The only two places in Thailand that absolutely shut down certain months of the year are Koh Tao (on the east coast) and Koh Lanta (on the west coast). The reason for it isn’t just the weather as you could still train Muay Thai there without much problem. It’s because the waves are too high to get supplies on and off the island easily and mainly because scuba diving, snorkeling and other boat tours would be impossible during those times. So, November is the month to avoid for Koh Tao.
The Month To Absolutely Avoid For Come To Thailand Photo Gallery
For Koh Lanta, the island shuts down their scuba diving operations from May – October. I would also try to avoid Koh Samui and Koh Phangan (the ‘Full Moon Party’ island) in November, as it’s right next to Koh Tao and has the same monsoon. You could potentially still visit these islands during those months but risk having most restaurants and shops closed and not much else to do. As for Phuket, Chiang Mai, Pattaya, Bangkok and the rest of Thailand, aside from being a bit hot or a bit rainy some months more than others, anytime of the year is fine to go – especially if you’re just there to do Muay Thai. In Chiang Mai there is a rice field burning season that starts around February 15th – April 1st where the air quality can get really bad some days.
The biggest issue isn’t just the smoke that covers the air; it’s that it traps all of the car exhaust smoke. Unfortunately, Thailand doesn’t enforce smog laws so a lot of vehicles, especially tuk-tuks and trucks, spew out tons of toxic smoke which gets trapped under the blanket of smoke from the burning. This makes it difficult to run outdoors, gives people respiratory problems and makes it hot and stuffy. Everything in Chiang Mai is still open during this season including all of the gyms but, if you have the choice, I would avoid it even though you can technically train through it. However, I would definitely try to come back to Chiang Mai around April 16 th for Songkran which is the most amazing festival in the world. It is literally a nationwide water fight and it’s far more fun in Chiang Mai than anywhere else. You can read more about the burning season by doing a search on my blog.