When Is The Best Time Of The Year To Visit Thailand?
Thailand is an evergreen tourist destination that remains in season throughout the year. Though some months witness higher tourist arrivals, there is never a dull moment in the country’s tourism business. The large number of colorful festivals that the country holds as part of its history and culture is simply amazing.
Here we have provided information about weather conditions in different months and the best festivals around that time in Thailand. In case you are planning a trip to Thailand, check out the list and see which festivals you can catch up with.
January with an average temperature of 27 °C (80 °F) is very pleasant in Thailand. The minimum and maximum temperatures are 22 °C (71 °F) and 33 °C (91 °F) respectively. This is the peak of the tourist season that begins from early November and lasts until April.
Bo Sang Umbrella Festival
Held in the third weekend of January, the Bo Sang Umbrella is an established and eagerly-awaited event on Thailand’s festival calendar. The event is held simultaneously with Sankhampaeng Crafts Festival. Bo Sang and Sankhampaeng are two close neighborhoods famous for their traditional umbrellas and handicrafts. This heritage is now a popular annual cultural festival, one of the most elegant and relaxed events in Thailand’s events calendar. Despite being close to Chiang Mai, many tourists miss the event because of a lack of publicity.
Food is always a big priority at all social and cultural events in Thailand. Local residents gather in full force at roadside restaurants in the morning and afternoon and watch the bicycle parade riding past. By the evening, Bo Sang’s main street is closed for traffic and a lively and colorful market springs to life.
The summer season is only a couple of degrees more than the average temperature of February. This time of the year is pleasant with more sunny days. The average temperate is 22 °C (71 °F).
Chiang Mai Flower Festival
The northern city of Chiang Mai holds an annual Flower Festival on the first weekend of February. The weekend is marked with awe-inspiring floral displays. Music concerts, parades, street markets, and cultural displays come together to create a colorful and family-friendly festival.
Events normally begin on the first Friday of the month. Saturday features the street parade with floral displays where people participate in colorful traditional dresses.
Chinese New Year
The Chinese New Year is not an official holiday in Thailand but that does not make it any less popular. Though the festival is celebrated by everyone across the country, not just by people claiming to be of Chinese origin, it is business as usual with most shops and establishment, except some in Bangkok’s China Town, open and functioning.
Colorful parades and street events are organized to mark the day in many areas of Thailand. Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Ayutthaya, Nakhon Sawan, Trang, Phuket, and Udon Thani You are especially famous for colorful festivities on the Chinese New Year day.
March can be hot and humid. The summer season officially begins in March. The average temperate during this month in Thailand is 30 °C (86 °F).
National Thai Elephant Day
The elephant is an enduring symbol of Thai identity. The Thai elephant or Chang Thai’ has an important place in the country’s history and culture. In 1998, the Thai government formally designated March 13 as National Thai Elephant Day. Various events involving elephants are organized on this day in elephant parks and zoos throughout the country where the elephants are given huge banquets of sugar cane and fruits.
National Muay Thai Day
March 17 is observed as National Muay Day in Thailand. It is a day that celebrates the memory of a hero of Muay Thai’ or Thai boxing. A weeklong event is organized to mark the National Muay Thai Day in Ayutthaya that culminates on March 17.
April is hot and sunny in Thailand. There are some possibilities for light rain too. But overall, it is hot and humid.
The Songkran New Year Water Festival is organized annually to welcome the Thai New Year. You must watch the event to appreciate the enormity and uniqueness of the festival. Songkran is marked with playful water-fights across the country’s villages and cities. The festivity creates a great atmosphere for tourists and locals who enjoy endless parties to mark the occasion. The festival is organized from April 13 to 15. However, in some areas such as Chonburi and Pattaya, the celebrations extend to include the Wan Lai Festival. If you venture out during Songkran, you are going to get wet. No matter whether you are walking or riding a tuk-tuk or pick-up, there are always some people ready to splash you with water.
Wan Lai Festival
The Wan Lai Festival is an extension of Songkran in different provinces, especially in the Chonburi province where it is celebrated between April 16 and April 20.
Sand sculptures on Bang Saen Beach
As part of Wan Lai Festival, about 100 intricate and exceptional sand sculptures are created on the Bang Saen beach. Visitors can see pagodas, tuk-tuks, mermaids, and elephants — all made from sand. Plywood and adhesive paste are used to create awe-inspiring sand sculptures.
For Bangkok, the average daily temperature is around 30 °C (86 °F) in May and it’s a pretty rainy month. The average rainfall is around 180mm, with a 60% possibility of rain during this month.
Royal Ploughing Ceremony
The Royal Ploughing Ceremony is the commencement of the rice-growing season. The date depends on astrological predictions and lunar cycles, but the festival is usually held in May. Royal officials in ceremonial attire lead the Royal Plough and oxen around Sanam Luang. This is a large open space just opposite the Grand Palace. The furrow is ploughed and rice seeds are scattered. Then, the oxen are offered several choices of food including rice whiskey, rice, and corn. Depending on what the oxen eat, royal astrologers make their prediction about how good the next rice harvest is going to be.
The weather in Bangkok in June is almost similar to May. It is somewhat same weather across the country around this time. The sun shines hot as the temperatures could reach a sweltering 33 °C (91 °F). The average rain for this month is around 180mm.
