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Thailand Weather in December: Best Places to Visit and Travel Tips

Thailand Weather in December: Best Places to Visit and Travel Tips

By Mike HoUpdated May. 19, 2023

Thailand's weather in December is warm/mild, and rainfall is low in most of Thailand, which makes it a great time to spend your Chistmas/New Year vacation in this "Land of Smiles".

Read more about Thailand's December weather, places to visit, clothes to wear, and travel tips for December in this article.

Thailand Weather in December: Overview

  • Average temperature range: 24–32°C (75–89°F)
  • Rainfall: 12 mm (0.5 inches)
  • Rainy days: 6
  • Sunny days: 15
Thailand weather in December

The weather in Thailand in December is cool and dry. The average daily maximum is 32°C (89°F) and the average daily minimum is 24°C (75°F). There is only about 1 rainy day during the whole month in Bangkok, but it is much rainier in the south, and much cooler further north.

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

The Regional Weather in Thailand in December

December in Thailand is the coolest time of the year with the least amount of rainfall. 

Area Min. Temp. (ºC) Max. Temp. (ºC)  Rainfall (mm)
Bangkok 22 32 10
Chiang Mai 15 29 20
Phuket 24 32 71
Krabi 22 31 127
Koh Samui 21 25 234
Hua Hin 22 29 15

Bangkok, Central, and Eastern Thailand: 21°C to 31°C

Central and eastern Thailand are large regions that include many popular travel destinations such as Bangkok, Pattaya, Koh Samet, Hua Hin, Ayutthaya, and Koh Chang in the southeast. Temperatures here range between 21°C (70°F) and 31°C (88°F). In December, this area of the country sees an average rainfall of 2mm (0.08 inches).

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Chiang Mai and North Thailand: 15°C to 28°C

In northern Thailand, the weather can get chilly in December. In Chiang Mai, temperatures typically drop to around 15°C (59°F) at night and in some years the temperature has been as low as 12°C (54°F).

Islands of Southern Thailand: 23°C to 31°C

Southern Thailand is an ideal place to visit if you want beautiful beaches and warm weather. In December, temperatures range between 22°C (72°F) and 31°C (88°F).

However, the rainfalls in the east coast (Koh Samui and Koh Phangan) and the west coast (Phuket, Krabi, and Koh Phi Phi) are quite different. Phuket, Ko Lanta, and Ko Phi Phi on the west have drier weather at the beginning of December. Towards the end of the month, you could enjoy many sunny days in Koh Samui and Koh Phangan as well. 

Further read: How to Choose from Thailand's Islands (Your Island Hopping Guide)

Thailand's neighborhood countries Vietnam and Cambodia also have comfortable weather in December. For your 2-week Christmas holiday, visiting these three countries in one trip would be a smart choice as well. 

Suggested to read: Planning a Family Holiday to SE Asia? 20 Expert Tips for Christmas

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Best Places to Visit in Thailand in December

December is one of the best months to travel to Thailand. The weather of December is hot/warm in the south and mild/cool in the north, and the monsoon rains cease in most of the country. Here are some of the best-recommended places to visit in December.  

Best Places to Visit in Thailand in December Best Places to Visit in Thailand in December

1. Bangkok

Bangkok in December Bangkok in December

Lots of sunshine and warm weather make Bangkok a great place to visit in December. It is a special experience to walk along the riverside and enjoy the Christmas streetlights in Bangkok with other holiday-time crowds.

The comfortable weather and the many rooftop bars/restaurants make Bangkok a wonderful place to count down to the New Year. (Read more about Where to Celebrate New Year's Eve in Thailand)

2. Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai

Elephant Rescue Park in Chiang Mai Elephant Rescue Park in Chiang Mai

With the cool weather of December, you can explore the elephant sanctuary near Chiang Mai and help the staff feed and bathe the elephants. (The Best 4 Ethical Elephant Sanctuaries in Chiang Mai)

The hinterland of the old towns of Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai holds good places for trekking, camping, and cycling.

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3. Ayutthaya

Ayutthaya in December Ayutthaya in December

The weather in Ayutthaya in December is pleasantly warm with a gentle breeze. It is comfortable to explore this once-thriving ancient city and visit the ancient temples of Ayutthaya.

Caring for rescued elephants and biking through the old French, Portuguese, British, and Dutch quarters are some of the recommended activities.

4. Khao Yai National Park

Khao Yai National Park Khao Yai National Park

December is a great time to explore Khao Yai National Park's jungle (a UNESCO World Heritage site). You can take a half-day or day-long tour to explore caves, spot a lot of birds, see elephants (and other wild animals), and enjoy waterfalls

Camping in the park on New Year's Eve with the starry sky might be a special gift for your family.

5. Popular Islands of Thailand

Thailand wearther in December Phuket Beach in December

Although temperatures on some of Thailand's beaches can reach up to 31°C (87°F) in December, there is always a breeze coming from the ocean that makes it feel much cooler. December is a good time to relax on the beach without overheating and participate in watersports.

Interestingly, the rainfalls in December are quiet different from the east coast (Koh Samui and Koh Phangan) to the west coast (Phuket, Krabi, and Koh Phi Phi). In general, December marks the end of rainy season on the east coast. But before December 20th, Koh Samui/Koh Phangan (east coast) might still see a few rainy days while Phuket and Krabi on the west enjoy drier weather. 

When entering the end of December, both east coast and west coast are perfect for winding at the beach. Koh Samui usually has smaller crowds due to its higher airfare and less flights. (Phuket vs Koh Samui: Which Is Better to Go)

For your first trip to Southeast Asia, you can also consider exploreing Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia together in one trip as they're conveniently connected and share the similar climate. 

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December Crowding and Costs 

December is the peak travel season in Thailand, especially during the "Western" holiday season (the Christmas / New Year's break). The tourist areas can be extremely crowded, and hotel and flights costs are much higher than in other months. So, book early (2-3 months in advance) to save more. 

Check some Thailand tours for inspiration.

Suggested to read: 

What to Wear in December?  

The lowest temperature in December is about 24°C (76°F) in most of Thailand. So, shorts, skirts, light trousers, T-shirts, and other light clothes are good for this month. Bring a few pieces of warm clothing, such as a jacket or jeans, if you go to northern Thailand, which can sometimes get below 15°C (70°F).

The Best Choice for the First-Timers to Thailand and Cambodia

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.

Explore Thailand with Asia Highlights

For the perfect December vacation to Thailand, look no further than Asia Highlights' custom travel services. At Asia Highlights, we can create a tailor-made trip based on your preferences. If you want to avoid the crowds while enjoying the tropical beaches in the south or cities full of temples in the north then we can arrange it for you. Let us deal with the stress of planning so that you can just enjoy your trip.

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