Climate and Key Facts

We will advise you on the best time of the year to travel and, just as importantly, when not to go to a particular region or place. We hope the following guidelines are useful:

 

The Thai climate is controlled by tropical monsoons and the weather in Thailand is generally hot and humid across most of the country throughout most of the year. While Thailand’s seasons are generally divided into the hot season, cool season, and rainy season, in reality it’s relatively hot most of the year.

The weather in central, northern, and northeastern Thailand (the landlocked provinces) is determined by three seasons, whereas the southern, coastal regions of Thailand feature only two, making the weather in Thailand quite easy to understand and plan a trip around.

In Thailand’s inland provinces the seasons are clearly defined: Between November and May the weather is mostly dry and the cool season and hot season occur from November to February and March to May respectively. The other inland season, the rainy season, lasts from May to November and is dominated by the southwest monsoon, during which time rainfall in most of Thailand is at its heaviest.

The southern, coastal region of Thailand really has only two seasons – rainy season and dry season. Fortunately, for those planning a beach holiday, Thailand’s two coasts have slightly different rainy seasons, allowing visitors to find sunny beaches nearly year round.

On the Andaman or west coast, where Phuket, Krabi, and the Phi Phi Islands lie, the southwest monsoon brings heavy storms from April to October, while on the Gulf of Thailand or east coast, where Koh Samui, Koh Phangan, and Koh Tao lie, the most rain falls between September and December.

Winter Season (November – February)

The weather in Thailand around the central, northern, and northeastern regions is mostly cool and dry between November and February, consequently these are the most popular months to visit Thailand.  Considering its location in the tropics however, the Thailand climate is quite warm most of the year and genuinely “cool” weather really only occurs in the northern mountains, while areas like Bangkok and Ayutthaya receive perhaps only two or three weeks of “cool” weather in late December or early January.

The southern region of Thailand really has only two seasons – “rainy” and dry, not technically experiencing “cool” weather, per se, but featuring glorious sunshine without unbearable heat, beginning in late November and continuing onto April or May.

Summer Season (March – June)

The weather in Thailand classified as the hot season lasts from March to June when higher relative temperatures and occasional rain are the norm.  Around the inland areas, including Bangkok and Ayutthaya, this often means punishing heat and high humidity.  The temperatures in the hot season begin climbing in February and by April the unrelenting heat makes many residents eager for the upcoming rains, which begin sporadically falling around mid-April.  This is traditionally the least popular season for travelers to visit, although the weather in Thailand is still quite nice along Thailand’s coasts.

Monsoon Season (July – October)

The season lasts from July to October and is dominated by the southwest monsoon, during which time rainfall in most of Thailand is at its heaviest.  However, like the “winter” season, the name “rainy season” is slightly misleading.  While it certainly does rain during this season it’s more likely to consist of flash-flood afternoon downpours than a continual drizzle for days. If you can bear the heat and humidity, the weather in Thailand is typically sunny throughout the rainy season, but when the rain comes, it’s fast and it’s furious.

Fortunately for beach lovers, Thailand’s two coasts have slightly different rainy seasons, allowing visitors to find sunny beaches nearly year round. On the Andaman or west coast, where Phuket, Krabi, and the Phi Phi Islands lie, the southwest monsoon can occasionally heavy storms from April to October, while on the Gulf of Thailand or east coast, where Koh Samui, Koh Phangan, and Koh Tao lie, the most rain falls between September and December.  While the monsoon on the west coast brings a fairly steady season of continual rain that forces businesses outside the major tourist destinations to shut their doors for the season, the east coast storms are more similar to the north’s, generally sunny days with occasionally heavy downpours.

Overall, the southern parts of Thailand, particularly the Andaman Coast, get the most rain: around 94 inches (2,400 millimetres) every year, compared with the central and northern regions of Thailand, both of which get around 55 inches (1,400 mm).  By comparison, London gets about 23 inches per annum (580mm) and Manchester  32 inches (810 mm).

Please click onto the links for up-to-date visa and entry requirements for British nationals travelling to Thailand.

www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/thailand/entry-requirements

Passport validity

Please make sure your passport is valid and up to date. In general terms, your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from your date of arrival into all South East Asian countries.  

 

Yellow fever

Evidence of Yellow Fever vaccination may be required for travellers who are going to or have recently been to countries where there is a risk of yellow fever transmission.

 

Travelling with children

Single parents or adults travelling with children under the age of 18 are required to provide notarised documentary evidence of parental responsibility, or consent to travel from those with parental responsibility. Such documentation is often required before being allowed to enter South East Asian countries and, in many cases, before permitting children to leave the country.  

 

Local airport taxes

International and domestic airport taxes may be payable locally if it is not included with your airline tickets. This is usually payable in US dollars and it may not always be possible to pay by credit/debit card.

For up-to-date advice on any vaccination requirements and any health risks associated with visiting Thailand please contact your GP.

The following NHS website provides helpful health information and advice for travellers:

http://www.fitfortravel.scot.nhs.uk/destinations/asia-(east)

For information on the Zika virus, please see the factsheet published by the World Health Organisation:

http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/zika/en/

The following recommendations are published by Fit for Travel:

http://www.fitfortravel.scot.nhs.uk/advice/disease-prevention-advice/zika-virus-infection.aspx#Recommendations

 

 

Please click onto the link for up-to-date advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth office about Thailand:

https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/thailand

 

 

Help for British nationals in Thailand:

https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/thailand/travel-advice-help-and-support

In general terms it is best to travel with US dollars.

Credit cards are widely accepted in hotels and the better restaurants and shops but may not be accepted in small shops, cafes, bars and restaurants, nor in local markets.

In some remote areas there are no ATMs. Please check with us for details regarding your own itinerary.

 

Exchange rates are subject to change at any time but the following table provides indicative information for South East Asia and beyond:

Current time in Thailand

Bangkok: GMT + 7 hours