The weather in Bangkok is tropical. The country has three main seasons namely summer which extends from March to June, the monsoon or rainy season from July to October and the relatively cooler winter season which runs from November to February.
The winter is the best time to visit Bangkok. The days tend to be cooler and the evenings much more pleasant. If one is looking to spend time at the beaches or taking a boat cruise, then summer is possibly the best time to visit though bear in mind it can get beastly hot.
The monsoon season is not the best time to visit for a variety of reasons, primary amongst these the bouts of torrential rain which can take apart any itinerary one has drawn up. Shopping is the one activity that can best be enjoyed at this time though.
|March to June||30 - 40 degrees||summer|
|July to October||26 - 34 degrees||Monsoon|
|November to February||23 - 39 degrees||Winter|
Temperature: 30 – 40 degrees
Bangkok's hottest time is between March and May, when temperatures soar as high as 40 degrees. The average temperature stays in the mid 30s for the entire season, though the months of May and June start getting showers which offer some respite from the intense heat. During the ‘Hot Season’, boat cruises, mall shopping, rooftop bars and lounging on the beach or by the pool come highly recommended to escape the intense Bangkok weather. It will still be quite warm, with an average high temperature of 32°C, and, when combined with the rain, the humidity can be excruciatingly intolerable, though the rains do help cool things off a bit. April by far the most unpleasant month temperature wise.
This is when the Thai New Year, Songkran, takes place and the country embarks on a three-day water fight. While many go away for the vacation those who stay celebrate with high velocity water guns, buckets and hoses to spray water as part of huge water fights. Tourists and businessmen are often the top targets.
Visakha Bucha, the holiest of all Buddhist holidays is also commemorated on the full-moon day of the sixth lunar month which normally falls in May. On this public holiday, Thai Buddhists visit the temple to make merit in addition to making an extra effort to uphold the Five Precepts of Buddhist teachings
Why you should visit now:
While external activity and sightseeing is not recommended during this season, the popular “Amazing Grand Sale” commences in June and sees large crowds. Shopaholics would definitely see June as the best month to visit Bangkok. Also in the middle of March The Bangkok International Fashion Week is held. This five-day event showcases a variety of products, including clothing and cosmetics, jewellery, leather products, bridal and handicrafts and generally takes place at the Impact Exhibition & Convention Center.
If you love sea food and crabs in particular then this is the best time to visit too. The annual Crab Festival held at Central Plaza Rama in the middle of June offers the chance to taste fresh crab from Bang Khun Thian, a sea side district of Bangkok. It also features a number of exhibitions, including international cooking demonstrations.
Given you have the requisite skin protection, it is also a great time to loll on the beach and get a great tan in this season.
Know before you visit:
With the heat being extremely oppressive, from an activities perspective it is highly suggested you stay indoors. Some things you could do include visiting temples, aquariums and entertainment complexes aside from shopping.
With lesser crowds visiting the tariffs on rooms as well as other services tends to be much less and you can strike some good deals.
Further on Visakha Bucha, many bars and clubs are closed for the day, and the few that do remain open keep the music at lower levels and only serve alcohol in a very discreet manner.
More important than time of year when visiting Bangkok, try to visit the most popular attractions early in the morning for the smallest crowds, coolest temperatures, and best experience.
In such oppressive heat protection from the sun is critical. Take as much sunscreen as you can. While minimal clothing is good, shorts and tank tops aren’t appropriate for the city, particularly in the temples and palaces - loose and light long pants and comfortable, short-sleeve tops are the way to go.
Ensure you have an air conditioned room – the cooling is much wanted after being out in the heat. The heat can be oppressive during the day, so ensure if you want to do any sightseeing or trips, you do these in the late afternoons or early evenings particularly if your skin is sensitive to the heat.
Also ensure you take regular breaks from the heat and intake a large amount of fluids.
Temperature: 26 - 34 degrees
Also called the Low Season, the monsoon occurs between July and October. Low reflects the mood and this is because of the largely due to the wet and humid weather in Bangkok. While it is is still hot, the city is also prone to bouts of rain, which why this is not the best season even more so if you are looking for a beach holiday.
Typically on a monsoon day there can be light rain, torrential 30-minute showers, with a mix of clear skies and overcast days with little to no rain. September and October are Bangkok’s rainiest months.
