Thailand destination guide

Best time to visit Thailand

Thailand's 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 with seasons generally divided into the hot season, cool season, and rainy season.

Cool Season (November - February)

The weather in Thailand around the central, northern, and north- eastern regions is mostly cool and dry between November and February and are the most popular months to visit Thailand. The southern region of Thailand really has only two seasons – “rainy” and dry, not technically experiencing “cool” weather but featuring glorious sunshine without unbearable heat, beginning in late November and continuing onto April or May.

Hot Season (March - June)

The hot season lasts from March to June when higher relative temperatures and occasional rain is the norm. Around the inland areas, including Bangkok and Ayutthaya, this often means heat and high humidity. The temperatures in the hot season begin climbing in February with rain sporadically falling around mid-April. This is traditionally the least popular season although the weather in Thailand is still quite nice along Thailand’s coasts.

Rainy Season (July - October)

The rainy 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. 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. For beach lovers, Thailand’s two coasts have slightly different rainy seasons.

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.

While the monsoon on the west coast brings a fairly steady season of continual rain, the east coast storms are more similar to the north’s, generally sunny days with occasionally heavy downpours.

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Best time to go

Bangkok and Central

Weather (monthly averages)

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
 Average minimum temperature
20℃ 22℃ 24℃ 25℃ 25℃ 24℃ 24℃ 24℃ 24℃ 24℃ 22℃ 20℃
 Average maximum temperature
32℃ 33℃ 34℃ 35℃ 34℃ 33℃ 32℃ 32℃ 32℃ 31℃ 31℃ 31℃
 Average hours of sunshine
9 8 9 8 8 6 5 5 5 6 8 9
 Average rainfall in mm
8 20 36 58 198 160 160 175 305 206 66 5

Chiang Mai and the North

Weather (monthly averages)

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
 Average minimum temperature
13℃ 14℃ 17℃ 22℃ 23℃ 23℃ 23℃ 23℃ 23℃ 21℃ 19℃ 15℃
 Average maximum temperature
29℃ 32℃ 34℃ 36℃ 34℃ 32℃ 31℃ 31℃ 31℃ 31℃ 30℃ 28℃
 Average hours of sunshine
9 9 9 9 8 6 5 4 6 7 8 9
 Average rainfall in mm
0 10 8 36 122 112 213 193 249 94 31 13

Gulf of Thailand ( Koh Samui, Koh Tao, Koh Phanghan, Hua Hin, Cha Am

Weather (monthly averages)

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
 Average minimum temperature
24℃ 25℃ 25℃ 26℃ 26℃ 25℃ 25℃ 25℃ 24℃ 24℃ 24℃ 24℃
 Average maximum temperature
29℃ 30℃ 31℃ 32℃ 32℃ 32℃ 32℃ 32℃ 32℃ 30℃ 30℃ 29℃
 Average hours of sunshine
7 8 8 8 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 7
 Average rainfall in mm
137 57 77 76 146 112 122 118 116 290 489 209

Andaman Sea ( Phuket, Koh Phi Phi, Krabi, Koh Lanta, Koh Chang)

Weather (monthly averages)

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
 Average minimum temperature
24℃ 24℃ 25℃ 25℃ 25℃ 25℃ 24℃ 25℃ 24℃ 24℃ 24℃ 24℃
 Average maximum temperature
32℃ 33℃ 34℃ 34℃ 33℃ 32℃ 32℃ 32℃ 32℃ 32℃ 32℃ 32℃
 Average hours of sunshine
8 9 8 9 8 7 8 8 7 7 7 8
 Average rainfall in mm
23 26 59 137 269 236 284 282 386 295 174 61

General travel tips

Thailand, the only Southeast Asian nation never to have been colonised by European powers, is a constitutional monarchy whose current head of state is HM Bhumibol Adulyadej. A unified Thai kingdom has existed since the mid-14th century, and Thailand was known as Siam until 1939 when it officially became the Kingdom of Thailand.

