Why You Should Visit Thailand in February 2020

Elephant Boats at the 2019 Elephant Boat Races in Bangkok, Thailand. Photo Credit: Anantara Hotels & Resorts.

Thailand Travel

Thailand in February is relatively cool and dry, with lots of sunshine and little rainfall. A good time to visit? Events include the Elephant Boat Races and River Festival as well as Makha Bucha, flower festivals in Bangkok and Chiang Mai, and local festivals in other Thai cities.

Why Visiting Thailand in February Makes Sense

One of the driest and coolest months of the year, February can be an excellent month to visit Thailand.

After Thai New Year, Thailand’s second most important domestic holiday, Makha Bucha, falls in February.

There are also flower festivals in Bangkok and Chiang Mai and some interesting local festivals in other parts of the country – many of which are far off the well-beaten tourism track.

Most exciting for tourists and expats, perhaps, is the Elephant Boats Races.  Now in their second year, the races were held in late March in 2019.

This year, the three-day festival has been moved forward by one month to late February. They will run from 28 February to 1 March.

Weather in Thailand in February

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Pattaya Bay viewed from the Executive Lounge of the Cape Dara Beachfront Resort in Pattaya, Thailand. Photo Credit: Accidental Travel Writer.

February is at the end of Thailand’s so-called “cool season”. The average daily high in Bangkok is 33 Celsius, or 91 degrees Fahrenheit, with an average low of 23 degrees Celsius, or 77 degrees Fahrenheit.

There are similar temperatures throughout the country, although some spots are a few degrees higher, and others a few degrees lower.

Ayutthaya and Krabi, for example, have an average high of 93 degrees Fahrenheit in February, whereas Chiang Mai, Koh Samui, and Udon Thani have an average high of 88 degrees Fahrenheit.

February is also the dry season, with an average of only two rainy days and about 10 millimeters of rain.

What to See and Do in Thailand in February

Here’s a short-list of some of the Thai festivals and holidays that take place in Thailand in February.

Please note: some of the times have not yet been fixed for 2020. If dates for this year’s events are not listed in the title, last year’s date is noted at the end of the listing for reference. Dates will be updated as soon as possible.

Kengchakaj Concert – 1 February 2020

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Kengchakaj. Photo Credit: the Artist.

Bangkok-born, New York-based improviser, pianist, and composer Kengchakaj will perform four times during the month of January and on 1 February in the Big Mango.

At Alonetogether Bar – 29 Sukhumvit 31, Bangkok, Thailand.

Chon Concert – 7 February 2020

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Chon. Photo Credit: Jude Aotik.

California rock band Chon will perform live in the Big Mango. The group released its third studio album last June.

At Lido Connect – Rama I Road, Khwaeng Pathum Wan, Khet Pathum Wan, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon, Bangkok, Thailand.

Chiang Mai Flower Festival – 7 to 9 February 2020

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A flower-clad float in a parade during the Flower Festival in Chiang Mai. Photo Credit: FredTC.

Suan Buak Hat Park in Chiang Mai is transformed into an open-air exhibition centre with floral displays and agricultural exhibitions. There are also contests, and plants can be purchased.

A highlight of the festival is a parade of floral floats that make their way through city streets accompanied by celebrants marching in traditional Thai costumes.

At Nong Buak Haad Public Park, corner of Bumrung Buri Road and Arak Road, Phra Sing, Chiang Mai Municipality,  Chiang Mai Province, Thailand. 

Makha Bucha – 9 February 2020

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Making merit at a Buddhist temple in Phuket. Photo Credit: Accidental Travel Writer.

The second most important festival of the year in Thailand, Makha Bucha (also spelled Magha Puja) celebrates a gathering that was held in Northern India between the Buddha and 1,250 of his first disciples 10 months after his enlightenment.

According to tradition …

  • All of the disciples came without being summoned.
  • All of them were enlightened.
  • All of them were ordained by the Lord Buddha himself.
  • It was the full-moon of the third lunar month.

Makha Bucha is a day during which lay people make merit by holding processions, lighting candles, and making offerings.

Candlelight processions and other activities are held at most temples.

As a Buddhist holiday, the sale of alcohol is strictly prohibited during Makha Bucha. That means you can’t buy alcohol for a period of 24 hours!

The third of February is also celebrated as Veteran’s Day in Thailand.

Celebrated nationwide.

Full Moon Party – 9 February 2020

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Full Moon Party at Haad Rin Sunris Beach on Koh Phangan, an island near Koh Samui. Photo Credit: Per Meistrup.

The Full Moon Party is held on the beach of Haad Rin every month on the night of the full moon.

DJs play a variety of musical styles including trance, dubstep, reggae, and techno. Jugglers, fire-eaters, and fireworks add drama to the all-night event.

