Thailand is an alluring blend of energetic cities, breathtaking panoramas and a myriad of islands. Experience adventures in the lush jungle landscapes where wildlife, waterfalls and isolated sandy bays can be found. Discover fascinating religious monuments and enjoy the laid-back culture Thailand is famous for. To help you plan your ultimate Thailand trip, here’s when you should visit and some of the fantastic cities you won’t want to miss.
When to visit Thailand
You’ll want to know what to expect when you arrive and if you’re not fully prepared, the weather can dramatically alter your trip. You don’t want to expect sun and plan two weeks of beach activities only to arrive and encounter rain. Make sure you know what area you’re travelling around and what season you’ll be visiting it. Thailand has an unpredictable tropical climate that can differ depending on whether you’re in the north or south. This said, typically, beautiful Thailand is controlled by three distinctive seasons.
High season (November- March)
Following the heavy rain during the low season, you’ll find that the landscapes are green, the forests are thick with wildlife and the beaches are backed by flourishing palms. The climate during this time is warm and dry with temperatures meandering in the late 20s to early 30s (°C). If you’re travelling around Thailand during this time, it’s best to start further north, near Chiang Mai, before moving south to Phuket and Krabi to make the most of the weather. Many travel to Bangkok for Christmas and New Year because of its tantalising nightlife and its beautiful beaches, which seem even more fantastic when it’s chilly back home.
Shoulder season (April- October)
If you’re travelling during this time, you’ll need to check the local forecast as conditions can change differ between the north and south. Throughout April, June and July, you’ll find it’s the perfect conditions to visit north and central Thailand, ending in Bangkok. This is because, typically, it’s still hot and dry throughout, but there is a risk of rain. Temperatures range from 30°C to 36°C and with the change in the climate, you may find that there are fewer crowds.
Low season (July- Oct)
Thailand’s low or monsoon season starts off light in July and gets progressively heavier as the months roll on. This is why you’ll find it overlaps with the shoulder season, as although it does rain in some areas, during July and August the rain isn’t too heavy. When September approaches, a great route is to follow the breeze down the Gulf Coast.
Because of its tropical climate, the rain pattern in the early low season usually happens in thick, short bursts. During this time of year, the further south you go, the more rain you can expect, sometimes with major flooding. As well as the rain, the temperatures are higher in low season, scaling to the mid-30s.
Where to go in Thailand
Thailand is a paradise of sprawling nature, exciting adventures and otherworldly islands. With such a diverse landscape to explore, you’ll want to know the right places to head to. Here are the three best destinations you don’t want to miss in Thailand.
Surprisingly, with most flights heading into Thailand’s capital, many don’t venture up north. Those that do will gravitate towards this unique city. Set in the mountains, Chiang Mai is a mirage of ancient temples weaved into flourishing national parks and traditional villages. Take in the whole landscape from Doi Inthanon National Park. Rising nearly 1.6 miles above sea level, this is the highest peak in Thailand. Discover the beauty of the waterfalls, wildlife and blankets of evergreen canopies.
Once the capital of the Lanna Kingdom, stunning Wat temples and unique religious monuments have been left behind in The Old City. Spend time within this area to find what’s left of the ancient walls. Browse in the traditional shops and be in awe of the magnificent temples. Marvel over its lavish design of the city’s crowning jewel, the Wat Phra Doi Suthep built almost 700 years ago. There’s so much historic culture and stunning sites to see in Chiang Mai – it’s well worth a visit.
Experience the thrill of the nightlife, the delicious street food served up by the plateful and the excitement of haggling in the bustling markets that crowd the streets and canals. Travel by tuk-tuk through the neon lights to interesting sites in colourful Chinatown, where you can browse the many shops selling gold and authentic Chinese temples.
Some of the other amazing sites to see are at the Grand Palace that was built in 1782 and was once the home to Thai kings. Marvel over the iconic reclining Buddha in the Wat Pho complex, which is covered in shining gold leaf. Take a longboat river cruise along the meandering waterways that are equally as spectacular both day and night. Bangkok is a vibrant place to be and a capital you don’t want to miss. Pattaya City is not too far from Bangkok and worth a visit for its beautiful beaches and exciting nightlife.
The enticing jewel of Thailand, Phuket has it all. Spectacular palm-fringed beaches, an exciting beach party scene and a relaxed atmosphere characterize the island. It’s along this south coast where you can experience Thailand’s natural wonders both in and out of the water. Experience true beauty on a cruise around Phang Nga Bay, where your boat will weave out of jagged limestone cliffs to isolated beach shack bays.
Other destinations to visit for an unforgettable coastal adventure are on the Phi Phi Islands. Throughout the islands, you’ll find perfect snorkelling spots where you can see the beauty of the coral reefs, or venture inland for a wildlife safari. Powdery white sands and tropical jungle settings await on one of the most popular islands, Ko Phi Phi Don. With rugged rock formations towering out to sea and islands only accessible via longboats, there’s no place like the picture-perfect Phi Phi Islands.
Have you visited Thailand before? Give us your hints and tips to have the best trip to this beautiful country.