Averages for Ko Samui in March
March is one of the hottest months in Ko Samui's calendar. It has to be said that every single month is warm in the resort though; temperatures don't drop or rise much throughout the year. The tropical island was once a haven for backpackers, but has recently become one of Asia's most popular seaside resorts, visited by tourists throughout the year, thanks to its excellent weather. March marks the end of the dry season and the beginning of the hot sea...
Daily averages for Ko Samui
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March is one of the hottest months in Ko Samui's calendar. It has to be said that every single month is warm in the resort though; temperatures don't drop or rise much throughout the year. The tropical island was once a haven for backpackers, but has recently become one of Asia's most popular seaside resorts, visited by tourists throughout the year, thanks to its excellent weather. March marks the end of the dry season and the beginning of the hot season. In March, Ko Samui has an average temperature of 29°C; only May is warmer. Average high temperatures for the island in March are 31°C and average low temperatures are around 26°C. These daily highs and lows don't change at all in the course of the month. The beaches are one of the most popular hangouts on the island. Tourists don't just spend their days on the beach because of the sun and the sand, but they also enjoy taking a swim in the warm waters as well, which have an average bath-like temperature of 27°C. The temperature of the sea doesn't change much either in the course of the year. They generally fluctuate between 26°C and 28°C.
March has a daily average of eight hours of sunshine. This is the maximum number of sunshine hours in the year, which definitely has to do with less cloud cover during the dry season; February and April have the same amount, while May, when it gets rainier, experiences a sudden drop to only six hours of sunshine. The length of the days doesn't change much in the course of March. March 1 is the shortest day of the month with 11.57 hours of daylight and March 31 is the longest with 12.12 daylight hours, a monthly increase of only 15 minutes.
Cloud cover is at its absolute lowest in March. It ranges around 47% throughout the month and doesn't change substantially. Historically, March 16 is the clearest day of the year. To put into perspective how few cloud cover there actually is in March, know that in the beginning of February it was at a high of 65%, a percentage that will be reached again by April 26. The maximum amount of cloud cover is about 88%, which occurs from May through November.
The fact that there is not much cloud cover results in less precipitation as well. With a total of 30mm of rainfall and only four rainy days, March is the driest month in Ko Samui. Only February comes close to this amount of dryness, also with 30mm of rainfall, but with five days of rain. The average probability that you will experience rain during your visit in March is 26%. This number increases slightly in the course of the month. March 1 is the driest day with a 24% chance of rain, while March 31 is the wettest day with a chance of 27%. The most common type of precipitation in March is light rain, occurring on 55% of those four rainy days. Thunderstorms come in second, happening on 23% of the days of rainfall. The third type of precipitation is moderate rain, which is occurs on 17% of the rainy days. March does have eight days of fog though, the second-highest number of all months. Only January sees more foggy days and December has the same number.
March may just be the best time of year to visit the resort. Temperatures are high, as they always are, it is the driest month of the year, cloud cover is extremely low compared to any other month and it has an average of eight hours of sunshine, as much as you will ever experience in the resort.
Things to do
March is when the waters of the Gulf of Thailand are at their calmest and visibility is high. This is probably the best time of year to go diving. With sea temperatures of 27°C, crystal-clear water and an abundance of reefs and tropical fish, this is a real diving hotspot. It is popular among professionals, but also among people who want to learn how to dive. There is a huge offer of short dive courses by professionals and the prices are low compared to most other destinations around the world. Those courses usually take place right at the beach in Chaweng, Coral Cove or at other beautiful locations. If you're ever going to get your PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) license, you may as well do it on a tropical island like Ko Samui. Popular diving sites in the Gulf of Thailand are Ko Yippon, the "Japanese Garden" off Ko Nangyuan, Chumphon Pinnacles, White Rock and Green Rock, among many others.
Coral Cove. Photo by Stuart Mc.Donald.
Many of these diving sites are only a short boat ride away, but more experienced divers may want to visit the world-class diving sites like Sail Rock or Ang Thong National Marine Park.
This national park consists of 42 islands made up of dense jungle, towering limestone mountains, sandy beaches, mangroves, waterfalls and sheltered bays. This spectacular protected area lies a short distance from Ko Samui and is one of the highlights of any holiday in Thailand. It is home to a large variety of tropical animals and plants, as well as sea life. Ang Thong is a great diving destination, but there are many other activities as well. You can go hiking on the islands, snorkelling, sea kayaking, sailing or just relaxing on one of the pristine beaches. Many visitors only visit the park on a day trip, but to really experience it, you should stay at least one night. There are bungalows and camp sites at the park's headquarters. Because it is a national park, only government-approved boats are allowed to enter.
It is nearly impossible to point out the highlights of Ang Thong, which means Golden Basin in Thai, as the entire area is one big highlight. If you can, try to do as much as possible. Definitely spend some time on the beach, but also make sure to go sea kayaking and hiking. A proper Ang Thong experience is a mix of different activities. Fun fact: it is said that Ang Thong was the inspiration for Alex Gardner's book The Beach, which became a Hollywood movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio.
View point of Ang Thong Islands national park.
Hit the beach
The second-largest resort area on the island, after Chaweng, is Lamai Beach. Although it is much quieter than Chaweng, which is the absolute focal point of nightlife and accommodation, Lamai still has lots of accommodation options, restaurants, bars, spas and, of course, beaches.
Lamai is located on the island's east coast. The southern part of the beach has the widest area of sand and is best for swimming. It also has most of the eateries and shops. The northern part has shallow water that isn't deep enough for swimming until quite a distance out. There the beach is narrower and much quieter.
It is a bustling place, especially in the evenings. Walking Street is always crowded, with locals and Westerners, and has plenty of food stalls, live music and activities for kids.
Where to eat and drink
The restaurants in Lamai cover all kinds of worldly cuisine. From Indian and French food to local Thai dishes and Italian, you're sure to find what you're looking for in Lamai.
A signature example of international cuisine is Samui Röstiland. This restaurant is located in northern Lamai and is run by a charming Swiss couple. It is set in a beautifully landscaped garden, including bamboo and thatched roof buildings, and has great sea views. On the menu are both Thai and Swiss dishes. Their best dishes are green chicken curry and cordon blue with rösti, which are Swiss-style fried potatoes.
Barrio Latino is another international restaurant in Lamai. It is the only Mexican and Latin restaurant in town and serves classic Mexican food, such as burritos, tacos and fajitas. Your meal will be accompanied by flamenco and salsa music and there's a great cocktail bar as well.
Where to stay
A superb place to stay is Sandalwood Luxury Villas. This luxury accommodation is located on a hill on the island's east coast and overlooks Chaweng. It is set in a peaceful and calm natural environment and is about a ten-minute drive from the hustle and bustle of the town's centre. The Sandalwood consists of ten separate villas that combine Thai-style architecture with all modern comforts. All villas have a private balcony, offering spectacular views of the Gulf of Thailand. They also feature flat-screen TVs, kitchenettes and spa tubs. There also no less than five infinity pools on the premises, a spa, free Wi-Fi and free shuttle bus service to and from Chaweng. The tour desk can help you with activities, such as cooking lessons, a private limousine tour, snorkelling or diving trips, car rental or boat charter. At the restaurant you can enjoy traditional Thai food and sea views. Additionally, you can also have a personal chef who prepares a private dinner in your villa.
Sandalwood Luxury Villas.