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Thailand Weather By Month: What’s It Like For Each Season in Thailand

Thailand has a tropical climate, so that it can be boiling during the summer.
A local Thai joke goes;
A foreigner asked, “How many seasons are there in Thailand?”
A Thai person answered, “There are 3! Hot, Hotter, and Hottest seasons!”

But you will be surprised that the temperature can go as low as a single digit in some areas of Thailand during Winter! I will share my personal experience of living in Thailand for 30+ years of what it’s like each season. If you consider moving to Thailand, you want to read this and prepare yourself before coming to Thailand. We will cover in this post-Thailand weather by season, Thailand weather by month, sunset & sunrise, what to pack for each month, and what it’s like living here during each month and season. 

Seasons in Thailand

Seasons in Thailand: Summer, Rainy, and Winter
Seasons in Thailand: Summer, Rainy, and Winter

Joke or not, Thailand is located in the center of mainland Southeast Asia. It has a tropical climate that you can expect to be generally very hot. It has, however, three distinct seasons: Winter, summer, and rainy season. 

When is the best time to come to Thailand? Or best time to travel in Thailand?

Like any other country, to optimize your time spent traveling and going out, the best time to travel is the non-rainy season – meaning Winter and summer in Thailand. The most popular timing* among travelers in Thailand is from November to April. Now, let’s jump right into more detail on Thailand weather by month and how each season is. 
*Source: Thai.tourismthailand.org

Winter Season: Thailand Weather

We call it Winter, but it is just a relatively drier and colder season. However, the temperature can drop to a single digit in some places, like on the top of the mountain. But usually, the temperature would move around 18-31 °C (64-88 °F) in the winter months.

Thailand weather by month in Winter

Winter in Thailand starts from the mid of October and lasts to the middle of February. October is a transition month from the rainy to the winter season. So you can still expect a little bit of rain here and there during October. It is getting significantly colder from the end of December into January.

Winter Months in Thailand & Average Temperature
Winter Months in Thailand & Average Temperature
Source: Thailand Meteorological department, www.tmd.go.th 

Is Thailand cold in December (Thailand Winter)? Does it snow? ?

It has never been snow in Thailand. But believe it or not, sometimes when the temperature goes close to zero, we got hoarfrost. Hoarfrost usually happens only on the top of the mountain in the North of Thailand. Any year that we have hoarfrost, it becomes the headline of the news. People got excited about it. And it drives local tourism to the North because we would like to witness it. 

Having said that, how cold it is, depends significantly on which region you plan to go to. 

Thailand winter by region 

Now some of you read about hoarfrost in Thailand during the wintertime, and you might be wondering, “I’m going to Phuket in December. Will it be too cold in Phuket? What to do in Thailand during winter then?”. 

Here’s a brief overview of how Thailand’s weather by month can be widely different among the five regions of Thailand. 

Thailand Weather By Region: Thailand temperature in Winter
Thailand temperature in Winter by Region
Source: Thailand Meteorological department, www.tmd.go.th 

How Winter all begins

Here’s what happens when Winter comes: The cold air mass travels from China, arrives the North of Thailand first, and the South of Thailand the last. This means the temperature in cities in the North like Chiang Mai will start to drop first, starting from October. While in the cities in the South, for instance, Phuket, they still transition and continue to have some rain in October and November

Winter in Thailand
The cold air mass travels from China, arrives the North of Thailand first

Spending your Winter in Thailand: what’s it like in Thailand during Winter? Should you pack winter clothes?

Real feel

As you can see from the summary table by region above, you do not have to worry about packing winter clothes except traveling to the North

As a Thai person who has lived in a tropical climate all my life, I only need a cardigan for less than seven days during the entire winter season (in Bangkok). The cold weather doesn’t stay long. And usually, it is more chilly before sunrise and after sunset. Once the sun comes out, you can expect it to be so hot you want to change into shorts and a tank top. And this is true even for the colder cities in the North and Northeast. 

However, after the sunset in the North and Northeast, it can be freezing. You will need a jacket for it because the temperature can go as low as a single digit. And because most buildings in Thailand are not built for the cold weather – as the temperature will soon climb up after the sun is out – you should also bring an extra layer for you when you are sleeping.

