Weather in Thailand in January

Is January a good time to visit Thailand?

January is one of the best months of the year to visit Thailand. The weather is hot, sunny and dry in most parts – the rain infrequent in the wetter areas. The heat and humidity is at bearable levels during January, which is in the middle of the dry north-east monsoon period. Bangkok and the central region of Thailand is relatively cool (particularly in the evening) in January, while the popular Gulf islands (like Ko Samui and Ko Pha Ngan) have pleasant warm temperatures and little rain. The Andaman Coast (Phuket) is extremely sunny, dry and hot during January, while up in the northern hill country the mild, dry weather is perfect for trekking.

Climate in Thailand in January

The average maximum temperature for Thailand in January is 31°C (87.8°F),  and this is constant across most of the country (the far north may be a few degrees cooler). The lowest temperature you will experience in Thailand in January is around 20°C (68°F), and this occurs only at night in some of the central areas and northern hills. For the most part it is sunshine all the way, with only a modicum of rain (9mm and one wet day noted on the average rainfall graph) – and that falls mainly in brief showers on the Gulf islands. The average relative humidity for January is 74%. Weather-wise conditions couldn’t be better for a holiday in Thailand.

What’s on in Thailand in January

January is peak season in Thailand and thus the events calendar is bursting at the seams with all manner of entertainment, festivals and fairs celebrating everything from cows to kings. One of the most colourful and charming is the Umbrella Festival in Chiang Mai, which involves a beauty pageant and the festooning of the streets with hundreds of bright and beautiful silk umbrellas. Bangkok hosts a motorbike show of merit in January, and the second Saturday of January every year is National Children’s Day, when the parents have as much fun as the kids with all the activities on offer.

What to pack

With such marvellous shopping in Thailand, it is likely you will bring home more than you pack to leave with when you set off on holiday, so take an extra bag or leave room in your luggage. In January Thailand is hot and dry, so no need for a sweater or jacket – just shorts, Capri pants, sundresses, t-shirts and the like are recommended. Mix and match and settle on just a few outfits because laundry services are cheap. A bathing suit and cover-up are essential, but pack these along with sunblock, a good hat and sunglasses.