While the monsoon can play havoc with plans and movement, given the relative paucity of crowds it can be a great time to visit sites a little more peacefully.
July is also the month for the famous Pattaya marathon.
Why you should visit now:
The off-season weather isn’t completely intolerable, and the trade-off of considerable savings for more elbow room is likely to be worth the bit of discomfort.
The Grand Palace is Bangkok’s No. 1 must-see attraction, drawing millions of tourists annually. During the monsoon however, there are times when you can enjoy it in relative peace. A good idea is to come early in the morning during the peak of the rainy season.
By far, this is also the best time for shopping in Bangkok. The “Amazing Grand Sale” of Bangkok is at its peak in July and August. Shops offer discounts between 10 and 80 percent on a variety of items including clothes, electronic items and jewellery allowing shoppers to stock up on dream purchases at a fraction of the price.
There are some important festivals and occasions that also take place in September. These include the Chinese Mid-Autumn Moon Festival and the International Festival of Dance and Music. The former is an exciting time for food lovers. Chinatown is filled with food stalls promoting mooncakes in every possible flavour. The International Festival is Bangkok’s largest annual arts festival featuring top or second-tier opera, classical music, dance, ballet and jazz in a star-studded program.
Know before you visit:
Expectedly given the erratic weather, there again are not too many crowds, putting on offer some of the best deals on hotels and excursions.
Like in summer, when it rains heavily, tourists can enjoy a wide range of indoor activities or just continue shopping.
Asana Bucha and Khao Pansa are two important Thai Buddhist holidays that fall next to each other in July. Asahara Bucha commemorates the day Buddha preached his first sermon to his five first disciples, while Khao Pansa is the beginning of the Buddhist Lent, when the monks’ three-month rainy reason retreat starts and alcohol is banned all day. Lay people too abstain from cigarettes, alcohol or meat. A Buddhist Lent Festival takes place, featuring celebrants that make huge candles and parade them through the streets along with floats depicting scenes from Buddhist and Hindu mythology.
Temperature: 23 - 39 degrees
The best weather in Bangkok is experienced between November and February. These are the ‘cool months’ when discovering the city by foot will not result in drowning perspiration. During the evenings at this time of year temperatures have been known to drop to around 22 degrees Celsius.
There is very little rain during this season. This is when the city is often at its most pleasant, though you may still need protection from the sun in the form of sunscreen, as well as loose, lightweight clothing. December is Bangkok’s driest month, with just 9 mm of rain. As always, you’ll need light, loose clothing and sunglasses as well as a jacket or a cardigan for indoors, but you can do away with that umbrella.
This is peak tourist season, and the coolest time of the year. There’s a more happening nightlife too.
The season is extremely festive. Aside from Christmas and New Year which are celebrated with a lot of reverence and gusto, the World Film Festival of Bangkok is held in early November. The festival screens more than 80 international films from across the globe. Add to that, the Beer Garden Festival which marks the start of the country’s annual beer garden season, where tables and chairs are brought out onto the street and Singha, Heineken, and a host of other beers are available on tap. Food stalls, live bands and a humungous variety of beers can be found at plazas, bars and malls. There is also Loy Krathong Festival which is one of the most picturesque festivals in Bangkok taking place on the first full moon day of November, In the evening, Thai people buy or make a krathong, which is like a small boat made of banana tree and banana leaves, with flowers and a candle in the middle. They then gather around lakes, rivers and canals to pay respects to the goddess of water.
Why you should visit now:
The weather is obviously the key reason. While it won’t make a huge difference, late November and early December is the best time to visit Bangkok, when the city is drying out from the monsoon season and experiencing a slight cool down, and the holiday crowds have yet to arrive.
The best weather for Thailand’s beaches and islands are December to March. Combining Bangkok with a visit to one of the southern islands would be a good idea at this time.
Chinatown which is Bangkok’s most chaotic, colourful district, and a little city in its own right is definitely worth a visit. Around the Chinese New Year in late January or early February is when Chinatown is at its best.
Know before you visit:
In this season, particularly from the second half of December onwards, it is virtually impossible to explore the city without banging into several other tourists and the outdoor beer bars are packed with them.
Prices across the board rise steeply and accommodation and all else fills up quickly. It is imperative to book well in advance.