Best Time To Visit Thailand: Complete Guide on When To Go

Plan your perfect trip with our complete guide on the best time to visit Thailand for beaches, surfing, hiking, temple-hopping, festivals and more.
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Arijana & Matej

Croatian-Slovenian full-time travel duo, photographers, bloggers and travel journalists for over 4 years. We write in-depth travel guides about destinations we have personally visited, providing practical travel tips and recommendations.

Best time to visit Thailand - Best time to plan your vacation in Thailand - when to visit Thailand - rainy season - wet season - dry season

What is the overall best time to visit Thailand?

The overall best time to visit Thailand is from November to early April for islands, beaches, hiking, vacation, and outdoor activities, as it falls into the dry season, which typically runs from November to February.

During this time, the weather is relatively cooler and less humid, making it perfect for exploring islands like Koh Samui and Koh Phangan, lounging on the beautiful beaches of Phuket or Krabi, exploring floating markets in Bangkok, and the northern mountains near Chiang Mai.

Best time to visit Thailand for island Hopping and beaches

However, if you are interested in diving or snorkeling, the best time to visit would be from March to May when the waters are clearest. For experiencing traditional festivals like Songkran (Thai New Year) or Loy Krathong (Festival of Lights), plan your visit around April or November respectively.

Best time to visit Thailand for snorkeling, scuba diving and water activities

It’s worth noting that popular tourist destinations may be crowded during the peak season. If you prefer a quieter experience, consider visiting Thailand during the shoulder seasons of March to May or September to October when the weather is still good but there are fewer tourists.

It’s also important to remember that specific regions of Thailand may have slightly different optimal times to visit based on their unique climate patterns.

We’ll explore it all in this complete guide on when to visit Thailand.

Best time to visit Thailand for sunny weather and beaches
Sunset at Nai Thon Beach, Phuket

About the weather in Thailand

Thailand, a fascinating country in Southeast Asia, has a tropical climate, with seasonal monsoon winds and monsoon rains affecting it. This means warm temperatures, plenty of sunshine, and occasional bursts of rain to keep things lush and green.

The weather in Thailand can vary across different regions. This is because the country stretches from north to south and has a wide variety of scenery, including beaches, mountains, lakes, and jungles.

Best time to visit Thailand to enjoy the beaches
Phra Nang Cave Beach in Krabi

In addition, Thailand also boasts three distinct main seasons that bring their own unique vibe. So, knowing the hot, wet, and cool seasons is key to maximizing your Thailand vacation.

Therefore, the best time to visit Thailand depends on which places you would like to visit and the activities you want to do.

Must-do activities and experiences in Thailand

Snorkeling in the clearest waters of Similan Islands and Surin Islands.

Scuba Diving among rich marine life around the waters of Koh Tao.

Staying overnight in a floating bungalow in Khao Sok.

Island-hopping in Phuket and Phi Phi Islands.

Exploring floating markets in Bangkok.

Temple-hopping and nature exploring in Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai.

Rock climbing and adventure activities in Krabi.


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Thailand Weather Seasons Explained

Hot Season in Thailand

The hot season in Thailand runs from March to May. On certain days, the temperature can rise to 33°C (90°F) or even reach 38°C (100°F), especially in the north and central parts of the country, with the hottest places being Bangkok and Chiang Mai.

The weather during the hot season is dry and sunny, with minimal chance of rain. So if you want to visit Thailand during the hot season, it’s best to wear light clothing, remain hydrated, and take advantage of any opportunity to spend time in an airconditioned environment or shade because the heat can be very intense.

Best time to visit Thailand for beaches in South of Thailand
Laem Sing Beach, Phuket


Do most of your sightseeing in the mornings.

The advantage of this summer weather is that the ocean’s cooling water is ideal for swimming. It’s a great time to hit the beach, go island-hopping, explore underwater, or check out waterfalls and swimming holes. Indoor activities are also a great idea.

The hot season marks the beginning of the low season in Thailand, meaning you can save money on accommodations and flights, and you can expect to share the attractions with fewer other tourists.

