The Best Time To Visit Thailand





The Majestic Grand Palace in Thailand
Many travelers and tourist wonder about the best season to visit Thailand. In this article I will address this very popular inquiry.

Travelers should first set out their expectations and preferences, and then plan according to what best makes them happy. Here are the important things to know about the different times of the year to travel to Thailand.

The Cheapest Months of The Year

Most people work hard for their money, and have a certain budget when traveling.  Consider that the low season in Thailand is when general costs will be at their lowest.  Due to less tourists and lower demand, the markets and prices for things will be generally cheaper. You can find great deals on food, drinks, hotels, and flights.

The low season in Thailand starts from around April and goes until mid-late October. From my experience the lowest amount of tourists is around the month of September.

Hotels

One amazing thing about Thailand, especially in the major cities is the amount of hotels. During the low season when tourist demand declines you will find some amazing discounts on good hotel rooms.  There are so many hotels around and this causes prices to drop. It is not uncommon to find discounts of 40%-60% or even more on hotels all over Thailand. Especially in places like Pattaya, and Patong (Phuket), that have a such a large quantity of hotels in a relatively small area.

Food & Drinks

Generally speaking, food and drink prices remain the same year round. However, deals can be had if you look around as businesses are competing against one another to attract customers. It is not uncommon to find deals on drinks, food items, and lowest prices in the markets. Another point is that during this stage of the year it is a buyers market. The power of bargaining is slightly in favor of tourists.

Pad Thai Dish in Bangkok

 

The Most Expensive Months

The most expensive months in Thailand start just as demand begins to increase. It starts around the end of October until April, and peaks around December and January.  It is good to keep in mind that even though it is the most expensive season, it is still cheaper than most other top tourist destinations in the world.  Especially if you are coming from a relatively expensive market such as Europe, U.S.A, Canada, Etc.. You will still find it less expensive than your own country, especially for things like hotels, food, and drinks.

Hotels

As the number of tourists begin to increase, so do the prices for hotels.  Rooms get booked well ahead of time. Due to the frequency of the bookings, hotels charge the highest prices they can. During the busiest months many hotels will be near fully booked. The popular hotels will surely be charging premium prices for their rooms. Do not expect big discounts. I highly recommend to start booking your rooms around 3-4 months ahead for the lower prices.

Food & Drinks

As previously said food & drinks are generally the same prices year round. However, due to the increase in demand, most shops and restaurants might not give the best deals. The good news is that Thailand has such a huge quantity of restaurants, bars, and markets that even in high season there can great prices on food and drinks. It won’t be the same as low season though. Another point is that the bargaining power returns back to the sellers in the market. There is much more tourists and travelers during the high season in Thailand.




 

The Best Weather In Thailand

First lets get something out of the way right now, Thailand is very hot and humid all year round. Certain times of the year are more tolerable with less humidity.

The winter season in Thailand is by far the best weather. Most of the days will be clear sunny skies, with humidity at a comfortable level. From December through to February you will experience the best possible weather in Thailand.

People Enjoying The Beach

 

The Rainy Season In Thailand

As the winter finishes and spring and summer begin, the weather starts to shift towards more humidity. This causes more rainfall. So from April through to October it is considered the rainy season, however it peaks around August and September.

It is good to know that even in the rainy season you will still get sunny days. When it rains it will usually come down hard then finish fast. This does cause some minor flooding but is not that common.

In the months with heavy rainfall there is slight chance of monsoon where it rains for longer periods of time. There can be some moderate flooding, but usually these are not that common and tourists do not get that affected by it.

Thailand Rainy Season

 

Cheapest Time Of The Year To Fly To Thailand

From experience there two periods where it is cheapest. From September to November there can be very good deals found. Another good period to check for flights is from March to June.

I have noticed during the summer holiday months of July and August tickets can be more expensive even though it is considered the off season. The reason for this is that a lot of families take summer vacations at that time and airfare tickers.  The same goes for the winter holiday months were ticket prices usually cost more.

Departures section in the airport during low season

 

Thailand Special Holidays

When talking about the best time to visit Thailand, you should also consider if you want to experience some of the interesting cultural holidays. Here are some popular ones to consider:

Loy Krathong

Loy Krathong is an enchanting holiday that takes place on the full moon of every 12th month in the Thai calendar, the month of November.  Tradition is that Thai’s make some beautiful decorated baskets called “Krathong” then they release them in the rivers and beaches. They also make floating lanterns then launch them into the sky. I have experienced this holiday numerous times myself and it is a wonderful and enchanting experience which I recommend to all.

Loy Krathong Festival - Thailand's New Year

Songkran Festival – Thailand’s New Year

Songkran is the Thai new year festival and takes place on April 13th and continues for a few days after that. Thai’s usually spend time with there families and loved ones during this time and there are celebrations going on all over.  One interesting tradition is that Thai’s drench each other with water and spray water guns all over the streets. It is a wild and fun time and most tourist have never experienced that. Some tourists like it while other prefer not to get wet, so consider this as you are planning to visit Thailand.

Full Moon Party

If you like to party then there are full moon parties on the island of Koh Phangan. These parties are famous for a wild and memorable nights., with world class DJ’s, amazing sound systems and lighting shows. Tourists from all over the world come to experience it. Imagine partying under a beautiful full moon on one of the nicest islands in the world.

 

Red Light Districts

In the busy months the red light districts are jam packed full or girls Most of the beer bars and go go bars are fully staffed. In the low season there will be a bit less crowds, and some of the go go bars and beer bars will have less customers. Some of Thailand’s bar girls can take a few weeks off to go back home to see their families or take vacations.

Some people prefer the low season as they don’t like big crowds and prefer a more relaxed vibe. Others enjoy a busier vibe and the excitement of larger crowds. It is really a matter of personal choice.

Large crowd in Pattaya's walking street

My Thoughts On The Ideal Time To Visit

Thailand can be fun at all times, but If were to recommend for new travelers to visit Thailand, then I would suggest these two periods:

  • November.  During this month you can still find reasonably good prices on airfare and hotels. The weather starts to get really good, and still isn’t the peak of the high season with the big crowds.  A bonus is that you can experience the Loy Krathong Festival.
  • February. After new years you can find good deals on flight tickets, and you can still get good prices on many hotels if you book in advance. The weather will be amazing with minimal humidity.  Since this is towards the end of the peak season it is usually not as busy but still feels exciting.

 

Further Reading on Thailand

 

 

Amigo

Amigo is a freelance writer and photographer living and working in south east Asia, spending the majority of his time in the beautiful country of Thailand. He loves to travel and write about his experiences on the web in order to help others with travel topics.