When it comes to traveller appeal, Thailand ticks all the boxing: perfect beaches, emerald jungles, ancient ruins, exotic islands, golden temples, captivating coral reefs, friendly locals, bustling cities, cascading rice terraces, phenomenal food, five-star extravagance and indulgence on a shoestring budget. Beach lovers need only head south, to the wealth of islands enveloped in calm tropical waters that lap onto golden sandy beaches. Smaller, tranquil islands are surrounded by striking limestone scenery. Whereas the larger, more lively islands are home to plenty of bars, restaurants and luxury resorts.
Away from the beaches, you’ll discover Thailand’s intoxicating blend of royal palaces, temples and spiritual retreats along with fun-filled nightlife, fabulous shopping and delicious cuisine. The north of the country is home to swaths of lush rainforest and mountainous terrain, while the centre gives a glimpse into the ancient cities that once ruled over these lands. Thailand is a destination for everyone, from budget backpackers in search of full moon parties and buckets. To families and couples after a tropical beach retreat or cultural break. Finally, the fun doesn’t stop at land’s end, for the underwater adventurer, the tropical waters of Thailand offer some of the region’s best scuba diving.
- Dive with magnificent aquatic life off Koh Tao or around the Similan Islands
- The country’s energetic capital Bangkok
- Relax, enjoying the panoramic views that surround Pai
- Chiang Mai, for its beautiful inner city and Loy Krathong festival
- Pristine rainforests teeming with wildlife at Khao Yai and Koh Sok National Parks
- Atmospheric ruins of the old Thai capitals at Sukhothai and Ayuthaya
When to Visit
Thailand has two distinct seasons throughout most of the country. Although there are slight variations due to its sheer size. November to March is the dry season and the perfect time to visit much of the country. Although hot the intense heat doesn’t occur until the summer months. Making it a little more bearable. However, this time of year is peak season, so things are likely to be a little busier and maybe a bit more expensive too. Thailand’s rainy season is generally between May and October. But this means there are some great deals to be had and slightly fewer crowds. You just have to be prepared for a little more heat and the occasional downpour.
It’s also worth considering the burning season, which occurs in the far north of the country between the months of February and April, although it can run later. During this time farmers set fire to their fields to clear last year’s finished crop, in preparation for the next growing period. Smoke from similar activities in Myanmar, Indonesia and Malaysia can also reach Thailand. It’s often referred to as the “Southeast Asian Haze”.
Average monthly high and low temperatures, plus average monthly rainfall and days with rain can be seen below for Bangkok, Chaing Mai, Phuket & Koh Tao / Samui / Pha Ngan.