Rainy Season in Thailand

In most parts of Thailand, the rainy season, or the so-called wet season, is from June to October. The monsoons bring high humidity and frequent rain, which limits outdoor activities.

However, this is a lush, green time of year that brings new life to nature. The rain might not be the best time for beach days, but it’s a beautiful time to explore Thailand’s forest trails, waterfalls, and rural areas. The rainy season is a low-tourism season in Thailand, so flights and hotels are cheaper.

Best time to visit Thailand to explore the nature, outdoors, and waterfalls

If nature is not your thing, you can always wear a raincoat and bring an umbrella to go sightseeing or go on a street food hunting trip. The downside is that some areas are prone to flooding, so it’s best to research local conditions before planning any trips.


It’s worth noting that while the rainy season in Thailand comes with a lot of rain, it might not always be the case that it’s raining the whole time. But rather in certain periods of the day, when it’s a powerful downpour, and the rest can actually be a nice sunny day.

It’s also important to know that the wet season is different on the Andaman Coast and Central Thailand (June–October) from the rainy season in the Southeastern part and Gulf of Thailand (October–January).

Dry and Cool Season in Thailand

November to February is the dry season in Thailand, with cooler temperatures, an average high of 27°C (80°F) and an average low of 10°C (50°F), especially in the northern mountain regions.

Rainclouds are gone, the humidity drops and refreshing winds blow through. In this perfect weather comes peak tourism season, so hotels are full, flights and fares are costly, and famous destinations in Thailand are packed.

Best time to visit Thailand to explore the nature in national parks - rivers - jungle - trekking - hiking
Bamboo raft ride in Khao Sok National Park

Outdoor activities are also in full swing, and they’re definitely much more pleasant in the dry weather and lower humidity. You can safely access all the beaches and national parks, and you can explore tons of historic places or street markets without being too hot or wet. There are also a few Thai festivals you can join during the dry season.

Pack a light jacket for chilly nights and early mornings because this season offers the best of Thailand’s tropical weather before the heat returns!


The southeastern regions and the Gulf of Thailand are exempt from the dry season because the rainy weather starts during these months. – Koh Samui, Koh Tao, Koh Phangan..

Best time to visit Thailand for cultural activities and visiting attractions

Burning season in Thailand

Burning season in Thailand typically lasts from February to early April and is a time of year when farmers burn fields and agricultural waste to make way for the incoming planting season. Every year, locals and travelers unfortunately deal with a reduction in visibility, respiratory issues, and an overall decrease in the quality of the air.

Best time to visit Thailand for exploring the north of Thailand - rice fields, nature, temples
Burning fields in Pai – just before the burning season.

This practice results in thick smog and air pollution that covers several parts of the country, making the burning season the worst time to visit Thailand, air quality-wise.

This annual issue mainly affects Thailand’s northern region, especially Chiang Mai and its surrounding areas. So, for health and safety reasons, vacationing up north during this season is not ideal.


The burning season can affect all parts of Thailand, but never in the same amount. But it does depend on the year!

For example, we traveled through Thailand at the exact time of the burning season, but as we mostly stayed on the islands of Koh Tao, Koh Phangan, Koh Samui, and the Andaman Coast (Phuket, Krabi), we weren’t affected at all.

When is the high season in Thailand, and when is the low season?

When you’re planning your travel in Thailand, knowing the high and low seasons can help plan your budget and manage your expectations regarding activities you can do on your visit.

The months of November through February are considered the high season, or peak tourist period in Thailand because the weather is cool and pleasant, a big contrast to the winter months in Europe.

The high season is the best time to visit Thailand because you can expect sunny skies and clear and calm waters for activities. However, with higher demand comes higher prices for accommodations.

Best time to visit Thailand for island-hopping to Maya Bay and Phi Phi Islands from Phuket or Krabi
Maya Bay in the high season, but on an early-bird trip.

On the other hand, the low season in Thailand spans from June to October, when rain is more frequent due to the monsoon season. This is a good time to visit Thailand if you’re budget-conscious and enjoy reduced crowds.

