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Asia > Thailand > Chiang Mai > Useful Info
Updated on Jan 07, 2019 Useful Info

Seasons of Chiang Mai you should know when planning your visit

Chiang Mai goes through 4 seasons: burning season, hot season, wet season and touristy season

February - April: Burning / Smoky Season

  • What is it:
  • This is the time when air pollution spikes dramatically and the entire city is hazy all the time
  • Starts in January but the worst of it is in March, when you can't even see the gigantic mountain of Doi Suthep right next to the city through the Haze
  • It's actually not just a Chiang Mai thing. It affects the rest of Thailand as well as some other parts of Southeast Asia. It's caused by farmers burning their crops to get the fields ready for planting
  • What you should do:
  • Don't visit (except if you specifically plan to visit Songkran - a giant water fight street party; April 13-16, 2019 & April 13-16, 2020 )
  • If you do visit, wear masks if you're sensitive to pollution

March - May: Hot Season

  • What is it:
  • These 3 months are the hottest months in Chiang Mai
  • Day time temperature can get to high 30s (~100F)
  • What you should do:
  • Don't visit if you can't deal with 40C/100F heat

June - September: Wet Season

  • What is it:
  • It rains half to 2/3s of the time
  • August and September are the worst when it comes to rain
  • Rains almost never lasts entire day though, usually comes in short bursts of massive downpours
  • But can be overcast the entire day
  • Day time temperature is not too bad, in the low 30s (around 90F)
  • What you should do:
  • Counterintuitively, this is a great time to visit
  • Rain won't ruin your plans too much because they never lasts the entire day
  • Everything is cheaper and better during these months because it's before the massive arrival of tourists later in the year

October - February: High Tourism Season

  • What is it:
  • Climate wise it's perfect. These are the cool, dry months in Chiang Mai
  • This is the "coldest" months of the year, but the temperature never gets below 15C (60F), so it's very comfortable
  • Other tourists also know this. So they come in hordes
  • Prices will rise, places will get crowded
  • What you should do:
  • October and November aren't bad times to visit. Even tourists are increasing, it's still below the peak December-February and climate will be amazing
  • Book everything well in advance