Does It Snow in Thailand? Myth Or Reality

Nestled in the heart of Southeast Asia, Thailand is known for its warm, tropical climate. Located just 15 degrees north of the equator, Thailand maintains the same seasonal calendar months as other countries in the Northern Hemisphere, although its winter temperatures are, on average, extremely mild. 

It typically doesn’t snow in Thailand. Due to the country’s mild winter temperatures, the likelihood of snowfall is extremely rare, nearly impossible. Even in northern mountainous regions, temperatures rarely reach freezing, and even if they do, atmospheric conditions rarely align to produce snow. 

Looking for more information about the climate in Thailand? Read on to find out more about weather conditions and resources that can help you determine the best months to travel. 

Does It Snow in Thailand?

Simply put, experiencing a snowstorm in Thailand is about as likely as inviting a bear into your living room. Not impossible, but highly improbable. While winter rainstorms are not unheard of, winter months in Thailand maintain a markedly drier reputation than the rainy months which precede them.

And while there’s a mountain in Thailand called Snow Mountain, unfortunately for those who love the white stuff, the name is very deceiving. Snow Mountain is just a rocky outcrop located about an hour south of Bangkok. It’s not a real mountain and certainly doesn’t have snow! Myth busted. 

When Did It Last Snow in Thailand?

Despite the near impossibility of it snowing in Thailand, it has done so at least once.

The last time it snowed in Thailand was in January 1955. Surprisingly, Chang Rai received a small amount of snow after a rainstorm. The snow lasted for less than a day before it melted. 

However, there is some dispute over whether the snowfall in 1955 was actually snow. Some meteorologists maintain that the pearly white stuff was just hail and that locals mistook it for snow because they had never seen anything like it. 

This theory certainly seems plausible, especially because freak hail storms in Thailand seem to be happening more often. In 2013, the Bangkok Post reported on a hail storm that devastated northern Thailand.

Okay, But What About Fake Snow?

Surprisingly, fake snow was something you used to be able to find in Thailand. You may have stumbled upon that viral photo of a little Thai girl making a snow angel and thought, but does it snow in Thailand? (If you haven’t seen the picture, you can view it here.)

Snow Town

Rest assured, that photo was taken at a theme park called Snow Town, previously located at Gateway Mall in Bangkok. While all the snow was artificially made, the park boasted a wide variety of snow attractions, like sledding and sleigh rides, all of which you could enjoy while fake snowflakes rained down on your head.

Unfortunately, the park was permanently closed in 2018. The cause of the closure is not entirely clear, although the cost of producing artificial snow and maintaining an environment cold enough to keep it from melting was undoubtedly exorbitant.    

Nimman Snow Festival, Chiang Mai

Here’s another example of fake snow, although this event had a much more controversial effect than children making snow angels. In December 2014, a winter celebration called the Nimman Snow Festival was hosted in Chiang Mai. The coordinator of the celebration, a Thai businessman named Tan Passakornnatee, organized the placement of 40 tonnes (88,185 lbs) of refined salt throughout the streets to imitate snow.

After many complaints and observations by locals that the refined salt could lead to environmental harm, authorities began investigating. They found that the salt had spread to other roads and water drains and posed a health concern if the salt’s vapor was inhaled for too long. 

Thankfully, the salt was cleaned up by the organizing team. Tan even apologized, promising he would never use salt as artificial snow again. 

What Is the Coldest Place in Thailand? 

On average, the coldest place in Thailand is Sakon Nakhon, which is located in the country’s northeast region. Its temperatures have fallen below freezing once or twice, but typically, the average temperatures range from 61 °F to 94 °F (16.11 °C to 34.44 °C). 

According to Weatherspark.com, the coldest months in Sakon Nakhon range from late November to the end of January. During these months, the typical temperature ranges from 62 °F (16.66 °C) for lows and 83 °F (28.33 °C) for highs.

You will likely experience lower-than-average temperatures visiting attractions at higher elevations in the province, though the difference is not likely to be more than ten degrees. 

What Month Is the Coldest in Thailand?

December is the coldest month in Thailand, yet temperatures are still reasonably warm. January is the second coldest month. Because of Thailand’s diverse geography and size, temperatures vary significantly between regions, even in the coldest months. 

Notably, this is one reason why so many desire to travel to Thailand in the winter. Check out this table to see the variation in December temperatures around Thailand:

CityRegionDecember Average HighDecember Average Low
BangkokCentral88 °F (31 °C)70°F (21 °C)
Nakhon RatchasimaLower Northeastern84 °F (29 °C)64°F (18 °C)
Ubon RatchathaniEastern86 °F (30 °C)62°F (17 °C)
Chiang RaiNorthern80 °F (27 °C)55°F (13 °C)
Chiang MaiNorthern82 °F (28 °C)59°F (15 °C)
Ko SamuiSouthern84 °F (29 °C)75°F (24 °C)
PhuketSouthern88 °F (31 °C)75°F (24 °C)

As you can see, winter travel might be the best fit if you want to avoid the sweltering temperatures and high humidity that summer months can bring. 

If you’re interested in learning more about temperatures, precipitation levels, and even daily weather forecasts on a city-by-city basis, check out the World Meteorological Organization website

Final Thoughts

It doesn’t snow in Thailand. There are chillier regions to the north, but even these only get mildly cold compared to winters in North America and Europe. If you’re planning on a trip to Thailand in the winter, bringing some light layers and a waterproof shell should suffice. 
Planning a trip? Check out this article about smoothly navigating airports and everything you need to know about boarding passes.