Best time to visit Thailand in 2020: when to go?

Check not only the best months to visit Thailand but the weather, prices and features of local resorts as well. When do the hot and cool seasons start? Is the difference in weather conditions huge?

Best time to visit Thailand in 2020: when to go?

Tourist season in Thailand is year round. Still, depending on where in the country you’re heading, there are some times that are better to go than others.

A trip for two to Thailand in Winter ’20–’21 may cost around $1300–$1500 USD for 10 nights, including flights and 3* B&B stays. So, where in Thailand could you head to catch some sun?

Article contents

  1. The best month to visit
  2. The cheapest months
  3. Rainy season
  4. Seasons by region:
  5. Phuket | Pattaya | Koh Samui
  1. Weather by month
  2. Fruit season

When is the Best Month to Fly to Thailand?

Swim season in Thailand varies from place to place. In December, you’d be lucky to catch some sun in Phuket but you’d be drenched in Koh Samui. In April, you might be late for hot season on the Andaman Sea but just in time for some sun if you’re in Pattaya, the Gulf of Thailand.

We’ll duscuss the climate in different resorts later, but keep this in mind:

  • The best time to travel to Thailand (and the high season for tourism) is November through April.
  • Low season is May through October.

Although the high season in Thailand starts in late fall, summer is still a good idea to visit Thai resorts.

Cheapest Months in Thailand

Promthep Phuket

April, May and late November–early December are the best months to catch hot season in Thailand and enjoy affordable prices. All inclusive tourists leave Thai resorts when the rainy season starts. Holidaymakers, however, still continue to come. They may be the savviest, or maybe they are just chasing discounts and decided to enjoy the cheapest months in Thailand.

The rainy season in Thailand is really a gift, as accommodation is much cheaper—the price for 2 guests for 10 nights at a 3-star B&B decreases from an average of $300 in January to $250 in May. The flight can’t be that cheap given the long distances to Thailand, but during the low season even airfares are falling: a roundtrip ticket New York (JFK)–Bangkok is $520.

Our advice is not to risk your comfortable vacation no matter how big the discounts—choose to come in the beginning and end of low season—April, May and late October.

Overall, is it a good idea to visit Thailand in the off-season? We can say yes, as we visited the country in May:

  • We weren’t soaking wet (it’s more accurate to say we were refreshed a bit for 20 minutes a couple of times).
  • We weren’t upset with locals’ desire to profit from us (they readily bargain as they have goods but not the customers).
  • We didn’t suffer from a lack of fruits (mango season began) or crowds. Our first trip to Thailand took place in low season so we were shocked later to see the number of tourists in high season).
  • We easily found suitable tours with reasonable prices.

When is the Rainy Season in Thailand?

Rainy day in Thailand

During rainy season, the monthly rainfall at different Thai resorts varies a lot, so even during that time it is possible to enjoy a beach vacation.

  • Phuket: The wet season comes in late May, and it rains until mid-October. The sea is full of big waves, attracting surfers.
  • Pattaya: It rains in September and October.
  • Krabi: The resort is almost empty from June through September due to pouring rain.
  • Koh Samui: Meet the monsoons from October through December.

You may wonder why the rainy season in Thailand differs in each region. That happens due to monsoon winds bringing a change of climatic periods. Different locations are affected by winds differently, with Krabi and Phuket being affected by wind conditions in the Andaman sea and Pattaya and Koh Samui influenced by the Gulf of Thailand.

The challenge is that traditional seasons for rain and drought have become unpredictable. During our visit in January (dry season), we had rain for nine days while in May (rainy season), we had rain only three days. The rain often just lasts for about half an hour in the daytime, but can last an hour or two at night. At other times, the temperature in Thailand are comfortable, though at times, the humidity can be high.

Seasons in Popular Regions in Thailand

Check the table below to explore Thailand’s weather seasons on different resorts and islands (remember the weather might be unpredictable here).

Jan Feb March Apr May June July Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec
Phuket
Pattaya
Koh Samui
Bangkok
Krabi
Koh Phangan
  • Green color is for the dry season
  • Yellow color is for the shoulder season
  • Red color is for the rainy season

Seasons in Phuket

Phuket has aptly been called the most popular Thai tourist destination. There is no better beach resort, with the hot season lasting from November until March with a pause for a few rainy months.

