Hi i'm in the process of planning a trip to SE asia for four months this year and Thailand is first on my list of places to visit. I have no time constraints or anything i need to be back for but am unsure about the weather etc when i go out there.
I was planing on leaving for Thailand in June and spending 30 days there then moving on to other countries. Would it be wise to delay the trip until later in the year when the rainy season is over? Or does it not make that much of a difference ( have heard mixed views about this) bearing in mind i am interested in visiting beach resorts and islands.
I have read the information about weather in Thailand provided by travel fish but just wanted a bit more information and points of view from people who've been there and done it.
Which time of year would you recommend?
Are there any time periods i should avoid?
#1 mattylevy123 has been a member since 24/1/2013. Posts: 2
It doesn't really make a big difference what time of year you visit. Sure there are seasonal variations, for example December-February is the cooler/drier season for most of the region and rain is more likely June-October, but being in the tropics it's not so bad. Rains are warm and usually short-lived, and above all it's unpredictable so you can get cloudy days, sunny days, rainy days almost any time of year. The hottest time is March-May, especially up north away from sea breezes. Also the lower Gulf of Thailand (east coast) tends to have its own dry season approximately May-Sep. All said and done I'd say just go enjoy it without worrying much about the weather.
In my opinion winter(mid Feb to Apr) is perfect for travel. Because this season is winter season and Thailand's 30 to 40% area is surrounded by sea. Because of that Thailand is perfect for traveling.
#3 robinwhite has been a member since 9/1/2013. Posts: 18
Not all lthe islands are in wet season in June - the southern Gulf tends to have its wettest period from October into January and Junes there are normally pretty nice. There are certainly enough nice beaches and variety of locations on Phangan, Tao and Samui to fill whatever island time you have.
You may want to see other islands - my experience of wet season islands is that I've always had enough sunshine for a good beach holiday. Prolonged rain aint all that common - I've never lost a full day to rain. Downsides include closed accommodation on some of the more out of the way islands and ferries not running to certain locations. Upsides include fewer crowds and some very good low season discounts on accommodation.
My favourite time to travel over the years has been shoulder season - mid Nov/start of Dec and mid March thru April. Usually the weather is pretty good, transport is up and running, places are open and high season prices are not running. Gotta say the past 3/4 years' shoulder season weather has double crossed me.
Hotels are cheaper in the off season and more often you can get a room with a walk-in. Closer to Christmas and New Years holidays you usually pay the most for hotel rooms. I kind of like the wet season because the plant life is green and looks more alive! Not too often have I encountered so much rain that you didn't have sunshine during the day. Most of the time the rainfall stops in a hour or so and falls at night when you are sleeping too. Some rural areas may be affected by some minor flooding during heavy rainfall. In cities if you have any flooding at all it is usually because the drains can't handle the downpour or the drains are blocked. Minor inconvenience for a tourist and a good excuse to linger longer over a meal or beer.
Tourists visit Thailand every month of the year but there will be more of them from late November through late January when Northern Europe and N. America is cold!
Now is the time to work out how to have enough cash available with you without bringing a big sack of cash with you! Thailand is probably the best for having money available through numerous bank money changers, ease of cashing travelers checks and lots of ATM's. If you intend to use a debit card remember to tell your bank where you will be and when. There are ATM charges for each withdrawal so don't waste a big charge on small withdrawal amounts. Do not rely on a single debit or credit card for your spending money because that card can be stolen, lost or damaged! Research how to handle your money for each country you visit.
Low season is best by far.
#6 thaibeachlovers has been a member since 25/5/2006. Posts: 38
cheers for all the replies extremely helpful information!
#7 mattylevy123 has been a member since 24/1/2013. Posts: 2
Definitely a fan of low season. You never have to pre-book anything and there are less drunk assholic farang in the street.
However keep in mind that they cancel some ferries in low season due to the weather. Google it for more info.
Bit late to the party, but some of the best events in Thailand are discussed in this calendar.
I recommend the Songkran Water Festival, which is an extremely fun event and a great way to mingle with locals and experience the culture.
#10 ErikWillems has been a member since 22/10/2013. Posts: 1