Thailand’s Weather in December – From North to The South

Nutthapong Suphamool

Thailand is geographically situated in a region that experiences a tropical climate. This climate is generally characterized by three seasons: the rainy, cool, and hot seasons.

Whether you’re looking to soak up the sun on a serene beach, trek in the northern mountains, or explore bustling city streets, understanding December’s climate will ensure you’re well-prepared for your adventures.


  • December offers milder temperatures and reduced rainfall across Thailand, ideal for exploring.
  • Northern Thailand is cooler, especially in the mountains, making it perfect for trekking.
  • Central and Eastern regions offer a balanced climate for urban and beach activities.
  • The Andaman Sea side in the South is favorable for water activities due to clearer seas.
  • Though popular, the Gulf of Thailand might see occasional showers, warranting a check on short-term forecasts.
  • Early bookings in December are recommended due to the influx of tourists.

December in Thailand

December is often considered one of the most pleasant months for visitors and locals alike. Falling during the cool season, the month typically sees milder temperatures and reduced rainfall compared to other times of the year.

As December ushers in cooler breezes and clear skies, it offers an inviting atmosphere, making it an excellent time for various outdoor activities and exploring the country’s diverse landscapes.

General Weather Patterns in December

General Weather Patterns in December

Thailand, in December, usually witnesses a transition from the end of the rainy season into the heart of the cool season. Here’s what one can typically expect during this month:

Temperature Ranges

Across the country, the temperatures in December are milder and more comfortable than during the peak hot months. Average temperatures usually range from 18°C (64°F) in the cooler early mornings and nights to around 28°C (82°F) during the daytime. However, these can vary based on specific regions, with the northern parts experiencing cooler temperatures, especially during nighttime.

Rainfall Frequency and Intensity

December generally observes a significant reduction in rainfall compared to the preceding rainy months. While occasional short showers can still be experienced, they are less frequent and intense. Prolonged or heavy rainfall is rare, but as always, microclimates within certain regions can bring about exceptions.

Sunlight Hours and General Climate Description

With the rainy season tapering off, December sees an increase in sunlight hours. Days are usually bright and sunny, with a lower humidity level compared to the wetter months. This results in clearer skies, making it ideal for sightseeing and outdoor exploration.

Regional Breakdown

Regional Breakdown

Thailand’s diverse topography ensures that while there’s a general overarching climate pattern, specific regions can have their nuanced variations, especially in December. Here’s a closer look at what to expect in some of the country’s major regions:

RegionAverage Temperature RangeSpecial Considerations
Northern Thailand13°C (55°F) to 28°C (82°F)Trekking; “sea of mist” phenomenon
Central Thailand20°C (68°F) to 30°C (86°F)Exploring historic ruins; urban attractions
Eastern Thailand22°C (72°F) to 31°C (88°F)Beach activities; island hopping
Southern Thailand (Andaman Coast)24°C (75°F) to 31°C (88°F)Water sports; clearer seas
Southern Thailand (Gulf Coast)24°C (75°F) to 31°C (88°F)Possible occasional showers

Northern Thailand (Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai)

Expected Temperatures

In the northern regions, December brings in the coolness that’s much anticipated after the rainy months. Morning and night temperatures can occasionally drop to as low as 13°C (55°F), particularly in elevated areas. Daytime temperatures hover around a pleasant 25°C (77°F) to 28°C (82°F).

Special Considerations or Events Due to Weather

The cooler climate makes it a prime time for trekking and exploring the mountainous terrain. It’s also the period when the famous “sea of mist” phenomenon can be observed in higher altitudes, where valleys are filled with mist, giving the appearance of a serene sea.

Central Thailand (Bangkok, Ayutthaya)

Expected Temperatures

Central Thailand, including the bustling capital of Bangkok, experiences temperatures ranging from 20°C (68°F) in the cooler hours to about 30°C (86°F) during the day.

Special Considerations or Events Due to Weather

The moderate weather makes it an ideal time to explore the historic ruins of Ayutthaya or stroll around Bangkok’s numerous markets and temples without the intense heat of the peak summer months.

Eastern Thailand (Pattaya, Trat)

Expected Temperatures

The eastern coastline sees temperatures between 22°C (72°F) and 31°C (88°F) in December.

Special Considerations or Events Due to Weather

The pleasant weather conditions in December make it favorable for beach activities, water sports, and island hopping. Tourists often flock to the islands of Koh Chang and Koh Samet to enjoy the sun and sea.

Southern Thailand (Phuket, Krabi)

Expected Temperatures

The southern regions, being tropical, remain warm, with temperatures ranging from 24°C (75°F) during nights and early mornings to 31°C (88°F) in the daytime.

Notable Weather Patterns

It’s essential to note the distinction between the Andaman Sea side (Phuket, Krabi) and the Gulf of Thailand side (Koh Samui). While the Andaman Sea side sees reduced rainfall and calm seas, the Gulf of Thailand side can still experience occasional showers.

