Chiang Mai in February: weather and travel tips

Joanne Owen

written by
Joanne Owen

updated 07.12.2023

Wondering about the weather in Chiang Mai in February? It’ll be sunny and pleasantly cool. But with practically no rain, it's also prone to air pollution at this time of year. To find out more, here's a rundown of our weather-related travel tips.

What is the weather like in Chiang Mai in February?

In February, Chiang Mai experiences dry and warm weather. It is mostly sunny with very little rainfall, making it an excellent time to visit.

One big downside is the fact that air pollution that can be major issue at this time of year. This comes as a result of February falling within the “Burning Season”, which we cover in more detail below.

Air temperatures in Chiang Mai in February

The average daily temperature ranges from 20°C to 32°C (68°F - 90°F), but it can sometimes drop to 12°C (54°F) at night.

It is advised to pack some light clothes for the daytime and a warmer jacket or sweater for the cooler evenings.

Average rainfall in Chiang Mai in February

February sees the lowest amount of rainfall in Chiang Mai. On average, there’s just 7mm in the month.

Considering visiting Chiang Mai in January? Browse our inspirational Thailand itineraries and start planning your perfect trip.

Elephants in Chiang Mai's Elephant Nature Park, Thailand © Shutterstock

Cool and dry, the weather in Chiang Mai in February is suited to visiting the Elephant Nature Park  © Shutterstock

Is February a good time to visit Chiang Mai?

If you fancy enjoying the Chiang Mai’s Sustainable Trails or a Chiang Mai Safari Adventure, February could be considered a pretty good month to visit this region. 

The lack of rain and cooler temperatures are all the better for outdoor adventuring. However, you should be aware of the air pollution that’s brought by the January to March “Burning Season”. When it strikes, it’s not pleasant, to put it mildly.

Not sure when you want to go? Read up on the best time to go to Thailand

Chiang Mai Three Kings Monument © Shutterstock

 Three Kings Monument, Chiang Mai © Shutterstock 

What about the crowds and cost?

As with other major tourist destinations in Thailand, visiting Chiang Mai in February means you should expect crowds to be on the big side.

This is because February is at the tail end of the high season that runs from November. Being peak season, the cost of accommodation will also be higher.

Set on taking a trip this winter? For more travel inspiration, read up on the best places to visit in February.

Chiang Mai food © Shutterstock

Chiang Mai has much to satisfy foodies © Shutterstock

Ready for your dream trip to Chiang Mai?

If you’re in the market for an unforgettable trip to Thailand, you’ll find tonnes of inspiration in our Chiang Mai itineraries

As with all Rough Guides trips, they’re fully customisable. What’s more, a Thailand local expert is on hand to take the hassle out of planning and booking. Here are just a few itinerary ideas:

  • Chiang Mai’s Sustainable Trails offering a beautiful escape from Bangkok’s humidity, Chiang Mai is regarded as the cultural heart of the country. Take this trip to enjoy a magical night ride to ancient temples and bazaars, uncover artisan culture, and enjoy an eco-adventure on the Mae Tang river.
  • Chiang Mai Safari Adventure: ideal for family fun and adventure, this will see you explore Chiang Mai’s lush valleys and national parks. Expect majestic cliff-top temples and thrilling safari adventures.

Discover more Thailand itineraries.

Handcraft paper umbrella with paint color in Chiang Mai © Shutterstock

Local handicrafts, Chiang Mai © Shutterstock

Festivals and events in Chiang Mai in February

Chiang Mai flower festival

Celebrated for 40+ years, the Chiang Mai flower festival will run from 2nd—4th February 2024.

Centred on Nong Buak Haad Public Park, the dazzling displays of floral art showcase traditions of the ancient Lanna Kingdom. 

Opening with an agricultural fair, expect art and music shows throughout the event. 

On the Saturday, a huge parade is held — think floats festooned with blooms accompanied by marching bands and dancers. 

See blooming cherry blossoms

Staying on the subject of flowers, the best time to see cherry blossoms in bloom in these parts is from the end of December to mid-February.

They flourish in the cooler climes of the Doi Suthep mountain, which is located to the west of Chiang Mai. Take a songthaew taxi from the centre of town.

Looking for even more options for your winter getaway? Explore our guide to the best places for a February holiday.

Wat phra that doi suthep temple, Chiang Mai, Thailand © Shutterstock

February sees the area around Wat Phra That Doi Suthep temple showcase blooming cherry blossoms © Shutterstock

Tips for travelling to Chiang Mai in February

As you prepare for your trip to Chiang Mai, remember a few important travel tips for visiting Thailand.

What to wear in Chiang Mai in February

Considering the average temperatures in Chiang Mai in February, pack light, cool clothing, but also come prepared with warmer layers for the colder morning and evenings.

Long-sleeved tops, long skirts, dresses, and trousers will also be needed if you plan to visit temples, as detailed below.

Respect local customs 

Visiting temples is highlight of trips to Chiang Mia, but it’s important to follow local etiquette.

This means not wearing shorts or short skirts. Come dressed in light trousers or a long skirt or dress. If your outfit is sleeveless, cover your shoulders in a shawl, long-sleeved shirt or cardigan.

Before entering a temple, you should remove your shoes, hat and sunglasses. Once inside, don’t touch or turn your back on Buddha images

Finally, switch your phone to silent, and keep your voice down. Temples are places of peace and meditation.

Check the air quality 

Before deciding when to visit, note that January to March is known as “Burning Season” in Chiang Mai and wider northern Thailand. 

After harvesting, farmers light fires to clear and fertilise their land. As this is the dry season, the lack of rain and wind means the haze doesn’t disperse. 

This leads to high levels of air pollution, sometimes extending beyond February and March into April.

Buddha in Wat Phra That Si Chom Thong Wora Wiharn, near Chiang Mai, Thailand © Valery Shanin/Shutterstock

Be respectful when visiting the likes of Wat Phra That Si Chom Thong © Valery Shanin/Shutterstock

Planning your February trip to Chiang Mai

Inspired? Find out more in our guide to the best things to do in Chiang Mai

Browse our customisable Thailand itineraries, and contact our Thailand local experts to save yourself the hassle of planning.

Prefer to do it on your own? Get yourself a copy of The Rough Guide to Thailand and make sure to read all our tips for backpacking Thailand

Joanne Owen

written by
Joanne Owen

updated 07.12.2023

Joanne is a Pembrokeshire-born writer with a passion for the nature, cultures and histories of the Caribbean region, especially Dominica. Also passionate about inspiring a love of adventure in young people, she’s the author of several books for children and young adults, hosts international writing workshops, and has written articles on the Caribbean and inspirational community initiatives for Rough Guides. Follow her @JoanneOwen on Twitter and @joanneowenwrites on Instagram.

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