Thailand, officially the Kingdom of Thailand, is located at the center of the Indochinese Peninsula. Despite its neighbouring countries – Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Malaysia and Myanmar – are extremely beautiful and attract huge hordes of tourists every year, the Land of Smiles is the most popular destination in Southeast Asia. Well, it is not difficult to understand why! History and modernity combine here together, shaping the local culture, the surrounding territory as well as Thailand’s friendly inhabitants. Beaches, mountains, lush green national parks and vibrant cities will contribute to make your trip an unforgettable adventure.
Weather and season are considered major elements when it comes to organise a trip to Thailand. The country has officially three different types of climate: cool, hot and wet. The cool season, from November to February, offers visitors mild temperatures and little rainfall. The hot season, ranging from March to June, as the name suggests, brings the hottest temperatures of the year and sees an increase of rainfalls. Finally, the rain season, from July to late October, is accompanied by heavy rains, which however are not constant during the day. Be aware that the period towards the end of the rainy season is to be considered the worst as regards rainfalls. Expect in fact pouring rains and floods!
If you are not one of those people, who are travelling to Thailand to enjoy a fresh cocktail on a beach, we got you covered! The country can also be visited during the wet season and, despite what mainstream tourists say, it is extremely beautiful. Moreover, the cost of the trip will be extremely cheaper compared to the peak-season, since accommodation facilities, guided tours and restaurants tend to make numerous discounts during this period. True, you will get wet, but it will be totally worth it!!!
What is the rain season
The rain season in Thailand generally goes from July to late October, however, it varies from area to area. Indeed, while the rainy season ranges from May to November in the northern region of the country, the southern part of Thailand experiences heavy rains between April to October. Although temperatures are still quite high (25°C on average), this period represents the time in which travellers experience the largest amount of rain. Yet, it must be emphasised that rainfalls are not equally spread over the days and months of the season. Moreover, despite what several people wrongly assert, rainy season and monsoon season are not the same thing. Indeed, the monsoon season is a specific period of time, in which monsoons – a type of wind from the Indian Ocean – bring moisture to the continent’s inland and, consequently, provoke changes in precipitations.
July and August
At the beginning of the season, the weather is unpredictable and rainfalls are occasional. During this period, in fact, days with very few raindrops interchange with days of heavy incessant rain.
Yet, in the northern city of Chiang Mai, August is considered the worst month of the year. During this period, rains are here at their heaviest.
As time goes by, September arrives and the situation concerning rainfalls slowly exacerbates. During this month, in fact, visitors should expect daily heavy downpours with thunders and lightnings, as well as grey skies and humid air.
In central and northern Thailand, heavy rains are concentrated mainly in the morning and in the evening.
The cool season is coming and rain starts to become quite predictable. Although the first weeks of the month can still be harsh, in October, rain usually stops in the afternoon, letting visitors the possibility to explore this wonderful country.
Yet, while rainfalls start to diminish in the northern part of the country, rain is expected to continue in the south until November.
What to pack during the rain season
When travelling to Thailand during the rainy season, visitors must be extremely prepared. Obviously, clothing and footwears depend on what your plans are and, especially, on which part of the country you are visiting. Forget about flip flops and fancy clothes, since they are not necessary during this period. Consider instead packing lightweight clothes, which are made of quick-drying materials, as well as a comfortable 100% waterproof rain jacket. Yet, don’t spend too much time packing. In fact, you can always buy whatever you need – clothes or accessories – in the many stores and malls that the country offers … it will be way cheaper!
What you can do during the rain season
First of all, as we already said several times in this article, it will rain a lot. Don’t get disappointed if the weather is not good. Moreover, forget about the beach! Seas are here really rough, therefore, swimming and watersports activities are extremely dangerous during this period. Focus instead on indoor activities, including visits to museums, shopping and food tastings.
The city of angels and the capital of the country is the best place to be during the rainy season. Here, in fact, besides the fact that many sights are located indoor, the city offers a great public transportation system, which allow you to easily move from one place to the other.
Although the city represents one of the best destinations in the country to hike, visitors should definitely focus on something else during this period. The city offers several interesting museums, including the Chiang Mai National Museum, the Tribal Museum and the Chiang Mai Contemporary Art Museum.
The city of Phuket is definitely popular for its beautiful beaches and clear waters, however, this will not be an option during the rainy season. Yet, there are here great museums, including the Tin Mining Museum, the Thai Hua History Museum and the Seashell Museum. Phuket also offers a beautiful aquarium.
Useful tips to travel in Thailand during the wet season
- Do not go out in the early morning or in the evening, you could get extremely wet!
- Absolutely avoid taking selfies with Buddha!
- Do not go to the beach! If you do, be aware of the many jellyfish brought by the monsoons.
- Do not drive motorbikes when it is raining or wet!
- Remember to protect from water your most valuable accessories (e.g. phones)!
Yes, heavy downpours can definitely be scary, however, if you travel to Thailand well-equipped, nothing will stop you from this adventure: tuk-tuks, energetic cities, orange-robed monks, and luxury resorts are waiting for you!
Visit the German website Backpackertrail to receive further information about backpacking in Thailand!