Thailand in December
Offering travelers wonderfully cool temperatures, low humidity levels and some of the country's most fantastic festivals, it’s no wonder why December is the start of one of Thailand’s most popular seasons. This picturesque paradise is a sunny escape for anyone looking to escape a harsher winter and is filled with numerous adventures, stunning local sites and a wide variety of opportunities that ensure a holiday like no other.
From must-find culinary delights to the best travel insurance for Thailand, this comprehensive guide has it all. Take a look at these Thailand travel tips and start planning your dream vacation right now.
Thailand’s Winter Weather
In December, much of the country experiences significantly lower temperatures and humidity rates, making it the ideal time of year to explore all of Thailand's natural wonders. Many of the Northern and Central regions stay dry and cool, with temperatures in Chiang Mai averaging in the lower 80s during the day and reaching as low as 57° in the evenings.
However, more popular tourist destinations in the south, such as Phuket and Koh Samui, typically enjoy slightly warmer temperatures, ideal for enjoying sunny days at the beach. While the southern regions do see a bit more rain during December compared to the north, these showers are typically short, scattered downpours. This allows travelers to continue enjoying their outdoor activities throughout the rest of the day.
If you’re looking to explore everything Thailand has to offer, being prepared for the changing weather is a must. Of course, you’ll want to bring breathable clothing to stay comfortable, especially if you’re planning on visiting the south. Make sure you also pack a rain jacket, waterproof shoes and even a waterproof cover for your backpack to keep all your belongings safe and dry throughout your adventures.
Festive Traditions and Celebrations
One of the reasons December is such a popular time of year in Thailand is the incredible holidays and celebrations that take place throughout the month.
The country kicks things off on December 5th with Father’s Day, a celebration of King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the late father of the country’s current ruler. A publicly recognized holiday celebrating his birthday, locals will often where yellow in remembrance while coming together for smaller local events and fireworks displays.
December 10th is Thailand’s Constitution Day, when the country celebrates the adoption of a Constitutional Monarchy in 1932. Marked by fun-filled parades, glorious fireworks and the best shows, this day is a reflection of the country’s deep respect for the Thai monarchy.
The Chaing Mai Red Cross and Winter Fair is, without a doubt, one of the most anticipated events of the year. Filled with amusement rides, arcade games, live music and food stalls serving the very best of local street fare, this is truly an event not to be missed.
While Thailand is mainly a Buddhist country, they have completely embraced Western Holiday culture. As a result, Christmas and New Year are two of the most exciting days of the year. The 25th is the best day to try a wide range of delectable Thai dishes, while New Year's Eve is guaranteed to be a party you’ll never forget.
Thai Markets and Local Shopping
Thailand is a shopaholic's dream come true, especially in December! The entire country is filled with magical marketplaces bursting with authentic artisan crafts, beautiful local works and even high-end pieces rivaling some of the most luxurious shopping centers in the world.
Chatuchak Weekend Market is one of the most famous markets in Thailand. However, the Rod Fai Market in Bangkok and the Hua Hin Night Market are unbelievable destinations worth the journey.
To make the most of your trip to Thailand's world-class marketplaces, it's important to keep these travel tips. First, it's important to do a bit of research before you make your way to better understand pricing. That way, you’ll be able to bargain with vendors, a necessary marketplace pastime. Also, make sure you have a currency converter on your phone before you leave. That way, you’ll have a much more accurate understanding of the prices.
Thai Culinary Delights
Thai food is recognized around the world as one of the tastiest cuisines out there, so having the opportunity to try a range of authentic dishes the way they’re meant to be prepared is an experience you shouldn’t pass up. Guay Teow is a mouthwatering dish you’ll find throughout the country, and with good reason. This beloved noodle soup can be made with a variety of broths accompanied by rich noodles and a wide variety of add-ons to help make it the perfect dining experience. For travelers looking for an exquisite curry without so much of a kick, Panang is an ideal option. Milder than many other Thai curries, Panang is typically served with shrimp or as a delectable vegetarian dish.
Both Bangkok and Chiang Mai are considered culinary capitals overflowing with exceptionally rated restaurants and high-end dining experiences. However, if you’re looking for a more authentic foodie experience, then you need to visit the local night markets. Here, you will find an array of unbelievable push-cart experiences that will give you a whole new perspective on Thai cuisine.
Incredible Cultural Experiences
The month of December is one big celebration in Thailand, making it the perfect time of year to catch some of the country’s most remarkable cultural experiences. The Water Lantern Festival both in Bangkok and along the Chao Praya River, are wonderful places to enjoy the country’s traditional dances and musical events.
Make your way over to the Chon Buri Provence to experience the annual Wonderfruit Festival. A celebration of the local landscape and ecosystem, this festival is filled with art, music and cultural exhibitions that will have you falling completely in love with all things Thailand.
Thailand’s Natural Adventures
If Thailand is known for one thing, it is the stunning historic sites lining its exquisite landscape. Sukhothai Historic Park is a must-see for any traveler interested in the country's beautiful ancient ruins. Of course, Bangkok's Grand Palace is a stunning display of Thailand's glamorous and luxurious past.
Mixed in between beautiful Buddhist temples and exquisite landmarks lie some of Thailand’s most incredible sites. The country is bursting with mesmerizing national parks that will take your breath away, including the stunning Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park in Prachuap Khiri Khan Provence and Kaeng Krachan, which is the country's largest rainforest reserve.
Practical Tips for Travelers
Your trip to Thailand is sure to be a dream come true. However, making sure you feel completely comfortable navigating the country is a must. Here are a few practical travel tips you will want to keep in mind during your vacation.
- Bring sun protection. Thailand is one of the sunniest countries in the region, so travelers should always make sure they've applied the proper protection before exploring the beautiful sites.
- Be careful on public transport. While Thailand is a wonderful holiday location, as with any tourist destination, it's important to take care of your bags and belongings whilst on public transportation.
- Check Visa requirements and tourist notifications. Whenever you decide to visit a foreign country, it's important to check all travel requirements ahead of time.
- Purchase travel insurance. This is the best way to secure your vacation and give you the peace of mind that you deserve.
What Should You Look for In Travel Insurance for Thailand
At a minimum, your travel insurance should cover trip cancellation, trip interruption and emergency medical expenses. The US Department of State highly recommends purchasing travel insurance like AXA Travel Protection for international travel.
Here is a list of coverages that AXA Travel Protection provides:
- Medical Coverage – The top priority is making sure your health is in order. With AXA Travel Protection, you can have access to quality healthcare during your trip overseas in the event of unexpected medical emergencies.
- Trip Cancellation & Interruptions – Assistance against unexpected trip disruptions can dampen the mood, AXA Travel Protection offers coverage against unforeseen events.
- Emergency Evacuations and Repatriation – In situations where transportation is dire, AXA Travel Protection offers provisions for emergency evacuation and repatriation.
- Coverage for Personal Belongings – AXA offers coverage for your belongings with assistance against lost or delayed baggage.
- Optional Cancel for Any Reason – For added flexibility, AXA offers optional Cancel for Any Reason coverage, allowing you to cancel your trip for non-traditional reasons. Exclusive to Platinum Plan holders.
Thailand is an exquisite country filled with wonder and excitement around every corner. Keep this Thailand travel guide in mind, and rest assured that you’ll be on your way to planning a dream getaway in no time.
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