Thailand - weather & travel conditions in May

Thailand Weather in May

Good news comes when the rainy season starts, bringing fresh relief to most parts of the country. Short morning and late afternoon rains help to clear the air and reduce the heat. Temperatures are at least 2 degrees lower than previous month making travel in Thailand more manageable and enjoyable.

  • Central Thailand with Bangkok, Lop Buri and Ayutthaya are at average temperature of 34oC whilst Kanchanaburi is 1 or 2 degrees higher. Mae Hong Son, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai and Nan in Northern Thailand are at the average temperatures of 34oC and rainfall around 150mm over the month. Sukhothai, Phisanulok have even a bit higher temperatures (35-36oC)
  • Nong Khai, Udon Thani in the upper Northeastern Thailand have relatively milder weather (32oC) whilst in the lower part around Ubon Ratchathani temperature is a bit higher (around 34oC).
  • Eastern Thailand has different weather from its northern to southern part with Pattaya and Koh Samet is much less wet and warmer than Koh Chang and Koh Kood (30oC temperature and 320mm of rainfall).
  • Both east and west coast in the South of Thailand offer mild weather with more chance of rains on the west side (260mm in Phuket) and less on the east (120mm in Ko Samui). The average temperature here is around 32oC during this month. 


Labor Day

This is a public holiday in Thailand, but not much happens except government and office workers will have the day off.

Coronation Day

Organized on 5th May to commemorate the coronation of the ruling monarch, King Bhumibol Adulyadej in 1950.

Royal Ploughing Ceremony

royal ploughing ceremony in thailand

The annual Royal Ploughing Ceremony is held in Bangkok (Sanam Luang) and is presided over by the King. It is designed to give an auspicious beginning to the new rice planting season.

Visakha Bucha

This day commemorates the birth, the enlightenment and the entry into the nirvana of Buddha. Temples throughout the country are crowded with people listening to sermons about Dharma (Buddha's teaching) and in the evening there is a candlelit procession around the main building of the temple containing the Buddha statues.

How to do and what to expect if travel in Thailand in May?

Though the temperatures are still pretty high in most parts of Thailand but rains come help bring some relief and make travel here easier.

Adventure activities such as trekking, biking are not highly recommended but easy style, beach retreat, water and island discovery is good for this time.

Loose fitting dress is appropriate for the weather. Drink enough water and do not expose too much to the sun. An umbrella or light poncho is needed when you wander around if you do not want to get wet because of sudden showers.

Expect to see some flooding in urban centers like Bangkok in the first weeks of the rainy season as drains, all clogged up with dry season debris will block.

Trekking paths in the north and northeast of the country could be a bit slippery due to the rains. 

In the back of the country haze from stubble burning is still available somewhere until farmer start the new crop.

If you love beaches and water activities then Hua Hin and Koh Samet are better choice as rainfall here much lower than Koh Chang or Phuket and other places in west coast.

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