Simply put, Northern Thailand is perfect for an adventure any time of year! However, there are three distinct seasons all of which can create a different sort of adventure and experience. But, don’t let any season put you off – the mountains are as high, the people as friendly and the food as good whatever time of year you travel.
The cool season
Running roughly from November through to February this is the traditional high season in Northern Thailand. Stunning blue skies, low humidity and cool or even chilly evenings make this a pretty perfect time of year for all travels and adventures in Chiang Mai, Mae Hong Son and beyond.
Once you’re up in the hills, overnight temperatures can be positively chilly however. With a couple of frosts somewhere in the region each year and overnight temperatures of around 10-15C (or lower), something warm is a must for the evenings and early mornings. However, one the sun’s up and the day gets going the mercury soon rises and you can expect beautiful temperatures from the mid to high 20’s. It doesn’t really get better than this for trekking, rafting and exploring.
The only downside is that this is the busiest time of the year in the region for both overseas and local visitors. But, once you’re away from the main hubs of Chiang Mai city life soon regains its laid back and entrancing way.
The hot season
Running roughly from March through to June / July the hot seasons is just that – pretty hot. However, while Bangkok remains unbearably humid throughout the day and night, temperatures drop considerably in the North once the sun sets and even during the days, the humidity is nothing like what you’ll experience in Bangkok and further South.
Mornings are still glorious and fresh, midday can be pretty toasty (mid – high 30C) and then the evenings are lovely again. With a bit of pacing yourself and not running a marathon at midday, there’s no reason at all why you shouldn’t have a great Northern Thailand adventure at this time of year and you’ll be doing so in far quieter laid back circumstances than the busy cold season. And a dip in a forest river is so much more refreshing when the sun’s been beating down.
The rainy season
Much discussed and much worried about, the rainy season can actually be a fantastic time to travel in Northern Thailand. The greenery returns, the haze of the hot season disappears and you get a very very different view of life in the North.
Yes it can rain and it can rain hard. But it rarely rains all day, the storms can be incredible to watch and sheltering in a small rural community with a local coffee and rustled together food can be one of those great travel adventure experiences that stay with you forever.
Another major plus at this time of year is fewer people – even less than during the hot season – and a feeling of real adventure. It might sound strange but setting out on a trek when the heavens are opening is far more adventurous and rewarding that a stroll in 20C during the cold season. Where’s the adventure in that?
So, don’t let the season put you off if you’re looking for adventures in Northern Thailand. Each time of year has it’s appeal and you can be sure that whenever you explore Chiang Mai, Mae Hong Son and other stunning Northern Provinces, choose the right trips and choose the right attitude and you’re going to have the adventure of a lifetime.
For more information have a look at Bookmundi and their review of the seasons and best times to travel in Thailand