When planning your Thailand golf holiday, it is very important to take into account the time of year you travel.
There are 2 very important aspects to this, the first being the weather, and the second being the cost of accommodation, with huge variations in price between the ‘high’ season and the ‘low’ season.
With regards to the weather, it is basically broken down into 3 seasons. The ‘cool’ season, from November – February is the start of clear skies and reduced temperatures following the rains of the preceding months. Temperatures vary between 20 & 25 degrees centigrade, with light breezes providing great golfing conditions. This is the peak tourist season and hotel prices reflect this. I would always recommend you make your reservations well in advance in order to secure your preferred accommodation.
The hot season begins in March, although this month can still be very enjoyable as it is a very gradual increase in temperature, and can often get much of the ‘cool’ season’s benefits. April and May can be particularly hot and humid, with temperatures reaching 30 degrees centigrade. This time is still quite popular with tourists, because you can find much better prices in hotel accommodation. During the month of April, important dates are the13th, 14th & 15th, which is Thai New Year, and is celebrated by the Songkran festival. Thailand comes to a virtual standstill during this period, and local custom involves many water festivals to celebrate the coming of the rainy season. This alone is quite a spectacle for visiting tourists, although you should be aware that hotel prices rise during this period, are they are extremely busy.
The rainy season is from June through to September, when the south west winds from the Indian Ocean bring in rain laden clouds. Most days there are downpours, and the timing is a bit unpredictable, but they tend to last not more than an hour. There is less sunshine during this period, and temperatures are moderated. However, for the real golfing enthusiast, the rain very rarely leads to abandonment of your game, and after taking some shelter, the courses dry out remarkably quick. The major advantage about visiting Thailand during this time of year, is the very cheap accommodation with some bargain deals to be had, together with much quieter golf courses, giving you more flexibility to choose when you play. October can be an ideal month for golf as prices are still at their lowest levels and often times the rains have cleared and the cooler season temperatures start to roll in.
With regards to accommodation, there are huge differences in prices depending when you travel. Whilst in Bangkok this is less so, due to the city receiving visitors all year round through not only tourists, but also visitors on business.
For the more popular tourist destinations such as Phuket, Pattaya and Hua Hin, the prices vary much more significantly. From November to March, the peak season, is when they charge their premium rates. The week leading up to Christmas, and through New Year, sees an additional increase, which is some cases can be quite significant, more than double normal rates. Prices reduce after the Thai New Year in April, and in some instances, the cost of hotel accommodation can be less than half of the peak season prices.
It is therefore very important that when you are planning a golf holiday to Thailand, that you take account of both the best time to travel with regards to weather, and also with regards to accommodation.
Without doubt, November to February is by far the recommended time to come, with the weather conditions nothing short of perfect. As mentioned previously, this is peak tourist season and both the hotels and golf courses will be very busy, so it is recommended to organize your holiday well in advance. However, there is ample opportunity to visit at other times during the year, taking advantage of quieter courses and much reduced hotel prices, and still thoroughly enjoying what Thailand has to offer. March and October, the shoulder moths are my personal favorites as you can have your cake and eat it too. Courses are quiet, costs are low, and the weather will oftentimes be very golf friendly.