By Darren Griffiths

Where to Visit in Thailand in Rainy Season Spells

24th December 2023

Last updated on December 25th, 2023 at 09:46 am

In this guide, we reveal our hard-won experience of traveling throughout Thailand’s rainy season to show you the best destinations to visit in Thailand during the monsoonal rains. We’ll cover all the main tourist destinations and their peak rainfall periods so you can choose when and where to go.

The Thailand Rainy Season is different in different parts of the country

Depending on when you visit Thailand, the wet season will be different from other parts of the country. 

Southern Thailand, Andaman Sea
Southern Thailand, Andaman Sea

Northern Thailand on the one hand will follow a cycle of two seasons. The high season spans from December to May, and consists of dry and calm weather.

The low season, however, will last from June to November. This is when rainfall affects the central plains and cities like Ayutthaya and Lopburi. These are two of the most popular tourist sites in the Chao Phraya Basin.

Sticky-waterfall-chiang-mai
Sticky Waterfall, Chiang Mai, Thailand

The high season is what to aim for if you wish to avoid rainy weather in Thailand cities up north.

Also, keep in mind that March and April will also bring the hottest and driest weather, making pleasant weather more limited to visitors.

Southern Thailand, on the other hand, experiences a more trivial seasonal cycle. The rainy season occurs at varying times based on locations within this southern territory.

For Thailand’s east coast cities like Pattani, the rainy season starts around September and stops in the middle of February.

Pattaya Beach, Chon Buri, Thailand
Pattaya Beach, Chon Buri, Thailand

As for the west coast, the rainy season begins in March or April and ends in September or October, affecting cities like Phong Nga.

Annual monsoons are what mostly influence Thailand’s rainy seasons. While that may sound ominous to visitors, Thailand’s downpours are not as severe compared to other Southeast and South Asian nations.

That is not to say that they can’t cause trouble, however. The central plains often experience floods in many parts of the region, which take place during the summer. 

Should I Consider Vacationing In A Rainy Season?

Despite the concerns that rainy seasons can bring to travelers, they can still make for enjoyable times of the year.

Whether travelers should come to Thailand to experience a rainy season depends on the traveler’s preference.

Chiang Mai temple, Thailand
Chiang Mai Temple, Thailand

There are obvious downsides to vacationing during rainy seasons. These include the chance of rain, coastal waters being too rough for swimming, and many outdoor activities likely being inaccessible.

That isn’t to say that rainfalls last for hours on end, though. Travelers can still enjoy beaches, temples, and trails several times of day when the weather is calm.

However, if you decide to travel during the monsoon season in Thailand, you’ll enjoy cheaper hotel rates as a result of less-than-perfect weather. If saving money is a priority, targeting a rainy season will be ideal.

Along with lower hotel rates, travelers can also enjoy smaller crowds and less congestion in the major tourist areas.

Sky Bar, Bangkok, Thailand
Sky Bar, Bangkok, Thailand

For backpackers, rainy weather might make waterfalls and other scenery even more breathtaking to look at. This is because of clouds of mist that form due to the constant showers.

It is a well-known fact that tourist seasons bring in more crowds not just to the most popular tourist attractions but also to less known places, which are usually the hidden gems that bring the most value to a traveling experience.

Off-season traveling also increases your chances of having more authentic experiences and meeting locals.

To open up new possibilities to experience the country on an even deeper level you can learn Thai and immerse yourself in conversations with Thai people whenever you have the chance. 

Where Should You Vist during the Wet Season in Thailand?

There are many places you can visit despite expecting plenty of rainy weather in Thailand:

Pai, Northern Thailand
Pai, Northern Thailand

Bangkok

Bangkok is one of the most popular places for explorers to travel to in all of Thailand. The city has many indoor activities and shops to explore, which you can visit in the event of heavy rain.

Local markets in Bangkok, Thailand
Local markets in Bangkok, Thailand

There are also plenty of outdoor activities in and around Bangkok. The only outdoor activity that gets canceled due to rain is the floating market tours.

Northern Thailand

To the north of Bangkok are Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai.

Chiang Mai Lantern Festival, Thailand
Chiang Mai Lantern Festival, Thailand

They are home to temples, shops, and spas, giving visitors many days worth of activities. Temple tours are highly recommended for travelers regardless of the chance of rain, and you’ll spend a significant part of your day indoors.

The National Parks in the north can be very muddy and sometimes closed during years when the monsoon rains are very heavy.

Southern Thailand and the Gulf of Thailand

The island of Koh Samui, while not immune to rain, is one of the driest destinations among all the tourist areas during the rainy season.

Koh Samui, Thailand
Koh Samui, Thailand

You can enjoy calm beaches and uncrowded restaurants on a visit to Koh Samui in the wet season. Boat rides to and from the island and to the nearest Gulf islands are still possible but may be bumpy from rainy weather. 

Phuket is another super-popular island on the Andaman Sea in southern Thailand. Phuket has several museums, aquariums, markets, and affordable shops.

Phuket is the rainiest in September and October, but any other time of year will be mostly enjoyable.