So you want me to take away the guesswork and tell you when’s the best time to visit Koh Samui? That’s a little like asking to choose a favourite child (every month has something to recommend it). But I can understand that your beach holiday planning seeks the month with the most sunshine, least cloud cover and fewest possible drops of rain? No problem. And did you want a pretty picture instead of tedious charts? Done. After some quality time with a spreadsheet, I can hereby suggest when is best (weather-wise) to visit Koh Samui.
Which is the sunniest month on Koh Samui?
Hmm, as you can see in the illustration above, gauging the sunniest month on Koh Samui is more a choose-your-own story of plotting your favourite temperature against potential for rain drops and cloud cover. My official party line is that there’s always a nice day to be had on Koh Samui, with tons to do even on rainy days – (as long as you’re dressed appropriately for rainy season).
If we take ‘sunniest’ to mean ‘least median cloud cover’, then it’s March on Koh Samui (and the cloudiest month is October)
When is the driest month on Koh Samui?
February is your best bet with just 12% of the average rain seen in November (yep, those rain drops above are to scale!). In second and third place for those of you avoiding puddles: March and April tend to be nice and dry, too (that is – unless you’re visiting during Songkran. The weather might be dry but you won’t be).
Fewest rainy days?
April (the 16th, to be exact)
Whatever the weather, The Koh Samui Guide is your trusty side-kick and will help make sure you have a fantastic vacation.
Which is the sunniest month on Koh Samui?
It’s March! Through the logic of Koh Samui’s creative weather gods, March has the most sunshine on Koh Samui. Defined by the fewest rainy days and the least median cloud cover, March is – statistically – the sunniest month. While superlatives are handy references, it’s a hair-splitting difference between “sunniest” and most of the rest of the year. Rather than 4 seasons, Koh Samui has 2: lots of gorgeous weather, and a much shorter rainy season.
Does March’s most-sunny designation make it the best time to visit Koh Samui? Not at all. I’m not certain what counts for ‘cloud cover’ in meteorological terms, and whether or not it would include any pretty wispy whites. Compare a few picture-postcard beach days at other times of year. In all probability they’re designated “partly cloudy”. Fine by me, how about you?
Travel forums everywhere have a Barry from Blackpool and a Jecca from Perth who were dealt some bad luck when they vacationed at a time of year guaranteed to be sunny. Sorry to say that’s just the nature of long-haul destinations in the tropics. You commit to dates far in advance and this lush corner of the world can offer some dramatic weather tricks. Rest assured if it does decide to pour – any day of the year – there’s still plenty to do (rain or shine The Koh Samui Guide will easily keep you busy).
I recommend you book your Koh Samui vacation when it’s most convenient – when you most need days of perfect relaxation. If you’re seeking assurance you’ll get a gorgeous, sunny Thai holiday and return home with a tan, then just about any month besides November will do its very best. (November, Koh Samui’s wettest month, sees an average of 489.66 mm/10 inches of rainfall). Psst! Note that Koh Samui’s climate is different than Phuket and other parts of Thailand.
What’s the weather like on Koh Samui?
For the most part, Koh Samui weather is hot and sunny – just what you want for a perfect beach holiday. There are two stark exceptions, as well as shoulder seasons, freak acts from the weather gods and, often, a delightfully cooling afternoon downpour. (Hey, it’s the tropics!) Here are my best answers to the question: “I’m coming to Koh Samui in [month]. What will the weather be like?”
Exceptional weather on Koh Samui
First up, two stark exceptions to the “hot and sunny rule”
#1. Rainy season: Koh Samui’s rainy season (typically late October to mid December. Average November rainfall is 1.6 feet of rain). When it rains, it pours.
#2. When it’s really hot and sunny: That would be Koh Samui in April (with Songkran – the water festival – right in the middle). Learn what to wear in Thailand to stay cool (and un-burnt).
Koh Samui weather, month by month
I both caution and cover my rears with this caveat: there’s no guarantee and this is a crazy world.
One of the cooler months of the year, with lows dipping to a ‘frigid’ 24.1C (75F). Coming from the tail-end of rainy season, the temperature heats up through the month. If you don’t like strong heat, a New Year trip to Koh Samui would suit you well.
Hey guess what, it’s hot and sunny. An average 1 degree Celsius hotter than January, with the lightest rainfall of any month.
Hot and getting hotter. By averages, March also has the fewest number of rainy days and, correspondingly, the least median cloud cover.
