CHIANG RAI – Cold isn’t a word you often hear used to describe Thailand, or Vietnam, or anywhere in Southeast Asia, really. Hot, humid, sticky – something along those lines is usually the norm. But cold, or at least chilly, is what it is has been in some parts of the region for the past several days.
In parts of northern Thailand, temperatures dropped to as low as three degrees Celsius (37.4F). Doi Inthanon, the highest peak in the country, saw the lowest temperatures and frost on the mountainside. The government declared two districts of Chiang Mai disaster zones due to low temperatures between four and seven degrees, according to The Nation. Although the area typically sees cooler temperatures this time of year following the end of the muggy rainy season, lows like this are unusual.
The Meteorological Department predicted that northern Thailand’s cold spell will last until December 22, warming up after that, according to the Bangkok Post. The chilly weather is reportedly caused by a low pressure zone moving over China.
Temperatures have been milder in Bangkok, though still chilly, as the capital is generally warm and balmy.