You can score great deals on accommodation and flights, but outdoor activities are more limited. So traveling to Thailand during the summer months (July – September) is not a bad idea if you know the limitations.

Best time to visit Thailand for island-hopping to Phi Phi Islands - Best time to visit Thailand for beaches
Phi Phi Islands in the low season

When do Thailand islands close off to tourists?

Thailand’s islands have varying closure periods for tourists due to the monsoon season, when heavy rains and rough seas can disrupt travel plans or make it more dangerous. And in most cases, they also close for conservation reasons.

It’s always a good idea to check the specific closure periods for each island before planning your trip to ensure you can make the most of your time in Thailand’s beautiful island destinations.

The Similan Islands, for example, are closed to tourists from mid-May to mid-October every year. The Surin Islands also have a similar closure period, with restrictions in place from May to October.

Maya Bay on Koh Phi Phi Le is closed from August to October every year to preserve the natural environment.

During the low season in Thailand, there are also much fewer ferries operating, especially for islands like Koh Kood and Koh Lipe, which are more affected by adverse weather conditions.

Plus, the travel between Phuket and nearby islands like Phi Phi Islands is a bit rougher due to the rougher waters, as well as between Koh Lipe and other southern Andaman islands.

Best time to visit North Thailand

The cool season between November and February is the best time to visit the north of Thailand. This makes it the perfect time to see the stunning landscapes, temples, and vibrant cultures of Northern Thai provinces like Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, and Mae Hong Son (Pai).

If you book guided tours, you don’t have to worry about them getting canceled. You can also be sure that most of the famous attractions are open, like Tham Lod Cave in Mae Hong Son, one of the best caves to explore in Thailand.

Best time to visit Thailand to explore caves and other natural attractions
Tham Lod Cave

In addition to the comfortable weather and amazing sights, you’ll also have the chance to join traditional festivals like Yi Peng, Loy Krathong, and Chiang Mai’s flower festival.

Most travelers avoid visiting the north of Thailand from late February to May because the burning season is not worth experiencing. Not only is sightseeing difficult, but the thick smog can cause some health issues.

Best time to visit Thailand to explore national parks in the north - Doi Inthanon National Park, Chiang Mai
Doi Inthanon National Park in Chiang Mai

The rainy season in North Thailand, from July to October, is also not ideal because trekking or swimming in some waterfalls can be dangerous.

However, no matter when you choose to go, the north of Thailand promises an unforgettable experience filled with scenic nature, delicious cuisine, friendly locals, and rich cultural traditions.


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Best time to visit Bangkok and Central Thailand

The best time to visit Bangkok and Central Thailand is from November to February, during the dry and cool season.

During this time, the weather in Central Thailand is milder, with temperatures ranging from 20°C (68°F) to 30°C (86°F), making it comfortable to explore the bustling cities, temples, and nature.

This period also coincides with major festivals like the Chinese New Year and the Candle Festival, adding more fun to your trip.

Since March and April mark the end of peak season, they may be a good alternative for Central Thailand if you prefer fewer tourists and don’t mind slightly higher temperatures. If ever the heat gets unbearable, just consider it a chance to visit famous museums in Bangkok, shopping malls, trendy cafes, and other indoor attractions.

From July to October, which is the monsoon season, outdoor activities will be limited in Bangkok and Central Thailand due to more frequent downpours.

Best time to visit Thailand for visiting temples in Ayutthaya and Bangkok
Temples of Ayutthaya

However, Bangkok is always fun to explore. We’ve spent time there in all the seasons, the hot, rainy, and the cool, and each was fine. The rains are often a welcome thing after the very hot periods, and often, they don’t last that long. And you can always choose to only explore in the morning to avoid the unbearable heat.

Best time to visit Thailand for visiting top tourist attractions - Mae Klong Railway Market


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Best time to visit the Gulf of Thailand

The best time to visit the islands in the Gulf of Thailand is from April to October for a pleasant time on the white-sand beaches and to have clear blue waters.

