South East Asia
Sara and John say...
You might imagine Thailand to be simply hot and humid all year round. But within this long and uniquely-shaped country there are distinct seasons.
In the south, you’ll find some of the world’s most beautiful beaches. The driest and sunniest time of year to visit this great coastline is from December to March. Temperatures are into the low 30s Celsius by day and the low 20s by night. The seas are often crystal clear, making this the best time for snorkelling and diving.
Heat and humidity build up during April and May, with monsoon rains arriving first on the western coast as summer arrives. However, on the eastern side of the peninsula, around Koh Samui and the islands within the Gulf of Thailand, sun worshippers who like the heat can continue to bask in sunny skies for longer.
The late summer and early autumn period is called the ‘green season’; and the clue is in the name! But the cloudier skies, gusty winds and frequent downpours gradually retreat eastwards by December, when sunshine and less humid air return.
Heading north now towards Bangkok and continental Thailand - put simply, the hot season is hotter and the cool season cooler than further south. But even the far north of the country never gets cold. In fact the early part of the year is by far the most comfortable time for travelling and sightseeing.
This is also the driest and sunniest time of year, but as the heat steadily rises to 40 Celsius, the rainy season arrives from May through to October. Downpours can be torrential, but even in this period, almost half the days are dry and for those seeking a quieter tourist trail, this is a good time to visit.
Then, as winter returns during November and December, the rains retreat, the humidity falls and the skies become sunnier.