If you visit Southern Thailand then the answer to the post question ‘Does Thailand Ever Get Cold‘ is probably not too much, but the further you travel northwards the cooler and colder Thailand’s winter months become. Between November and towards the end of February in cities like Chiang Mai, Udon Thani and Loei you can at times in the evening find yourself sat outside a restaurant or stood at a food stall wishing you hadn’t left your jacket in your hotel room or home.
During my latest Thailand vacation Wonderful Wi and I travelled from Udon Thani to Loei for a three night stay between Christmas and New Year.
Our purpose in the province was to visit the annual Phu Rua Flower Festival and also to explore Loei city a little further than we had on our previous two stays there. The weather we saw was cold mornings, hot afternoons and cool evenings. There was also proof out on the city streets that for the Thais this time of year could be very cold indeed.
Almost everywhere we went in the city, hats, scarves and jackets were on sale. Every food stall seemed to have acquired a ‘winter woolies’ stand next to them and the local night market near our hotel had everything needed to keep an Eskimo warm.
As you can see from the photo on the right the colours were rather loud. Entry to Loei’s knitting club must come with a membership card, two sharp needles and polarized ski goggles to eliminate glare.
Loei’s temperatures during our stay in the city danced between 15°C in the morning to around 30°C by mid afternoon and by late evening the mercury had fallen to the low twenties as it waited to dip further during the night. Temperatures of 15°C may seem warm compared to someone reading this is in a European or North American wintry climate, but the heat of the afternoon makes the mornings a bit of a shock.
The photograph above shows two dogs patiently waiting for their owner to return and in the background is a thick heavy fog. You can see an approaching truck with its headlights full on against the heavy mist. There was a definite nip to the air when I took this photo at about eight in the morning, but two hours later the sun had all but burnt away the thick haze and its depleted mass sat with a picturesque charm atop the surrounding mountains.
The above graphics show the current 5 day weather outlook for Loei this week. Sunday and Monday show temperatures forecast to drop to a minimum of 13°C. That’s quite cold after experiencing sunny afternoons in the mid to high twenties and proof parts of Thailand really does experience low temperature drops during its winter months.
I’m often asked by people here in the UK whether Thailand has a cool season. There are a lot of travel hungry souls out there in the world who are actually put off visiting Thailand because they believe its oppressive heat and humidity are an all year round thing. I hope this post helps a few of them understand that Thailand does get cooler and even cold sometimes and the Christmas period is an ideal time to visit the country for those tourists who dislike extremely high temperatures.
To finish off I’d like to include two short extracts from an article in the The Nation newspaper published just over a week ago under the following headlines.
The Public Health Ministry confirmed yesterday that at least two people had died in the cold weather – one in Loei and the other in Chiang Rai.
“Victims in this category are people who died because they lacked warm clothes and lived in areas declared as being hit by a cold spell,” Public Health Minister Jurin Laksanawisit said…………..In the Northeast, the minimum temperature fluctuated between 10 and 13 degrees Celsius.
Sadly the colder weather can be a killer for some of Thailand’s more elderly, weak, sick and homeless citizens.
© 2011, Martyn. All rights reserved.