Because the Gulf of Thailand is a tropical paradise filled with many picturesque islands, it’s no surprise that most things to do are water-related. That’s why visiting the Gulf of Thailand during the summer season is not only the best but also the safest time.

Best time to visit Thailand for scuba diving in Koh Tao, Koh Phangan, Koh Samui

Plan your trip from February to March when the waters are calm and clear if you want to go scuba diving, snorkeling, island-hopping, or kayaking in Koh Tao or Koh Phangan.

The worst time to visit the Gulf of Thailand is the monsoon season, from October to December. Water-related activities can be a bit more dangerous because of the heavy downpours and rougher seas. Though, nature really comes to life then.

However, it’s worth noting that the most visited Thai Islands in the Gulf of Thailand, Koh Samui, Koh Phangan, and Koh Tao, are much less rainy than other places in Thailand during the rainy season.

Otherwise, an alternative vacation destination, but on the mainland, is Hua Hin, which is mostly pleasant all year round since Hua Hin is considerably drier than Phuket and is one of the driest places in Thailand. Although the main beaches in Hua Hin aren’t the prettiest in the country, there are some really nice ones a bit north and south of Hua Hin. It’s a great place for a relaxed holiday, as it’s much slower-paced.

Best time to visit the east coast of the Gulf of Thailand

Another group of islands in the Gulf of Thailand is Koh Chang, Koh Mak, and Koh Kood, which have distinct weather patterns and are often quite the opposite of the other side of the gulf around Koh Samui.

So the best time to visit the east coast islands of the Gulf of Thailand is between November and February. On the other hand, the rainy season, and also the low season there, lasts from May to October.

To better understand the different islands in the Gulf of Thailand, check the map below.


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Best time to visit South Thailand (Andaman Coast)

The Andaman Coast in the South of Thailand boasts some of the most beautiful and popular destinations in the country, like Phuket, Krabi, Phi Phi Islands, Koh Lanta, and Koh Lipe.

Ideally, the best time to visit South Thailand and the Andaman Coast is from November to April, when the weather is sunny and dry.

The water is clear and calm, perfect for swimming, snorkeling, or scuba diving around the Similan, Surin, and Phi Phi Islands. November to April is also the perfect weather for island-hopping from Phuket or Krabi and for kayaking around Phang Nga Bay’s limestone cliffs and through the fascinating sea caves.

November to April is also the best time to visit Khao Sok National Park and the nearby west coast beaches and destinations like Khao Lak.

Best time to visit Thailand for exploring the national parks and lakes

During these months, Phuket and other islands come alive with festivals, beach parties, and night markets. It’s also the perfect time for witnessing stunning sunsets while relaxing on fine-sand beaches or viewpoints.

Best time to visit Thailand for stunning sunsets

The rainy season on the Andaman Coast of South Thailand is from May to October, which occurs a bit earlier than in the Gulf of Thailand. The monsoon brings heavy rain and high humidity, along with rougher seas, which makes it a bit tricky to go into the water, as the waves are higher, but also there are more rip currents.

However, if water activities are not your thing, you want to avoid the flock of tourists, or you’re just looking for a chill staycation, then the rainy season on the Andaman Coast of South Thailand is a great choice.

We spent time in Phuket, Krabi, and Phi Phi Islands during May and June and still had a pleasant time.

Best time to visit Thailand for kayaking and beaches
Phra Nang Cave Beach in Krabi


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Best time to visit Thailand for festivals

Due to its rich cultural heritage, Thailand has many vibrant festivals celebrated throughout the year in different parts of the country. The most popular festivals in Thailand are usually held during the months of November and April when the weather is dry.

One of these is the Songkran festival, also known as the Thai New Year, which the country celebrates around mid-April with massive, multi-day water fights, street parties, and other Buddhist rituals.

Best time to visit Thailand for festivals and celebrations - Songkran Festival

You can also look forward to the magical Loy Krathong festival in November, which is celebrated on the full moon of the 12th lunar month, where people release beautifully decorated floating baskets into rivers.

