In Thailand it`s warm all year round - except perhaps in high mountain areas or on the occasional cold day. However one should not forget that there are certain rainy periods and some dry spells. The daytime temperatures hover throughout the year between 22 and 32 degrees (72° - 90° F). The closer one gets to the equator, the smaller are the temperature variations. In coastal areas and on islands very special wind and rain conditions prevail. Usually only between July and October does it occasionally rain for two or three consecutive days. But then there can also be a huge monsoon rain which drenches the earth with more water than you would see in a whole month anywhere in Europe, which often leads to severe flooding. Sitting sheltered under a roof, a tropical deluge is an exciting experience that has a soothing effect on the soul, yet this is not an ideal time for travelling or sunbathing.

    From May till October Thailand lies under the influence of the south-west monsoon, which from July onwards causes heavy rainfalls. Then, from November till February, the north-east monsoon brings rain to the Gulf of Thailand`s east coast from about Prachuab Khiri Khan right down to the Malaysian border.

    Therefore it can be said, that Thailand has only three seasons, which affect the various regions of the country in different ways:

    The Rainy Season (May till October):

    Brings rainfalls mainly to the west coast (Phuket, Krabi). In inland regions, the rains come later and less plentiful, but there too rainfalls increase around September, October. Yet already in May there can be minor floods in Bangkok.

    The Cool Season (November till February)

    Is generally the most ideal time for travelling, with temperatures between 20 and 30 degrees (68° - 86° F) and almost constant sunshine.

    The Hot Season (March till May):

    From about end of February the mercury begins to rise. Afternoon temperatures of around 36 degrees are not uncommon and especially in the inland regions life begins to slow down when temperatures rise to the 40 degree mark. This is a good time to be near a cool body of water or in higher mountain regions.

    This information should be regarded as a general guide. Even during the rainy season there are lengthy periods of sunny weather. Therefore, when only a short holiday is being considered, it is advisable to consult the website of The Meteorological Institute of Thailand.

    The ideal travel season

    For extended holidays, the cool season (from mid November till March) would have to be the ideal time. On the islands around Samui the rains continue until December. When planning a trip it is important to take in consideration the local school holiday periods as well as public holidays. There are holidays in mid January (Chinese New Year) several more from the middle of April (Songkran) until the middle of May (various religious festivals), then again in November (Loy Krathong) and finally the festivities around year's end. At all these times public transport is booked out and road traffic can be chaotic. On secondary roads and in localities frequented mainly by foreigners, the situation is not bad. On weekends, the surroundings of the capital Bangkok (Pattaya, Hua-Hin and Rayong) are generally overrun by tourists. Nature lovers should preferably travel on weekdays. During the touristic off season from May 1 until October 15, hotels and resorts offer discounts of up to 50 percent. More importantly there are fewer people around, so that the atmosphere at beaches, waterfalls and temples is much more quiet and relaxed.