REALLY HOT. April’s a scorcher.
For that matter, May’s pretty hot too (with more rainfall than March or April. When it’s this hot, it’s a great way to cut the humidity and cool down).
Popular months on Koh Samui and for good reason. The differences in temperature and average number of rainy days between these three months are hair-splitting. Whether enjoying a northern hemisphere summer holiday, or escaping southern hemisphere winter, it’s a great time of year to visit Koh Samui.
Just as nice as August but likely a lot quieter on the island.
Starts out gorgeous (nicely hot and sunny). Is, on average, the cloudiest month. Towards the end of October, rainy season might arrive.
Typically rainy season. Though it’s as soggy as a sponge, I think November on Koh Samui has a lot to recommend it.
The tail-end of rainy season, not-quite-as-hot, but hopefully sunny. Just about perfect for a Santa hat and a Koh Samui Christmas.
Call me biased, but with fresh Samui coconuts on offer every day of the year… can there really be a bad time to come? Use The Koh Samui Guide to answer all your ‘what ifs’, ‘how tos’ and ‘where shoulds’, then start planning the many ways you’ll enjoy the sun and rain of any season.
What’s the rain like on Koh Samui?
You know how Jurassic Park was super lush and green? And then it rained rather memorably? Same in Thailand: tropical country, requires regular watering. If you’ve never enjoyed hot, tropical rain – it’s pretty fantastic actually! Find out what the rain is like on Koh Samui and my not-very-scientific suggestions of how long it might last.
Koh Samui rain
Does it rain often on Koh Samui? How long does it rain?
Koh Samui’s rainfall totally depends on the time of year. There’s rainy season, which can offer an astonishing volume of rainfall over a period of weeks. There’s a dry, extra-hot season. There are months where it rains a little every day – consistent but short-and-sweet rain showers. If nothing but sunshine is important, learn which are Koh Samui’s sunniest months.
Does it rain all day in [X month]? To help choose when is best for you, get month-by-month climate details. If you’re not aware of what you’ve signed up for, chances are you won’t find rainy season any kind of fun – as it can rain for days and weeks without cease. Otherwise, say in August, the world might end in wet fury for just 20 minutes.
Rain-proof your Koh Samui holiday
Come prepared: I don’t suggest packing wellies but, if rain is a concern, take a few tips from what to wear in rainy season.
Honest expectations: How to actually enjoy a Koh Samui rainy day (Yes, really!) Rather than having your holiday ruined by an afternoon or few days of rain – try this little trick: Assume it will rain for at least part of your trip. That way, you’ll already have rainy-day activities that you’re looking forward to (and there are many).
Choose the perfect place to stay: When booking your accommodation, look for outside areas that have covered overhangs (whether a balcony, patio or a restaurant or beach bar elsewhere within the resort). Samui rainy days never mean cold weather, and you can often enjoy the dramatic atmosphere outside with your beer and a great book (while staying completely dry). Note that, occasionally, strong storms can lead to temporary power outs so keep your Kindle charged and consider packing a wind-up, pocket-sized flashlight/torch.
Get moving: Koh Samui is a very hilly island (you’d generously call it mountainous) and has very localised microclimates. As such, visitors staying at one beach might experience a week of perfect sun, while those a few bays over see frequent thunderstorms. Outside of rainy season and days of determined ‘wet weather systems’ there’s every chance you could simply rent a car and drive elsewhere to find blue sky.
What’s the rain like on Koh Samui?
When the skies properly let loose, Koh Samui’s rain is easily described with a Forrest Gump quote. In rainy season especially, you might experience “every kind of rain there is. Little bitty stingin’ rain… and big ol’ fat rain.” If you’re coming from, say, Seattle or London where rain is a constant, often miserable, drizzle – Koh Samui rain might win you over. Yes, it cuts into tanning time, but it’s such a dramatic show you might not care. Take cover in a charming beach restaurant, a sala or an outdoor living room and enjoy the show. Tropical plants become greener than possible, and you can easily conjure some Robinson Crusoe elemental adventure.
Koh Samui will easily provide the beach holiday you’re dreaming of and, with a little preparation and sense of adventure, you can enjoy its soggy sideshow in equal measure. Find more ‘glass half full’ honesty and insight in The Koh Samui Guide. In it you’ll get more activity ideas and logistical tips for every kind of a weather (plus find out what not to do when it rains). Enjoy!
Photo credit to Sarah_Ackerman via Flickr Creative Commons