Best time to visit Bangkok

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Bangkok, the capital of Thailand, is an exciting and vibrant city of over 12 million people. The city is situated in the central plains of Thailand, on the Chao Phraya River near the Gulf of Thailand. Bangkok is an administrative, economic, and cultural centre of Thailand, as well as a major commercial and transportation hub for South-east Asia.

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High Season (November through March)

While Bangkok is busy and hot year round, there are slight differences between the seasons when it comes to weather and crowds. Late fall and winter bring somewhat cooler and drier weather, while crowds are at their peak, particularly around the Christmas and New Year’s holidays.  It’s virtually impossible to explore the city without rubbing shoulders with fellow tourists during this time, and the outdoor beer bars will be packed with them. Expect prices to rise steeply and accommodation to fill up quickly. Booking ahead becomes essential during these months, which can take some of the spontaneity away from your holiday.

Christmas in Bangkok (via Bangkok)

Shoulder Season (April through June, September and October)

While the crowds may not be as thick during shoulder season, April through June are Bangkok’s hottest months, with April by far the most unpleasant month temperature wise, which means booking an air-conditioned room is really a must. September and October are slightly cooler and wetter. Your reward for going in any of these less-crowded months, is the best opportunity to save a little on both room rates and airfare.

Low Season (July and August)

Low season falls during monsoon season, which brings frequent but usually short bouts of intense rain. Many feel this is a great time to visit the city, as it generally offers some of the best deals on hotels and excursions. Off-season weather isn’t intolerable, and the trade-off of significant savings and more elbow room is likely to be worth the bit of discomfort. When it rains, tourists can enjoy the wide range of indoor activities, like visiting temples, aquariums and entertainment complexes as well as the numerous shopping opportunities.

Best Time for Sightseeing

Songkran in Bangkok (via Bao moi)

Bangkok is busy year-round, which means no matter what season you arrive, you’re bound to have to battle the crowds, though there are times that are worse than others. One of the biggest festivals of the year is Songkran (Thai New Year), which takes place in mid-April, bringing especially thick crowds, while Christmas and the New Year holidays also see a big increase in visitors to the city. While it won’t make a huge difference, late November and early December may be the best time to visit Bangkok, when the city is drying out from the monsoon season and experiencing a slight cool down, and the holiday crowds have yet to arrive. September and October are Bangkok’s (and Thailand’s) rainiest months. The best weather for Thailand’s beaches and islands are December to March, so if you’re combining Bangkok with a visit to one of the southern islands then this is best time for sunny, dry weather. More important than time of year when visiting Bangkok, try to visit the most popular attractions early in the morning for the smallest crowds, coolest temperatures, and best experience.

Best Time for Shopping

By far, the best time for shopping in Bangkok is from mid-June through mid-August when the “Amazing Grand Sale” takes place. Shops offer discounts of 10 to an incredible 80 percent on items like clothes, electronic items, jewelry and more, allowing shoppers to stock up on dream purchases at a fraction of the price. No matter when you’re in the city, timing is crucial when it comes to shopping. Markets are best to visit in the morning or evening when it’s slightly cooler and often less frantic. Save the air-conditioned malls for the peak heat of the day. You may want to avoid traveling around the city during morning and evening rush hours, from 07:30 to 0:900 and again from 17:00 to 18:30.

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