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Weather in Thailand: Regional Climates, Seasons, and Average Monthly Temperatures

Weather in Thailand: Regional Climates, Seasons, and Average Monthly Temperatures

By CindyUpdated May. 20, 2022

An Overview of Thailand's Climate and Weather

The weather in Thailand is hot and humid all year round, interspersed with tropical rain showers. For most of Thailand, the temperature rarely falls below 13°C (55°F), below 20°C (68°F) in central/south Thailand, or rises above 35°C (95°F), with most places averaging between 24°C and 32°C (75–90°F). Annual rainfall varies from 1,000 mm to 2,000 mm (39–79 inches). There are broadly three seasons in most of Thailand: dry and cooler, hot, and rainy.

average-temperatures of thailand
average-rainfall of thailand

The Best Time to Visit Thailand

Best Times to Visit Thailand

Generally speaking, the best time to visit Thailand is from November to February when most parts (except the south) of Thailand experience the cool and dry season, with temperatures ranging from 29°C to 33°C (84°F to 91°F). The gorgeous weather conditions make these months the busiest time in Thailand.

March to June is generally very hot, and temperatures can reach up to 40°C (104°F) in Bangkok. From May to October is the rainy season in Thailand (from Bangkok north). If you ask the worst months to visit Thailand weatherwise, in Bangkok that would be April, which is the hottest month, and September, which is the wettest month.

However, Thailand is a country of mountains, hills, plains, and a long coastline and the surrounding sea gives Thailand a varied climate, so you can find a good destination whenever you go.

See more information about the best times to visit Thailand on our page: What is the Best (and Worst) Time to Visit Thailand?

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Thailand Climate: Three Distinct Seasons

Featuring a tropical climate, Thailand has three distinct seasons:

The Cool and Dry Season — November to February

The cool and dry season in central and northern Thailand is from November to February when average temperatures across the region vary between 19°C and 28°C (67–82°F). There are large temperature differences across Thailand in this season, with cities in northern Thailand's mountains such as Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai reaching record lows of 4°C (39°F), though their average lows are around 15°C (59°F). Therefore, if you visit Thailand during this season, remember to bring some warm clothes.

Bear in mind that, the dry and cool season is the best time to visit most parts of Thailand, except the eastern coast of the Gulf of Thailand, such as Ko Samui, which experiences its torrential rainy season from September to December.

cool season in thailand

The Hot Season — March to June

Thailand experiences hot weather between March and June. April is the hottest month when temperatures can easily push into the high 30s Celsius (the upper 90s Fahrenheit) and even past 38°C (100°F) in some central cities like Bangkok. The exception to the rule is the southern islands like Koh Samui, where sea breezes keep moderately hot afternoon temperatures to around 32°C (90°F).

The Rainy (Monsoon) Season — May to October

In central and northern Thailand and the southwest coast (Phuket, Krabi…), the rainy season is from May to October, with September and October experiencing the highest rainfall. Rainfall typically occurs as a heavy but predictable afternoon downpour that rarely is cause for canceling travel plans for the day. Average temperatures in Thailand are 25–30°C (between the mid-70s and mid-80s Fahrenheit).

The south's east coast (including Koh Samui) is different! It experiences heavy rainfall from October to December. See what to expect during the rainy season and the best places to go

tainy seaon in chiang mai

Cyclone Season in Thailand

Cyclones coming from the Pacific Ocean, known as typhoons, typically affect continental Thailand. Thailand is typically prone to typhoons from June through December, although they are more common from September to November. Cyclones often bring heavy rains and strong winds. In general, Thailand is not hit as hard as its Southeast Asian neighbors, such as the Philippines or Vietnam.

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Thailand's Regional Climates

Whilst Thailand is typically warm and humid, the weather can vary significantly from one region to another due to the country's north-south extent and coastal-inland contrast. With Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai in the mountainous north, Bangkok in the central region, and Phuket, Koh Samui, and Khao Lak being on the southern peninsula, they can experience different weather conditions even during the same month of the year.

Table of Thailand's Best Months to Visit by Region:

Region Best months to visit
Northern Thailand (Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai) November, December, January, February
Bangkok and Central Thailand November, December, January, February
West Coast Beaches and Islands November, December, January, February, March
East Coast Beaches and Islands January, February, March, July, August, September

Northern Thailand (Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai)

The cool season lasts from early December to February. During the day, temperatures max out at 30°C (86°F) but bring a jacket or sweatshirt because the temperature drops rapidly after sunset, sometimes to as low as 10°C (50°F).

Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai begin to warm up after the brief cool season, and, by the middle of March, the hot season is in full swing. Daytime temperatures soar to a blistering 40°C (104°F). The nearby mountains are a great place to escape from the city heat as their high elevation brings mercifully cooler air. Thankfully, the hot season is fairly short and the heatwave is over by early June at the latest.

Bringing a welcome relief from the blistering hot season, the rains begin to fall around early June and continue on until late October. The rainy season's temperature falls to an average of 32°C (89°F) during the day and a pleasant 23°C (73°F) at night.

northern thailand

Bangkok and Central Thailand

Bangkok can be really hot from March to May. Hot season temperatures may even touch 40°C (104°F) in Thailand's capital city during these three months. These scorching conditions can last well into the rainy season, resulting in a rise in humidity levels as well, thereby making travel less comfortable.

Temperatures during the wet season (May to October) are generally high, and the average daytime temperature is between 28°C (82°F) and 34°C (93°F).

November sees the end of the rainy season and the sticky weather is replaced with drier conditions for the following six months, so travelers can be outside without having to worry about rain. November through February — the moderately hot dry season — offers guests the best weather for traveling in and around Bangkok.

grand palace in Bangkok

The West Coast

For the west coast of Thailand — Krabi, Phuket, the Phi Phi Islands, Ko Lanta, Khao Lak… — the best time to visit is its drier season from December to March. The average temperature remains at about 28°C (83°F) all year round. It is bright and sunny, but not unbearably hot, and this is idyllic weather if you plan on spending lots of time on the beach. It gets more humid and rainy from the end of March. Average daily high temperatures peak at around 34°C (93°F) in March.

Temperatures during the monsoon season (late May to early November) are still in the mid-30s °C (around 90°F) range, and you can expect sunny spells interspersed with rainy periods. It usually just rains in the afternoons. Rainfall usually peaks during the month of September.

See the details about the best time to visit Phuket

phuket

The East Coast

If you are going to visit the east coasts (Ko Samui, Ko Phangan, Ko Tao…) you should consider to avoiding the months of October to December when the Gulf of Thailand experiences its rainy season. Its temperature range is around 25–31°C (77–88°F) all year.

See detailed information about the weather of Ko Samui

Ko samui
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Thailand Weather by Month

average-rainfall
average-temperatures

January

  • Average temperature range: 20°C to 30°C (68°F to 86°F)
  • Key events: Chinese New Year (January one year in three)

January is one of the few mild (or not so hot) and dry months throughout Thailand, with temperatures between 20 and 30 degrees Celsius in most places. Northern areas such as Chiang Mai are cooler with an average minimum of 15°C (59°F). Don't forget to bring a light sweater there.

There is very little rain this month.

January ushers in the peak tourist season in Thailand and accommodation prices are at a premium around the country. 

February

  • Average temperature range: 22°C to 32°C (72°F to 90°F)
  • Key events: Chiang Mai Flower Festival (first weekend of February); Chinese New Year (date varies between Jan and Feb); Makha Bucha Day

The weather remains good in most parts of Thailand in February, with average temperatures from 22°C to 32°C (72°F to 90°F). The chances of rain increase in the north.

The weather on the southern peninsula and beaches is very nice with lots of sunshine and average temperatures in the high 20s Celcius (the average water temperature is a pleasant 28°C). Beach lovers can enjoy the sun on both of the southern coasts, from Phuket to Koh Samui to Krabi.

Thailand is still in its high season, but it's not as crowded as December and January.

March

  • Average temperature range: 26°C to 31°C (79°F to 88°F)
  • Key events: Kite-Flying Festival; National Muay Thai Day; Pattaya International Music Festival

In March, Thailand enters its hot and dry season, and temperatures start rising rapidly. March is still one of the best months to travel to Thailand, especially the first half of the month. You can expect more sun and less rain than at other times of the year.

This month is the beginning of the travel shoulder season. Crowds at attractions and on beaches began to dwindle.

April

  • Average temperature range: 29°C to 34°C (84°F to 93°F)
  • Key events: Songkran Festival (13th to 15th April)

April is the hottest month in most of Thailand, with temperatures reaching 35 or even 40 degrees Celcius in some places. Though the tourist high season winds down, you'd better book in advance if you plan to travel to Thailand during Songkran Festival (Thai New Year).

