Aug 17 2012

What’s the best time to visit Ko Samui?

Published by at 8:48 am under Sights & activities


The best time to visit a place weather-wise is usually a time that everybody wants to visit, so choosing a time that’s just right — that is, with decent weather but some extra elbow room — can be tricky. Here’s the lowdown on the best time to visit Ko Samui taking both weather and crowds into consideration.

Time it right, and Chaweng beach is all yours.

Rainy season on Ko Samui is September through to mid-December. September and December will see short bursts of rain, but still pleasant days, and the rain will disappear as quickly as it arrives, bringing relief from the heat and leaving puddles and dripping palms. Avoid mid-October to mid-December if you want to stay dry, with November taking the brunt of the monsoon.

Approximately every five years the monsoon is heavier than usual. The last big one in 2010 brought floods, while November 2011 only yielded a few showers. Those wishing to take a gamble will enjoy hugely discounted accommodation and enough room even on Chaweng beach to call it paradise. Should diving be high on your to-do list, however, don’t take this gamble — underwater visibility decreases by about a third during the monsoon period.

Time it wrong, and amphibious vehicles are required.

June is a great time to visit as the weather is good with little rain and not too much heat, but visitor numbers are low as most holiday-makers are waiting for the European school holidays of July and August to come to the island. During the European summer, the island is hectic and all flights to Samui are packed. Room rates increase and the sun beds that line the busiest beaches are full.

Rain rain go away, come again another day. Tourists want to play.

The hottest months are March to May and even the ice-cream vendors on the beach disappear as it’s too hot to patrol up and down on the scorching sand; the temptation to eat the profits would also likely be too high, walking in near-saturation point humidity along a beach devoid of customers.

If you can only make it in April, try to visit around April 13 over Thai New Year, or Songkran. Nationwide this is the world’s biggest water fight and nobody escapes a drenching, a welcome relief to the heat. Places such as Chiang Mai celebrate for three days, but Samui’s water resources can only cope with a day.

The winds pick up towards the end of May, bringing relief as well as contestants to the annual Samui Regatta, part of the Asian sailing circuit, and worth watching if sailing is your thing.

Utter craziness that is Songkran.

Christmas and New Year are busy, but mid-January to end-February is a good time weather-wise, and the festive season crowds wearily head back to work and school. Due to the good weather this is still considered high season with the hotels, so shop around online for good room rates.

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48 Responses to “What’s the best time to visit Ko Samui?” ...

  1. Robon 17 Jan 2013 at 11:15 am

    Looking at going the 3rd week of December. from about the 12th to the 19th 2013. What would the weather generally be like then.

  2. Rosanne Turneron 17 Jan 2013 at 11:19 am

    Hi Rob. This is still rainy season, although not the monsoon. You’ll get a little rain each afternoon probably. But generally speaking, it’s pretty good weather then, if you are prepared for unpredictable! One day glorious, and the next a few showers. It’s not too busy then, as the next week picks up a lot for Christmas and New Year. Hope this helps!

  3. Ronnieon 26 Jan 2013 at 2:40 pm

    Hi!

    I’m looking at coming to Koh Samui in late April. I want hot but clear weather hopefully so any advice on suggested dates to travel would be great!

    I am also travelling alone for the first time. Will it be easy enough to meet people etc? I’m only going for 12 nights and I’m concerned at being bored myself!

    Ron

  4. Rosanne Turneron 27 Jan 2013 at 4:24 am

    HI Ronnie
    April is very hot, but shouldn’t rain… if you can handle the heat, it’s a good time. Try make it for Songkran – Thai New Year, on 13 April. Easy to meet people, there are plenty of places to socialise, as long as you are staying not to far from the busier areas (i.e. not South and West coasts)

  5. Ronnieon 27 Jan 2013 at 2:07 pm

    Hi Rosanne!

    Thank you for such a quick reply! I will be staying in Chaweng potentially at a plce called The Laem Din Hotel (http://www.donlaemdin.com/)

    Its not on the beach but only 5min walk to the beach and all the nightlife but as a much lower price than a beachfront hotel ;-)

    I can handle the heat no problem! I had just read that its very cloudy in April and i would like it to be clear the majority of the time.

    I fancy Songkran! If i go so i arrive on the 5th, it means i catch Songkran a few days before im due to leave!

    I have been watching youtube videos of place to see and tours to do so im VERY excited! I would have been travelling with friends but they both pulled out due to costs but im not letting that stop me! Im a sociable guy and id imagine there will be other people in my boat just travelling about.