In the video clip below, I was traveling to Nan and need more than just my hoodie — I used a blanket the resort had provided lol. A province in the North that I adore so much. It is less popular than Chiang Mai, but its nature is as beautiful as can be. The houses here are built with wood and not at all well insulated. So you need to bring your own warmer layers to use at night. The resort provides a few thick blankets, but it might not be enough.

Me, at Nan Province in the North of Thailand. It was 9°C in December, 2020.

Summer Season: Thailand Weather

Now, Summer in Thailand is no joke! I think it is second to only India or countries in the desert! It will be so hot and humid that you wonder why local people still dress in t-shirt and jeans! 35-40°C (95-104 °F) is the average temperature in Thailand during the Summer months.

Thailand weather by month in summer

Summer in Thailand starts from mid-February to mid-May. Especially in April, the sun is sitting almost precisely above your head in the noontime. Thailand will receive the heat from the sun directly. Plus, there might be Summer storms during this season but not many.

Summer Months in Thailand
Summer Months in Thailand & Average Temperature
Source: Thailand Meteorological department, www.tmd.go.th 

Should you avoid Thailand summer? Is Thailand hot in the summer?

It is scorching hot, like really, really hot. It can be as hot as 40°C (104 °F) or even a little bit more than that! But I don’t think you should avoid it, especially if you plan to travel to the beach cities. It can be amazingly fulfilling to plunge into the sea when it is so smoking on the beach. 

Moreover, you don’t want to miss the biggest and most famous Songkran festival. Songkran festival is the world’s biggest water fight festival. It is a national holiday, Thai New Year, in Thailand from April 13 to 15. It is fun and has been celebrated for centuries. Some tourists are coming to Thailand just for this festival. Like submerging into the sea, participating in the water fight during this hottest period in Thailand can be incredibly fulfilling. 

One downside about the Songkran festival is that it is a long holiday. And also, because it is the Thai new year, Thai people will return to their hometown or travel with their families. You will find that roads in Bangkok will mostly be empty (except some walking streets organized for the water fight festival, those streets are jammed!). As a Bangkokian, I love staying in Bangkok during this time of the year because there is no traffic. My family and I used to travel to popular tourist cities like Pattaya or Phuket during Songkran Holiday. But every time we needed to wait in line at the restaurant and experienced a terrible crowd. So we love staying in Bangkok.

Songkran Festival in Thailand - Biggest Water Fight Festival in the World
Songkran Festival in Thailand – Biggest Water Fight Festival in the World

Thailand summer by region 

During the summer, the weather by region is not as varied as in the Winter. The South and the North will be slightly less hot than the Central area of Thailand. The South is adjacent to the sea, and a range of mountains guards the North. 

Summer in Thailand
Thailand temperature in Summer by Region
Source: Thailand Meteorological department, www.tmd.go.th 

Spending your Summer in Thailand: what’s it like in Thailand during Summer? Should you pack Summer clothes?

It is sunny. It is hot. It makes you want to go to the beach and spend time in the sea. If you are in a city like Bangkok, you will want to get under the shed now and then. You will find that the department stores are crowded with people. People will be less likely to be in the heat. For example, those working in an office building usually try to go out of the building and eat at a stand-alone restaurant or small food shop. But during the summer months, people tend to find something to eat inside the department stores or the shops with air conditioners. 

Most department stores and office buildings will set the air conditioner temperature to the lowest. It is refreshing and sometimes can be too cold if you are going to the movies. Generally, you won’t be disappointed going to the mall in Thailand during the summertime!

I had also shared some tips on packing when you are moving to Thailand in this post – click. Even during the summertime, if you work in an office building or see a movie, you might need to bring some cardigans.

Rainy Season: Thailand Weather

It starts from mid-May to mid-oct. Rain and storms in Thailand are not as severe as in other countries. Floodings are not frequent – not happening every year. There’s no major landfall. Thailand is blessed by calm and beautiful nature in general. 

Here goes another local joke! 