Art & Architecture

Thai art and architecture was heavily influenced by the Indian Hindu and Thai Buddhist traditions. Thai temple mural paintings usually tell religious stories and statues of mythical celestial beings are often found in the temple grounds. Influences were also taken from their neighbours, in particular the Khmers, and Sukhothai has some beautiful examples of Khmer style temples. However Thai Buddhist architects developed their own styles of soaring rooftops and towering spires straining toward the sky. The most renowned example of Buddhist architecture can be seen at Wat Phra Kaeo (Temple of the Emerald Buddha) as almost every surface within the temple is covered with beautiful decorations and carvings.

The most imposing example of modern Thai Buddhist architecture is the Bangkok’s Wat Benchamabophit (the Marble Temple) which was built of carrara marble imported from Italy.


The currency of Thailand is the Thai Baht. Baht come in both coin and banknote form. The size of Thai currency, both coins and bills increases with value and varies in colours.

Dance & Theatre

Traditional Thai theatre consists of many different forms. The Khon masked drama draws its story line from the Ramakian and was originally performed only for the royal court. The graceful Lakhon dance can often be seen at shrines when dancers are hired to perform for the shrine deity. Likeh contains elements of pantomime, comic folk opera, and social satire and is generally performed against a simply painted backdrop during temple fairs.

Two other dramatic forms are the Nang Yai shadow plays and Hun marionettes where intricately fashioned figures are held against a back-lit white screen.

The Ram Muay is a Muay Thai boxing dance that precedes every Muay Thai match and is a way for Muay Thai boxers to show respect to their teachers.


Electrical outlets in Thailand are charged to 220v at 50 cycles per second.


  • In Thai culture it is unseemly to show too much emotion so avoid losing your temper over problems and delays.
  • Monks are not allowed to touch women so do not hand anything to him or sit beside him.
  • The traditional form of greeting is with hands together, prayer-like, but handshaking is done more frequently today.
  • You should never touch anybody’s head intentionally as it is regarded as a particularly holy part of the body.
  • Accordingly, the feet are literally the lowest part of the body so do not point your feet at anybody or at a Buddha image.
  • Always take your shoes off when entering a temple or when visiting private houses.
  • In general, pointing with the index finger is considered rude, so call out their name or beckon with the whole hand.
  • It is polite to ask permission before taking photographs.


More than 92% of the population speaks Thai or one of its regional dialects. While the Thai language is the official language of Thailand, as a result of its cosmopolitan capital city and established tourism infrastructure, English is spoken and understood throughout much of Thailand.

The Monarchy

In Thai culture, people have a deep, traditional reverence for the royal family, and visitors should be careful to show respect for the King, the Queen and the royal family, as well as any image of royal family members. It is unacceptable to speak ill of the royal family and it is required by both the standards of Thai culture as well as Thai law to stand in honour of the King prior to movie screenings and other public events.


Religion plays a very important role in Thai life and is considered an essential pillar of society. Theravada or Hinayana Buddhism is the national religion of Thailand but there is total religious freedom.
Visitors should dress neatly in all religious shrines. They should never enter a temple topless, or in shorts, sleeveless shirts, or other unsuitable attire. It is acceptable to wear shoes when walking around the compound of a Buddhist temple, but not inside the chapel where the principal Buddha image is kept.
Each Buddha image, large or small, ruined or not, is regarded as a sacred object. Never climb onto one to take a photograph nor do anything which might indicate a lack of respect.


The population of Thailand comprises of roughly 65 million citizens, the majority of whom are ethnically Thai, though peoples of Chinese, Indian, Malay, Mon, Khmer, Burmese, and Lao origin are also represented to varying degrees. Approximately 7 million citizens live in the capital city, Bangkok, though this number varies seasonally and is otherwise difficult to accurately count.


The vast majority (roughly 80%) of Thailand’s nearly 65 million citizens are ethnically Thai. The remainder consists primarily of peoples of Chinese, Indian, Malay, Mon, Khmer, Burmese, and Lao decent. Of the 7 million citizens who live in the capital city, Bangkok, there is a greater diversity of ethnicity, including a large number of expatriate residents from across the globe. Other geographic distinctions of the population include a Muslim majority in the south near the Malaysian border, and hill tribe ethnic groups, such as the Hmong and Karen, who live in the northern mountains.


Thailand Standard time is GMT +7. Thailand does not observe daylight savings.