    Ronnie

  6. Rosanne Turneron 27 Jan 2013 at 2:26 pm

    Hi Ronnie
    Have a look at this link. It shows you temp, sunrise/set and cloud cover averages for April for the last 7 years… http://weatherspark.com/averages/33976/4/Ko-Samui-Ko-Samui-Surat-Thani-Thailand
    Sorry, no guarantees! Laem Din is a big fresh fruit market, so hotel must be near there… about a 5 min walk to the beach.
    Enjoy!

  7. Abion 21 Mar 2013 at 8:15 am

    Hi there, my fiance and I are due to marry in july 2014, we are lookingat Koh Samui for our honey moon. When would you recommend coming? Ideally we would like to hot, minimal rain.

    Thanks
    Abi

  8. Rosanne Turneron 21 Mar 2013 at 8:30 am

    Dear Abi
    July and August are good months to come weather wise. They are quite busy though, as it’s European school holidays then. There’s little rain, and it’s hot, but not too hot as it is from April to May. Hope this helps!

  9. Abion 22 Mar 2013 at 10:50 am

    Hi Rosanne, we’re not looking to come staright after our wedding as we want to save as much as possible to ensure we have agreat time! I saw you mentioned January as a good month also?

  10. Rosanneon 22 Mar 2013 at 10:53 am

    Dear Abi
    Yes, January is good too. I would just avoid mid October to Mid December if you really don’t want rain, as this is the monsoon. There’s never a cold time on the island, just hot and dry or hot and wet.

  11. Abion 22 Mar 2013 at 11:21 am

    Thank you so much for your help!Can’t wait :)

  12. Steveon 23 Mar 2013 at 10:26 am

    Hi Rosanne

    Made a provisional booking for Koh Pha Ngan in November 2013. Hotel says weather isn’t too rainy (guess they would) – but others sites say it rains most days. Who is correct? I know weather is a bit of a lottery.

  13. Rosanneon 23 Mar 2013 at 12:53 pm

    Well, been on Samui for 3 years now and it’s rained every November! KP is only a :alf hour ferry ride away so can’t see how it would be much different. 2010 didn’t stop raining for a month but the last 2 years were bit better, but there were still some showers most days. There are a lot less tourists and most things are cheaper though, so it’s a trade off!

  14. julianneon 24 Mar 2013 at 7:59 am

    Hi Rosanne,

    Planning a wedding mid october in Ko samui. We dont mind a bit of rain, but am scared for rain as in days in a row.

    what do u think?

  15. Rosanne Turneron 24 Mar 2013 at 11:43 pm

    Dear Julianne
    No way of knowing unfortunately, sorry! Perhaps check the history section of the weather sites, but a wedding in October, touch and go. October isn’t usually too bad, but it is risky for something as important as a wedding, especially the 2nd half of the month. Good luck!

  16. Ivyon 25 Mar 2013 at 3:25 am

    Hi Rosanne,

    I am planning a getaway trip with some of my close friends, just wanna know which month will be the best month to go, means no rain and having activities starting after july? Thanks

  17. Rosanne Turneron 25 Mar 2013 at 3:32 am

    HI
    The only time when rain is bad, is from Mid Oct to Mid Dec. Any other time is good weather-wise. But of course, there are always exceptions when it comes to weather. Plan any special outings early on during the trip, so that if you are rained out, you still have time to rebook. Enjoy your Samui holiday!

  18. emilyon 06 Apr 2013 at 4:05 pm

    we are going on the 10th april looked at forcast and for all of our stay it say rain all day every day . has anyone been in april? what is the weather like

  19. Steve Gon 19 Apr 2013 at 2:47 pm

    Hi Rosanne, my family and i will be on Koh Phanang and Samui 6th – 20th June, I realize we will get showers but will the seas be calm for snorkeling and will there be plenty of Sun, my wife is scare it will rain th ewhole time :) What sort of tempretures will we be looking at?

  20. Rosanne Turneron 20 Apr 2013 at 1:49 am

    Dear Steve
    As the article says, June is not the rainy season, which is from September to January, with monsoon being November month. It’s generally a good month to visit weather wise. The opposite coast has their rainy season in June. Temperatures are pretty consistent year round on Samui, you’re looking at around 29-34 C.

  21. Steve Gon 20 Apr 2013 at 9:36 am

    Hi Rosanne, thank you, how are about the sea in June?