Special Considerations or Events Due to Weather

The Andaman Sea side is particularly popular in December for water-based activities, including diving and snorkeling, given the clearer waters and vibrant marine life.

Activities and Considerations in December

Activities and Considerations in December

December’s favorable weather conditions pave the way for a host of activities that foreigners can indulge in. From the calmness of the beaches to the serene beauty of the mountains, here are some of the top activities and associated considerations:

Outdoor Activities Best Suited for December Weather

Beach Outings

With reduced rainfall and clearer skies, December is a prime month for beach activities. Whether it’s sunbathing, swimming, or playing beach volleyball, the Thai beaches offer a perfect setting.

Trekking and Hiking

Northern Thailand, with its cooler temperatures, is ideal for trekking. Popular trails in regions like Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai offer breathtaking views and experiences.

Cycling Tours

The milder weather makes it comfortable for cycling. Both urban areas like Bangkok and scenic routes in the countryside become accessible and enjoyable.

Water Sports

Snorkeling, diving, and jet-skiing are particularly popular in areas like Phuket and Krabi due to the calmer Andaman Sea waters in December.

Weather-Related Festivals or Events

Loy Krathong

Though it typically occurs in November, depending on the lunar calendar, it might fall in early December. This festival involves floating a “krathong” (a decorated basket) on the water to pay respects to the water goddess. The cooler December weather, if the festival falls in this month, enhances the experience.

King’s Birthday Celebrations

December 5th marks the birthday of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej. This national holiday sees various events and festivities, with buildings and streets adorned with lights and decorations.

Tips for Dressing Appropriately

Travel Considerations

Layering is Key: Given the cooler mornings and evenings, especially in Northern Thailand, it’s advisable to have a light sweater or jacket. As the day progresses and gets warmer, layers can be removed for comfort.

Sun Protection: Despite the cooler weather, the tropical sun can still be intense. Sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses are essential, especially for beach outings or any prolonged outdoor activity.

Footwear: If trekking or hiking is on the agenda, appropriate footwear with a good grip is crucial. For urban explorations, comfortable walking shoes or sandals work best.

Travel Considerations

Navigating Thailand in December brings forth certain travel considerations, given the weather patterns and regional variations. For those looking to maximize their experience, here are some key travel insights for December:

Recommended Regions for Travel Based on Weather

Northern Thailand

As previously mentioned, the cooler temperatures make cities like Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai a haven for those seeking a break from tropical warmth. The highlands, with their crisp air, are ideal for nature walks, treks, and cultural exploration.

Andaman Sea Coastline

Destinations such as Phuket, Krabi, and the Phi Phi Islands are particularly enticing in December. The clear waters, minimal rainfall, and abundant sunlight make them perfect for beach lovers and water sports enthusiasts.

Areas to Potentially Avoid Due to Weather Disruptions

Gulf of Thailand (East Coast): While not entirely off-limits, travelers should be aware that areas like Koh Samui can still experience occasional rain showers in December. It’s advisable to check short-term weather forecasts if planning to visit.

General Travel Tips for December

Book in Advance

December is a popular tourist month, especially around Christmas and New Year. Whether it’s accommodations, internal flights, or specific activities, early bookings often secure better deals and ensure availability.

Stay Hydrated

While December might not be as hot as the peak summer months, the sun and activities can still be dehydrating. Carrying a water bottle and ensuring regular hydration are crucial.


Internal transportation, whether it’s flights, buses, or trains, operates smoothly in December due to the reduced risk of weather disruptions. However, given the influx of tourists, it’s advisable to have schedules and bookings sorted in advance.

Thailand, with its eclectic mix of natural beauty, historical significance, and cultural richness, remains a magnet for travelers from across the globe. December, with its comfortable climate and vibrant festivities, particularly stands out as a month that showcases the nation’s allure.

Understanding the nuances of December’s weather across different regions of Thailand not only ensures a comfortable journey but also maximizes the opportunities to engage in a plethora of activities that the country offers. From the serene beaches of the Andaman Sea to the mist-clad mountains of the North, December unfurls Thailand in its full splendor.

For those looking to immerse themselves in the Thai experience, this knowledge becomes an invaluable guide, steering them through the country’s vast landscapes and myriad attractions. Here’s to experiencing the enchantment of Thailand in December, a journey that promises lasting memories and endless discoveries.

ABOUT Nutthapong Suphamool

Hailing from Chiang Mai's cultural heart, Aum embodies the essence of Thai spirit. A passionate hiker and photographer, he captures Thailand's landscapes and culinary wonders, translating them into captivating visual tales. At ThailandSimple, Aum ensures readers experience an authentic glimpse of the Land of Smiles, from its scenic beauty to its rich gastronomy.

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