The weather in Thailand is hot year-round. You won’t be able to avoid it, but if you are particularly averse to the sweltering weather and want to come during the coolest time of the year, consider booking your trip in what’s known as the “High Season” or Winter, from November to February. During this time the temperature in Bangkok drops to a low of 21° C. to a high of 32° C. Throughout the country, temperatures are quite similar, but in the northern cities of Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai you may even experience the occasional 15° morning. Chilly!
On the other hand, coming during the High Season guarantees larger crowds in tourist areas, and higher prices to boot. You may see hotel and travel prices up to 100% higher than if you had come during the lengthy Low Season that spans throughout the rest of the year. So, if lower prices appeal more to you than comfortable weather, then you have a choice to make. Should you come during the rainy season or the hot season? In the rainy season, from June to the end of October, you can expect heavy monsoon-like rain showers mostly in the morning or the evening, but they only last for 1 or 2 hours.
Thai holidays and festivals abound throughout the year and you may want to come at a time when you can experience one or two of them. The most popular of these is Songkran, the Thai New Year, which is held for a week every year in mid-April. This holiday manifests itself as the largest water fight in the world, and is celebrated by Thais and foreigners alike in every city across the country. If you’re coming during April, book your tickets in advance of Songkran week and try to fly out sometime afterwards, so that you beat the crowds during this very popular and busy week.
Other festivals you may want to experience are Chinese New Year and the customary New Years Day which we celebrate on Januaray 1st. Both of these holidays occur during the High Season and are accompanied by large crowds and even larger celebrations.
Finally, if traditional Thai culture is more your thing, look into coming during Loi Krathong in November, when Thai families meet around bodies of water to let float small woven baskets carrying candles. The whole, lake, river or sea will light up before your eyes. It is a great time to see Thais coming together to appreciate the beauty of Thailand and each other.
Generally, these should be your guide-posts in deciding when to make your trip to Thailand. If you’re coming to take the CELTA or Delta, and plan to stay-on in Thailand afterwards and teach, also consider the Thai school calendar. The new school year starts every year in May, so many schools will be looking for full-time English teachers in March and April. They will look again during the mid-year break in October. Language Schools will hire year-round, so don’t worry if you’re coming to do your teacher training at a different time – jobs are plentiful.
So that’s it! Figure out when you’d like to come. Book a flight, and come enjoy Thailand!