They say that English people always talk about the weather. That is probably because it can be so varied and so difficult to predict. Here in Bangkok, you can safely say that it is going to be around the 32 degrees Celsius mark for most of the year. December to January is the coolest and April to May is the hottest. At the moment, it is nearly 11 p.m. and the temperature has dropped to 29 degrees Celsius from a high of 35 Celsius. Humidity is only about 60% so it is not too bad here at the moment. We had some heavy rain at about 4 p.m. which helped to bring the temperature down.
It is now of course the rainy season for most of Thailand. Although it usually starts to rain around Songkran in April, the main rains don’t begin until about June. This then peaks in September and October. By this time, the rivers are at their highest levels and floods are more prevalent. The rains slow down a lot by November and then December and January are relatively dry.
One of the most common questions that we get is about the weather in Thailand. Many people want to know whether it is worth coming to Thailand during the rainy season. They want to be assured that their holiday won’t be spoiled by rain. Well, I can say that in the Central region of Thailand it doesn’t rain every day. and also it doesn’t rain all day. We usually only get an hour or so of heavy rain and then the sky clears up. Usually this happens either at the start of the day or the end. However, if there is a weather front passing through it can rain at any time during the day. As a consequence, the rainy season shouldn’t spoil your holiday here.
I cannot talk with authority about the other regions of Thailand. However, I can say that northern Thailand experiences a different weather pattern compared to the deep south. Up in Chiang Mai the temperatures there can vary greatly between evening and daytime. During the cool season it can get close to zero degrees Celsius. It can also get hotter than what we have here in Central Thailand. In some ways they are luckier than us as the humidity is not so great there.
Down south their temperature doesn’t vary so much during the year. They also have two different rainy seasons which splits the peninsular in half. The Andaman Sea side, which includes Phuket, has very heavy rains between May and October. If you are stuck in the monsoon there then all you have to do is cross to the other side that borders the Gulf of Thailand. This area is not so affected by the southwest monsoon. So, at this time of year it is better to visit Krabi and Koh Samui. However, their rainy season runs from October to January as a result of the northeast monsoon. Of course, all you have to do then is go back to Phuket on the other side!
There is no point bringing heavy raincoats as you will get more wet from sweat than the rain! Ponchos are good and cheap versions can be bought here. These are lightweight and can easily be packed away. However, I cannot remember the last time I wore a raincoat. When it rains hard I do like any other Thai person – I stand by the open door and gawk at the rain coming down! Usually it passes quickly. If I do have to go out then I just use an umbrella. Of course, these are also cheap to buy here and there is no need to bring them from your home country. Having said that, it can get quite windy at times and the rain goes almost horizontal.
When it is like this it is best just to sit it out indoors.