  22. Rosanneon 20 Apr 2013 at 10:39 am

    Well, the sea temperature is a consistent 28C. The only time visibility is bad is during the monsoon (but never guarantees)

  23. Steve Gon 20 Apr 2013 at 11:34 am

    Great, then I guess we are set then, thank you very much for the info you have provided, very valuable to us.

  24. elizabethon 27 Apr 2013 at 12:01 pm

    Hi

    We are looking come to Samui 3 – 25 August 2013 on our honeymoon, it looks from what you have said previously that we should be okay weather wise (very little rain). We have in the past just used Samui and a day or two island hope, but thought that it might be nice to explore Samui a bit more, can you recommend somewhere off the beaten track and remote near a beach (wishful thinking probably). What do you think the weather will be like in Kho Tao and do the ferrys run from Samui to Koh Tao in August?

    Hope you can help?

    Elizabeth

  25. Rosanne Turneron 27 Apr 2013 at 12:27 pm

    Dear Elizabeth
    August is a good time weather wise, but it is busy season too. The Ferry runs all year to Koh Tao daily. There are many parts of the island that are not too touristy, and also some that are a good mix, with activities close by, yet not too busy. have a look at this blog post to get an idea of the location you would prefer. http://www.travelfish.org/feature/277
    Hope you have a great holiday! Rosanne

  26. elizabethon 27 Apr 2013 at 5:22 pm

    Hi Rosanne

    Thank you for coming back to me – I will go and have a look

  27. Zoeon 01 May 2013 at 6:10 pm

    Hi, we are looking to holiday in koh samui in mid September. From what I have seen the weather should be ok, however someone mentioned that it’s packed due to a music festival is this correct?

    Zoe

  28. Rosanne Turneron 01 May 2013 at 11:41 pm

    Hi Zoe
    There is the jazz fest at the end of Sept but it’s not that much busier and it’s mostly in the Chaweng area so it won’t affect your holiday too much if you don’t want to participate.
    Kind regards
    Rosanne

  29. Gemmaon 05 May 2013 at 6:28 am

    Hi, we are looking to get married in early September, how much rain is there around this time?
    Thanks

  30. Reneeon 09 May 2013 at 2:19 am

    Hi there,

    Im looking at having my wedding in Samui in July or August.

    Which month would you say is better weather?

    Thanks,

    Renee

  31. Cazon 09 May 2013 at 7:43 pm

    Hi there we are looking at coming to Koh Samui next year.My friend who will be traveling with me needs to use a wheel chair so will it be easy to get around pushing a wheel chair and also can you help with a resort.As she needs a walk in shower not one over the bath as she will not be able to climb in….Caz

  32. Rosanne Turneron 10 May 2013 at 1:09 am

    Dear Caz
    Unfortunately Samui, as with most of SEA, is not particularly wheelchair friendly. The pavements are poor, if any and even mothers with prams tend to push in the road as the pavements are too tricky.
    As far as hotels go, only a few of the high-end ones are adapted, such as Centara Grand in Chaweng, Amari Palm Reef in Chaweng, and Santiburi in Mae Nam. Good Luck!
    Rosanne

  33. Francoison 10 May 2013 at 3:05 pm

    Hi rosanne
    Me and my wife r planing to visit koh samui on the the 6th of octobre on our first wedding anniversary will gone stay for 6 nights. We have worries abt the weather conditions..Beach !

  34. Nebon 17 May 2013 at 11:56 am

    Hi there,
    Can you let me know how often its likely to rain in weeks one and two of October. I’m looking at booking a honeymoon and we’d like it to be quite warm.
    Don’t mind if it rains for a little, then gets hot and sunny again, but if its going to be really rainy then I might have to reconsider…. Neb

  35. Garethon 19 May 2013 at 7:26 am

    Hi Rosanne

    I trust you well. I’m getting married in the second week in July 2013, at Nora Buri.
    I presume that the weather should be ok as you have mentioned that July is a good time to come, weather wise. Please confirm.

    Regards
    Gareth

  36. radhikaon 01 Jul 2013 at 11:22 am

    Hi Rosanne ,

    We plan to visit Koh samui next week … hows it during this time of the month ???
    I suppose earlier query on july should answer mine too .. looking fwd to ur reply :)

  37. Rosanne Turneron 01 Jul 2013 at 11:40 am

    The weather is good now, only occasional rain, but of course no guarantees!

