Monday, January 10, 2011

Thailand Weather

For interactive information, please refer to our animated Thai weather map -- an interactive map to the weather situation in Thailand with detailed monthly statistics on rainfall, minimum and maximum temperature and number of rainy days in a month. Otherwise, for more detailed information, including climatic charts, please read on.

Thailand can best be described as tropical and humid for the majority of the country during most of the year. The area of Thailand north of Bangkok has a climate determined by three seasons whilst the southern peninsular region of Thailand has only two.
In northern Thailand the seasons are clearly defined. Between November and May the weather is mostly dry, however this is broken up into the periods November to February and March to May. The later of these two periods has the higher relative temperatures as although the northeast monsoon does not directly effect the northern area of Thailand, it does cause cooling breezes from November to February.
The other northern season is from May to November and is dominated by the southwest monsoon, during which time rainfall in the north is at its heaviest.

The southern region of Thailand really has only two seasons -- the wet and the dry. These seasons do not run at the same time on both the east and west side of the peninsular. On the west coast the southwest monsoon brings rain and often heavy storms from April through to October, whilst on the east coast the most rain falls between September and December.
Overall the southern parts of Thailand get by far the most rain with around 2,400 millimetres every year, compared with the central and northern regions of Thailand, both of which get around 1,400 millimetres.

When is the best time to visit Thailand?

Generally speaking,the best time to visit Thailand is from November to February when the northeast monsoon is blowing cool, dry air which serves as a respite from the heat. During this cool season, the temperature ranges from 18ºC to 32ºC in Bangkok, while in northern and northeast Thailand, temperatures can get quite cool with morning temperatures as low as 8º C to 12º C with the occasional 20º C day. Nights can be particularly chilly and at high altitudes the temperatures can and do drop below freezing.
The summer period, or hot and dry season, is from March to June. At this time temperatures in Bangkok average around 34º C, but can often reach 40º C with the humidity levels of 75%.
Try and avoid April, unless you plan to be permanently submerged in the ocean, because this is the hottest month across the country.
From July to October is the monsoonal season when most of Thailand's annual rainfall is accumulated. The humidity averages just under 90%, with temperatures averaging around 29º C in Bangkok.
The monsoons finish when the wind direction changes, bringing dry weather from the northeast. At best this season can be described as unpredictable and not the constant downpour of rain like you would expect. The middle months of this season may hold particularly heavy rains for the north of the country.

Central Thailand: Bangkok

Central Thailand: Ko Chang

Northern Thailand: Chiang Mai

Northeastern Thailand: Udon Thani 

Northeastern Thailand: Buriram

South-east Thailand: Ko Samui

South-west Thailand: Phuket

South-west Thailand: Ko Lanta

South-west Thailand: Trang

About E-Sarn

Thais from the Northeast section of Thailand, Issan (or Esarn), consider themselves Lao, and historically this part of Thailand and Laos have very close connections reflected in the music, dress and of course the food. E-Sarn's chef, Ting Pathammavong, was raised there, and now she blends her own variations of recipes from her traditional land.
For over 10 years, Ting worked in the kitchen of just about every Thai restaurant in Portland before a friend suggested that she and her husband, Mao, open up their own. That was over 6 years ago, and if asked about it, Mao smiles and says he still loves it, and would rather be at work than at home. He jokingly says that when he is at home, his twin daughters play with each other, leaving him nothing to do.
When asked what makes his restaurant voted "Portland's Best," he simply says, "We use only fresh ingredients. We can't be open for breakfast, because we spend the morning buying the food for that day."
He also says he has a wonderful staff, and says, "We're really happy here. And a happy staff makes a happy customer. Some have even been with me from the beginning." It's true, his bartender, Raphael Rodriguez, was working the downtown restaurant when Mao bought the place. It is difficult to stump Raphael with even obscure drinks.
Recently, Mao's sister, Air, came over from Thailand to help him open up E-Sarn's second location just off of Northwest 23rd. When asked what the future holds for E-San, Mao said, "Well, my other sister just graduated from the Culinary Institute in Esarn, and will soon be coming over to help out." Even with multiple locations, E-Sarn is still family owned and operated.

About Thai Food

The adage of Thai cooking is simple: Cook with your tongue! In traditional Thai cuisine, recipes are more like guidelines, and each chef is free to deviate to compensate for a particular ingredient's flavor changes or to fit a new locale. In fact, many Thai chefs have difficulty with western cooking because in Thailand, there are no measuring cups.
Thai chefs learn to cook by watching and helping in the kitchen... by "internalizing the system" instead of by following written instructions. This is why you will find such a wide variation between restaurants.
Having trouble understanding that menu? Here are a few definitions of the descriptions of traditional Thai dishes:
  • Yum: literally means to mix. Meat with herbs and spices, vegetable with spices, meat and vegetables with spices mix with sauce. Some sauces are sour and spicy, some are spicy and sweet.
  • Gang Jeude: clear broth soup with vegetable or meat or both.
  • Gang Ped or Gang: spicy broth with or without coconut milk. The majority of gangs use curry paste and coconut milk.
  • Pud or Phad: vegetable or meat stir fried.
  • Tod: pan fried or deep fried, (i.e. Tod Mun is fried fish cakes).
  • Yang: grilled (i.e. Gai Yang is grilled chicken)

How to make "papaya salad - Som Tam"

How to make "pad Thai"