8 Reasons Why The Dry Season Is The Best Time To Visit Thailand

Thailand is a popular tourist destination located in the heart of Southeast Asia. The country is best known for its beaches, nightlife, low prices, cultural heritage, nice accommodations, and tropical beauty. However, it is not necessarily a place that travelers can visit at any time of year and have the same quality of experience. The best time to visit Thailand is actually from November to early May, the dry season. There are plenty of reasons why the dry season of Thailand is considered the best time to visit or even be in Thailand, and curious readers should take a look at some of the best things the country offers during this peak season. 

Average Temperature This Time of Year

Weather 

As the name implies, Thailand’s dry season offers cool and dry weather. Lasting approximately six months, this period provides travelers ample time to enjoy Thailand’s renowned beaches and tropical scenery under the best weather conditions. For those seeking relief from the heat, visiting early in the season, around November and December, is ideal. Overall, travelers can expect minimal rainfall and warm temperatures during the dry season, making it an excellent time to explore Thailand.

The weather is why dry season is one of the best times to visit Thailand. 
pictured: the breathtaking beach weather in Thailand
Photo credit: The DK Photography
  • Travel Tip: January is the driest month of the year, so travelers who want to avoid rainfall should visit then. 

Bustling Bangkok to Save a Buck

While Thailand is considered a cheap place to frequent or live, Bangkok provides even more savings for those on a budget. The capital is relatively affordable compared to other places and is a nice place to visit during the dry season. Travelers should visit the city from November to February to fully enjoy the cheaper prices (and cooler and less humid weather conditions).

Bangkok is an affordable place to visit in Thailand.
pictured: the cityscape of Bangkok
Photo credit: Waranont (Joe)
  • Travel Tip: Some locals mark up prices for tourists, so travelers should not hesitate to negotiate prices (within reason) if they notice they are being offered overpriced items. 

The Natural Environment of Phuket

Phuket is home to many nature sites. For example, there are national parks, waterfalls and jungles, so travelers can have captivating experiences in Phuket’s natural environment. On the island, travelers often enjoy swimming, snorkeling, and sunbathing. Many outdoor enthusiasts and hikers enjoy walking its trails for a calming experience.

The nature in Phuket is a reason to visit during the best time to visit Thailand.
pictured: the ocean of Thailand with a catamaran boat floating
Photo credit: engin akyurt
  • Travel Tip: Travelers who want to savor Phuket’s nature should schedule a slow-moving mangrove tour. These tours are a great outdoor activity and inform travelers of the ecological importance of mangroves. 

Koh Samet Island’s Beaches

Koh Samet Island is an eastern seaboard destination in the Gulf of Thailand. It is about three hours away from Bangkok and is a popular getaway. Though a beautiful beach getaway that many locals and tourists enjoy, much of the island is seemingly untouched since a lot of it is protected as part of a national park. Some of the island’s popular beaches include Sai Kaew Beach, Ao Prao Beach and Ao Wai. The Sai Kaew Beach is considered the island’s most popular beach, being the longest and located on the northeastern part of Koh Samet Island.

The beaches of Koh Samet are some of the reason why the dry season is the ideal time to visit Thailand.
pictured: a beach of Koh Samet
Photo credit: Alice
  • Travel Tip: Koh Samet is an excellent place for beachgoers to enjoy windsurfing, water skiing and snorkeling during the dry season.

Cultural Cuisine

Thai food is an undisputed top-tier food. There are many local and seasonal foods for travelers to enjoy during their stay in the dry season. Food is a big part of Thailand’s overall culture; during the dry season, there are a few things that travelers should try. A known Thai staple is pad thai, of course. However, travelers may be surprised at what the dish, prepared in an authentic kitchen in the country, brings to their palettes. A few more dishes to try include Kow Soi, Bamee Moo Daeng and Kae Med Ma Muang.

The culinary offerings of Thailand are enjoyed most during the dry season. 
pictured: a kitchen in Thailand
Photo credit: Lisheng Chang
  • Travel Tip: The traditional way to eat Thai food is to hold the spoon in the right hand. For many dishes in Thailand, there is no need for a knife since the foods are already separated and cut. 

Luxury Resorts 

There are countless luxury resorts across Thailand. Many of the top-rated luxury resorts in Thailand are located in Koh Samui and Phuket. Phuket offers better access to outdoor activities since it is a nature lover’s paradise and has a larger hotel industry. Koh Samui, on the other hand, has more beachfront resorts, which means more options for travelers. However, luxury resorts in both locations offer travelers privacy, the best access to water, shuttle services, air conditioning, hot tubs, and more. The Ritz-Carlton and Four Seasons villas are some of the top luxury resorts.

The luxury resorts of Thailand are a reason to visit.
pictured: luxury resorts in Thailand
Photo credit: Sara Dubler
  • Travel Tip: If you’re having difficulty choosing between luxury resorts in Phuket or Koh Samui, Phuket is more easily accessible, and Koh Samui offers a more rural ambiance. The best choice depends on each one’s priorities. 

Access to Cambodia 

Although Cambodia is a bordering country of Thailand, it is a place that many travelers make a priority to visit while touring Thailand. Seeing Thailand and Cambodia in one trip is an opportunity travelers should take advantage of since they have complementary cultures. The cheapest way to get from Bangkok to Cambodia is by bus, but a flight is significantly faster. Additionally, the dry season of Cambodia is around the same time as Thailand’s (November to March). Clear skies and cool temperatures in Cambodia allow visitors to enjoy the ancient ruins, Southeast Asia’s largest freshwater lake and the capital city, Phnom Penh.

Cambodia is a place that travelers can easily get to while visiting Thailand. 
pictured: Cambodia
Photo credit: Ben Stern
  • Travel Tip: A bus from Bangkok to Cambodia takes around 11 hours and would likely cost around $25, while flights that cost under $100 take about an hour. Choose the option that works best for you.

Cultural Events

Technically, the Thailand Grand Festival happens near the end of the dry season. However, travelers can still enjoy the dry season weather during many festivities in Thailand. Thailand’s Grand Festival showcases many aspects of Thai culture. Travelers can appreciate the best Thai cuisine, educational workshops, Thai massages and more.

Songkran is another Thai festival that falls around the dry season. It is widely celebrated, prompting many public buildings and businesses to close during the festival. Known as Thailand’s most famous water festival, it celebrates the beginning of the traditional Thai New Year.

The cultural events during dry season in Thailand make it one of the best times to visit. 
pictured: the streets of Thailand during a festival
Photo credit: Anna Korzik
  • Travel Tip: The festivals of Thailand often feature street parties. So they are not recommended for travelers who prefer to avoid loud music or playful water splashes in the hot sun. 

Traveling to Thailand during the dry season offers travelers many exploration opportunities. The cuisine, culture, and natural environment are most enjoyable during this time of year. These reasons make it clear why the dry season is the best time to visit Thailand.

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