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Thailand weather

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Below an overview of general weather patterns of various destinations in Thailand. Anyone who is traveling to Thailand needs to know about the climate so as to make their journey more comfortable. The below information is indicative. Weather on individual days and locations is not predictable and may differ from the general weather pattern. Monsoon winds may switch direction on different times every year and seasons can start earlier or later. Click on the links below for the general weather pattern in each location.

Thailand

Thailand enjoys a tropical climate that is typically high in both humidity and temperature with an important feature being the monsoons.

Thailand is the hottest between the months of March and May and even the locals complain about the searing heat of summer. Temperatures range from 32 to 38°C (90 to 100°F). Bangkok is especially hot until deep in the night due to the many concrete buildings warming up by the sun in the daytime and radiating their heat during the night. The South west monsoons arrive in June bringing some relief to the parched earth. This season continues till the end of October with intermittent bursts of rain.

The months from November till the end of February is a little more pleasant than the rest of the seasons with a decrease in the levels of humidity and cool breezes blowing from the North East. This is the best time to visit Thailand as the weather is just fine and absolutely suitable for touring.

As for clothes and wear, cottons are the best option. You can buy these locally at cheap prices. The tropical sun is fierce and so a wide brimmed hat and a good sunscreen lotion would be of great help.

The climatic conditions in the north are favored greatly by the Thais as it is comfortably cool. With the temperatures remaining 3 to 5 degrees lower than the rest of Thailand and temperatures in the mountainous regions are even lower than in Chiang Mai city. Tourists should bring adequate clothing to brace against the cold. The temperatures at night can drop to as low as 2 degrees in the cold season. The north differs to a great extent from the central and the southern parts of Thailand as far as rainfall is concerned. There is hardly any rainfall in the months between May to September.

Phuket & Khao Lak

Phuket has a tropical monsoon climate. From May to November the winds come from the southwest over the Indian Ocean, bringing lots of warm moist air and therefore lots of rain. From November to April the wind direction changes to come from the northeast, bringing cooler, drier air and good weather. The result is a fairly predictable weather pattern. The best time to visit Phuket is during the cool NE monsoon season, from November through March, when it isn't so humid, and the cool breezes keep things comfortable.

November - February

Cool & dry season. Northeast winds normally start sometime in November bringing an end to the rainy season. The cool season is the best time of year to visit Phuket. There is lots of blue sky, very little rainfall, lower humidity and the temperatures are comfortably warm. This is Phuket's high-season with the peak of visitors coming over the Christmas and New Year period. The average temperature is around 75°F to 89°F (24°C to 32°C).

March - early May

Hot & humid season. The weather is dry and the skies blue and temperatures are high. This is mid-season for Phuket. There are still a lot of visitors but the hotels start to lower their rates around this period as demand drops. Temperatures range from 80°F to 95°F (27°C to 36°C). There are frequent short heavy thundery showers, offering welcome relief from the temperature and humidity.

May - June

Sep - Oct

Rainy season. The monsoon winds from the southwest start in early May and bring the rain. The highest rainfall comes in May, September and October. In these months it can rain for long periods. These three months are definitely not the time of year to come if you want sun or outdoor activities. The six months of the rainy season are Phuket's low-season. June, July and August are enjoyable months to visit (see below). May, September and October are quiet as it is just too wet for most people. During the monsoon please be aware of waves and dangerous undercurrents. Do not swim in the sea if there are red flags.

June - August

These are enjoyable months to visit. The weather is usually fine, it is not very busy and you can take advantage of the low season prices. The usual pattern is brief but heavy showers. In between, the weather is pleasant with plenty of sunshine, comfortable temperatures and a cooling breeze. There will often be periods of several days without any rain. Temperatures range between 70°F and 90°F (20°C to 33°C).

