Chiang Mai in December: Weather & Travel Tips

Is December A Good Time To Visit Chiang Mai?

Yes, December is a very good time to visit Chiang Mai! Here's why:

  • Perfect weather: December inherits the best of November's weather. Cool breezes replace the summer heat, skies are crystal clear, and comfortable temperatures make exploring a joy.
  • Fewer crowds: While the festive spirit of Loy Krathong and Yipeng lingers, December offers a more relaxed atmosphere with less crowded temples and attractions.
  • Ideal for outdoor activities:  Pleasant weather makes December perfect for hiking, exploring waterfalls, or cycling through charming villages.

Overall, December offers a great balance of comfortable weather, cultural immersion, and a quieter atmosphere compared to peak season.  If you're looking for a more serene experience but still want to enjoy Chiang Mai's beauty, December is an excellent choice.

Weather in Chiang Mai in December

Chiang Mai in December -Weather

December in Chiang Mai offers the perfect weather for your adventure!

Expect clear skies and ample sunshine for exploring vibrant markets and stunning temples. With highs in the low 80s Fahrenheit (around 27°C) and lows in the mid-50s Fahrenheit (around 13°C), you'll escape the summer heat with comfortable temperatures.

Plus, December falls within Chiang Mai's dry season, minimizing rain disruptions.

In short, December offers some of the most ideal weather conditions Chiang Mai has all year round!

Average Temperature in Chiang Mai in December

  • Average high temperature in Chiang Mai in December: 28°C (82℉)
  • Average low temperature in Chiang Mai in December: 15°C (59℉)

(I got the temperature from AccuWeather, but it can be varied time by time, you should double check for the most accuracy number.)

Does It Rain in Chiang Mai in December?

You don't need to worry about packing an ark for your December trip to Chiang Mai!

The dry season, also known as the cool season, falls during this time, and there is only a slight chance of occasional quick showers.

December is mostly sunny with minimal rainfall. Even if you come across a sprinkle, it typically lasts for a short time and clears up quickly, leaving the rest of the day bright and dry.

Is It Hot in Chiang Mai in December?

Chiang Mai in December strikes a delightful balance!

While Thailand's tropical roots mean sunshine persists, December offers a welcome respite from the summer heat. Think comfortable mornings and afternoons, perfect for exploring, with pleasant temperatures.

The occasional milky-white sky can filter the sun's intensity but don't be fooled – pack sunglasses, sunscreen, and a hat for year-round UV protection.

Is It Cold in Chiang Mai in December?

While November ushers in cooler weather, December brings even more delightful nighttime temperatures. Expect comfortable days with lows that can dip down to a pleasant 15.7°C (60°F) at night.

Think cozy evenings!  A light jacket or sweater might be perfect for enjoying the cooler nighttime air, especially if you're exploring or dining outdoors.

Tips For Traveling To Chiang Mai in December

December in Chiang Mai offers a sweet spot for travelers seeking a perfect blend of serenity and delightful weather.

Here are some tips to ensure you have an unforgettable Chiang Mai adventure in December.

What To Wear

Here's a breakdown of what to wear in Chiang Mai in December, considering the comfortable days and cool nights:

  • Pack breathable, lightweight shirts and blouses. Cotton or linen fabrics are ideal for staying cool in the daytime sunshine. Opt for short sleeves or sleeveless options, but consider a light scarf or long-sleeved shirt for occasional breezes or air-conditioned spaces.
  • Pack comfortable shorts, skirts, or lightweight pants. Opt for breathable materials like cotton or linen to stay cool during the day.
  • As temperatures drop at night, pack a light jacket or sweater to keep you comfortable during evening strolls or outdoor dining. Opt for a versatile option that can be easily layered on or off.
  • Remember to respect cultural norms when visiting temples. Pack long pants or a long skirt that covers your knees, and consider a scarf to cover your shoulders if needed.
  • Opt for breathable walking shoes or sandals for exploring the city and its surroundings.

Overall, December in Chiang Mai calls for comfortable, lightweight clothing with a light layer for cooler evenings. Remember to prioritize breathability and sun protection for a delightful Chiang Mai adventure!

Book Your Accommodation & Activities In Advanced

December is a peak tourist season in Chiang Mai, so it's advisable to book your accommodation well in advance, especially if you have a specific location or hotel in mind.

I learned this the hard way when I returned to Chiang Mai from Pai and assumed that December wouldn't be as crowded as November.

Unfortunately, I was wrong and had a hard time finding a decent room. In the end, I settled for a not-so-good room in a small hostel, which ended up costing me as much as a luxury room.

Best Things To Do in Chiang Mai in December

Temples Hopping

Explore the magnificent temples bathed in golden sunlight. December offers a more relaxed atmosphere to explore Chiang Mai's many temples. Here are a few of the most popular ones:

  • Wat Chedi Luang: An ancient temple that once stood as the tallest structure in the Lanna Kingdom. Marvel at the towering ruins of the main chedi, which witness centuries of history and devotion. As December brings cooler temperatures to Chiang Mai, explore the temple's serene grounds and contemplate the significance of this sacred site amidst the festive atmosphere.
  • Wat Lok Moli: A lesser-known temple with a unique charm. Explore the temple's ornate stupa and serene meditation hall and soak in the tranquil ambiance that permeates its sacred grounds.
  • Wat Umong: Wander through the temple's ancient tunnels and lush woodland gardens, immersing yourself in a sense of serenity and solitude. In December, the temple provides a welcome respite from the festive frenzy, allowing visitors to reconnect with nature and find solace amidst the beauty of Chiang Mai's natural landscape.
  • Wat Phra That Doi Suthep: One of the most popular sacred sites in Thailand and also is a temple with beautiful and unique architecture from the Lanna Kingdom. This temple holds an important role in the Buddhist life of Thai people and offers visitors a breathtaking view of the entire city of Chiang Mai.

Learn To Cook Thai Dishes

Take a cooking class and learn the secrets of Thai cuisine. December is a great time to take a cooking class, as the weather is comfortable and there are many classes to choose from. You'll learn how to make some of your favorite Thai dishes, such as Pad Thai, Green Curry, and Mango Sticky Rice.

Explore The Beautiful Nature in Chiang Mai

  • Go on a hike or bike ride and explore the beautiful scenery around Chiang Mai.December is a great time to go hiking or biking, as the weather is cool and dry. There are many trails to choose from, ranging from easy to difficult.  You can also rent a motorbike or scooter and explore the countryside at your own pace.
  • Visit an elephant sanctuary and learn about elephant conservation.There are many elephant sanctuaries in Chiang Mai where you can learn about elephant conservation and interact with elephants in a humane way.  Avoid places that offer elephant rides, as these are cruel to the animals.
  • Take a day trip to Chiang Rai.Chiang Rai is a city located about an hour north of Chiang Mai. It is home to the White Temple, a beautiful and unique temple that is unlike any other temple in Thailand.
  • Take a day trip to Doi Inthanon National Park. Doi Inthanon National Park is the highest mountain in Thailand. It is a great place to go hiking, camping, and bird watching. December is the best time to enjoy the beauty of this landscape.
  • Enjoy the breathtaking wild sunflower blooming at Doi Mae U Kho. Besides cultural events, Chiang Mai is well-known for its beautiful nature, especially in the flower-blooming seasons.

If Chiang Mai in December isn't for you...

December is one of the best months to visit Chiang Mai and Northern Thailand. But if you can't make it due to your calendar, there are other months to visit Chiang Mai—my favorite place in Thailand.

Check out my month-by-month guide to find the perfect time for you to book a ticket to this charming place.

Month-by-month Guide

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