Hello all, first off great website, I'm sure I'll be back with more questions and hopefully advice after my Thailand trip.
My girlfriend and I are planning on arriving around July 15th - August 15th. We are unsure yet as of destinations, but since we are from Minnesota, really want to visit exotic beaches (of course among other things), however will this be a problem due to the rainy season?
Does anyone suggest traveling (example) the northern part first (July) and then heading more south towards the end (august), or vis-versa?
Thanks for any advice.
#1 clinicalornot has been a member since 24/3/2010. Posts: 2
EDIT: We are GOING from July 15 - August 15
#2 clinicalornot has been a member since 24/3/2010. Posts: 2
this question comes up quite a bit, and there's heaps of information on similar threads. give the message board a good once over and you'll find lots of great ideas on monsoon season travel.
i've done plenty of travel through thailand in july and august myself and it is usually fine. sometimes your travel plans will be delayed due to weather and floods, and some places do close during the rainy season, but mostly it is business as usual. depending on where you go, you can even get discounts and will enjoy smaller crowds than normal.
there are occasionally times when it rains hard all day long, but typically the rains come in the mid to late afternoon and only last an hour or so. it cools things down and makes for wonderful evenings.
as for your route, the animated Thai weather map is an important tool for figuring out where the rains usually are and where it is best for you to be. see it at this link: http://www.travelfish.org/weather_fish.php
During July and August is peak rainy season for most of Thailand, BUT...
1. That can mean a quick downpour in late afternoon and just as much chance of sun during the day. It's really a roll of the dice though.
2. The lower Gulf of Thailand (east coast) has a different rainy season (more like Oct-Feb) so in your timeframe that would be a good bet for sun. Some excellent beaches on Ko Samui/Phangan/Tao. Samui is the most built-up (esp. Chaweng and Lamai) Phangan has more for the budget backpacker (my fav away from party ghetto Haad Rin) and Tao is smaller and heavily geared toward dive schools with lively social scene.
In 2008 my partner and I travelled around Thailand from the end of July to the end of September and were hardly affected by the rain at all. You may find yourself stuck in a bar or restaurant for an extra hour or so while the rain dies down but that’s about as bad as it got for us. We spent a few weeks around Koh Samui, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao and experienced a whole heap of sunshine and clear blue skies. Up north was a lot greyer but we actually found it to be a bit of relief from the hot sun.
As everyone else has mentioned, even in the rainy season it never seems to set in for long periods of time. The most rain we ever got was maybe three or four heavy showers a day, the longest lasting an hour or so, and after the sunshine comes out again everything is glistening and green :)
I’m sure some people have horror stories, but I certainly wouldn’t be worried about it. Bare in mind some islands close during wet season, but all of the main ones are as accessible as ever.
Enjoy your trip!
As captian bob mentioned, the east coast is best. Actually it will not be monsoon there until mid-September. Mid July-Aug is one of the best times of the year there weather-wise. Have fun!
#6 yogakhaolak has been a member since 1/4/2010. Posts: 45