Thailand weather in December

Wondering about the weather in Thailand in December? Read on for a run-down of everything you need to know. Here we cover everything from average air and sea temperatures, to what to expect in terms of costs and crowds, and what to wear. In addition, we share inspired itinerary suggestions that’ll help you make the most of your trip.

Is December a good time to visit Thailand?

December is a great time to visit Thailand. The weather in Thailand in December is generally dry and pleasant, with milder temperatures in the north and central areas and ideal beach weather in the south. 

The holiday season in Thailand is full of festive decorations and celebrations, but it is also the peak of tourist traffic, especially during the Christmas and New Year period, so it is advisable to book accommodation well in advance. 

Despite the crowds and higher prices in popular tourist areas, cultural events and festivals such as New Year celebrations make this an extremely attractive time to explore this beautiful country.

Ready to explore Thailand? Embark on your dream trip hassle-free with the help of our Thailand travel experts.

Air & sea temperatures in Thailand in December

In December in Thailand, air and sea temperatures vary from region to region.

Air temperatures in December in Thailand

  • Northern Thailand: December in the north of the country is relatively cool and comfortable. Daytime temperatures typically range from 18°C to 25°C (64-77°F), while nights can be cooler, from 10°C to 15°C (50-59°F).
  • Central Thailand: Central Thailand, including Bangkok, enjoys pleasant temperatures in December. Daytime temperatures range from 26°C to 32°C (79-90°F), while nights are milder at 20°C to 23°C (68-73°F).
  • Southern Thailand: The southern regions are characterised by warm, tropical weather. Daytime temperatures range from 28°C to 33°C (82°F-91°F) and nighttime temperatures from 22°C to 25°C (72°F-77°F).

Sea temperatures in December in Thailand

  • Gulf of Thailand: The water temperature in the Gulf of Thailand is comfortable at around 27-30°C (81-86°F), making it ideal for swimming and water activities.
  • The Andaman Sea: The water temperature in the Andaman Sea is similar to that of the Gulf of Thailand: 27 to 30°C (81 to 86°F).
Ao Nuan Beach on the island of Koh Samet in Thailand © Muzhik/Shutterstock

Ao Nuan Beach on the island of Koh Samet in Thailand © Muzhik/Shutterstock

Can it rain in Thailand in December?

The weather in Thailand in December is usually dry and pleasant. Northern and central areas, including Chiang Mai and Bangkok, receive minimal rainfall, while skies remain clear and temperatures comfortable. Southern areas such as Phuket and Krabi are also mostly dry with occasional brief rains. 

Although there is always a slight chance of rain in tropical climates, December is considered a great time for outdoor activities and exploration in most parts of Thailand due to the overall dry and pleasant weather.

Make sure to read all about the best time to visit Thailand.

What about the crowd & cost?

December in Thailand is characterised by a combination of crowded and expensive for travellers. December is the high tourist season, which leads to large numbers of tourists, especially in famous destinations such as Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and the coastal areas.

The festive season, which includes Christmas and New Year, brings an influx of foreign tourists, making resorts and beaches busy. Accommodation options, flights and excursions need to be booked in advance to ensure you don't miss out.

Hotel and resort accommodation costs also increase at this time. However, Thailand remains competitive with many Western countries and offers great deals and discounts for those who plan their trip in advance.

Economical travellers can explore less touristy areas, opt for local restaurants and use public transport to save money.

Ready to embark on a Thailand adventure? Explore our Thailand itineraries for a travel inspiration boost.

Wat phra mahathat woramahawihan Nakhon Sri Thammarat, Thailand © sarayut_sy/Shutterstock

Wat Phra Mahathat Woramahawihan Nakhon Sri Thammarat, Thailand © sarayut_sy/Shutterstock

What to wear in Thailand in December?

With the weather in Thailand in December, comfort and cultural sensitivities should guide your choice of clothing. Choose lightweight, breathable cotton or linen clothing such as shorts, t-shirts and sundresses.

Also, don't forget swimwear for beach visits. In turn, when visiting temples and conservative neighbourhoods, don't forget to bring a headscarf, sarong or lightweight long-sleeved clothing for modesty and respect for local traditions.