Koh Samui, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao

The climate seasons are not exactly the same as in Krabi and Phuket that are located at the Andaman Sea, while Koh Samui - Koh Phangan - Koh Tao are located in the Gulf of Thailand. Koh Tao is very lucky due to its centralised gulf location. Besides a 6 - 10 week wet monsoon period starting around October into mid December, Koh Tao generally has a great tropical climate most of the year. The island does get hit occasionally with storms that are blown in from surrounding countries but these tend to blow themselves out within a day or so.

December - February

Cool & dry season. Lots of sunshine and not much rain. Temperatures average a pleasant 79°F / 26°C. This is generally the best time to visit the Koh Samui islands. Winds can be refreshing.

March - May

Hot season. Koh Samui remains mainly dry during this season. Temperatures average 32°to 38°C (90° to 101°F) and may reach as high as 40°C (104°F). In May the raining may increase a little. The sunshine is still dominating the day time, almost as much as in the dry season. The sea remains calm and low tides can lead to very shallow waters on the island’s beaches.

June - September

Rainy season. Most days will be filled with sun, with an occasional downpour which usually doesn't last long. The wind picks up again in May, and this is a popular time for off-season visits. Late in the afternoon huge thunderstorms sometimes build offshore and come crashing into the island. These are also popular months for visitors, who can still guarantee plenty of sunshine during their holiday. The showers get more frequent from October to December.

October - December

Rainy season. Also known as the monsoon season. Frequent showers come in October and last until around mid December. For divers: the seas can be unusually rough and visibility can be affected. Ferry services to/from Koh Tao are limited and on some days even completely stopped due to winds and high waves. Unlike many other parts of the country, Koh Samui doesn’t have a prolonged or predictable rainy season. During the wettest periods there are rarely more for than two or three days without sun, even during November. The sun starts smiling again for longer durations around mid December.

Koh Chang

Koh Chang has three seasons. The cool season is from November to February, the hot season from March to May and the rainy season from June until October. Most visitors are on the island between December and March, The month with the most rainfall is August with an average 700 mm. Some hotels close during the monsoon season, but most resorts are open all year round.

November - February

Cool & dry season. Temperatures are at their lowest, especially in January when it averages at 21°C (70°F). There is plenty of sunshine. This is the best time for a stay, since the temperatures rarely exceed over 30° Celsius (86° Fahrenheit). In the evenings it can become occasionally quite cool because of the wind in the evening and at night.

March - May

Hot & humid season. Temperatures can reach 38°Celcius (101° Fahrenheit) and the seawater can be over 30°C (86°F). Sometimes a plunge in the cool Klong Phrao waterfall on the island can be more pleasant than bathing in the seawater.

June - October

Rainy season. From June to October the southwest monsoon blows. During this period the west coast can be wet and stormy. Ferry services to various islands (Koh Mak, Koh Wai, Koh Kood) are limited and sometimes even turned off for a few days when winds and sea currents are strong. Diving is often probibited by law and many diving schools are closed. As this is low season, hotelrates are low. This can also be a pleasant period if you are not particularly looking for diving or island hopping. Temperatures are moderate and the sun does shine.

Activities

Koh Chang offers a large range of activities, among which diving,  snorkeling, elephant trekking, hiking, waterfall trek, spa, tattoo, bird watching, island, hopping, kayaking, sailing, parasailing, fishing, squid fishing, overnight deep sea fishing, shopping, bar hopping, Cambodia tour, camping, firefly tour.

Krabi,  Phi Phi Island and Koh Lanta

Two main seasons: the hot season from November to April and the rainy season from May to October. Yearly temperatures in Krabi average around 28-32°C (82-90°F) during the day, with a maximum of around 36°C (97°F) during March and April and a minimum of 20°C (68°F) as temporary drops during a big rainstorm. During the night, the temperature drops around 5° -10°C (40° - 50°F) and you may feel chilly if you have been out in the sun all day. Pleasant evening wear is a light, non-woolly sweater or shawl. Humidity levels are high throughout the year, from 75% to 100%. If you are sensitive to humidity, avoid going on any jungle treks or visits to National Parks where the greenery makes things worse. The sea temperature is a very pleasant 28 - 30°C all year round.