April and May are the hottest months, but they are still OK for your journey. Late spring brings rainy season, when Phuket becomes less crowded. High waves and spoiled water may disappoint beach lovers at this time, but surfers happily open the surf season. Late October welcomes bathing season and makes Phuket the most visited Thai location.

  • The average accommodation price (3*, B&B) starts from $250 for 10 nights for twin/double room.
Phuket view Promthep

Seasons in Pattaya

Pattaya is located in the bay of the Siam Gulf. The location makes for a never-ending tourist season as monsoons are quite rare here.

Pattaya is the center of sightseeing routes and entertaining attractions like go-go bars, night discos, Thai massage parlors and 18+ only shows. It has bathing season too, of course, the longest compared with other resorts. Due to its geographical location, summer in Pattaya is very dry, with only brief rains.

The tourist season here lasts from November through mid-August. Summer is quite dry and warm, making June–August a good time to visit. What’s interesting is that there are periods when it is really cold here! A few years ago, the temperature dropped to 59°F in January! That’s what we mean when we say weather in Thailand can be unpredictable.

  • The average accommodation price (3*, B&B) starts from $200 for 10 nights for twin/double room.

Seasons in Koh Samui

January through late September are the best times to visit Koh Samui, an island of the Gulf of Thailand. Go there in October, though, and you’ll be soaked!

In January, the rainfall is almost finished, and in February Koh Samui becomes a heaven on earth. Spring here is not only about reasonable prices—it offers plenty of exotic fruits as well. Mango season starts in April, and May is rich in mangosteen, rambutan and other unusual fruits grown only in Koh Samui.

  • The average accommodation price (3*, B&B) starts from $350 for 10 nights for twin/double room.

Weather in Thailand by Month

Thailand

Now that we’ve figured out what Thailand’s hot, wet and cool are like, let’s check the monthly weather. Temperatures may vary slightly within a season but they are generally stable.

Winter in Thailand (December, January, February)

Tourists liken winter in Thailand to paradise. The coldest months in Russia come at the peak of bathing season in Thailand, when the weather is stable and without rainfall. Calm, clear seas are warming up to 80°F (+27°C).

The average daytime temperatures:

  • 85°F (+29°C) in December
  • 86°F (+30°C) in January
  • 90°F (+32°C) in February

Winter is a high season in Thailand, with the peak in late December–early January.

Spring in Thailand (March, April, May)

Thailand in spring attracts tourists with affordable prices and a great variety of fruits. The weather is good both for beach vacations and active excursions. The water temperature is about 86°F (+30°C).

The average daytime temperatures:

  • 91,5°F (+33°C) in March
  • 95°F (+35°C) in April
  • 95°F (+35°C) in May

March is a peak season, and April is characterized as wet and the hottest month.

Summer in Thailand (June, July, August)

The summer months are absolutely great for surf lovers. Sportsmen from all over the globe come to Thailand at this time as prices are really reasonable. Summer is also kind to bathing lovers, with plenty of sunny days. The water temperature is about 84°F (+29°C).

The average daytime temperatures:

  • 91,4°F (+33°C) in June
  • 91,4°F (+33°C) in July
  • 89,6°F (+32°C) in August

The sea is quite restless though, and the weather is challenging: Tropical showers alternate with the blazing sun.

Krabi Thailand

Fall in Thailand (September, October, November)

During fall, the weather is not very kind, but nevertheless it is still attractive to tourists. The water temperature is about 82°F (+28°C).

The average daytime temperatures:

  • 87,8°F (+31°C) in September
  • 89,6°F (+32°C) in October
  • 87,8°F (+31°C) in November

Indian summer comes in the late fall, which means your trip will be much more expensive. To save money, try to organize your journey at the end of October–early November.

Fruit season in Thailand

  • Mango: March through September
  • Rambutan: May through August
  • Mangosteen: March through November
  • Longan: June through September
  • Papaya: the whole year
  • Durian: May through October
  • Dragon fruit: the whole year
  • Passion fruit: January through April

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