Haad Rin is crescent shaped beach located on the island of Ko Pha Ngan. It can be reached by boat from Koh Samui, an island off the coast of Southern Thailand.

Koh Samui is 293 miles (471 kilometres) south of Bangkok. Because the drive takes nearly 10 hours, air travel is recommended,. The flight takes just over one hour.

Baan Tawai Village Woodcarving Fair – 2020 Date Pending

The fair is a focal point for wood artisans from across Chiang Mai. It also features  cultural performances, a woodcarving competition, a cooking contest, the sale of handcrafted items including silverware, lacquerware, hand-woven textile and basketry.

At Baan Tawai Woodcarving Village – 90 Moo 2 Baan-Tawa, Khun Khong, Hang Dong, Chiang Mai Province, Thailand. The village is about 16 kilometres from the municipality of Chiang Mai.

Ban Chiang World Heritage Festival – 2020 Date Pending

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Artifacts on display at the Ban Chiang Museum in Udon Thani Province. Photo Credit: Kiwiodysee

The archaeological site of Ban Chiang in Udon Thani Province, and the area that surrounds it, was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1992.

In celebration, Udon Thani province organizes the Ban Chiang World Heritage Festival each year with an eye to highlighting the rich history of this nearly forgotten culture.

There is a trade fair of five-star OTOP products Tai Phuan activities, the ceremony of paying homage to sacred entity (Pu Khun Chiang Sawat), a cultural parade, and light and sound performances of Tai Phuan in Ban Chiang.

At the Ban Chiang Archaeological Site and National Museum, Nong Han District, Udon Thani Province, Thailand.  From 1 to 28 February 2019.

King Narai Reign Fair – 2020 Date Pending

The era of King Narai the Great is re-enacted during the nine-day King Narai Reign Fair, which celebrates King Narai the Great (1580–1655).

Highlights include a regal ceremony and a spectacular procession of floats, horses, and elephants.

There is a changing of the guards performance, a light-and-sound presentation, various cultural displays and dance performances, and a “retro” market  featuring shops offering traditional food and beverages in exchange for ‘ancient’ Thai bullet money.

At King Narai’s Palace, Lopburi, Thailand. From 8 to 17 February 2019.

Maga Puja Hae Pha Khuen That Festival – 2020 Date Pending

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A colourful cloth is paraded through the ground of the Hae Pha Khuen That Festival. Photo Credit: Kosin Sukhum.

The Hae Pha Khuen That Festival aims to promote Buddhist tourism in Thailand.

There are exhibitions, a procession, the draping of a very long piece of holy cloth around the base of a stupa that contains sacred relics and other merit-making activities

The pagoda is considered to be the representative of Lord Buddha. Local devotees believe it possess a tremendous amount of righteousness of the holy relics it contains.

The festival is held twice a year during Makha Bucha Day (the 15th full-moon night of February) and Visakha Bucha Day (the 15th full-moon night of May).

Book hotel rooms in Nakhon Si Thammarat early as this festival is very popular.

At Royal Park Si Thammarat, Soi Wat Mahathat Woramahawihan, Nai Mueang, Muang Nakhon Ratchasima, Nakhon Ratchasima, Nakhon Si Thammarat Province, Thailand. From 13 to 19 February 2019.

Darin Epsilon Boat Party – 22 February 2020

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Darin Epsilon. Photo Credit: the Artist.

American music producer, DJ, radio personality, record label owner Darin Epsilon will spin the discs on an exclusive boat party.

At Sathorn Pier – Yan Nawa Station, Bangkok, Thailand.

Phuket Food Festival – 27 February to 3 March 2020

More than 100 food vendors will be serving up seafood, local favourites, and fusion dishes from 4 pm to 10 pm at Saphan Hin Park in Phuket Town, Phuket.

One of the biggest food events in Southern Thailand, the Phuket Food Festival also features music and live entertainment.

Saphan Hin Park, Phuket Town, Phuket, Thailand. From 1 to 7 March, 4 pm to 10 pm. 

Krabi Naga Fest – 28 February to 1  March 2020

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Krabi Naga Fest on Khlong Muang Beach in Krabi’sMueang District.

An outdoor music festival, the Krabi Naga Music Fest will be held across three days on a beach in southern Thailand.

There will be performances by well-known pop-jazz musicians and singers. There will also be cultural shows, street shows, and a local products fair.

Fresh seafood and other delicacies will be on sale from the kitchens of nearby four- and five-star hotels and resorts.

The theme of this year’s festival is “Breezing Beach and Music”.

Khlong Muang Beach, Mueang District, Krabi, Thailand. From 1 to 3 March, 5 pm to 12 midnight, free admission.

Elephant Boat Races – 29 February to 1 March 2020

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Thai dancers will perform at the opening ceremony of the first ever King’s Cup Elephant Boat Race & Riverside Festival, which will be held in Bangkok, Thailand, in late March. Photo Credit: Anantara Hotels.

