Let’s get one thing clear: Thai seasons are easy to understand. Can you wear flip-flops and singlets all year round in the Land of Smiles? Is it always beach weather in Thailand? After all, it’s always sunny in a tropical country, isn’t it? Well…not quite. Here’s a basic rundown:
THAILAND’S FREEZING POINT
If someone tells you that they will only go out with you if Thailand freezes over, then it’s a definite no. Being a tropical country, the cold season Thailand does not go anywhere near freezing point. From November to February, known as the cold months in Thailand, the temperature in Bangkok drops to 18 degrees Celsius (around 65 degrees Fahrenheit) and peaks to 25°C (75°F) or sometimes even 30°C (85°F). For people from temperate countries, this seems more like a perfect summer vacation.
As for other regions in Thailand, the farther south you go, the warmer it will be. Regions north of Bangkok will be slightly cooler. In fact, if you are planning to visit Chiang Mai at this time, bringing a hoodie with you is recommended. And, if you are planning on visiting the regions outside Chiang Mai, be warned that the temperature goes down as you climb higher up. The rain and humidity will also make it seem cooler than it really is. So, if you have plans of going north during the months of November to February, make sure to bring some sensible shoes and warm clothes on top of your usual singlets and flip-flops.
HOT, HOT THAILAND
From February to May, expect a bit more sizzle in Thailand. And, by a bit, this means that it will not be much of a difference, around 5 degrees higher, than the peak temperature during the cold season. Indeed it is time to get your flip-flops, shorts, and singlets on as you saunter around Khao San Road in the heat. Just remember your emergency sarong cover up in case you suddenly feel like entering a temple. You might also need to keep a waterproof or umbrella in your bag as a bit of rain is expected during this time.
If you are on the beach south of Bangkok, however, you might be in for a wet season. In Koh Samui and Pattaya, for example, this is the time for heavy rain. Perhaps it’s best to avoid the beach during this season as you won’t get much of a beach vibe during this time.
WET SEASON IN THAILAND
The Thai rainy season from May to October would probably mean a bit of wading through the flash floods in Bangkok, the Venice of the East. Although it will rain practically every day, the rain and flash floods do not last all day. If you are the chilled traveller who likes chilling in coffee shops and pubs as much as exploring tourist sights, then this type of weather wouldn’t be too much of a blight on your travel plans. And, in case you get caught in the rain, make sure you have got some rain gear. It may be a bit tricky to bring wellies with you when you are packing light, so the trick is getting one of those portable booties or using plastic bags to keep your feet from getting wet.
WHAT TO WEAR & WHAT TO BRING
For the hot, Thai summer season, aside from wearing less to keep cool, hydrate, eat some watermelon and have some spicy curry to sweat out the heat. Make sure to bring a sarong or light shawl for your temple visits and bring an umbrella with you. If you are there during the cold months, pack a hoodie, a pair of jeans, and socks if you are planning on exploring the north. It does get a bit nippy up there.
HOW DO YOU STAY COOL IN THE HEAT OF THAILAND?
To those frequent travellers, share some of your tips for staying cool in Thailand. Share a comment below.