Thailand weather in January

Wondering about the weather in Thailand in January? 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 January a good time to visit Thailand?

January is a great time to visit Thailand. The weather in Thailand in January is mild and dry, making it ideal for outdoor activities and exploration. Although Songkran, the Thai New Year, is celebrated in April, planning a trip in January allows for a more relaxed experience before the festival season begins. 

However, keep in mind that January is part of the peak tourist season, so popular destinations such as Bangkok and Chiang Mai can be crowded. Nevertheless, despite the higher cost and higher crowds compared to the low season, Thailand remains an affordable and exciting destination.

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

Demon Guardian in Wat Phra Kaew Grand Palace, Bangkok © Shutterstock

Demon Guardian in Wat Phra Kaew Grand Palace, Bangkok © Shutterstock

Air & sea temperatures in Thailand in January

The weather in Thailand in January is characterised by pleasant air and sea temperatures, making it an attractive destination for travellers looking for warm and comfortable weather.

January temperatures in Northern Thailand

You can expect temperatures to range from 19°C to 31°C (66°F to 88°F) during the day, with cooler temperatures in the evening.

January temperatures in Central Thailand

 In Central Thailand, temperatures are pleasant and usually range between 22-32°C (72-89°F). In the Gulf of Thailand along the central coast, sea temperatures stay around 27°C (81°F).

January temperatures in Southern Thailand

In southern Thailand, tropical temperatures range from 24 to 32°C (75-89°F). The sea in this region is equally attractive, with temperatures ranging from 28-30°C (82-86°F).

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

Can it rain in Thailand in January?

January is generally a dry month and an ideal time to visit Thailand, although there are variations from region to region. The northern and central parts of Thailand, including Chiang Mai and Bangkok, usually receive minimal rainfall, ensuring pleasant dry weather. 

However, in southern Thailand, there is a slightly higher chance of brief and sporadic rainfall, mainly on the west coast. These rains usually do not disrupt travel plans much and are accompanied by warm temperatures. In general, January is considered a favourable time to explore Thailand due to the predominantly dry and comfortable weather.

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

Canoeing at Khao Sok National Park in Surattani © Shutterstock

Canoeing at Khao Sok National Park in Surat Thani © Shutterstock

What about the crowd & cost?

January in Thailand is a combination of crowded and expensive. It is the peak tourist season, especially in popular destinations such as Bangkok, Chiang Mai and the southern islands. As such, you can expect large crowds at popular attractions. To ensure that your trip goes smoothly, it is wise to plan and book activities and accommodation in advance.

In terms of cost, Thailand remains a relatively affordable destination. However, during the high season, prices for accommodation, flights and entertainment can be higher due to increased demand. 

Despite some price increases, Thailand is still a great option compared to many Western destinations. Experienced travellers can find ways to balance their budget and still enjoy the best that Thailand has to offer.

What to wear in Thailand in January?

The weather in Thailand in January is pleasant and dry. To feel comfortable, bring lightweight, breathable clothing such as shorts, t-shirts and sundresses for warm daytime temperatures and don't forget swimwear for beach holidays. 

Despite the warm days, evenings can sometimes be chilly, especially in northern regions, so bring a light jacket or long-sleeved shirt just in case. It is absolutely essential to take sunglasses, hats and sunscreen for sun protection. 

Apart from this, modest clothing covering shoulders and knees is recommended for temple visits. Also, some southern areas may experience occasional rain, so a small umbrella or mackintosh is not unreasonable.

Aerial view Phra Nang Cave Beach with traditional long tail boat on Ao Phra Nang Beach, Krabi, Thailand © Avigator Fortuner/Shutterstock

Ao Phra Nang Beach, Krabi, Thailand © Avigator Fortuner/Shutterstock

Unforgettable and fully customisable Thailand itineraries

Our tailor-made trip service allows you to fully enjoy the weather in Thailand in January 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.

  • Bangkok Gourmet (5 days): Enjoy a culinary whirlwind tour of Bangkok. Partake in one-to-one cookery classes, explore the fragrant markets and delight your tastebuds with Michelin-star menus and street food alike.
  • Family Time in Thailand (15 days): Explore incredible Bangkok before heading to the verdant Chiang Mai area to meet elephants in their natural habitat. From here, it’s down to the spectacular beach resort of Khao Lak for complete family relaxation.
  • Bangkok-Pattaya Safari Adventure (12 days): Visit Thailand’s exciting capital Bangkok where you can explore the city by bike and see giant Buddhas and extravagant temples. Then head east to the coastal resort of Pattaya for some watersports and beach time.
  • Or discover more Thailand itineraries.
Raft houses on Cheow Lan lake in Khao Sok National Park, Thailand © Shutterstock

Raft houses on Cheow Lan lake in Khao Sok National Park, Thailand © Shutterstock

What to do in Thailand in January

While going on a trip, one must consider the weather in Thailand in January 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.

Shop at the Floating markets

Experience the lively atmosphere of floating markets such as Damnoen Saduak and Amphawa near Bangkok. Here, vendors on boats offer a unique shopping experience. From fresh local produce to delicious street food, these markets showcase Thai culture and provide an opportunity to sample authentic flavours as you cruise along the picturesque canals.

Learn the art of Muay Thai

Get into the spirit of Thailand by taking part in an exciting Muay Thai training session. This traditional martial art offers an authentic and challenging experience. Together with local instructors, you will learn the techniques and history of Muay Thai and gain an insight into Thai culture and athleticism. Taking classes in this art is a great way to combine fitness with cultural exploration during your Thai adventure.

Swim with the sharks

Koh Tao, known for its colourful underwater world, offers an exciting opportunity to swim alongside the gentle sea giants, the whale sharks. These magnificent creatures offer a once-in-a-lifetime diving experience. 

Expert guides will ensure a safe and responsible dive, and the crystal clear waters surrounding Koh Tao Island provide an enchanting backdrop for this unforgettable adventure, making it a must-see for underwater and nature lovers.

Go rock climbing

Railay Beach, located in southern Thailand, is an internationally recognised rock climbing destination. Spectacular limestone cliffs set against the Andaman Sea provide a dramatic backdrop for climbers of all levels. 

Local instructors and outfitters make the cliffs accessible for beginners and challenging for experienced climbers. Climbing these unique cliffs provides not only an adrenaline rush but also stunning views, making this an unforgettable adventure.

Damnoen Saduak floating market Kanchanaburi, Thailand © Shutterstock

Floating market, Thailand @ Shutterstock

Planning your January 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.

Railay beach in Krabi, Thailand © Shutterstock

Railay Beach, Thailand @ Shutterstock

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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