Thailand in December and January! What to expect?


Thailand is all about islands, beaches, and sunshine, which is undoubtedly the best destination for all kinds of travelers. As the monsoon season winds down in November, the sunny and breezy atmosphere makes the winter best time to visit Thailand. This ideal weather entices many travelers, and the whole country gets busy serving the tourists. During the high season of December and January, all the tourist places become too crowded.

December and January are peak seasons in Thailand as the weather is brilliant during these days. A little rain and chilly temperature without freezing makes the place more appealing to the tourists.

Here is a guide, for you to know what to expect and pack to really enjoy a carefree holiday in Thailand.

Highlights: The Busy Season in Thailand:

Thailand is a popular destination and a very busy place throughout the year. As the winter sets in, more travelers come here to enjoy their vacation. The capital city, Bangkok surpasses other cities like London, New York, and Paris as the most visited city in the world during this time. Most popular destinations in Thailand get busier during. Book well in advance if you are planning to travel in December and January.

Weather Overview:

As Thailand is situated in the northern hemisphere, winter will be in the month of December and January. December, January, and February are the months where the humidity drops and the average temperature will be around 26 – 30 degrees. This temperature is more comfortable than the rest of the year to visit Thailand.

December Weather Summary:

As Monsoon is over, there will be no rain in Bangkok in December. However, some islands like Koh Samui will still be getting a little rain. Temperatures and humidity will be at their lowest of the year. You will feel a steady temperature throughout central and southern Thailand but feel much cooler in the northern regions like Chiang Mai.

City                                 Average High Temperature                       Average Low Temperatures

Bangkok                                    91 F (32.8°C)                                             74 F (23.3°C)

Chiang Mai                               84 (28.9°C)                                                61 F (16.1°C)

Phuket                                       90 F (32.2°C)                                            77 F (25°C)

Koh Samui                                 85 F (29.4°C)                                            75 F (23.9°C)

Pattaya                                      87.8F (31°C)                                              73.4F (23°C)

Krabi                                           86F (30°C)                                                 73.4F (23°C)

January Weather Summary:

The rain slacks in some of the islands in Thailand during the month of January. But Bangkok’s climate is ideal for tourists. The humidity will be at the lowest of the year. Nights in January really feel good as the temperature is moderate. If you are an adventure enthusiast who wants to travel on a motorbike along the scenic and mountainous roads, wear warm clothes.

City                                 Average High Temperature                       Average Low Temperatures

Bangkok                                    91F (32.8°C)                                            74F (22.8°C)

Chiang Mai                               86F (30°C)                                                61F (16.1°C)

Phuket                                       91F (32.8°C)                                            77F (25° C)

Koh Samui                                 84F (28.9°C)                                            75F (23.9°C)

Pattaya                                      87.8F (31°C )                                           75.2F(24°C)

Krabi                                           87.8F (31°C)                                            71.6F (22°C) 

What are the best things to do in Thailand in December and January?

Thailand is a great place to visit all around the year. However, the moderate temperatures across the country give a great opportunity for diving. As the underwater visibility is clear, you can also try snorkeling, scuba diving, and undersea walk. But make sure to book all the scheduled activities in advance to avoid the peak season rush.

The islands also look great due to the nice weather across the country. The largest islands like Phuket, Koh Lanta, and Phi Phi Island on the west coast are a welcome retreat for the tourists. You can also do island hopping in Koh Samui, Ko Pha Ngan and Ko Tao in the southern Gulf and Ko Samet, Ko Chang, and Ko Kut in the east.

If you want a serene and peaceful trip in Thailand apart from the hustle and bustle of the city, visit the offbeat places near to Bangkok to make your trip more memorable.

Events in December and January:

Most of Thailand’s festivals except the Thai New Year fall in winter. No destination is off limit in this peak season. It is highly recommended to book early tickets and accommodations as it is the festive season and one of the busiest and priciest times in the year.

Father’s Day is celebrated as the king’s birthday on December 5. It is commemorated as the birthday of King Bhumibol, the former king of Thailand.

Chinese New Year also falls during January, which is again a busy period at Chinatown, Bangkok, Phuket, Ao Nang as it attracts most of the Chinese travelers.

Lunar New Year is also observed with lion dances, parades, stage shows, and lots of fireworks in Thailand. During the lunar New Year, the flight prices and accommodations spike up due to demand.

Christmas is also observed splendidly in big cities like Bangkok, Pattaya, Phuket, and Chiang Mai. The malls in Bangkok will be decorated with Christmas trees, and you may even get to see Thai Santa Clauses everywhere.

The Christmas and New Year Full Moon Party at Haad Rin on the island of Koh Phangan is one of the huge celebrations in Thailand. More than 40,000 tourists celebrate on the beach on the eve of Christmas and New Year.

Know the ultimate guide about the full moon party at Koh Phangan. 

See Thailand in Full Bloom:

Concisely, if you want to spend some time in Chiang Mai to enjoy the mountains and hilly views of Thailand, you should explore islands and beaches at the other end. You can plan a better itinerary in December and January. You can see temples, jungle, wild animals, etc. in the northern part and do snorkeling, scuba diving, swimming in the beach areas.

