Chiang Mai in March: Weather & Travel Tips

Is March A Good Time To Visit Chiang Mai?

March is a tempting month to visit Chiang Mai due to its pleasant and warm weather, which is perfect for exploring. However, it is right in the middle of the burning season. As a result, there may be hazy skies and air quality issues that can be a significant drawback for people with respiratory sensitivities.

Personally, I prefer clear skies and pristine air quality when traveling. Really, who doesn't? We travel to relax and enjoy nature, right?

This is why I think March is definitely not recommended to travel to Chiang Mai.

Weather in Chiang Mai in March

Chiang Mai in March -Weather

April in Chiang Mai? Buckle up for a weather rollercoaster!

The days are like being stuck in a giant hair dryer – seriously hot and ready to whisk away any winter chills (and maybe your patience). Evenings cool down a touch, but the air can still feel like a big, warm hug.

Also, the first half of the month can also be a bit hazy thanks to leftover smoke from the burning season. Think "slightly smoky campfire" vibes, rather than a clear blue sky. So, while April isn't a complete travel washout, the second half offers clearer skies and fresher air

Average Temperature in Chiang Mai in March

  • Average high temperature in Chiang Mai in March: 35°C (95℉)
  • Average low temperature in Chiang Mai in March: 20°C (68℉)

(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 March?

No, it is unlikely to rain much in Chiang Mai during March since it is in the middle of the dry season. Expect clear skies and plenty of sunshine.

Is It Hot in Chiang Mai in March?

In comparison to the other months of the year, March in Chiang Mai is not typically considered to be extremely hot. However, during this month, the burning season is in full swing, which can make it feel slightly warmer than usual. Although it's not the hottest time of year, the haze caused by agricultural practices can trap some heat, making it feel hotter than usual, particularly during the daytime.

The Burning Season in Chiang Mai

What Is "Burning Season" in Northern Thailand?

Northern Thailand has a not-so-fun party guest that crashes the scene from February to April burning season (also known as smoky or fire season). This is when farmers use a traditional method called slash-and-burn agriculture, basically lighting leftover crops on fire to clear the land.

The problem? All that smoke creates a thick haze that hangs around, making the air quality yucky and visibility a guessing game. It's not great for your lungs either, especially for folks with asthma or other breathing issues.

The good news: the Thai government is working on ways to chill out this fiery situation, encouraging farmers to use alternative methods. But for now, burning season is still a big issue.

How Bad Is The Burning Season in Chiang Mai in March?

In short, it's terrible. The burning season in Chiang Mai reaches its peak in March.

During this time, the surrounding areas practice agricultural burning, resulting in significant smoke and haze. This can lead to reduced visibility and air quality, causing respiratory issues such as coughing and irritation of eyes. People with breathing difficulties like asthma may find it particularly challenging.

If you prioritize pristine air quality for your trip, it's best to consider an alternative time of year as March may not be the ideal time to visit Chiang Mai.

Tips To Survive The Burning Season in Chiang Mai

Here are some tips for you to have an "almost" enjoyable experience in Chiang Mai during March. I hope you can do well!

Protect Yourself from the Smoke:

  • Pack a good quality N95 mask and wear it whenever you're outdoors. This will help filter out harmful particles in the smoke.
  • Consider sunglasses or protective eyewear to shield your eyes from irritation caused by smoke particles.
  • Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and help clear irritants from your body.

Plan Your Activities Strategically:

  • Schedule outdoor activities for early mornings or evenings when air quality tends to be better.
  • Use air quality apps like AirVisual to check real-time air quality readings. Plan indoor activities for days with particularly bad air quality.

Embrace Indoor Activities:

  • Explore Chiang Mai's many museums. These offer a cool respite from the heat and smoky air.
  • Take a cooking class to immerse yourself in Thai cuisine. Learn to prepare delicious dishes in an air-conditioned environment.
  • Relax and unwind with a traditional Thai massage – a perfect antidote to a day spent indoors.

Be Flexible and Adjust:

  • Be prepared to adjust your itinerary based on air quality. If the smoke is particularly bad, prioritize indoor activities or find alternative locations outside the city with better air quality.
  • Understand that visibility might be reduced due to haze, and outdoor activities might be less enjoyable than usual.

What To Wear In Chiang Mai In March

Packing for Chiang Mai in March requires balancing staying cool and managing the potential effects of the burning season.

My suggestions:

  • Light and Breathable Clothes: Opt for natural, lightweight, and breathable fabrics like cotton or linen. These will help you stay cool and comfortable in the warm weather.
  • Sun Protection: A wide-brimmed hat is essential to shield your face and neck from the strong sun. Also, protects your eyes with sunglasses that offer UVA and UVB protection.
  • Respectful Clothing: When visiting temples, ensure your shoulders and knees are covered. Pack long pants, skirts below the knee, or a sarong to wrap around your legs. A light scarf can be useful for additional coverage.

Book Your Accommodation Strategically

You know, if you want to maximize your trip to Chiang Mai in March, you should be strategic in everything, including booking your accommodation. Let me show you how!

  • Location Matters. Look for hotels near museums, shopping malls, or cafes with air conditioning. This allows you to escape the smoke and heat during the day if needed.
  • Amenities, too. Prioritize accommodation with good air conditioning to create a comfortable haven from the heat and smoke, especially for evenings. Check the hotel amenities on Agoda before booking.
  • Ready For Bad Situation. Use air quality apps to track real-time air quality data. If air quality is particularly bad in your chosen area, consider switching to a hotel with a more favorable location.

Best Things To Do in Chiang Mai in March

While March offers warm weather, the peak burning season can limit your choices of things to do in Chiang Mai.

Here's a list of indoor experiences you might want to consider in Chiang Mai during this time.

  • Cultural Immersion: Explore Chiang Mai's rich heritage through museums like the Chiang Mai National Museum or Wat Phra That Doi Suthep (if visibility permits).
  • Culinary Delights: Unleash your inner chef with a Thai cooking class. Learn to prepare delicious dishes in an air-conditioned environment.
  • Traditional Massage: Indulge in a relaxing and rejuvenating Thai massage – a perfect antidote to spending time indoors.
  • Art and Shopping: Explore local art galleries showcasing contemporary and traditional Thai art, or visit workshops and support local artisans. Many shopping malls offer air-conditioned comfort for browsing souvenirs.
  • Local Markets (consider air quality): If air quality allows, explore the vibrant Chiang Mai Night Bazaar to taste local culture, delicious street food, and unique crafts. Be mindful of smoke levels and prioritize visiting during evenings when the air might be clearer.

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

As I mentioned earlier, I don't recommend traveling to Chiang Mai in March. If you're planning a trip to this beautiful Thai city, check out my article on a month-by-month guide to find a better time.

Or, just jump right into my favorites - November, December, and January.

Month-by-month Guide

No items found.