It's still fabulous to go to the southern islands this month, and you may not find it not too hot due to the sea breeze and occasional rain.

Songkran Festival in april Songkran Festival

May

  • Average temperature range: 28°C to 34°C (82°F to 93°F)
  • Key events: Royal Ploughing Ceremony

It is still very hot in Thailand in May, but the temperatures are slightly cooler than in April. The weather in Central Thailand and along the Andaman Coast (the west coast) starts to get extremely humid. Most of Thailand has moderate rainfall; the west coast's rainfall is high.

May is a great time to visit Thailand for low prices. You may be able to take advantage of a shoulder season promotion.

June

  • Average temperature range: 28°C to 34°C (82°F to 93°F)

In June, like May, there is rain in most parts of Thailand, but it usually comes in the afternoon or evening. June is a good time to visit Thailand. Temperatures and rainfall are moderate. You can have wonderful opportunities to grab a shoulder season bargain. Enjoy the natural beauty of Thailand in all its splendor and the fresh breezes following the rain.

July

  • Average temperature range: 25°C to 32°C (77°F to 90°F)

July is similar to May and June rain-wise and temperature-wise. It is the period before the heavy rains on the islands and beaches of the east coast. So, it is a great time to dive and snorkel at Koh Samui, Koh Phangan, and Koh Tao.

Temperatures start to drop a little as wind and rain become more common toward the end of the month.

August

  • Average temperature range: 25°C to 32°C (77°F to 90°F)

August is in the middle of the rainy season, but still not the peak. It is common to see heavy rains all around Thailand. The beaches on the east coast like Koh Samui are the best places to visit, although you may still experience a few showers.

chiang mai

September 

  • Average temperature range: 25°C to 31°C (77°F to 88°F)

September tends to be the wettest month of the year in most of Thailand. Temperatures continue to decline gradually throughout the month. The heavy rain puts off tourists from most outdoor attractions, and they concentrate in the cities of central and northern Thailand and the beaches of the west coast (Phuket, Krabi, Khao Lak…). Koh Samui and Koh Pha Ngan also experience increasingly heavy rains.

October

  • Average temperature range: 24°C to 31°C (75°F to 88°F)
  • Key events: Vegetarian Festival

October is the tail end of the rainy season in most of Thailand. The rains start to decrease and temperatures begin to drop. Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai, and northern Thailand are gradually entering into their "winter" of warm-rather-than-hot weather from this month. The south is still relatively hot and humid. The cooler temperatures and lower humidity make October one of the best times to visit Thailand outside the high season.

November

  • Average temperature range: 24°C to 31°C (75°F to 88°F)
  • Key events: Loi Krathong; Yee Peng Lantern Festival in Chiang Mai

November is the beginning of the cool and dry season in Thailand. Most of Thailand is perfect to visit, with moderate temperatures and plenty of sunshine. However, eastern coastal areas like Koh Samui and Koh Pha Ngan see their highest levels of rainfall at this time of year (torrential downpours).

November is also the start of the tourist high season. You can avoid the crowds if you visit at the beginning of the month.

If you want to experience one of the most important festivals in Thailand, Loi Krathong, try to book your hotel in advance. You can also experience Yi Peng Lantern Festival in Chiang Mai

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December

  • Average temperature range: 21°C to 31°C (70°F to 88°F)

December is one of the best months to visit Thailand, with minimum rainfall and pleasant temperatures. You can visit any area in Thailand and have mostly clear skies, with the exception of the east coast (where it's still its rainy season).

It is the peak of the tourist season, meaning a huge influx of visitors and high prices. If you plan to visit Thailand during the Christmas period, book far in advance and get ready for high prices and huge crowds.

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

What to Pack for Thailand

Depending on the season and region(s) of Thailand you travel to, there are different recommended things to bring.

In cool and dry season times, if you visit central and northern Thailand such as Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Chiang Rai, pack light clothes for the day, a jacket and a sweater for the evening, and possibly a light jacket or sweater for cooler evenings in the mountains. On the southern peninsula and islands, pack light clothing; a light sweater for the evening will be all you may need. If you are going to mountain areas, though, bring some warm clothes, like a jacket and a coat.

In the hot and wet seasons, pack light clothes and a light raincoat or umbrella. A light sweater is recommended for air-conditioned places.

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