Sakon Nakhon is recognized as the coldest place in Thailand, with a record cold temperature of -2.5 Celsius (27°F ) on December 24, 1999. Late December and early January are typically the coldest weeks in Sakon Nakhon and Northeastern Thailand, with the cold season first arriving around mid November. This year (2022) the cold season has arrived rather late, with only a few cool night and mornings well into December.
However, with the Christmas season approaching, the cold season will be arriving this week, with temperatures plunging to 49° F (or 9.5° C) by Sunday, December 18th. This is just in time for the holiday festivities at Ban Tha Rae, the best place to celebrate Christmas in Thailand. We can expect everyone bundled up in sweaters, jackets, scarves, and wool hats as they enjoy the Christmas lights that appear throughout the Catholic village of Ban Tha Rae.
The cold weather in Sakon Nakhon makes it a great time of year to walk the forests, as the bugs are few and you get that nice autumn smell of forest floors covered with fallen leaves. Forest walks can take place at the Phu Phan National Park, as well as the many forest temples throughout Sakon Nakhon province. When looking to identify Thailand’s forest temples by name look for the word “Pa” (ป่า) in the temple name, as that is the Thai word for forest or jungle. There are also places such as the Khmer ruins of Pra That Phu Phek which have lots of forest area for a nature walk.
One last thing to note is that the temperature in the forest or rural areas could be 1-3°C (or 2-8°F) cooler than what you see in Sakon Nakhon weather reports, or on your mobile phone’s weather app, as the temperature that appears there is likely coming from the airport.