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Thailand Weather in December 2024: Travel Tips for First Visitors

By Mike HoUpdated Feb. 24, 2024

The weather in Thailand in December is cool and dry, offering a respite from the warmth of previous months. The average daily maximum temperature hovers around 32°C (89°F), while the average daily minimum temperature is a comfortable 24°C (75°F).

December is the peak season for travel in Thailand, attracting visitors with its pleasant weather and the added allure of the Christmas and New Year seasons. 

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 Regional Weather in Thailand in December

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

Weather in Northern Thailand (Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai...)

In December, the northern regions of Thailand, including Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai, experience a pleasant and cool climate. The temperatures typically range from 15 to 25°C (59 to 77°F), providing a refreshing break from the hotter months. 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). 

So remember to bring a few pieces of warm clothing, such as a jacket or jeans. 

The cooler weather is perfect for exploring the mountainous landscapes, lush greenery, and cultural treasures that abound in this part of the country.

Weather in Central Thailand (Bangkok, Ayutthaya...)

The central regions, including Bangkok and Ayutthaya, experience mild and comfortable temperatures during December. Daytime temperatures hover around 25 to 30°C (77 to 86°F), and there is typically just 1 day of low rainfall, around 2mm (0.08 inches) in December. It is pleasant to do sightseeing and outdoor activities.

Weather in Southern Thailand (Phuket, Krabi, Koh Samui...)

The southern regions, encompassing popular destinations like Phuket, Krabi, and Koh Samui, boast a warm and tropical climate in December. With temperatures ranging from 25 to 32°C (77 to 90°F), this is the perfect time to enjoy the stunning beaches, crystal-clear waters, and vibrant marine life that characterize the region.

However, the weather differs between the east coast (Koh Samui and Koh Phangan) and the west coast (Phuket, Krabi, and Koh Phi Phi).

At the beginning of December, places like Phuket, Ko Lanta, and Ko Phi Phi on the west experience dry conditions and warm sea temperatures. On the other hand, Koh Samui still sees some rain, wrapping up the monsoon season. But towards the end of December, both Koh Samui and Koh Phangan enjoy more sunny days, making it a great time to visit.

Insider tip: 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 reading: 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

The vibrant capital city of Thailand, Bangkok, is a year-round destination, but December offers cooler temperatures, making it more comfortable for sightseeing. Explore the Grand Palace, visit bustling markets, and experience the city's lively nightlife. The cooler evenings also make it an ideal time to take a leisurely boat ride along the Chao Phraya River, admiring the city's illuminated skyline.

Additionally, the festive decorations and events during the Christmas and New Year season add to the city's charm. 

If you're in Bangkok for New Year's Eve, join the festivities at CentralWorld, where a massive countdown event takes place with live music, fireworks, and a lively crowd. It's a memorable way to ring in the new year in the heart of the city.

Check the sample itineraries for Thailand tours: 10 days, 12 days, 14 days, and 21 days >>>

2. Chiang Mai 

Visiting Chiang Mai in December is highly recommended, as the cool and dry weather sets the stage for an enjoyable exploration of this northern Thai city. 

You can wander through the Old City to explore its historic temples, including Wat Phra Singh and Wat Chedi Luang. Take a trip to Doi Suthep, a mountain overlooking Chiang Mai, to visit the stunning Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, and utilize the pleasant weather to engage in a Thai cooking class.

You can also experience the unique blend of Thai traditions and international holiday celebrations. Many hotels, restaurants, and bars host special events, making it a festive time to be in Chiang Mai.

If you're fortunate, you might get the chance to experience the Yi Peng Lantern Festival, typically held in November or December, where thousands of lanterns are released into the night sky.

Get more ideas on planning a family trip to Thailand.

3. Ayutthaya

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

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. Phuket 

December marks the beginning of the dry season on the west coast, including Phuket. With clear skies and warm temperatures, this popular island destination is ideal for enjoying its beautiful beaches, vibrant nightlife, and water activities. Explore the Old Town, relax on Patong Beach, or take boat trips to nearby islands.

6. Koh Samui

Despite some lingering rainfall at the beginning of December, Koh Samui in the Gulf of Thailand is a tropical paradise worth visiting. As the month progresses, the weather becomes more favorable, making it an excellent time to relax on the stunning beaches, explore the island's natural beauty, and participate in water activities.

Koh Samui usually has smaller crowds due to its higher airfare and fewer flights and higher price of accommodation. 

Insider tip: 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 flight 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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