Thailand is a beautiful place to visit at any time of the year. You are sure to have a wonderful trip visiting historic temples, lazing on the beach or visiting the bustling cities and resorts whether you go in May or January – but you do need to know a little about the climate and weather so you can be prepared.
Thailand has a climate that is marked by wet, monsoon seasons and dry seasons. The dry season broadly coincides with the most popular time to visit Thailand, which is across the winter months in the Western hemisphere; December, January, and February. If you visit in May you can find some distinctive weather patterns and it is a good idea to plan your trip to Thailand to find the best places to visit, and whether, for example, to visit Bangkok in May or go to the beach. Here’s a little more information.
What’s the Weather Like in Thailand in May?
May is roughly the beginning of the rainy season in Thailand. We say roughly because every year is different, and every year the weather in May is slightly different. But if you travel to Thailand in May you can be pretty sure that you will see quite a lot of rain. However, since every year is different, May can sometimes appear to be in the hot, dry season rather than the rainy season. It is a bit of a shoulder month and therefore you can expect the unexpected!
Visiting the North of Thailand in May
If you have a May vacation planned for Thailand then one of the best regions to visit is the north of the country. Chiang Mai, for example, is generally clearer in May than previous months and the rain turns the hills into a lush green. There will be plenty of rainstorms, so definitely take a rain mac with you or an umbrella, and be prepared to get wet. Other northern provinces in Thailand including Nakhon Phanom are also good places to visit to get a taste of rural life. Trekking can be a difficult prospect in this month as the ground is very wet. Generally, it is not quite as warm as in April and this can be a welcome relief.
Visiting Thailand’s Islands in May
A lot of people will choose Thailand for a beach break, however, and want to visit some of the islands the country has to offer. Is it a good choice to visit Thailand in May when you want to go to the beach? We would say certainly yes. Even in the rainy season, you will have clear days and some lovely weather for the beach. It is also likely to be quieter and you can get better bargains on resort rooms.
If you have a choice over which island to visit, Koh Samui and Koh Pha Ngan have slightly less rain on average than other places in Thailand. Some of the smaller islands in southern Thailand see significantly fewer visitors in this month so many of the smaller accommodation options close, so it is worth looking around to see which places are best for a stay.
Bangkok in May
Expect high humidity and some flooding during May in Bangkok. It is perhaps not the ideal time to visit the city in terms of climate, but you will still experience everything the city has to offer – which is a great deal. A little further afield from Bangkok, Koh Chang is probably best avoided in May since it is very wet and the seas can be very rough. It is a better idea to choose Koh Samet if you want to visit an island closer to the capital. Hua Hin is also a good option.
Is It Better to Go to Thailand in June?
June in Thailand sees slightly less rain than in May although there is really not that much difference in terms of climate. The temperature is just about the same as in May. It is a good time to see the landscapes of the north with their lush vegetation without experiencing very heavy rain. Again, the best islands for a vacation in Thailand in June include Koh Samui as well as Koh Pha Ngan. Hua Hin is again a good option as there is slightly less rain here and it is a popular resort year-round. Koh Chang is still best avoided if you have other options as there are frequent storms here and many of the smaller resorts and businesses close down for May and June. But there is really not that much difference between visiting in May and visiting in June, so your trip will largely depend on your availability and personal preferences.
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