Chiang Mai generally has much milder weather than Bangkok’s humid and sticky one. This small difference may require you to bring cooler weather clothes, especially when visiting the region during the cold season. Because the region’s climate is generally divided into three seasons, here is a short guide on what to wear in Chiang Mai based on the cold, hot and rainy seasons.
Cold Season – From the months of November to January, expect temperatures at mid 10s to high 30s in Celsius. Locals usually bundle up during lower temperatures of the early mornings and late evenings so make sure to pack accordingly. Long sleeved shorts, long pants and a light jacket would do especially when traveling around the city on a motorbike, song thaew or tuk-tuk. A key to knowing what to wear in Chiang May during the cold season is to dress in layers so you can easily take something off when it gets too hot. If, however, you realize that the clothes you brought are not enough, check out the Chiang Mai Gate during the mornings to find nice sweaters on hand.
Hot Season – From February to April, expect slightly cool breezes in the morning and evenings but warm temperatures throughout the day. The month of April is the hottest time in Chiang Mai. Many locals actually dress much like the westerners do during their summer season so feel free to bring anything appropriate for the hot season. Pack light-colored and light material clothing to keep cool and pack a hat, sunglasses and comfortable shoes for traveling.
Rainy Season – May to October marks the rainy season in Chiang May with the heaviest downpours in July, August and September. “Rainy season” does not mean that rains occur all day long. Rains pour hard but are only temporary and bring cooler climates after the burst. Because of this, a durable raincoat is needed, especially when touring around the city. An umbrella is also a good option but a raincoat would free your hands for other needs. Raincoats and umbrellas are sold around the city but it’s best to bring your own if you can. While at it, bring rain boots as well.
As Chiang Mai is thick with temples and shrines, it is best to know what to wear in Chiang Mai when faced with a visit to these sacred places. Regardless of the time of year of your visit, is it important for travelers to dress appropriately. This means that ladies should not wear shorts or skirts that barely cover above the knees. Cover your shoulders and your cleavage area to show proper respect to the temple and shrine. Packing a wrap or a shawl in your backpack will be a good idea. Both men and women should avoid wearing slippers to these places as much as possible and know to always take shoes off before entering temple grounds.
Lastly, don’t leave home without a reliable insect repellant to protect yourself. Dengue Fever is on the rise in Southeast Asian countries so better to take precautionary measures. Keep these simple tips in mind on what to wear in Chiang Mai and be on your way to a hassle-free Thailand vacation.