Pattaya International Fireworks Festival
The annual Pattaya International Fireworks festival began as the celebration of late King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s birthday. During the festival, teams from different countries present their best firework shows. It is a two-day event.
The first day of the firework show is actually a rehearsal. It lasts about 30 minutes and is a practice shooting for the actual show the next day. Regardless of the fact that this is a rehearsal, the firework show is amazing.
The real contests take place on day 2. At around 7:30–8:00 p.m. Thai time, the firework show begins. The teams shoot for about 2 hours, with some breaks. On the beach, live music and fun activities keep people engaged and regaled with breathtaking fireworks in the sky and beach parties at their best on the ground.
Though July is classified as a rainy month in Thailand, the real rainy months are August and September. However, July is pretty wet, marked with some spectacular tropical storms.
Ubon Ratchathani Candle Festival
Thailand has a wide array of fascinating and enchanting festivals and Thai people know how to organize their festivals on a grand scale. In the Isaan region, they take this idea to another level. Amidst Sanuk and merriment, skilled artisans create giant waxwork figures and intricate wax sculptures over weeks of hard work. They form the centerpiece of the Ubon Ratchathani Candle Festival. This annual festival usually takes place in July through the exact dates arrived based on the lunar calendar.
Asahna Bucha Day
This is a Thai public holiday that celebrates the memory and religious significance of Lord Buddha delivering his first sermon about 2,500 years ago at Benares in India. The exact date of the festival is determined by the lunar calendar. Usually, it is held in July or August. Buddhist people make it a point to visit the temple (wat) and donate candles. The festival is held with piety and gaiety.
The weather in August is similar to June and July, with maximum temperatures ranging between 26 °C (78 °F) and 33 °C (91 °F). The rainfall is expected to be in the region of 170mm, with 68% possibility of rain.
Queen’s Birthday & Mother’s Day
August 12 is a Thai public holiday that celebrates Her Majesty Queen Sirikit’s birthday. Because Queen Sirikit is believed to be the ‘Mother of the Nation’, this day is also celebrated as the Mother’s Day or ‘Wan Mae’.
The day is marked with a wide range of events throughout the country. HM Queen Sirikit’s portraits are placed in front of government offices, schools, and temples. It may be worth taking note that some clubs and bars may be closed on August 12 in Thailand.
September is the wettest month in Thailand and is also the end of rainy season. If you’re in Thailand during September even for a few weeks, it is almost inevitable to encounter heavy rain during your trip. The September downpours dispel humid air and bring a pleasant freshness.
Thai National Flag Day
On September 28, 2017, on the completion of 100 years of the new national flag issued by King Rama VI, Thailand celebrated the first Thai National Flag Day. Thai people love to display their national flag. And you can spot it just about everywhere. Besides the government buildings, the national flag can be seen tuk-tuks, on boats, roadside stalls, private homes, and businesses. Thai National Flag Day witnesses a number of events across the country.
In October, there is less rain compared to September. However, there is a considerable amount of rain during this month as well. The temperatures range between 25 °C (77 °F) and 32 °C (89 °F).
Chonburi Buffalo Racing Festival
Buffalo racing has been popular for more than 100 years in Chonburi. The buffalo races traditionally take place at the end of the Buddhist Lent or Awk Phansa’.
The races are colorful and full of fun for spectators. Both prestige and prizes are at stake and people take the races very seriously. The racing buffalos are thoroughly training for the festival and given special diets to make sure they are in their best racing form. Races are organized over about 100-meter long course set up right in front of the Chonburi city hall.
On the main racing day, several races in various categories are held. The jockeys from the local community sit on top of buffalo bareback and goad it down the course. The winner gets the prize. Buffalo racing is not the only thing happening here. Besides, food and fair, things like beauty contests for buffalos are common here.
Bangkok and most parts of Thailand are at their driest in November. In November, the temperatures range from 24 °C (75 °F) to 31 °C (87 °F) and offer a happy escape from extreme cold in most parts of Europe.
Monkey, Lantern, Elephant Festival
November is the beginning of the main tourist season in Thailand and is the time when some of the most endearing and beautiful festivals take place. Chief of them are Lopburi Monkey Banquet Festival, Chiang Mai Lantern Festival, and Surin Elephant Round-Up.
The weather is once again pleasant. Rainy and humid days are gone. The average daily temperature is in the range of 27 °C (80 °F).
Concert in the Park
As the weather turns pleasant and tourist season picks up momentum, Bangkok is ready for an evening with Symphony Orchestra at Lumphini Park. In 2019, the venue for Concert in the Park has been shifted to Chulalongkorn University Centenary Park.
New Year’s Eve
Thai people know how to make an ordinary event a matter of great pleasure and festivity. They celebrate at least three new year days every year. But the New Year’s Eve on December 31 offers the best moment in Thailand’s year-round festivity and fun. Like most capitals and big cities of the world, capital Bangkok and all other important tourist destinations in the country are geared up to great extravaganza and fun.
Though the main tourist season in Thailand begins in November and lasts until early April, the island nation is a hot tourist destination throughout the year. And, the great number of enchanting festivals that every season and month features are enough reason to pack your bags and head for Thailand no matter what the weather is. There would be always some great festival about to begin. Personally, I prefer to be in Thailand during Songkran in April.