Bangkok, Thailand. The temperature in the city remains hot year round although there is certainly seasonal fluctuations in temperature. Most of the year sees high temperatures during the day usually in the low to mid 30 degree Celsius range (90’s Fahrenheit) – often accompanied by humidity.
Either humidity or heat by itself can be somewhat bearable but when you combine both together it becomes stifling, steamy and sweaty. It should be noted the following places in Bangkok are where you can escape this heat and humidity; inside most of the taxis, major shopping centers, the Skytrain, the ice arena in the Central World shopping center, the mini ski resort inside the Gateway Ekamai shopping center, inside some museums, restaurants (not all), hotels (sometimes not inside the cheaper ones) and inside the “godsend” that is available on almost every block called 7-Eleven (well not quite on every block – but almost every one!)
Sometimes you can find a breeze coming off of the Chao Phraya river, but usually it is not a cooling one.
The hottest month of the year in Bangkok is in April which incidentally corresponds with one of the countries’ funnest events – Thai New Year (around mid month). Also called the Songkran Festival – for several days the streets of the country become a water filled playground with people throwing water at each other. Especially a fun event in Bangkok for tourists to experience.
The coldest months of the year are December followed by November and January. April through October are the rainy months with May, September and October the rainiest months of the year.
Sometimes during December, January or February, you may catch a few weeks where the nights can actually cool down into the 60’s or even on occasion the mid to high 50’s Fahrenheit. This certainly doesn’t happen every year, but we have been in Bangkok during these times when its actually “downright pleasant” during the day and even a bit chilly at night.
During the year at times (especially the winter months), Bangkok can be stifled by a nasty haze an pollutants that choke the city remaining in the air for days or weeks at a time. This pollution is from both foreign pollution (IE neighboring countries burning fields as one example) and local created pollution. During these periods, residents and visitors are encouraged to wear face masks for protection and on the worst days, remain indoors as much as possible.
Air quality often starts getting better in March.
People in Bangkok used to be more conservative in their clothing – for example years ago most Thai men wore long pants. This used to be customary but can be quite warm and irritating for those not used to this hot weather. These days one doesn’t have to worry about wearing pants and shorts are perfectly acceptable wear in much of Bangkok – especially for tourists, although note that entry to the Grand Palace requires individuals to wear long pants and entry to some temples requires shorts at least be knee length. If you do choose to wear long pants; we recommend light weight synthetic material pants with several pockets including at least one pocket that can be closed by a zipper.
Michael Zullo says
We are planning 3 trips – – (Tokyo, Buenos Aires or Bangkok) leaving Manhattan from JFK on October 1, 2014. We’ll be doing a search for fully furnished rented apartments not hotels. Regarding Bangkok, do you have recommendation for a good and safe neighborhood where we can rent an apartment for 1 or 2 months? Thanks, M
Hi Michael – in Bangkok proximity to public transportation is a good idea, ie a Skytrain stop or a metro stop. Many expats in Bangkok either live in Silom area (more upscale) and can be quieter at night – or Sukhumvit (which is another major blvd with apartments up and down its length on small sois or streets located off its reaches. Sukhumvit perhaps would be a bit cheaper – as you get farther away from say the low Sukhumvit Soi numbers you will find things get cheaper – so Sukhumvit Soi 60 for example would be a cheaper area then say Sukhumvit Soi 5 (which is a major nightlife area, busy etc). My friend Zoe Goetz is an expat in Bangkok usually for a few months of the year – you should be able to contact her via one of her social media outlets here: http://www.davestravelcorner.com/author/zoe-goetz/ – I know she usually stays somewhere off of Sukhumvit. Hope this helps.
Re Buenos Aires – for close to downtown, check out the Recoleta neighborhood – also I really like the Devoto neighborhood – can take train, very quiet, safe, nice area, a bit outside of center. I’ve been to Tokyo a number of times, always quick jaunts into the city so unfort don’t have any neighborhood suggestions – certainly the most expensive of the three cities.
Michael Zullo says
Thanks for your response and all the information. Just a few days ago we decided on returning to Asia and Bangkok. So, it’s another down to the wire scramble to find a home base (apartment) in Bangkok, maybe for 1 month. Then, move on to Chiang Mae for 2 months. While we are in Bangkok we’ll most likely search for an apartment in Chiang Mae. We have a few more days in Zagreb to do it before shoving off to Manhattan. Thankfully, we already purchased discounted flight tickets from JFK to BKK on Emirates Airelines.
Hi Michael – greetings from Northern Kyrgyzstan at the moment. Excellent, I always miss Thailand when I’m not there. When will you be in the Kingdom? Be nice to meetup if possible – I might be there after you are, I’ll be in Thailand again from sometime in December through February. Emirates is a very nice airline. I was just watching a video of the new Sky Apartments on Etihad. Some of these Middle Eastern based airlines sure have the wow factor!