The attractions of life in Thailand are many and varied. For some it’s about the friendly people, the traditions and culture or perhaps Thai cuisine. Enjoying a lifestyle that embraces the beaches, recreational opportunities and natural surrounds is also high on the list of attractions.
But to enjoy these attractions, the weather must allow visitors and residents to get outside and be unhindered by inclement conditions; especially temperature and persistent rain.
The average daily temperature in Hua Hin, Cha-Am and Pranburi is remarkably consistent throughout the year. There is a much greater variation in the amount of rain, however when compared with other regions in the country these variations pale into insignificance.
This may be described as a tropical savanna climate, with temperatures ranging from warm to hot throughout the year. The waters are consistently warm throughout the year and the region has one of the lowest rainfall measurements of the entire country during the wettest season.
Sitting on the north-eastern side of the peninsula, Hua Hin is subject to three main seasons. Let’s take a closer look at these seasonal variations in our Region and especially how they may impact on enjoying the tropical lifestyle.
The Peak Season – December to February
The “cool and dry” season lasts from December to February. The nights reach a welcome cool of around 22°C and the average daytime temperature is around 26°C through the entire season but peaks still reach 30°C so don’t expect to be cold!
There is glorious sunshine 9 hours per day, although it is not as intense as throughout the rest of the year, and the waters are perfect for pretty much all kinds of aquatic fun, with a constant temperature of 28-29°C.
December is the driest month of the year, and rain is rarely experienced during this period with up to 10mm at the most. Humidity is gentle at 70% on average, and chances of clouds are also minimal. Christmas in Thailand is a favorite for many foreigners as the weather is comfortably hot and dry enough to make a seaside holiday an absolute delight compared to the winter weather experienced back home.
The Shoulder Season – March to June
Extending from March to June, the temperatures become higher with an average of 29°C. This year has been hotter than usual with temperatures frequently in the mid 30’s and evenings staying hot and sometimes uncomfortable. However compared with some regions, particularly as northern regions rising to the 40 degree mark, outdoor activities haven’t been out of reach and of course a cooling breeze from the ocean is always present for beach goers.
This is also a dry season with only a light shower or two appearing towards the end of April to signal the welcome cool change to come. The humidity is still moderate, at 75-78% on average, but it tends to become higher towards the end of the season. This is a time when SPF protection lotions, water and a hat are often recommended as essential when you’re out and about in the hot summer sun.
The Off-Peak Season
The season between July until November is labelled by some as the ‘Wet Season’ the ‘Monsoon Season’ or perhaps the ‘Green Season. However the ‘Green Season’ is only avoided by ‘green tourists’!
There are fewer European visitors at this time of year; although that’s really because these ‘snow birds’ have avoided the cold and gloom or their winter and now returned to a summer at home. However the chances are that the European summer will be both cooler and wetter than they would experience here!
This means a quieter time for year-round residents, some lower priced seasonal ‘specials’ including hotel room rates, rental properties costs and restaurants. Maybe the ‘Green Season’ really refers to golf course green fees, which may be up to 50% lower than during the Peak Season.
The ‘Wet’ and ‘Monsoon’ labels are really unnecessary, especially in our region, as Hua Hin does not experience the monsoons that affect both the north and south of Thailand. Temperatures dwell around 28°C on average with the higher end at 33°C, and evening humidity levels are around 83% on average.
Mornings can be overcast, but most days tend to be hot and humid rather than gloomy. Rainfall will average about 200mm in October as the wettest month of the year. October waters around Hua Hin are a favorite for kite-boarding and parasailing and you can enjoy the beaches with plentiful sun for around 7 hours per day.
The good news is the rain tends to come in short bursts and will not fall every day. There aren’t long periods of drizzle, as you will see in North America and Europe, which means that outdoor enthusiast are not deterred on most days. It’s really just a matter of being prepared. An afternoon downpour late in the afternoon may mean seeking shelter for 30 or 40 minutes before resuming your bike ride under clear blue skies.
These short, sharp showers may also be restricted to small ‘zones’. We’ve driven into the airport tunnel with windscreen wipers at full speed to emerge on the other side to a dry road and clear skies without a cloud in sight!
To demonstrate that this time of year is fine for recreation the annual Centara Masters Golf Tournament is held each June. Around 500 golfers return each year, undeterred by the weather; there is never a round cancelled. They are predominantly Australians escaping the winter; it does get cold in Australia and other countries of the southern hemisphere at this time of year!
Enjoy The Great Outdoors Any Time!
The bottom line is that our year-round weather is unparelled for those who want to enjoy the outdoor lifestyle. Light clothing will be all that you need at any time of year. Taking care of yourself in hot weather (drink lots of water) is much more important than being protected from storms, persistent rain and gloomy weather. Even if you do get caught in a rain shower you may be wet, but not cold!
Sure you should have an umbrella on hand at times and sometimes need to seek shelter either undercover or in the comforts of air conditioning; but you’ll still be able to enjoy the great outdoors in Hua Hin any day, any time of the year.
Graphs by www.travelfish.org/weather/thailand