November to January: The best time to visit Bangkok
Bangkok, the “Land of Smiles” is a magical travel destination year round. When preparing for a trip, it is usually appropriate to plan according to weather, however when considering travel to Bangkok, there isn’t much to ponder because it is almost always consistently: hot. Daytime temperatures usually meddle around the mid 80’s F/26’s C. Also, from the months of May to October and sometimes November, Bangkok encounters a rainy season. Thus, the best time to travel according to weather considerations is generally from November to January; this time is deemed the “cool season” but don’t be fooled, it is almost always hot in Bangkok, and regardless, it is always a beautiful place and a great time. What might make a traveler wary, however is the potential flooding the rainy season brings.
November is also a great time to visit Bangkok because of the festival, Loi Krathong- to celebrate the Water Goddess in a parade of glimmering lights and flowing water candles at Chao Phraya. It occurs each year on November’s full moon. Also, Chinatown hosts a fantastical display on The Chinese New Year, usually sometime between late January and early February.
Likewise, in the middle of the month of April, the Thai New Year Festival is in full swing. Called the Songkran, the city celebrates for a full three days of fun water fights and games, to celebrate the coming of the rainy season. Visitors also tend to gravitate towards Bangkok during traditional Christmas and New Year’s times – it is said to be the busiest time for tourists during their holiday, so if you and your companions are attempting to avoid crowds, avoid Christmas and New Years in Bangkok. If you do happen to travel during these times, you should also consider visiting the country side of Thailand, to bring respite from the smog and crowds.
Bangkok brings in nearly 45 million tourists per year, a large portion of which who travel during the peak season, thus it is almost unavoidable to find calm streets during this time. Likewise, plane tickets rise during peak tourist season; the second peak comes around June and July. If you plan to travel during the first peak, November to March, be sure to do most preparations rather early to beat the crowds and ensure reservations. To avoid crowds and still visit Bangkok during a good weathering month, visit during September or October.
When it comes to booking airfare: earlier is better. Most airlines allow flight-booking up to six months in advance, and prices tend to rise with time. Also, flights leaving in the afternoon and arriving in Bangkok in the middle of the night tend to be cheaper, and shouldn’t be a problem considering the city’s 24-hour taxi service. Tickets are almost always rather expensive, so finding ways to cut corners on costs may be beneficial.
Overall, anyone who visits Bangkok will tell you to visit any time of year, in spite of their wet season, however heed the warning and bring your umbrellas! Ponchos may be too much in the Bangkok city heat. And, as always, bring your appetite for adventure; a visit to Bangkok is a feast for the mind, any time of year.