When God created the Kingdom of Thailand, he realized he had put too much fantastic nature. For instance, there were many stunning white sand beaches and lush green mountains in Thailand. He also gave Thailand abundant natural resources. The soil was rich with nutrients to grow plentiful fruits and food. He hardly offered any dangerous weather conditions to this country. 
He was afraid that he’s doing the other countries an injustice. So he decided to give Thai government and management to the country, lol

Ouch…what a joke!

Thailand weather by month and by regions in rainy season: when is the rainy season in Thailand?

The monsoon and rain will start in mid-May. Opposite to Winter, the rain will start from the South region and gradually move throughout the country to the North. A couple of weeks at the end of June, the rain will stop because it has fully moved through the entire country and passed through the North. Then in July, another low-pressure trough comes and brings in the rain. Constant rains begin around August and continue until mid-October when the cold wind arrives.

Rainy Months in Thailand
Rainy Months in Thailand & Average Temperature
Source: Thailand Meteorological department, www.tmd.go.th 

If you are going to the South, to the beautiful beaches, which month to avoid?

In the South of Thailand, where all the famous beaches are located, the rain comes and goes at different times. The timing of the rain can be entirely different from the beach on either side of the coast.

Weather can be very different at the South of Thailand:  Andaman sea VS Gulf of Thailand
South of Thailand: Andaman sea VS Gulf of Thailand

An east coast: overlooking the gulf of Thailand
Example list of provinces: Pattaya province, Rayong province, Chang Island
The rain is not as heavy as on the west coast. The monsoon occurs from October to November.

A west coast: overlooking the Andaman sea 
Example list of places: Phi Phi island, Similan Island, Krabi province, Phuket province
The rain and storm can be pretty heavy. And it is dangerous to be in the sea. Most boats will not go out during this time. And the seawater will not be as crystal clear. So if you are planning to sunbathe or swim in the sea, you should avoid going to the west coast from May to September.

Thailand Weather By Month: What’s It Like For Each Season in Thailand
Thailand temperature in Rainy Season by Region
Source: Thailand Meteorological department, www.tmd.go.th 

How bad is the rainy season in Thailand? Should you avoid going to Thailand during the rainy season?

I believe the rainy season in Thailand is not as severe as in other countries. We do not receive direct typhoon impact. The first time I knew about the intensity level of the storm was when I traveled to Taiwan during to typhoon season. We never have such an extreme storm in Thailand. And most of the time you can use the umbrella to protect you from the rain. When I was studying in Maryland (USA), even my most robust umbrella purchased on Amazon flew up from the strength after wind.

Another thing I noticed, in comparison to other countries, the rain does not drag too long. Yes, you might get caught in a downpour rain during the rainy season, but hardly a non-stop rain. If I didn’t bring an umbrella while traveling in Norway or Japan and try to wait until the rain subsides, it usually takes too long to wait. In contrast, you can surely stay in place in Thailand for less than an hour or two, and the rain will soon stop.

Sunrise and sunset times in Thailand

With its tropical location, Thailand has no unusual sunrise or sunset timing. The sun rises at 6 AM, plus or minus 30 minutes, depending on where you are in the country and the season. The sunsets at around 6 PM. 

And this is why when Thai people go to a country like Norway during the midnight sun, it can make our biological clock go haywire ?

To summarize, here are my top three recommendations with regards to Thailand’s weather.

Beautiful sunset at the Grotto, Krabi, Thailand, Sunset and Sunrise time in Thailand - things you need to know about Thailand's weather before moving to Thailand
Me at the Grotto, Cave Dining, Krabi, Thailand. Isn’t that sunset stunning?
To summarize, here are my top three recommendations with regards to Thailand’s weather.
  • Pack your bag for a warm climate, but bring some light cardigan if you come to Thailand to work in an office building. And if you plan to go to the mountains in the North during the winter, winter clothes are necessary.
  • There is no extreme weather condition in Thailand. You can come to Thailand whenever it is convenient for you. But if you plan to go to the Andaman sea, for a sunbath or a swim in the ocean, you should avoid going to the West Coast from May to September.
  • You might not want to miss the most prominent water fight festival — the annual Songkran festival from April 13 to 15.
What do you think about the weather in Thailand? What is your main concern about the topic when coming to Thailand? Do you find any difference from your country? Is Thailand weather a concern before you move to Thailand? Share it in the comment below; I would love to know!

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