Thailand Weather in Winter
December, January, and February are typically the months with the best weather in Thailand. From November to February, daily humidity drops to between 60 – 70 percent. Mean temperatures stay in the low 80s F (28 – 29 degrees C). Those numbers may still sound a little high, but they're way more comfortable than the rest of the year!
Although nice and warm, Thailand is situated neatly in the Northern Hemisphere. "Winter" refers to the months of December, January, and February.
What to Pack
Nighttime temperatures in places such as Pai in the mountains of Northern Thailand can feel chilly after hot afternoons, but temperatures never really dip below the mid-60s Fahrenheit. A light cover-up or thin jacket will suffice; you’ll want one anyway for the freezing temperatures on buses due to the drivers’ overuse of air conditioning.
The default, footwear of choice in Southeast Asia, and many other parts of Asia, is the simple flip-flop sandal. From the islands to big cities, locals wear them daily. If you are visiting temples, it's easy to take them off before going in. If you don't plan on going to up-scale establishments or doing any serious trekking, you could actually get by just fine on your trip with a single pair of flip-flops!
Winter Events in Thailand
Most of Thailand’s biggest festivals, aside from Chinese New Year, tend to be in either spring or fall rather than winter. Other areas of Asia do have key winter festivals. For Thailand, you can expect to see these winter celebrations:
Father's Day (Formerly the King's Birthday Holiday): December 5 is commemorated as the birthday of King Bhumibol, the late King of Thailand. The date is set aside for remembering him with candlelight vigils in places such as Bangkok. December 5 is a public holiday and also National Day in Thailand. The King's Birthday celebration is now July 28 to observe King Maha Vajiralongkorn's Birthday.
Lunar New Year: Lunar New Year is observed in Thailand with lion dances, parades, stage shows, and lots of fireworks. The holiday can be a very busy time to travel in Bangkok, and throughout Asia, for that matter. Prices for flights and accommodation sometimes spike as demand increases.
Christmas in Thailand
Christmas is observed in big cities around Thailand, particularly Bangkok and Chiang Mai where large expat communities call home. The many malls in Bangkok’s Sukhumvit area will have Christmas trees and decorations in place, although not nearly as over the top as is seen in the United States. You may even get to see a Thai Santa Claus!
The Christmas Full Moon Party at Haad Rin on the island of Koh Phangan is one of the largest of the year. More than 30,000 travelers will meet on the beach to party for Christmas and New Year’s Eve.