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Chiang Mai weather is not unusual for tropical regions of the world. There's the rainy season, which covers the months of June through October. There's the cool season that falls between November through February. Then there's the hot season during of March through May.

Due to the lowered humidity in Chiang Mai, this city, as opposed to many other parts of Thailand, is considerably more moderate in climate, usually falling a few degrees cooler than the rest of the country. The best times to visit Chiang Mai is during the months of November through February, when the climate is cooler and dry. During this time the land is still moist from the monsoon season, so everything is still green, but by the time March rolls around everything is drying up from lack of rain, and the farmers begin burning their rice fields.

You probably want to avoid Chiang Mai during March, due to rice farmers burning their fields to prepare for the upcoming rice crop that they will put in when the rains start again. Clouds of smoke are everywhere, which, added to the dusty and dry environment, makes the region rather polluted for weeks. The yearly Songkran Festival, which represents the Thai new year, comes about during the month of April, which though still dry and polluted, makes this a good reason to visit the region at that time.

I think that December and January are the best months for visiting Chiang Mai. This is during the cool season. Warm days and cool nights prevail, allowing people to wear shorts during the day though they may need to wear sweaters or light jackets at night. This is the time of the year referred to as the Chiang Mai winter, but since Thailand is tropical, snowboarding and downhill skiing is not an option. I try to dress as lightly as possible while I'm visiting tropical places so I often get away with just putting on jeans with my tee shirt during the cooler hours.

August and September are the worst times to visit as it is during the peak of the monsoon and the wet season is in full sway. Wet and soggy weather is not for everyone but some people who have never observed a monsoon type rain might enjoy hanging around for the start of the monsoon season. It's different from the rainy seasons in more temperate climates, and quite a memorable experience. 

I have found that Chiang Mai has a unique and beautiful culture and it's a good place to visit. If you're a photographer you will especially enjoy the area, with its colorful landscapes, beautiful mountains and sunsets, all becoming enhanced by the clouds of the rainy season. In my opinion, it's a great Thailand getaway.

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