Things to Do in Thailand in May

Grand Palace in Bangkok, Thailand. Photo Credit: Wolfgang Holzem.

Thailand Travel

As many as 200,000 people are expected to line the streets of Bangkok, Thailand, to view a grand procession following the kingdom’s first royal coronation in nearly seven decades. This is just one of many things to see and do in Thailand in May 2019.

Thailand Weather in May

April is the hottest month of the year in Thailand. If May is slightly cooler than April, it is a bit more humid.

The average high temperature in May is 34 degrees Centigrade, or 93 degrees Fahrenheit. The average low is 26 degrees Centigrade, or 79 degrees Fahrenheit.

Thailand’s rainy season begins in the middle of May. So don’t forget your umbrella!  There is an average of 17 rainy days in May, with about 180 millimeters of rainfall.

Royal Coronation Ceremonies – Overview

Temple of the Emerald Buddha in Bangkok, Thailand. Photo Credit: Sodacan.

Thailand’s first royal coronation in nearly seven decades will take place in Bangkok this month.

His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn will ascend the throne on 4 May. The last coronation was held in 1950, when his father, the much revered King Bhumibol Adulyadej, ascended the throne.

As many as 200,000 people are expected to witness a grand processions that will make its way through the city the day after the coronation.

Here’s a quick look at the schedule of events …

2 May

His Majesty the King will pays homage to the Equestrian Statue of King Chulalongkorn at the Royal Plaza and the Memorial of King Rama I at the foot of Memorial Bridge.

His Majesty will also worship sacred beings at Baisal Daksin Throne Hall and Chakrabat Biman Royal Residence.

3 May

The Royal Golden Plaque of the official title of His Majesty the King, the Royal Golden Plaque of His Majesty’s horoscope, and the Royal Seal of State will be transferred from the Temple of the Emerald Buddha to Baisal Daksin Throne Hall.

4 May

King Maha Vajiralongkorn will be officially crowned as the tenth king of the Chakri Dynasty, Rama X, on 4 May.

The ceremony will officially begin at 10.09 am with purification rites. Several other sacred rites will follow, including the firing of 10 volleys from 19th century canons.

The king will be carried in a royal palanquin from the Grand Palace to the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, where he will proclaim himself the Royal Patron of Buddhism.

5 May

There will be a royal parade through the streets of Bangkok on 5 May, and massive crowds are expected to line the streets.

Included in the parade will be the prime minister, members of the cabinet, a cavalry, and a marching band. The band will play songs comped by the late King Bhumibol.

The parade will depart from the Grand Palace at 4.30 pm, stopping in front of key temples, where the king will alight to pay homage to important Buddhist images. The procession will end at the Grand Palace, as well.

6 May

A series of events at the Grand Palace i will follow on 6 May. His Majesty will grant a public audience on the balcony of the Suddhaisavarya Prasad Hall in the Grand Palace at 4.30 pm.

An hour later, His Majesty will grant an audience to members of the foreign diplomatic corps, as well. It will be held in the Chakri Maha Prasad Throne Hall.

Road access in parts of Bangkok will be limited in the runup to the royal coronation, especially in the Thai capital’s Old City. The same goes for the coronation itself.

What’s Closed in Bangkok in May

If you want to go sightseeing or museum-hopping during the coronation period, keep in mind that many venues might be closed.

The following tourist attractions will close for at least three days during the coronation period …

  • Bangkok City Library – closed until 15 May
  • Coin Museum – closed from 4 to 6 May
  • Grand Palace – closed from 2 to 6 May
  • King Prajadhipok Museum – closed from 4 to 6 May
  • Museum Siam – closed from 4 to 6 May
  • National Gallery City Pillar Shrine – closed from 2 to 6 May
  • National Museum Bangkok – closed from 2 to 6 May
  • Pipit Banglamphu Museum – closed from 4 to 6 May
  • Police Museum Parutsakawan Palace – closed from 4 to 7 May
  • Queen’s Gallery – closed from 2 to 6 May
  • Rajadamnern Boxing Stadium – closed from 4 to 7 May
  • Rattanakosin Exhibition Hall – closed from 5 to 6 May
  • Temple of the Emerald Buddha – closed from 2 to 6 May
  • *Wat Bowonniwet Vihara – closed on 5 May
  • Wat Pho – closed on 5 May
  • Wat Rajabopit – closed until the end of the Ceremony.
  • Wat Saket (Golden Mount) – closed from 4 to 6 May

*Wat is Thai for “temple”.

There is always the chance that closing dates could be extended. So double check before setting off

What Else Is Happening in Thailand in May

The royal coronation will obviously be the focus of attention during the month of May in Thailand. However, there are some other exciting events happenings, as well.

Included are rock concerts, a fertility festival, a Buddhist holiday, and a yacht regatta.

Together Festival – 3 and 4 May

The eighth annual Together Festival will rock Bangkok as world-class DJs spin the discs with two days of electronic music.

The stellar lineup this year will include Alison Wonderland, DJ Snake, Gryffin, Jeffrey Sutorius (Dash Berlin), Kungs, MaRLo, and Party Favor.

  • Bangkok International Trade & Exhibition Center (BITEC) – 4343 Sukhumvit Road, Khwaeng Bang Na, Bangkok, Thailand.

Yasothon Bun Bang Fai Rocket Festival – 8 to 12 May

Drummers performing at the Yasothon Rocket Festival. Photo Credit: Takeaway.

The Yasothon Bun Bang Fai Rocket Festival is one of Thailand’s most important fertility rites. and travelers taking part in the event have given it rave reviews.

Taking place at the beginning of the planting season, the rip-roaring festival features a series of parades, dancers, drummers, and the launching of giant phallus-shaped bamboo rockets into the sky!

The event concludes with participants frolicking in muddy ponds.

  • The city of Yasothon is the capital of Yasothon province. It is located in Northeastern Thailand.

Visakha Bucha – 18 to 20 May

Buddhist-devotees-on-Visakha Bucha-Day.
Buddhist devotees at Wat Pa Pavanaram_on Visakha Bucha Day. Photo Credit: Ya Tonavanik.

One of the most significant Buddhist holidays in Thailand, Visakha Bucha Day commemorates the three defining moments in the life of the Lord Buddha. They all occurred on the day of the full moon of the sixth lunar month, but not in the same year.

First, Buddha was born on this day. Second, he reached enlightenment 35 years later on this day. Finally, he died and entered Nirvana on this day 45 years later.

Many devotees visit Buddhist temples on Visakha Bucha Day to make merit. There are also restrictions on alcohol sales, which means that some bars and clubs close for the day.

Full Moon Party – 19 May

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

Once a month on the night of the full moon, a Full Moon Party is held on the beach of Haad Rin. 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 cresent 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.

18th Samui Regatta – 25 May to 1 June

Samui Regatta is one of biggest yachting events of the year in Southeast Asia. Photo Credit: Samui Regatta.

One of Asia’s biggest sailing events, the Samui Regatta will be hosted by Synergy Samui Resort for the first time this year.

The five-star property is located on Chaweng Beach, Koh Samui’s premier tourist destination.

Attracting yachtsmen from more than 20 countries across across the Asia Pacific, the regatta is known not only for its high-calibre racing. Tropical parties are a key element of the event.

The regatta is in its 18th year. It is organized by Regattas Asia along with the Samui Yacht Club Regatta, the Yacht Racing Association of Thailand, the Municipality of Koh Samui, and the Sports Authority of Thailand.

Visiting Thailand in May?

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This post contains affiliate links. Things to Do in Thailand in May is the fourth in a series of monthly travel and sightseeing guides to Thailand


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