  • Northern Thailand:

The winter season in Thailand gives a unique experience if you are traveling to this tropical country. Various kinds of flowers blossom across the northern part of Thailand. The mountains of Khun Chang Khien, Doi Inthanon, Doi Angkhang burst into pink with wild Himalayan Cherry flowers. To enjoy more colors of the season, head to Royal Park Rajapruek in Chiang Mai, Flag and Lamp Park, Singha Park and Mae Fah Luang Garden in Chiang Rai. Chiang Mai Red Cross and winter fair is also a great destination that displays Chiang Mai’s cultural heritage with traditional performances.

Apart from Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai is also a gorgeous place with beautiful natural surroundings and is best known for its white temple. Mae Hong Son is the place where you can see the mountain tribes and rice fields near the Myanmar border. Pai is also a beautiful destination nestled in a mountain.

You won’t need an air conditioner except for a warm cardigan. You can enjoy the cool atmosphere in December and January in northern Thailand.

  • Southern Thailand:

If you want to experience Southern Thailand in December and January, Krabi is the best place to visit. This island provides a calm and relaxing atmosphere in the winter season. Along with the islands, beaches, and night parties, you can also look forward to elaborate decorations and fireworks on New Year’s Eve.

The climate of Krabi is tropical. The average temperature is 27°C in December and in January, the highest temperature is 32°C and the lowest is 24.5°C. It is mildly humid and the average rainfall is 60 mm.

Krabi has many beautiful beaches some spectacular islands. Most of the islands are perfect for kayaking and swimming. The huge Buddha statue is one of the major attractions. The formation of the spectacular pagoda which leads to an amazing view of the surroundings. The natural beauty appeals to nature lovers. The national parks, hot springs, lush forests, viewpoints make it a great place for outdoor adventures.

Phuket is another beautiful destination that often tops the list for travel junkies. The diverse mix of experiences makes the place one of the most visited places in Thailand. Holidaymakers can find sightseeing treats, cultural activities, culinary escapades, beach parties, adventure water sports, and countless islands in Phuket.

The temperature is 27°C, with the highest being 31°C and the lowest being 23°C. The humidity is moderate about 70%. The average rainfall is 60mm. December and January are the best months for tourists to explore Phuket. The lovely season and sunny environment make the place more pleasant. The skies are clear and blue for skydiving and the sea is calm enough for swimming and other water sports.

You can witness huge crowds on the island in the last two weeks of December and the first two weeks of January for the annual Christmas and New Year celebrations. You can also enjoy the cool weather in northern Thailand at the Doi Inthanon, the highest peak of Thailand.

Click here and check the 30 best things to do in Phuket. 

  • Central Thailand:

Bangkok city gets into an extravagant holiday spirit every year during the Christmas and New Year eves. The shopping destinations like Siam and Phrom Phong usually are too crowded during mid-November to mid-January.

Know the 25 Best things to do in Bangkok with Family.

As the crowds are more in the peak seasons of December and January, there are plenty of offbeat areas you can visit too. There are floating markets packed with delicious food and activities, riverside villages and small towns around Bangkok that give a spectacular experience to the crowd.

You can watch seagulls by the seaside at sunset from Nov to Feb. The seagulls fly all the way from Siberia to escape its extremely cold climate. The Bangpu Recreation Center in Samut Prakan, in central Thailand, is the home to these birds which looks like the golden sky.

If you aren’t a great hiker, enjoy the mist and the mountains in lower areas like the village of Sangkhlaburi in Kanchanaburi and Khao Yai National park.

Enjoy the glorious history of Thailand at Ayutthaya. This historical park shows the ancient heritage and culture of Thailand. Don’t miss the spectacular light and sound show to explore more about Ayutthaya’s rich heritage. These hidden gems in central Thailand give new and unique experiences to the tourists.

  • Eastern Thailand:

Thailand’s east coast has good weather with refreshing winds during December and January. The moderate temperature and humidity create an ideal condition for water sports enthusiasts.

The rainfall remains unlikely during December and January, but a little rain can be expected in the Gulf of Andaman and the archipelagos. Hua Hin & Cha-Am experience more rainfall in this season, however, the rest of the islands experience sunny spells with bright sunshine.

If you are in Pattaya, take a day’s trip to sunflower fields in Lopburi or Saraburi or Nong Nooch Garden.

Final Thoughts:

Thailand is a beautiful country that has very pleasant weather in winter and there will be no better time to visit. Millions of people travel to the land of smiles every year.

This time, Why not you?

The climate and weather are perfect for all sightseers, water fanatics, and thrill-seekers. Unleash your inner explorer and go on an adventurous trip to the land of thrill. With lots of islands to hop and places to see, if you’re up for great vacation then let this winter be the start of an amazing new year.

There’s an ocean of opportunity out there just waiting to be explored. And, we are here to help you with every step possible. Don’t miss out!