There are plenty of reasons why December to March is known as Thailand’s high season. From blissful weather to special events and shopping promotions, these four months offer a whole host of reasons to visit the Kingdom.
Although Thailand boasts blissful tropical weather year round; the period from late November through to early April is widely hailed as the best time to visit the Kingdom.
Warm (but not too warm) winter temperatures and a distinct lack of rainfall means beach life and sightseeing trips are equally appealing at this time of year. And thanks largely to Christmas and New Year, Thailand puts on a fantastic range of festivities and celebrations, with special events and promotions lasting right through until Chinese New Year in early February.
With a rich combination of attractions and events on offer, there’s no doubt for many seasoned travellers that European winter is the perfect time of year to visit Thailand and escape the cold.
Many visitors from around the globe choose Southeast Asia for its mild weather, and those lucky enough to touch down in Thailand during high season will be rewarded with idyllic tropical temperatures that are well suited to sunbathing and watersports, but also pleasant for sightseeing. This time is of year recognised as Thailand’s cooler season – although in reality, temperatures are unlikely to drop much below the 25 Celsius mark, especially on islands like Phuket and Koh Samui. With clear, bright, warm mornings and afternoons, followed by sultry evenings, the Thai tropical experience is hard to beat.
Under the Sea
While green season in Thailand offers its own special benefits, including flourishing flora and fauna, as well as fabulous special offers on accommodation; the high season is hard to resist for visitors that plan on exploring the country’s fabulous underwater world. Less rainfall means less chance of low visibility beneath the surface of the ocean, so snorkelers and scuba divers enjoy the best possible marine views. Heightened visibility also makes it easier to spot exotic sea creatures, and visitors with underwater cameras will be able to capture stunning images that offer much finer detail.
High season is Thailand’s busiest time of year in terms of visitor footfall, but competition to capture all the custom is still fierce – especially in the restaurant sector – which means many eateries put on special promotions to entice guests. Over Christmas and New Year, a number of establishments offer special multi-course festive menus for a fixed price, which are particularly popular. Beach clubs and bars also come to life and the events they hold become increasingly impressive every season, especially when it comes to New Year celebrations.
Major shopping malls across Thailand treat the high tourist season as one of their most important sales periods. A choice of end-of-year shopping incentives have already been launched this year to lure tourists and locals alike through the doors of Thailand’s many malls. Central Festival malls on Phuket and Samui are a constant source of quality bargains, while “The Season of Siam Celebration” at the Siam Paragon and Siam Centre in Bangkok offer shoppers the chance to prizes worth over THB5 million (US$140,000) up until January 10, 2016
Ring in the New Year
Growing arrivals each year strongly suggest that Thailand is one of Asia’s most desirable destinations for a New Year’s Eve celebration. For visitors in the capital, Bangkok, a New York-inspired countdown celebration takes place outside Central World shopping mall and the Chao Phraya River is also the scene of many celebrations, including spectacular firework displays. Phuket is also a party hotspot on NYE, as the sky lights up with thousands of fireworks and paper lanterns. Party hotspots centre around Phuket Town and Patong Beach, while the west coast beaches also put on a pretty display of fireworks. Over in the Gulf of Siam, Koh Samui’s Chaweng Beach is the centre for much of the New Year action, although special events also take place in popular locations such as Bophut and Lamai. Meanwhile, most of the younger revellers head by speedboat for the legendary Koh Phangan NYE party on the island’s Haad Rin beach.