The Songkran festival which, starts on the 13th of April signifies the start of the traditional Thai New Year. It’s also the hottest time of the year and part of the reason the festival involves splashing everyone with water. May is also very hot and starts to get humid and there is an increase in rainfall in the month of May compared to April.
The weather during May is different in different parts of the country and some areas are better suited to holidays than others during this month. In Bangkok the average temperature during May is 26-34 degrees and the average rainfall is 220 millimeters. Further south in the islands of Koh Samui, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao the average temperature is 26-33 degrees but less rainfall, 144 millimeters.
May is low season in Thailand so flights are cheaper, hotels and resorts less packed and also cheaper and a good time of the year to visit is you want a relaxing holiday on one of the islands. Comparing this to April when it’s very hot and much busier and more expensive. Be aware of the islands Phuket and Koh Chang at this time of the year as the average rainfall is 291mm in Phuket and 371mm in Koh Chang.
The best places to visit in May at this time of the year are Koh Samui, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao. Koh Samui has changed a lot over the years and is now like a city on an island with a shopping mall and it’s very modern and built up. There are still some quieter areas and if you like having lots of good shops and wide ranging amenities then Koh Samui might be for you. It’s also a big yoga retreat and wellness center place with lots of healthy getaway holidays for you if that’s your thing.
Koh Phangan is well known for its party scene, with the world famous full moon parties being at its fore front. These parties are still going on in May at every full moon. They are probably not as busy and full on as they would be around the Christmas and New Year time of the year but a full moon party on Koh Phangan will always be an experience. Like Koh Samui, Koh Phangan also has quieter parts if you are after relaxing in the sun.
Koh Tao is the smallest of these three islands and famous for diving. On one side of the island there are all the dive schools and this side is populated by tourists. It also hosts a number of bars and good nightlife but nothing like its next door neighbor Koh Phangan. It’s more of a chilled out relaxing atmosphere and on the opposite side of the island to all the dive schools it is quiet, peaceful and relaxing. There are a few yoga studios on the island but very little in the way of wellness spas and retreats.
Thailand in May might just be a great time of the year to visit!