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Thailand Weather in December 2023: Travel Tips & Places to Go

Thailand Weather in December 2023: Travel Tips & Places to Go

By Mike HoUpdated Oct. 27, 2023

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. December is a great time to spend your Chistmas/New Year vacation in this "Land of Smiles".

Thailand Weather in December: Overview

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

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

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. Max. Temp. Rainfall (mm)
Bangkok 22ºC/71ºF 32ºC/90ºF 10
Chiang Mai 15ºC/59ºF 29ºC/84ºF 20
Phuket 24ºC/75ºF 32ºC/90ºF 71
Krabi 22ºC/71ºF 31ºC/88ºF 127
Koh Samui 21ºC/70ºF 25ºC/77ºF 234
Hua Hin 22ºC/71ºF 29ºC/84ºF 15

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1) 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 sees an average rainfall of 2mm (0.08 inches).

2) 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).

3) 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.

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

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

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. 

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

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

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 exploring Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia together in one trip as they're conveniently connected and share a similar climate. You could also see December weather in other Southeast Asian countries>>>

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.

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).

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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