Best time to visit Thailand for festivals and celebrations - Loy Krathon festival

If you would rather see a sky full of illuminated paper lanterns, join the Yi Peng festival that occurs during the same time as Loy Krathong. And you can experience both on the same day in northern Thailand, especially in Chiang Mai.

For a unique experience, visit the town of Dan Sai (Loei Province) to celebrate the three-day Phi Ta Khon festival. This is dubbed the Ghost Festival because of the grand parade, where participants dress up in spooky costumes that resemble ghosts and spirits. The festival usually occurs sometime between March and July, though the exact date changes annually.

The Vegetarian Festival takes place in Thailand between late September and early October for nine days of festivities celebrating Chinese beliefs of abstinence from animal products. The vegetarian festival is mostly celebrated in Phuket and in Bangkok’s China Town.


Songkran Festival: Thai New Year

Best time to visit Thailand for surfing

If you’re a surfing enthusiast, the best time to visit Thailand to catch some waves is during the monsoon season, which typically runs from May to October.

During this time, the southwestern coast of Thailand experiences consistent swells and favorable wind conditions, making it ideal for surfing in Phuket, Khao Lak, Koh Phayam, or Koh Lanta.

However, it’s important to note that the monsoon season also brings heavy rainfall and rough seas, so be sure to check the weather and surf conditions before heading out on the Surf Forecast.

For beginner surfers, we recommend taking lessons or surfing with experienced locals who can guide you through the waves safely. Some of the recommended surf schools in Thailand are Talay Surf School, Whale Surf School, and Beyond Surf Kata in Phuket.

Best time to visit Thailand for surfing - Best time to visit Thailand to learn how to surf
Surfing in Kata Beach, Phuket, at not the right time.

For a more in-depth learning experience, check out one of the Thailand Surf Camps, like the Phuket 6-Day Learn to Surf Camp.

Best time to visit Thailand plus other Southeast Asian countries

The best time to visit Thailand and the rest of Southeast Asia, including Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia, is during the dry season, which is from November to April.

In Vietnam, the dry season varies slightly depending on the region, but it’s similar to the dry season in Thailand. In the north, it typically lasts from November to April, while in the south, it lasts from December to April.

If you prefer cooler weather and don’t mind some rain showers, visiting during the shoulder seasons of May-June or September-October can also be a good option as there are fewer tourists and lower prices.

Best time to visit Thailand for breathtaking views on viewpoints

Best time to visit Thailand: Month-by-month overview

It’s quite hard to generalize the best time to visit Thailand by month since Thailand is a diverse country with variations in weather across different regions. For example, the southern islands have a completely different climate than cities like Bangkok or Chiang Mai.

Still, below is a month-by-month overview of the general weather and temperature in Thailand.

Month-by-month Overview

  • November to February: This is considered the best time to visit Thailand as the weather is generally dry and temperatures are cooler, ranging from 20-30°C (68-86°F). It’s a great time for beach activities and exploring outdoor attractions.

  • March to May: These months are hot, with temperatures reaching up to 35°C (95°F) in some areas. It can be quite humid, but it’s still possible to enjoy outdoor activities if you stay hydrated and take breaks during the hottest parts of the day.

  • June to October: This period is Thailand’s rainy season, with increased chances of rainfall and occasional storms. However, it doesn’t rain all day every day, and there are still plenty of sunny hours. The advantage of visiting during this time is that prices for accommodations and flights tend to be lower.

Best time to visit Thailand for visiting tea plantations, rice fields, and nature of northern Thailand
Tea plantations north of Chiang Rai


While it’s possible to have an enjoyable trip in the country at any time of year, the best time to visit Thailand really depends on what you want to see and experience.

November to February is considered ideal, as you can have a pleasant time in almost all regions, Central and Northern Thailand and in the south along the coast of the Andaman Sea.

We hope this comprehensive guide to the best time to visit Thailand, gives you all the information you need to plan your exploration or vacation to this wonderful country.

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Arijana & Matej

Full-time travelers, photographers, bloggers and travel journalists.

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