November - April

Cool & dry season. Weather-wise this is the ideal time to visit Krabi. You will enjoy nearly perfect conditions: calm seas, clear blue skies, moderate temperatures and only a small chance on rain. By coming in January - February, you also avoid the peak season hotel supplements charged around Christmas and New Year. This time is very busy, so you may find popular hotels and beaches full.

May - October

Hot & rainy season. The hottest time is April - May, with temperatures ranging from 80°F to 95°F (27°C up to 36°C). There are frequent short heavy thundery showers, offering welcome relief from the temperature and humidity. Monsoon winds tend to shut down the Andaman sea. Hotels on Koh Phi Phi and Koh Lanta partly close up and ferry services to Koh Lanta are limited because of low tourist numbers. Contact us for details on ferry departure schedules. The winds can cause rough seas, however this is rare. The typical weather pattern is of sunny days punctuated by short, heavy afternoon showers. However, you could just as easily end up with ten days of straight rain or sun! The rainy season can be an enjoyable time to visit, as it is cooler, cheaper and much less crowded.

Pattaya

Pattaya lies facing the Gulf of Thailand and is always under the influence of the sea. This being the reason, its weather differs from southern, northern and in-land Thailand. Pattaya weather does not undergo any sea change, as the average temperature remains 29°C (85°F). The Pattaya weather pattern follows three seasons the winters, the hot season and the rainy season.

November - March

Cool season. Winters in Pattaya, commence from November and last till March. Most of the tourists visit Pattaya during the cool season but temperatures run to 30°C (90°F) during the day and well above 20°C (68°F) at night. Climate is tropical and humid most of the time in this ‘Rivera of Thailand’. Tourists flock to Pattaya to enjoy the sunshine that remains throughout the year.

April - June

Hot & humid season. Summers in Pattaya, can be very unpleasant for those who are not used to the sticky humidity of the seaside cities. The temperature runs up to 40 degrees during the months from April to June. It is not the best time to visit Pattaya.

July - October

Rainy season. At the end of May, monsoon sets in Pattaya. Long hours of continuous downpour during which no one dares to brave the rain sometimes leave the streets flooded and this takes about an hour to recede. Rains during the June, August and September months, bring down the temperature but usually increases the humidity, which can become very uncomfortable for many.

Weather in Thailand Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
CENTRAL
Bangkok
Ayutthaya
River Kwai
NORTH
Chiang Mai
Chiang Rai
Sukhothai
NORTHEAST   (Esarn)
Khao Yai & Khorat
Khonkaen
Ubon Ratchathani
EAST THAILAND
Koh Chang
Koh Samet
Pattaya
SOUTH THAILAND   (east side)
Hua Hin
SOUTH THAILAND   (east side)
Koh Samui
Koh Phangan
Koh Tao
SOUTH THAILAND   (west side)
Phuket
Krabi
Phi Phi island
Koh Lanta
Trang, Koh Lipe, Koh Ngai
GENERAL Best time of the year. Daytime pleasantly warm 24 - 32°C (75 - 90°F). Evenings are nice and cool. Hottest time of the year. Daytime temps reach 34 - 40°C (96 - 104°F). Evenings often above 30°C (90°F). Start of the rainy season. Pleasant weather. Daytime warm and humid with short refreshing rain showers. Evenings nice & warm. Rain months with ongoing rainfall. Temperatures are pleasant though. Best time of the yr. Daytime pleasantly warm 24 - 32°C (75 - 90°F). Evenings nice & cool.
Sunny. Daytime temps pleasant to warm. Evenings are cool. Rains less than 40 mm or 4 days per month.
Sunny to lightly clouded. Daytime & evenings pleasantly warm. Rains 41 - 100 mm or 5 - 10 days per month.
Sunny with clouds. Pleasantly warm. Rains 101 - 200 mm or 11 - 20 days per month.
Mainly clouded with frequent showers. Rains more than 200 mm or 20 days per month.

Source: Travelfish

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