs Krabi: Which Is Better to Go?)

Suggested read: Best (and Worst) Time to Visit Thailand

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Thailand's Regional Weather

City Min. Temp. (ºC) Max. Temp. (ºC)  Rainfall (mm)
Bangkok 20 32 11
Chiang Mai 13 29 8
Phuket 22 32 42
Koh Samui 24 29 144
Krabi 24 33 7
Hua Hin 21 31 13

Bangkok and central Thailand: Bangkok and the surrounding regions experience warm days and mild nights in January, making it the ideal time to visit. With daytime temperatures averaging between 25°C (77°F) and 29°C (84°F) on most days, travelers can enjoy all of the many attractions comfortably.

Chiang Mai and northern Thailand: Chiang Mai and the surrounding northern regions have much the same weather as Bangkok, but 5°C (9°F) or cooler with mild days mild/cool nights in January. Daytime temperatures are average between 16°C (60°F) and 29°C (84°F) on most days.

Southern islands/coasts of Thailand: The weather in Phuket and Krabi is cool and dry in January. Daytime temperatures average between 25°C (77°F) and 28°C (82°F). The eastern coast, including Koh Samui, has similar weather to the western coast. The eastern side of the peninsula does see slightly more rainfall statistically, but nowhere near enough to deter you from visiting.

Thailand's neighborhood countries Vietnam and Cambodia have similar good weather. Many travelers choose to spend their 2 weeks' holiday visiting these three destinations together. 

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The Best Places to Visit in Thailand in January

With its mild/warm and dry weather, January is the one of the best months of the year to visit Thailand. In fact, you can have a comfortable trip all around the whole kingdom in January. Here we have selected the best places, which are chosen by most tourists in January.

Best places to visist in Thailand in January

1. Phuket, Krabi, Koh Phi Phi

Andaman Sea in JanuaryAndaman Sea

Late December through early January is the peak tourism season in Thailand. Popular Thai islands such as Phuket, Koh Lipe, Krabi, and Koh Phi Phi are usually full to the brim with tourists in these months.

The Andaman Coast (Thailand's west coast) is at its most beautiful during January, with perfect weather conditions and crystal-clear, calm, blue seas. Phuket and Krabi are at their busiest, and their beaches tend to get very crowded. It is ideal for those who like the buzzing atmosphere of the high season. (How to Choose from Thailand’s Islands)

Suggested read: Best Time to Visit Phuket, When Is the Rainy Season?

2. Koh Samui

Koh Samui in JanuaryKoh Samui

The Gulf of Thailand (Thailand's east coast) experiences some rain at the beginning of January, but this tapers off towards the end of the month, leaving clear skies and blue seas for visitors to enjoy. Koh Samui, has many beautiful beaches, where you can enjoy sunbathing, water sports, and stunning sunsets. Similar to other beach resorts in Thailand, it is crowded in Koh Samui in January.

Suggested read: Phuket vs Koh Samui: Which Is Better to Go (An Honest Comparison for You)

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3. Chiang Mai

Meeting an elephant at one of the many ethical elephant sanctuaries in Chiang Mai Meeting an elephant at one of the many ethical elephant sanctuaries in Chiang Mai

January is the ideal time to visit the northern city of Chiang Mai, as the weather is at its most pleasant for daytime excursions.

Chiang Mai has no shortage of attractions to keep travelers occupied. Meeting an elephant at one of the many ethical elephant sanctuaries there is on most travelers' bucket lists and is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

If temples are your thing, you'll be spoiled for choice. You can visit temples in Chiang Mai's Old City, like Wat Phra Singh and Wat Chedi, on foot. A day trip or overnight trip to the stunning Doi Inthanon mountain temple is something you shouldn't miss!

4. Chiang Rai

White Temple in Chiang Rai White Temple in Chiang Rai

Often referred to as Chiang Mai's little sister, Chiang Rai is a fantastic place to visit in its own right. The highlights of the city include Wat Rong Khun (The White Temple), Baan Dam Museum (The Black Temple), and the Night Bazaar.

There are plenty of day trips to take in the Chiang Rai region, the most popular being a visit to the Golden Triangle to see one of the indigenous hill tribes, or a trip to the coffee and tea plantations in the valleys.

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5. Bangkok

January is by far the best month to enjoy all that Bangkok has to offer. The daily temperature rarely exceeds 30°C (86°F), making it the most comfortable time of the year for travelers to explore the city on foot.

In Bangkok, you can visit many famous Buddhist temples in Bangkok. Wat Pho, Wat Arun,Wat Rong Khun, and the impressive Grand Palace are all within walking distance of each other.

On New Year's Eve, the entire city of Bangkok gears up for the party. The fireworks show on the Chao Phraya River is one of the most spectacular you'll find anywhere.

Traveling around January 22nd, 2023, you will also see traditional Chinese New Year celebrations in Bangkok's Chinatown.

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

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Crowding and Costs in January

January is one of the best times of the year to visit Thailand. It is also the most crowded and busiest month at its major tourist attractions, where you will see long lines waiting. Hotels often run at near-full capacity and always double their prices during the high travel season, especially at some famous coastal resorts or beaches. Try to book your train tickets in advance as the trains’ capacity fills up quickly. 

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Clothes to Wear in January

You may expect some big differences in temperature between the daytime and the evening in January. It is quite warm in the daytime and mild in the evening, even cool in the north. The weather can take visitors by surprise with just how cold it can get. Temperatures at night can drop to as low as 13°C (55°F) in the mountains in Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai, so make sure you pack a sweater.

Shorts, t-shirts, light trousers, and sandals are good in the daytime. Long sleeve clothes, light jackets, light coats, and trousers are needed to keep warm in the evenings. Maybe take an umbrella or light raincoat if you are visiting the east coast (Koh Samui), as there are some rainy days in January. Further north, it’s so dry, it’s not worth it.

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.

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