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If at all possible, you want to organise your holiday in Thailand so that you're spending October in the Central, North and Northeast regions. October on the islands — any of them — is wet. The weather in Northern Thailand in October though, is lovely. Less rain, cooler temperatures and not too crowded — what more could you want.
Where are the best places in Thailand in October? Consider:
We suggest heading straight for Northern destinations like Chiang Mai, Pai, Phrae and Mae Salong, where the forests are still lush and active but not nearly as wet as in September or August. This is also a good time to strike out to Northeastern destinations, perhaps to a tranquil Mekong River town like Chiang Khan or Khong Chiam. In 2011, floods inundated huge swathes of the Chao Phraya basin in Central Thailand in late October, including large slices of Bangkok, Ayutthaya and Ratchaburi. Residents of these areas face the possibility of floods every year.
October is not a great time for island hopping anywhere in Thailand. The eastern monsoon has begun in lower Gulf islands like Ko Pha Ngan and Ko Samui, while in the west, Andaman Sea islands are still quite wet. The Andaman side is however reaching the end of its rainy season, so you might get lucky and score a sunny patch on Ko Lanta, Ko Phi Phi, Phuket or Ko Lipe, among many others. Island-hopping ferries still aren’t running, though, and national park islands like The Similans and Ko Tarutao do not reopen until November.
Bye bye rain! You'll still get some rain in October in Bangkok and Central Thailand but the wet season is in full scale retreat by this stage. If the wet season was a very wet one, there may still be flooding in Bangkok and elsewhere if the Chao Phraya River swells over its banks, but that doesn't happen every year.
October on Ko Chang sees the rainfall halve again while the temperatures level of at low 20s to low 30s where they'll stay for the rest of the year. You'll still be seeing some rain on Ko Chang in October, but it's much more tolerable than the previous couple of months. November is even better.
Less rain and continuing moderate temperatures are what October brings to northern Thailand weather wise. Mae Hong Son and Pai are particularly pleasant this time of year — and not too crowded either.
The northeast is really starting to dry out come October — especially in the eastern regions, though the west will still be seeing a bit more rain. Temperatures will continue to fall, albeit slightly, from September.
October brings solid rain to most of Thailand's Gulf coast. Ko Tao in particular gets pretty average weather in October, but Ko Samui and Ko Pha Ngan also get a bit of a lashing. The mainland coast gets slightly less rain, but only marginally less. Stay in the north if you can.
As with the Gulf Coast, expect rain, rain and more rain. If you're lucky the wet will break halfway through the month, but if you're out of luck you can expect rain right to month end. On a positive note, it does rain less than in September.