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Many people I talk to are excited to think about a trip to Thailand, but they’re hazy about its location.
I tell them it’s in SE Asia, but that doesn’t always answer the question too well.
East of India, South of Peoples’ Republic of China, Southwest of Japan and South Korea. And a long way North of Australia.
It’s bounded on the West by Myanmar [old name was Burma], on the east by Laos and Cambodia, and on the South by Malaysia.
Thailand is a tropical country, and is generally warm… for a Northerner like I am, it’s mostly HOT!
It’s North of the equator, so it’s seasons are familiar to most European and North Americans, but opposite for Southern Hemisphere countries such as Australia.
Even the winters are hot. Although in December and January, cities in the North of Thailand [such as Chiang Mai] have night and early morning temperatures that often get into the low to mid-teens [Celsius].
But day temperatures are lovely! [Mid to high 20s]
Is there a Thailand rainy season?
One of my cousins asked me that. They’re from southern England, and rain usually means COLD.
Not so in Thailand. The rainy season is from April to September. However, in Chiang Mai, the rain occurs at most 2 times a day and lasts about 1 hour, and is warm. This is not a soft drizzle. It really pours!
Yes, there are 2 Monsoon Seasons in Thailand... but this word, "Monsoon" means a prevailing wind.
Not a problem...
It's Typhoons that are big problems... but not in Thailand.
A typhoon is a tropical storm mainly near India and in the Western Pacific Ocean.
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Thailand is divided into three seasons.
The first is the rainy or southwest monsoon season (mid–May to mid–October) which prevails over most of the country. This season is characterized by abundant rain with August and September being the wettest period of the year, which occasionally lead to floods. Nonetheless, dry spells commonly occur for 1 to 2 weeks from June to early July.
Second, winter or the northeast monsoon starts from mid–October until mid–February. Most of Thailand experiences dry weather during this season with mild temperatures. The exception is the southern parts of Thailand which receive abundant rainfall, particularly during October to November.
Last, summer or the pre–monsoon season runs from mid–February until mid–May and is characterized by warmer weather.
The Central, Eastern, the south part of the Western, and the South can be abominably hot. That’s not to say the other regions are cold!
NEVER COLD, although I need to wear a sweater in the more northern parts of Thailand, from wake-up until about 10 a.m. during October until January.
And if you’re in a large urban area… the heat is worse. The traffic, the masses of humanity, the concrete, the lack of a breeze; all this exacerbates the heat issue.
HOWEVER, one can always find A/C nearby, in a bar, a restaurant, a hotel room, a shopping centre, or barring access to A/C, a fan ameliorates the heat.
A cold beer also takes the edge off the heat... so I've been told!
I wear light cotton t-shirt and shorts, sandals and a large hat most of the time.
I try not to go out in the noon day sun…
My walks to the market, or to a restaurant, or for a massage are planned for early morning or after the sun sets.
I forgot to mention taking a dip in a pool!
Thailand weather is more than temperature... air pollution can be an issue.
During the dry season [February, March and early April], smoke from field burning activities make it very tough to be comfortable outside.
The AQI is rated "UNHEALTHY" during many days during these months... Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai are hardest hit...