Sunscreen is absolutely essential in December, so sunglasses, high-SPF sunscreen and a wide-brimmed hat are a must.

Also, although December is mostly dry, it's still worth bringing a light mackintosh or compact umbrella in case of rain, especially in the southern regions. 

lumpini-park-bangkok-thailand-shutterstock_1119995195

Lumpini Park, Bangkok, Thailand @ Shutterstock

Unforgettable and fully customisable Thailand itineraries

Our tailor-made trip service allows you to fully enjoy the weather in Thailand in December without the planning or hassle. All of our planned itineraries are created by local Thailand travel experts and can be tailored to meet your specific needs.

  • Best of Thailand with Phuket (10 days): Discover Thailand's busy capital Bangkok with its unique markets and temples before heading north to Chiang Mai - the cultural centre of Thailand offers authentic family experiences as well as elephants up close.
  • Explore Northern Thailand with beach days in Koh Samui (14 days): Spend the first part of your trip exploring the cities, national parks and cultural sites of Northern Thailand, then head down to the stunning island of Koh Samui for some relaxation.
  • Thailand's Golden Triangle (5 days): Tour Thailand's glorious Golden Triangle. Come here for a sense of romance and adventure as you travel through the verdant hills and river valleys of Thailand's lush north.
  • Or discover more Thailand itineraries.
Phra That Si Chom Thong Temple , Chiangmai, Thailand © panda3800/Shutterstock

Phra That Si Chom Thong Temple , Chiangmai, Thailand © panda3800/Shutterstock

What to do in Thailand in December

While going on a trip, one must consider the weather in Thailand in December and the nuances that this month brings. You may also be interested in our list of the best things to do in Thailand at any time of year.

Get into the festive mood

In December, Thailand comes alive with a unique blend of Thai culture and festive spirit. Tourist areas are decorated with magnificent decorations to create a festive atmosphere. Take part in the celebrations and witness the harmonious fusion of local traditions and the joy of the festive season.

Enjoy the outdoor activities

Thailand's diverse landscapes make December the perfect time for outdoor enthusiasts. You can explore lush national parks, go on thrilling hikes or discover pristine lakes by kayaking. 

For underwater adventures, you can dive into crystal clear waters and see colourful coral reefs teeming with marine life. Also, Khao Sok National Park with its dense rainforests and mesmerising wildlife is the perfect place for nature lovers and adventure seekers in December.

Nam Talu Cave or Through Water Cave is a long cave with water streaming through in Khao Sok National Park : Surat Thani Province, Thailand © Shutterstock

Nam Talu Cave in Khao Sok National Park: Surat Thani Province, Thailand © Shutterstock

Witness Thai traditional performances

Immerse yourself in Thailand's rich cultural heritage with fascinating traditional performances. Witness the mesmerising Khon, a classic masked dance that recounts epic events from Thailand's history. 

Experience the adrenaline rush of Muay Thai boxing, an integral part of Thai culture. In December, these cultural shows offer a deeper understanding of the country's traditions and enrich your Thailand trip.

Enjoy your beach time

Thailand's coastal gems beckon with their golden shores. Head to Phuket, Krabi, Koh Samui or Pattaya to soak up the sun, take a dip in crystal clear waters and enjoy water sports such as snorkelling, diving and parasailing. 

The favourable December weather provides optimal conditions for beach holidays, whether you are looking for relaxation or exciting adventure. These destinations promise a tropical paradise where you can relax, splash around or explore the stunning shores.

Planning yout December trip to Thailand


For more inspiration, discover some of the best things to do in Thailand, and start planning your trip with The Rough Guide to Thailand

Daunted by the prospect of planning? No problem! Browse our customisable Thailand itineraries, and talk to our local Thailand travel experts.

Visit Thailand in other months

Olga Sitnitsa

written by Olga Sitnitsa

updated 29.12.2023

Online editor at Rough Guides, specialising in travel content. Passionate about creating compelling stories and inspiring others to explore the world.

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