Best Time to Fly to Thailand

Peak Season:

Northern Thailand’s peak tourist season is the cool season (November–February). The south’s peak season is typically March to May.

Bangkok’s peak season is November to March; flights to Thailand and hotel prices can be twice as high as in the off season, and hotels are often fully booked.

International visitors come to Chiang Mai December through May, and Thais vacation here March through May.

November to April is Phuket’s peak season, and January to April is the best weather on Ko Samui. The island is particularly busy around Christmas and has another surge of visitors in July and August.

Off Season:

The rainy and monsoon seasons are the off seasons. If you don’t mind the humid and wet weather there are deals on cheap flights to Thailand to be found.

Overview

When you book airline tickets to Thailand, expect modern day Eden. Thanks in part to the breathtaking ocean views and waterfall landscapes in the movie The Beach, the country witnessed a wave of tourism as more travelers booked flights to Thailand in an effort to find paradise in Southeast Asia. Once your flight to Thailand arrives, you’ll find there is more to see than just the wonderful beaches. Flowing with natural beauty, ancient temples, a bustling nightlife and royal palaces, Thailand is quite possibly the land where dreams come true.

Book a cheap flight to Thailand and get your thrills in bustling Bangkok, or take part in extreme sports in small towns. A ride through the countryside offers breathtaking views while tropical beaches serve as a resting spot for five-star resort travelers. Take comfort in a beachfront bungalow or motorbike through the mountains – as soon as you step off your flight to Thailand you'll find the options are endless.

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Thailand climate

Thailand’s climate differs between the north and the south. In northern and central Thailand, it’s hot from March to May, rainy from June to October and cool from November to February. In the south it rains intermittently all year long with temperatures around 80 F. It rains every day in the rainy season. The monsoon season lasts from July to November.

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Getting around Thailand

Thailand’s trains are comfortable, frequent, and on time; although a bit slow, it’s a great way to see the country. Thailand’s buses are very fast (don’t watch the road!), well serviced, and air conditioned. If you’re pressed for time, catch a flight. Thailand has regional airports, and convenient domestic Thailand flights are easy to find.

Transportation in a city or resort is typically a taxi, tuk-tuk, rickshaw, pickup, or hired car and driver. Taxis are usually metered in a city; make sure the meter is turned on. Always negotiate the fare for a tuk-tuk or rickshaw before you set out.

Bangkok’s public transportation can get you around town. Chiang Mai doesn’t have buses or taxis, but has lots of covered pickups (songtaos) and tuk-tuks. You can hail a songtao and their fares are reasonable. Many travelers rent motorcycles and bikes in Chiang Mai, but make sure to drive defensively.

Avoid driving in Thailand, both cars and motobikes. Thais drive on the left side of the road, usually at breakneck speeds even around blind corners, and aren’t fussy about driving laws.

The following chart gives approximate journey times from

Bangkok

(in hours and minutes) to other major cities and towns in Thailand.

 AirRoadRail
Chiang Mai1.1010.0011.15
Hua Hin-3.303.30
Pattaya-3.003.25
Phuket1.2011.30-
Samui1.15--

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Thailand Travel Information

  • Thailand's capital mixes the old with the new while maintaining its position as a modern, international city. Bangkok is perfectly attuned with its modern skyscrapers, ancient palaces and temples, infamous nightlife and Bangkok hotels fit for any traveler's budget and lifestyle. A shopper’s paradise, there’s the famed Chatuchak Weekend Market and shops with everything from handcrafts to luxury items. And the excellent cuisine is a result of Bangkok’s rich ethnic history.
  • The cultures and ethnic groups in Chiang Mai reflect Thailand’s diversity: skyscrapers surrounding the Old City, monks chanting, hill tribes selling their wares, carved teak houses, modern markets, and a modern blend of Chiang Mai hotels condominiums. This is the place to shop for high-quality handcrafts, fine antiques, huge Buddhas, and even furniture. The nightlife is equally diverse, offering the Night Bazaar, discos, lounges, and small bars.
  • Phuket (pronounced "Poo-ket") is Thailand's largest and most popular island, and where you'll find many Phuket hotels catering to beach-going travelers. The topology alone is fascinating: rocky peninsulas, limestone cliffs, tropical forests, tranquil bays, and white-sand beaches. There’s a beach for every budget, from luxury resorts to bungalows, and Phuket is well-known for its fine seafood. The Patong nightlife is wild and has something for all tastes and inclinations.
  • Ko Samui is an international resort with the attendant comforts, nightlife, and crowds. Most visitors come to have fun and the island offers plenty of it: basking on the beaches, trekking in the hills and forests, scuba diving, parasailing, Thai boxing and sightseeing. The nightlife reverberates with discos, open-air bars, and dance parties.
  • Near Samui, Ko Pha-ngan is famous for its monthly full-moon beach party—a free party hosted by DJs. The morning after you can recuperate in a herbal sauna and relax on the beach. Popular with international travelers, Pha-ngan offers a full complement of activities from sightseeing to jungle trekking. For a more peaceful vacation, the island also has laid-back resorts.

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Passport and Visa Information

Visitors need a valid passport to enter the country and proof of a return ticket. Visa requirements vary by country and can change. Check with a Thai consulate to be sure you have the most up-to-date information.

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Entry requirements

US citizens need a valid passport and proof of a return ticket. No visas are required for stays of up to 30 days.

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Melisse Hinkle
A New England native but explorer at heart, Melisse has lived in four U.S. cities, spent a summer in Hawaii, made her way through wine-producing regions in Australia and New Zealand, and traveled around Europe while studying abroad in London. She is the Content Manager for the U.S. and Canada at Cheapflights.
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    Approx flight times

    John F. Kennedy International to Bangkok International:
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    In-flight reading

    Traveler's Tales Thailand

    eds. James O’Reilly and Larry HabeggerAn anthology of travel stories that give insight into the Thai people, culture, and country. Read it again when you’re back home to evoke memories of your Thai experiences.

    Phra Farang

    Peter PannapadipoA successful English businessman becomes a Buddhist monk and tells about the pitfalls, twists and turns, and amusing human problems that arise when he starts his new life in Thailand.

    Touch the Dragon

    Karen ConnellyThe author spent a year in Thailand when she was 17 and relates her exploration of the culture, life, and people of Thailand and gives the reader insight into a seemingly confusing culture.

    Many Lives

    Kukrit Pramoj, trans. Meredith BorthwickThe book tells the life story of each passenger who drowned when a river boat sank, giving the reader a feel for Thai culture and values, especially as they relate to Buddhism.