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Climate and WeatherBack to top Back to main Skip to menu
Thailand - Climate and Weather
To enjoy the best of Thailand, it is important to understand the country’s weather and climate. The country has good weather and a tropical climate with dry and wet seasons. The southern regions experience a monsoon climate that is very different from the rest of the country. This is a good thing for tourists because it means there is always sun on a beach somewhere. Thailand can be visited throughout the year although the rural areas may become inaccessible during the peak of the rainy season. In addition, coastal areas may experience strong currents during winter.
The best time to visit Thailand is from November to February when the weather is most favorable throughout the country. The dry season in the northern regions runs from November to May followed by heavy rainfall in June to October and cooler temperatures between October and June. The southern part of the country has two different regions: the west coast and the east coast. Between April and October, the west coast experiences the wettest months while the east coast has heavy rainfall from September to December. It is generally dry and sunny for the rest of the year.
North and Central Thailand
Northern Thailand experiences its dry season from November to May or June with little or no rainfall. From mid-January the temperatures rise and can reach 30 to 40°C especially in the central regions. These temperatures may last into the rainy season, which may make travelling less comfortable due to humid conditions and cloud cover. The southwest monsoon lasts between May and June. The rain starts off in short downpours and gradually increases reaching its peak in august in September. Temperatures then drop in the winter months.
Gulf of Thailand or the East Coast
Between December and February there is good weather with little rain and refreshing winds. In March, temperatures begin to rise and reach their peak in April and May. By June there is a little rain followed by the monsoon, which brings heavy rainfall and a rise in humidity. Some islands experience different weather patterns even though they are on the east coast.
The West Coast
Conditions are at their best from November to February with cooling winds and high temperatures. Temperatures rise from March to May marking the monsoon, which lasts until October. Peak rainfalls are experienced between mid-september to mid-October.
What to wear
Thai people are known for being modest. However, tourists and expats often dress differently than the locals. Women are advised to avoid wearing clothes that rise higher than the knees. This dress code is ideal for destinations such as Bangkok malls and activities such as snorkeling, Samui, and hiking with the hill tribes.
Bangkok is the shiny metropolitan city of Thailand. Popular activities include visiting temples, nice bars and restaurants and casual sight-seeing. It is advisable to wear conventional clothes and avoid bathing suits. Women should avoid skimpy clothing. For men, the ideal dress code would be collared shirts or polos coupled with loafer shoes instead of flip-flops and running shoes.
Thailand is very close to the equator, which explains the extremely high UV ratings throughout the year. Therefore, always wear a hat when going outside. In addition, wear a rash guard shirt when snorkeling. Dressing in Thailand beach towns is simply a matter of respect. Dress as you would at home while staying as comfortable as possible because you are on your vacation.
Wearing bikinis, trunks and other resort wear items is accepted in Thai beaches and pools. However, it is advisable to cover yourself up with a shirt and shorts when leaving the beach or pool for lunch at a restaurant. It is advisable for women to modestly cover up and stick to natural fabrics. Many people in Thailand are not very enthusiastic about topless sunbathing. Men should stick to t-shirts and shorts. Again, put your shirt back on when leaving the beach.
Tourists and expats are advised to respect all the places of worship in Thailand. Thai people are very attached to their religious beliefs. Both women and men should at least cover up the shoulders and knees. T-shirts, polos, and blouses are fine. Women should avoid wearing tank tops, although draping a scarf over your shoulders is acceptable. Closed toe shoes, slip-ons, and sandals are ideal. Avoid laced shoes because removing them when entering the temples may be inconvenient. In addition, pack appropriate clothes when traveling to Thailand during the rainy season.
How to pack for Thailand
Choosing fabrics based on Thailand’s climate is very wise. The most suitable fabrics are:
• Linen or cotton linen blends: 100% linen clothes or clothes blended with natural fibers are the recommended. Linen shirts are usually a bit oversized, which enhances comfort during hot days. Light cotton is a recommended alternative.
• Rayon and light cotton
• Wicking and quick dry fabrics: These fabrics are the best for adventurous activities that require skin covering and protection. Pack the thinner varieties.
• Skin protecting UPF fabrics: Clothing such as rash guards and sun shirts are recommended if you intend to go for boat trips and snorkeling excursions.
Thailand is generally hot throughout the year. Packing the wrong clothes to wear may limit the fun you have. Avoid packing polyester and tight jeans when traveling to Thailand.
When to visit
November to March is the best time to visit Thailand because of the favorable weather experienced during this period. This is also the period when most national and regional Thai festivals are held. The peak season for tourists is between November and March as well as July and August. You can find many discounted rooms and low accommodation rates during the low season between September and October.
Read more about this country
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