  38. CP Leeon 16 Jul 2013 at 8:52 am

    Hi Rosanne,
    My daughter is planning to have a wedding reception in one of the island in Thailand in June 2014. I did some research and conclude that the best island is probably Ko Samui due to rainy seasons in other areas. There will be about 80 guests from several countries.
    I hope you can help in the following:
    1. do you have any contact of a wedding planner? She want to keep it simple.
    2. instead of resort and hotels, she prefers chalets or nice & quite not-too-expensive accommodation. Any suggestion?

    Thank you.

    Cheers,
    Lee

  39. Mitchon 04 Aug 2013 at 3:22 pm

    Hello! I just booked a 5 day hotel package to Koh Ssmui for my honeymoon from Nov 25th- Nov 30th. I believe this will be non-refundable but I considering forfeiting the money to book elsewhere! How much rain and cloud coverage wound you expect considering it’s the LAST week in November?? Please help!!

  40. Rosanne Turneron 05 Aug 2013 at 1:00 am

    Dear Mitch
    Well, no one can predict the weather… and as it’s your big day I’m not about to influence that as I’m no expert. All I can say is that we had a bad rainy season in 2010, but the last 2 were very mild. Apparently (according to locals) every 5 years is a bad one. The best would be to look at a couple of weather sites on the history section, you can search by day, and see what it’s been like in the past.
    Kind regards
    Rosanne

  41. Reneeon 09 Aug 2013 at 8:01 am

    Hi Rosanne,

    Is it better to visit Koi Sumai in February or March and is there a big difference with the weather between those 2 months?

    Thank you,
    Renee

  42. Rosanne Turneron 09 Aug 2013 at 8:03 am

    Not too much difference in weather for those two months. March will be slightly hotter.

  43. Tingon 13 Aug 2013 at 8:22 am

    Hi Rosanne,

    I have just booked my tickets to Koh Samui on early November, well without checking the weather beforehand. May i check with you would the sea be very rough during monsoon season? I fly in through Surat Thani, so i would have to take a ferry to Koh Samui. I am afraid that the sea would be very rough and dangerous for ferry ride and i might be suffered seasick.

    Thanks,
    Ting

  44. Sarah McCathieon 20 Oct 2013 at 2:16 pm

    Hi Rosanne,

    I am planning to visit Koh Samui (for beach and relaxation) and Ko Tao (for diving & yoga) in the last two weeks of May 2014 (only time I can get off work).

    You say that the hottest months are March to May but that the wind starts to pick up in May. Does this make May a bit cooler?
    I am fair-skinned and can cope reasonably well with heat if I am in the shade but am a bit concerned that if the locals find it too hot then I definitely will.

    Also, what is the rainfall like in May? I wouldn’t mind occasional showers (ie. downpour for a couple hours every day) but would mind it raining non-stop for days on end. Some websites I have seen say that Thailand’s monsoon season starts in May but not sure if that applies to Koh Samui as you have noted November above.

    Finally, is Ko Tao weather similar to Koh Samui?

    Thanks,

    Sarah

  45. Jennaon 22 Oct 2013 at 5:18 pm

    Hi I am planning a family trip to thailand kho samui in early July for 13 days just worried about rain ? Would that be a good time to go? And wondering about visibility in the ocean?
    Thanks

  46. Samantha Brownon 23 Oct 2013 at 2:50 am

    Hi Jenna — as it says in the piece, June is a great time to visit as the weather is good with little rain and not too much heat. Of course you can always get unlucky with a downpour but the likelihood is low in June.

  47. Samantha Brownon 23 Oct 2013 at 3:31 am

    Hi Sarah,

    As it says in the piece, winds tend to pick up at the end of May and that brings some relief — it’s impossible to predict for sure what time they arrive though so it could still be very hot the final two weeks of the month.

    Also as it says in the piece, May is still the dry season though of course you can always encounter a downfall — the likelihood of endless rain is very low (though still present given climate change).

    Samui is on a different system to Central Thailand, when the monsoon starts in May. And yes, Ko Tao is on the same monsoon as Samui.
    Have a good trip, whenever you decide to make it!
    Sam

  48. Brandonon 24 Jan 2014 at 11:21 am

    Hi Rosanne,

    Me and my partner are looking to come to Samui in August this year. What part of the month would be better? as we want to have less rain and cloud cover. If another month is also good please could you recommend?

    I also understand that prices around this time will also inflate due to school holidays.

    Many thanks

    B

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