Most visitors get a shock when they step out of the air-conditioned airport into Bangkok’s humid, hot, and hazy air. For most people it’s exciting – the climate in Bangkok is tropical and matches the vibrant, buzzing atmosphere of this amazing city. Getting around Bangkok in the heat can be difficult, but there are plenty of ways to keep your cool. And depending on what time of year you visit, you’ll experience different temperatures and levels of rainfall. Here’s what to expect month by month.
Bangkok’s Cool Season
The cool season in Bangkok coincides with the months of peak tourist activity – December to February (the wintertime in the US and Europe.) Getting away from the winter is a powerful incentive to visit Bangkok at this time, and it is also a great time to visit because the weather is the most comfortable. The average temperature during the cool season is around 26°C/ 80°F – warmth without being unbearably hot. The evenings are particularly pleasant, with light breezes and warmth drawing people into the outdoor bars and pavement cafes of the city – you may need a light jacket for some evenings as the temperature falls but you will never really be cold. The skies are generally blue and cloudless, making it a great time to take pictures and see the temples and other attractions in the city in all their glory.
In January, the humidity is low and there is hardly any rain. You won’t get too hot and sweaty exploring the city. In February, the rain still stays away and the temperature is cool. Book early if you want a hotel in January or February. It is in March that the hot weather arrives.
Bangkok’s Hot Season
From March to May, Bangkok experiences its highest temperatures. During these months, the temperature can reach 40°C/ 105°F. Sometimes in the hot season, these temperatures can seem like too much, particularly when the city heats up even further with the traffic and amount of concrete. There is very little rain to cool things down. However, this season can be good to visit as you will get better prices, and the attractions and hotels will be less busy. The advice is to take it easy and pace yourself when you are sightseeing outside – always carry water, wear a sunhat and sunglasses, and don’t try to do too much.
There are still plenty of people in the city en-route to the beaches or enjoying a city break in March. Humidity is low and the temperatures are not at their highest. During April the temperatures soar and it can get uncomfortable. During May the risk of afternoon rain showers rises.
Bangkok’s Rainy Season
As you can expect, the rainy season from May to November is characterized by heavy rain showers. The rain can be torrential, and may sometimes cause flooding. But often the rains will serve to clear the air and bring welcome refreshment to tired travelers. If you visit Bangkok during this time you will still enjoy many sunny days with plenty of heat. The temperature frequently hits 30°C/ 85°F. Showers mostly occur in the late afternoon and early evening, so this can be a good time to take shelter in a bar or café and wait for the clouds to pass. In Bangkok, the wettest months tend to be in July and September.
In June the monsoon arrives and you can be sure to get soaked at some point. July is tourism low season but you will still experience some dry days and in August you’ll experience heavy showers. September is one of the wettest months, and in October there can be floods as the rainy season comes to an end.
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