When is the best time to visit?
Statistically, the weather and climate on Koh Chang can be summed up as:
- The driest months are from November to March. This is High Season
- On average, the temperatures are always high i.e. over 30C during the daytime year round.
- The hottest month is April
- The coolest month is January
- January is also the driest month of the year
- September is the wettest month.
- The rainy season is from May to October
The Seasons on Koh Chang
What to expect . . . High Season coincides with the best weather, so From mid-November through to March you can expect plenty of sunshine and hardly any rain. You’re 90% certain to have sunshine throughout your stay with just the occasional rainshower. There should be a gentle sea breeze and blue skies. The sea will be calm, and especially early in the High Season, will have very good visibility for diving and snorkeling. You can also expect some strong winds from the northeast in November & December which cool things down a little. This is the time to visit if you’re planning on chartering a yacht.
The hottest time of the year in Thailand is from March to mid-May. Whilst it isn’t as hot on Koh Chang as it is on the mainland in central and notehrne Thailand, it can still reach 36 – 38C. Which is hot enough. The sea also heats up considerably, so rather than cooling you off. It can feel too warm.
From mid-May through to October it’s the season referred to as one of the following: rainy season / green season / low season or simply the season to shelter indoors and play with your Nintendo for 5 months. Whatever you call it, there will be rain most days. However, this is often just in isolated showers during daylight hours. Most of the heavy rain is overnight. So you will see the sun, but can’t guarantee how much or on what days.
Outside High Season . . .when is the best time to visit Koh Chang?: If you just want a quiet escape from everyone then June or September are ideal. May & November are also often pretty good months for visiting as they often combine quite a lot of sunshine with cheaper airfares, cheaper rooms in some resorts and relatively few visitors.
Another reason to visit in the Low Season is that there can often be days when the weather is actually better than during the High Season.
For example, the photo on the top of the page with clear blue skies and a wide deserted beach was taken in mid-June. Supposedly June is one of the worst months to visit. The weather forecast shows rain every day.
But you won’t get that view in the High Season.
In the High Season, the sky is hazier, so not as good for taking photos. ( If you’re a photographer, you’ll get far better pics in the Low Season.) The tides are higher, so you won’t ever see a 50 metre wide beach if you visit from December to March. And there are far, far more people at that time of year. That’s White Sand beach in the photo. It’s the busiest beach on the island. But go to the beach any hot sunny day in June and you can easily count the number of people you see out on the sand.
How much rain does Koh Chang get?: This area of Thailand is one of the wettest in the country but that doesn’t mean that it is constantly raining for six months of the year.
The majority or rainfall comes in the form of storms or very heavy rain showers which often last only 30 minutes per day before the sky clears and the sun comes out. So having an entire week of grey, overcast sky and no sunshine is quite a rarity. If you are visiting the island in the European summer holidays, you aren’t going to be able to guarantee that you’ll come home with a deep tan.
In total Koh Chang receives around 3 – 4,000mm of rain each year, most of it falling in the rainy season. To put that in perspective, the north of England averages about 800 – 1,000mm of rain every year. However, as I mentioned above, the rain is in heavy tropical downpours rather than drizzling for days as it does in the UK & northern Europe.
It’d be nice is there was an accurate Koh Chang weather forecast for the rainy season. But, it’s very hard to say how a day will turn out. That’s why pretty much every forecast you will see shows a 50% chance of rain, the possibility of a thunderstorm and the possibility of sunshine. You’ll often get all of those in the same day with an overnight thunderstorm followed by a grey morning and clear and sunny afternoon.
Temperature: It’s around 28-30C every day. A little warmer in March and April, possibly up to high 30’s C. And in December the mercury will struggle to get to 27/28C during the daytime, before plummeting overnight to around 15-18C. (If you have never experienced a night at 15C, then believe me, it is cold. You’ll need to pack a long sleeved shirt if you plan on going out on a midwinter’s evening.)
Conditions at Sea: During the High Season the sea is usually very calm. In fact, in the mornings especially, it can be like a lake with barely a ripple. However, there can be rip currents from May – October. The waves are never huge, but as the beaches slope gently into the sea, this can cause rip currents to form in certain places on all the main beaches. Every year several visitors drown. There is one permanent lifeguard on duty outside KC Grande Resort on White Sand beach, but other than that, you’ll have to rely on help from fellow visitors or hotel staff if you get into difficulty.
Humidity: It’s a tropical island full of jungle and trees, so you’ll sweat a lot regardless of what time of year you visit. That’s really all you need to know.