The second annual  King’s Cup Elephant Boat Race & Riverside Festival will be held along the banks of the Chao Praya River in Bangkok this year.

Traditional Thai dancers, Buddhist monks, Hindu Brahmins, and brass bands will kick off the event.

Elephant boat teams will compete alongside the Thai Navy Seals, paddling elephant-themed dragon boats on the Chao Phraya River.

The Asia Cup Indoor Rowing Championships will run concurrently with the event, and Friday is open to all comers. No prior experience is needed. All fitness levels are welcome to take part.

Celebrity chefs from some of Bangkok’s top restaurants will serve up some of their signature dishes at the Foodie Village. You can wash the yummy tidbits down with artisan cocktails.

Champagne and beer tents will offer the best spots to watch the action on the river and the the fireworks displays. There will be all three evenings.

Photos of 2020 Elephant Boat Races Final Day

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Saturday night fireworks. Photo Credit: Anantara Hotels.
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Musical group Paradox entertaining the crowd. Photo Credit: Anantara Hotels.

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Final day of the Elephant Boat Races in Bangkok, Thailand. Photo Credit: Anantara Hotels.

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Royal Thai Navy wins Elephant Boat Races in 2020. Photo Credit: Accidental Travel Writer.
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Kids enjoying the festival, Photo Credit: Anantara Hotels.
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Minor Hotels CEO Dillip Rajakarier (centre) with Nicole Miller & Candace Bushnell. Minor Hotels CEO Dillip Rajakarier w Nicole Miller & Candace Bushnell
Photos of 2020 Elephant Boat Races Day One
Team Anantara at the Elephant Boat Race
Team Anantara at the Elephant Boat Race 2020, day one. Photo Credit: Anantara Hotels.
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Elephant Boat Race 2020, day one.. Photo Credit: Anantara Hotels.
Photos of 2019 Elephant Boat Races Day One
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Thai dancers perform at King’s Cup Opening Ceremony. Photo Credit: Anantara Hotels
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Kathy Heinecke at the King’s Cup opening ceremony. Photo Credit: Anantara Hotels.
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Fashioned after dragon boats, the bows of the boats are shaped like elephant heads. Photo Credit: Anantara Hotels.
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The rowers of Castillero del Diablo. Photo Credit: Anantara Hotels.
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The rowers of Chang beer. Photo Credit: Anantara Hotels.
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Chang rowers neck and neck with CitiBank rowers. Photo Credit: Anantara Hotels.
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Chang rowers take the lead! Photo Credit: Anantara Hotels.
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And the winners are … Photo Credit: Anantara Hotels.

The first-ever King’s Cup Elephant Boat Race and River Festival got underway on 29 March 2019 on the shores of the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok, Thailand.

The opening ceremony began with a spiritual blessing, which was followed by Thai dancing and traditional drumming.

Twelve teams took to the waves to compete for the coveted King’s Cup. Included were the Royal Thai Navy Seals and both domestic and international teams.

The bows of the boats were fashioned after elephant heads. The sterns were fashioned after Thai fish tails.

Elephant Boat Races 2019 Event Highlights
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International teams will compete, rowing elephant themed dragon boats in the waters of the Chao Praya River in the heart of Bangkok, Thailand. Photo Credit: Anantara Hotels.
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Celebrity chefs from some of Bangkok’s top tables will be serving up yummy Thai fare at the Foodie Village.  Photo Credit: Anantara Hotels.
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Popular Thai Singer Singto Numchok will be one of several live acts performing at the Riverside Festival. Photo Credit: Anantara Hote

Open-air concerts will be held on Friday and Saturday nights.

  • Rapper J Jetrin and pop star Atom, whose renditions of “Aow” and “Please”  topped the charts, will perform on Friday night.
  • Duo New Jew will perform soulful ballads. Singto Numchok play will surf-rock and reggae-pop on Saturday night.

Saturday is Ladies’ Day, and everyone is invited to dress up in nostalgic “Old Siam” themed finery. The Grand Prize is a trip to the Maldives.

There will  be elephant themed creative painting workshops and interactive displays for the kids.

The closing ceremony will feature a vintage car show and live jazz performances.

And check this out: ticket sales will go to a worthy cause.supports charity.

Fully 100% of tickets sales will go to the Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation (GTAEF), which will  donate the proceeds to a wide range of elephant related charities.

Plus every ticket purchased gives festival goers a chance to win luxury Anantara hotel stays worldwide.

If You are visiting Thailand

Top Reasons Why You Sbould Visit Thailand in February is part of a series of monthly travel guides to the Land of Smiles. This post contains affiliate links. It is the second in a series of monthly travel and sightseeing guides to Thailand

 

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