We are heading to Thailand in a couple of weeks for our first visit. We have the first part of our three week stint sorted. We're heading to Bangkok for a few days and then off to Chiang Mai. After that I am at a bit of a loss. . . I have had a look at the weather info on this site (and others) and was wondering if anyone with direct experience could advise as I appear to be going in circles. . . Ideally we'd like somewhere that is sunny with minimal rain (there's a surprise) with nice beaches, things to see and good places to eat and drink. We're independent travellers and have done India, Bali, Singapore etc and we're more than happy with beach hut type accom - in fact we absolutely want to aviod resorts. Currently thinking about Krabi, Koh Lanta, Phuket - any advice? Thank you!
#1 KittieKat has been a member since 7/11/2008. Posts: 1
Any of the places you've listed (and any island off Thailand's west coast) will be terrific weatherwise. December is high season. I imagine it would be the same for the east coast but can't vouch for that.
I've been to Phi Phi a few times and recommend Long Beach on Phi Phi Island. Wonderful beach and great island to explore. Great for scuba diving as well. Accommodation ranges from the cheap basic bungalows to some more exensive with air conditioning. No mega resorts here. However, Phi Phi is a bit more expensive than other islands/destinations. Ton Sai town is great for eating and drinking.
Hope this helps
#2 jafatravel has been a member since 19/10/2008. Posts: 22
I like November weather wise - the only area to maybe avoid is the southern Gulf island region.
Thet tend (Samui, Phangan, Tao) tend to be wetter in November. They have a different wet season - normally Oct into Jan.
Prolonged wet periods are not too common in Thailand but I have to say in all the years I've been following the wet season (I'm a weather nerd, got a weather page in the link below) the most complaints of this have come from the Samui area islands in Oct, Nov and early Dec. But things are variable - I've only visited this area once during THAT period, in Nov 97, and I got good weather.
In other regions early November often sees the wet season tapering off - by mid November often dry season has kicked in.
Nov is my favourite time for doing the Andaman (I'm there again next week) because there is normally heaps of sunshine with the occasional ripper storm, but it is shoulder season with plenty of vacancies, fewer crowds yet all ferry transport normally open. I'll be there this year.
As outlined above, it can be even better in the eastern Gulf (big Chang and neighbours plus Samet) and the North, where statistically and anecdotally the wet season ends earlier than the elsewhere. The central area around Bangkok seems less wet in early Nov too.
Naturally, once you hit December, things can only get even better - except the southern Gulf can still be iffy early Dec/