Highlights of Thailand - 10 Days / 9 Nights
- Chiang Mai
- Koh Yao Island
The Best Time to Do This Itinerary
November through February are the best times to travel to the destinations in this itinerary. However, hotel rates are higher during this peak time and the main tourist sights will be quite busy.
Other Good Times To Travel in Thailand
October is the tail end of the monsoon season, so things are still quite humid but improving throughout the month. March is also ok, but there’s risk of smoke in the north due to forest fires and agricultural burning, while other areas are starting to get oppressively hot.
Times to Avoid
The End-of-Year Holiday Season
Unless this is the only time you can travel, we recommending avoiding Thailand from December 20th to January 3rd. Hotel rates skyrocket during this peak season and many beach resorts require a minimum 3 to 7 night stay, depending on the resort. Some hotels and resorts also have mandatory gala parties on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve that can cost from $50 to $300 per person.
The Monsoon Season
The monsoon season lasts from June through September. During this time, it’s hot and humid and with near-daily thunderstorms, which can actually bring a bit of relief from the heat. The seas on the Andaman (west) coast of the country will be rougher and snorkeling and diving won’t be good unless you’re in protected areas like Phang Nga Bay near Phuket. During this time, we recommend beach stays at the islands off the east coast such as Koh Samui.
The Burning Season
March through May is the burning season in Northern Thailand. Fields are burned during this time creating very smoky conditions with low visibility until the monsoon rains arrive in June. Air quality can get so bad at times that it can be hazardous to health, especially to people with respiratory issues. Read this web site for comprehensive information about the fire season in Northern Thailand.
Availability at Hotels
Some of our favorite hotels in Thailand are the smaller luxury boutique hotels in great locations that have between 20 and 100 rooms. These can fill up well in advance of the bigger hotels that have hundreds of rooms…so plan accordingly.
How Far in Advance Should You Book?
For travel during the peak season of November through February, book at least 6 months in advance. For travel in the shoulder seasons, book at least 4 months in advance. For travel in the monsoon season of June through September, book at least a month in advance.