I want to go to Thailand during the end of September and early October, for like 2-3 weeks.
My question is is this a good time to go? I know its right around the start of monsoon season, and I don't want to spend my vacation days indoors. I really want to go to the islands, eat good food and relax in the sun.
Anyone who has been to Thailand during this time, your help is appreciated, thanks!
#1 korch1nat0r has been a member since 11/6/2009. Posts: 3
Sept is normally the middle of the monsoon season for all Thai locations except the southern Gulf - Samui and neighbours - where yep, the wet season tends to kick in in October.
Wet season normally has enough sunshine for a good beach holidays, including several days per month when it will not rain at all, lots of others with one or a few showers with scattered cloud/sunshine between. Prolonged wet spells are not all that common but can occur. From this point of view a super cautious person might avoid the Samui area anywhere past late Sept and stay away from the Eastern Gulf islands (big Ko Chang and neighbours) and the Ranong Islands (little Chang, Phayam) - these can get real wet.
It will rain for sure, but I don't know, I think the whole rainy season thing is a bit overblown. Bring a couple of good books and just chill out and read or something when it's raining. I suppose if you just are looking for sun and sand weather might be more of a factor.
I have a friend and she came on her second visit during the rainy season and it didn't slow her down a step - she just got wet and laughed it off and did her day trips anyway.
#3 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
I went through that page, but I can't figure out how to use some info there. In September, the map shows 400mm of rain in Phuket and only 117 in Koh Samui. Should that be teh final argument that I should dump Phuket or maybe just go there for some trips, and look for accomodation in Koh Samui? Should I read that it will rain 4 times more in Phuket but it will still be better to stay there compared to Koh Samui?
Asking the question differently, if you had to 2 weeks at the end of September, would you spend them in Thailand? If yes, on what island?
#7 Alexc has been a member since 3/7/2009. Posts: 3
"Asking the question differently, if you had to 2 weeks at the end of September, would you spend them in Thailand?"
No, if I had a week to spend on an island in September I'd probably choose an easily accessible one in Indonesia (Bali sprigs to mind) or an island off the eastern coast of peninsula Malaysia.
If I was going to an island in Thailand at that time of year then I'd probably choose one on the Gulf side. I wouldn't go to Samui though. Ko Phangnan and Ko Tao are a bit prettier though they don't have as many 5* resorts.
If this year is normal you are going to have considerably less chance of rain in Sept on Samui, Phangan and Tao than on Phuket . However Phuket is still normally okay wet season - prolonged wet periods are rare but can happen.
I've spent several wet season holidays in that area - none was ruined by rain - all the uncredited pix of Phuket and nearby Phi Phi in the link below were shot by me in wet season visits and there is a lot of sunshine in them. Phuket is more relaxed because crowds are way down and there is some seriously good discounting of nice resort rooms.
I've also spent August and early Sept on Samui/Phangan - lots lots of sunshine, a thunderstorm every second day or so for shortish periods. I'm back there this year. Because of the better weather it is a second high season (although this may cut out some time in Sept when all the Euros and Yanks go back to work) and so prices can be higher for rooms, bungalows.
As far as attractions, I reckon Samui and Phuket are kinda equal - maybe Phuket has a better range of daytrips.
I too prefer Phangan and Tao, but Samui is quite good IMHO and has some laid back beaches besides busy commercial, westernised ones like Chaweng and Lamai.
I am leaving England on 16 September to travel in Thailand until 15 October. I am concerned having read things on the internet about the rainy season and that I am travelling at the wrong time! Unfortunatley, it is too late to change the trip dates. Is there any advise anybody can give about where to go to make the most of our trip? And is the rainy season really as bad as it sounds?
#10 abbiandchris1 has been a member since 7/7/2009. Posts: 2
I used the great feedback received here and this is hpow I planned my trip between 17 September - 03 October:
- Bangkok - 4 nights
- Phuket - 4 nights (could turn into 2 nights in Phuket and 2 nights on Phi Phi Island)
- Koh Samui - 6 nights.
After reading everything there is to read about weather, we decided to take our chances, as we were in the same dillema with fixed period.
#11 Alexc has been a member since 3/7/2009. Posts: 3
I've suggested the below link to others and they said it helped.
If you copy the below link into your email, or whatever, you can keep an eye on the weather and move to better suit your interests and time:
This will bring up a page with the weather forecast for Phuket. If you 'right click' on the small picture to the left side to open in a new tab/window, you'll see the whole area with any cloud, etc.
You should be able to plan better and in detail with this.
Yours is a very open ended question.
You don't say what things/places interest you, nor what activities you'd personally like to do.
I make some advice below, but first, please go and have a look at:
Both of these 'posts' begin with the person laying out a sort of itinerary, and seeking feedback. As you can see, the feedback allowed the person to get great ideas.
May I suggest you do some research, nut out a sort of plan for yourself. Then make a new post under the Thailand page with the plan details, and ask for feedback. If you can include questions about your plan , that's even better for the advice you'll get.
I dunno about monitoring weather sites and if things are crap move somewhere where things have been good.
PROBLEM - weather systems move. How do you know whether next day the bad system moves out of your area and into the yesterday's GOOD area?
I can remember a great wet season holiday I had at Ao Toh Koh on the less visited east coast of PP. Most days had plenty of sunshine, but one came along which was different. It started raining but then cleared (nothing unusual wet season) - so I took off for a hike up to the highers viewpoint on eastern PP, maybe an hour's trek away. About 20 minutes into the trek it started to rain - no it POURED. It poured for the rest of the trip. I was so wet it didn't matter.
On the real steep mega-muddy rainforest track back into Ao Toh Koh I slipped and slid on my arse several times.
Hey, real nice fully clothed swim to get rid of the mud when I got back. A few short patches of nice sun to work on the tan, but most of the day it rained more often than not.
Now had I panicked, checked the weather sites and took off for say Ko Chang , I would have missed the next few days where it rained not much at all. And Ko Chang is one of the wettest wet season islands - so chances are it could have been much wetter those next few days.
Thing is prolonged wet periods are not too common in Thailand's wet season except maybe in the Samui/Phangan/Tao area Oct thru early Dec abt one year in 3/4. So my advice is if you get a bad one, sit tight. Chances are tomorrow will be okay.
And it don't get much nicer than sitting on the balcony with a Chang or 5 watching a distant light-show and listening to the PLOP PLOP PLOP of the raindrops on the banana plant leaves adjacent.