Bangkok is one of the most exotic and fascinating cities in the world, drawing millions of tourists each year to enjoy the overflowing culture and life of Thailand’s capital. The weather is tropical, meaning a clearly defined wet and dry season, and the temperature remains hot all year long, with slight variation between the three major seasons or times of the year.
The South Asian monsoon system controls much of the climate in Bangkok, so May heralds the beginning of the rainy season, which lasts until October. The dry season dominates until February, followed by the hot season, which is occasionally punctuated by heavy, spring storms, before the rainy season takes over again in May.
Chance of a Thunderstorm32°/26°
Chance of a Thunderstorm33°/27°
Chance of a Thunderstorm33°/26°
Packing for a summer vacation in Bangkok can be slightly confusing, because the temperatures can be smoking hot, but the heat is likely to be somewhat fizzled by the 18 days of average rainfall per month. An umbrella is a must, but so is sunscreen, sometimes both in the same day.
The average mean temperature of Bangkok in summer bottoms out at a toasty 25C as an overnight low, climbing to a sizzling 32.5C during the day.
Bangkok has something for every style of vacation, but whatever your intentions are for your trip, there are a few things that you would be remiss in missing. The summer weather encourages many people to fluctuate between indoor and outdoor activities, both because of the heat and the unpredictable storms. For lovers of Asian inspired art with an increasing shift towards modern styles, gallery hop between the Bangkok Art and Culture Center and the Thailand Creative & Design Centre, which holds world-class events as well as local art exhibitions. Many people come to Thailand for the fabled relaxation that can be found here, mostly from massage masters and holistic hot spots. Learn the art of massage at Wat Pho Temple, how to meditate at Wat Mahathat, or the intricacies of Dharma yoga at Sareerarom Tropical Spa. In the spans of time without rain, many tourists want to check out Thailand’s famous beaches, with crystal clear water and beautiful scenery. Younger tourists looking for more uninhibited fun should steer themselves towards Ko Samet, while families might want to take the conservative route of Hua Hin Beach. After relaxing, art gazing, and laying in the sun, sample some of Bangkok’s higher cuisine, perhaps on the 61st floor in Vertigo, a stylish, trendy restaurant, or the 65-story rooftop view in Sky Bar. The press of people and crowds down below urge many to go vertical and enjoy the city from above, and the breeze can cool down some of heat of the summer evenings. Make sure you bring your wallet though, as many of these exclusive bars and restaurants in the sky can be quite pricey!
Bangkok doesn’t have the traditional four seasons that many western tourists are used to, so the autumn closely resembles the summer in Thailand. The rainy season continues through until October, so depending on what month of autumn you come, you can expect vastly different weather, at least in terms of precipitation. September has the most precipitation throughout the year, with rain occurring 21 days of the month on average, but rainfall drops off steeply in October and November, as the dry season begins.
The average mean temperature for the autumnal months in Bangkok is an overnight low of 24C and a daytime high topping out at 32C.
The beginning of autumn closely resembles the summer months, so indoor activities are still popular in September. In preparation for the dry season, or simply to show off a new wardrobe back home, take some time in the fashion hubs of Bangkok, like Siam Square, to find the hottest new trends, somewhat inspired by Japan, but with a Thai twist. Independent designers flourish here and will often custom make clothes if you are in town for more than a few days. Gentlemen love Bangkok, and Thailand in general, because of the exquisite tailoring that is available. Choose materials, styles, cuts, and patterns and have high-quality, hand-made suits ready in only a few days. You should insist on a number of fittings during the tailoring process, but the prices are shockingly low. Walk across town to Siam Paragon, the second largest shopping mall in Southeast Asia, to see just how excessive and elaborate Thai design, marketing, and consumerism can be. The 500,000 sq. ft shopping venue packed with big-name designers as well as unusual local vendors is truly something to behold. As the rain dies down in October and November, go back out into the lush scenery of Bangkok. Explore the narrow, twisting waterways of the city’s outskirts in a boat with a skilled guide, and if you rent the boat for an entire day, you can even be paddled upriver away from the city into the unmatched greenery and beauty of the canal-scape. This is also a fantastic way to better understand traditional Thai culture, away from the bustle and modernization of the city’s center.
Winter in Bangkok is probably the best time to visit the megalopolis. The temperatures are still high, but typically remain below 32C, while the rain has almost completely disappeared in the dry season.
The average mean temperature in Bangkok’s winter is an overnight low of 21.5C and a daytime high peaking at 32C.
The winter season in Bangkok is wildly popular and is the perfect time to enjoy the beauty of the city and the surrounding areas. Thailand is a veritable mecca of religious devotion, with some of the world’s most famous shrines and temples of the Buddhist and Hindu faith. You can explore the subtle architecture and intricate designs of wats (temples) in each individual community in Bangkok, or see the major attractions like Wat Phra Kaeo in the Grand Palace or Wat Arun located nearby. The 50-foot Buddha statue (the tallest in Thailand) is housed in the popular Wat Kalayanamit, which also boasts the highest ceiling and largest ceremonial bell in the country. For those wishing to explore the Hindu traditions of the city, The Erawan Shrine is sacred to Hindu pilgrims in the city, and you can often see traditional dances performed by local Thai groups, which symbolize prayers being answered. For backpackers and other tourists, Khao San Road has long been known as the place to eat, drink, and be merry with other foreigners, as well as for finding cheap accommodations But be careful, this area of the city is ripe with scam artists eager to swindle foreigners out of money. If you don’t make it to Khao San Road, make sure you at least give “Street food” a try. Some of the most reasonably priced and well-cooked food can be found rolling around the sidewalks of Bangkok, but for less brave tourists, some of the most trustworthy areas for market stalls and stationary food vendors in Bangkok’s “Chinatown” and the Nang Leong Market. The winter season is also an interesting time to wander through the city’s various “red light” districts, where, although prostitution is illegal, the many relaxation and massage parlors are internationally notorious for providing “full service” to visitors.
The dry season ends in February, and thus begins the rise in temperature signaling the hot season Bangkok, which in turn leads up to the rainy season of May. Spring can be a variable time to visit Thailand, similar to fall, because the city might be bone dry in March and flooded by May.
The average mean temperature of Bangkok’s spring season is a low of 25.5C and a daytime high of 34C.
Bangkok is a popular destination all year round, but the spring season begin the “peak” season for international tourism, which makes Bangkok in spring a fun, albeit crowded, destination. Stray off the beaten track to some local events like Muay Thai kickboxing. Check out some exciting matches of the now world-famous style of martial arts at Rajadamnern or Lumpini Stadiums. The local markets on less tourist-packed streets can be a fun diversion for an afternoon, and “rummaging” is a popular activity. These side street markets can usually be found in each community, and they contain anything and everything you can imagine, from exotic herbs and spices to silks and scarves. Test your taste buds with eels, or treat your nose to the overwhelming variety of flowers. Some of the most popular markets for this sort of “rummaging” are Chatuchak Weekend Market, Sampeng Lane Market, or Suan Lum Night Bazaar. For an unforgettable experience, step into one of Bangkok’s many cabarets, defined by lip-synching drag queens and gaudy showmanship. Some of the top cabarets with legitimately talented performers are Mambo or Calypso, which put on Vegas-style shows that are certain to entertain. Before you leave the city, be sure to have at least one elegant meal. Thailand is between India and China, and therefore, the mix of culinary techniques is unlike anywhere else in the world. The country’s various regions have vastly different styles of cooking, but all the styles can be found in Bangkok’s fine dining scene, in top restaurants like Isaan Rot Det, Ruen Mallika, or Chote Chitr.
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