Weather in May
After months of drought, May brings with it some very welcome cooler temperatures! The rainfall signals the end of the hot season and the start of the rainy season. Prepare for some heavy downpours, though consecutive days of sunny weather will still be possible as well. Thailand’s sunniest part in May is the Southern Gulf – on the islands of Koh Samui, Koh Phangan, and Koh Tao to be precise.
Bangkok and the surrounding area
After a few months of dry weather, Bangkok might see its first floods of the year, due to intense tropical rainfall. Despite the rain, temperatures remain high, much like the humidity – making Bangkok feel rather oppressively suffocating.
Ayutthaya – Soak up the culture and visit historical temples.
Bangkok – Thailand’s capital blends old temples with ultra modern skyscrapers.
Kanchanaburi – Town brimming with nature and history.
Khao Yai National Park – The oldest nature reserve with wild elephants.
Koh Samet – White sandy beaches, only three hours from Bangkok.
Koh Samui and the southeastern Gulf of Thailand
Though May brings its fair share of showers, Koh Samui, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao are spared the worst of it. Expect a couple of showers a week, and a lot of sunshine. The perfect destination to close out your holidays.
Chiang Mai and the North of Thailand
May showers are accompanied by some very welcome cooler air in Thailand’s north. It will rain every other day and there will be more wind. The layer of smoke that has enveloped Chiang Mai the preceding two months will now start to dissipate. Waterfalls will start filling up again. A great time to go on a jungle trek!
Chiang Mai – A great city surrounded by nature and rich in culture.
Chiang Rai – Gorgeous natural surroundings and best known for the white temple.
Mae Hong Son – Mountain tribes and rice fields near the Burmese border.
Pai – Hippie-at-heart mountain village nestled in Thailand’s most beautiful valley.
Phuket and Krabi
The Andaman Sea in May will see a lot of rainfall; expect intense, hour-long showers on a daily basis. Thankfully, there’s plenty of chance of sunshine in between. One of the advantages of the rainfall during the low season is that beaches tend to be deserted. Hotels are also a lot cheaper than during the high season.
Khao Sok National Park – Wake up in a straw cabin on a clear blue lake.
Koh Jum – Small-scale tourism near Koh Phi Phi.
Koh Lanta – Laid-back atmosphere and nice beaches.
Koh Phayam – Gorgeous but underdeveloped island.
Koh Phi Phi – Thailand’s number 1 tropical party island.
Koh Yao Yai – Big island with long and empty beaches.
Krabi (Ao Nang) – The perfect place to start your island-hopping adventure.
Phuket – Thailand’s largest island, best known for its beaches.
Koh Chang and the Eastern Gulf of Thailand
The wet season has well and truly arrived on Koh Chang; expect rainfall every day this time of year. It’s your last chance to go island-hopping around these parts until November, which is when the nice weather returns again to Koh Chang.
Koh Chang – Pleasant island with beautiful beaches and a laid-back atmosphere.
Koh Kood – A gorgeous, and partially unspoiled, island.
Koh Mak – Small-scale tourism, laid-back atmosphere.
Koh Wai – Snorkeling island between Koh Chang and Koh Kood.
Koh Lipe and the Trang islands
The rainy season is in full swing in the far south of Thailand. The sea is slightly more tempestuous, it rains every other day and skies are cloudier. Does that mean you shouldn’t visit Koh Lipe this time of year? On the contrary! If you’re prepared for rainfall, this is a great destination. It’s quiet and hotel rooms are a lot cheaper than during the high season.
Koh Lipe – Tropical island, home to Thailand’s most beautiful beaches.
Koh Mook – Small-scale tourism and a spectacular cave.
Koh Ngai – Long golden beaches and no roads.
Koh Tarutao – National park, former prison island, and camping site.
May sees twice the amount of rain of April. Cooling? Sure. But the afternoons are still very warm. Expect rain every other day.
Pha Taem National Park – Ancient murals along the Mekong River.
Phimai – Thailand’s most beautiful Angkor Wat temples.
Ubon Ratchathani – Large city in Isan region with many sights.
Udon Thani – Large city near the Lao border, but famous mainly for its Red Lotus Sea.
Monthly weather overview