A friend and I would like to travel to Thailand: Bangkok / Phuket/Chiang Mai in Mid October. I know its the end of the monsoon season, is it very wet and rainy? Is it worth travelling at that time, we don't want the rain to ruin our vacation.
#1 marinarodgers has been a member since 24/6/2009. Posts: 5
Normally wet season is no reason not to travel, with enough sunshine, no crowds, big discounts on accommodation etc. I'm a weather nerd and this is my prepared answer for OCT:
October is usually one of the wettest months in all areas. But we still get plenty of posts saying people had a good holiday with the usual daily mixture of one or a few showers/storms and sunshine/scattered cloud, some days with no rain. This has been the pattern in all my wet season visits (one of these went into early Oct.)
Prolonged wet periods are not too common in Thailand but I have to say in all the years I've been following the wet season (I'm a weather nerd) the most complaints of this have come from the Samui area islands in Oct, Nov and early Dec. But things are variable - I've only visited this area once during THAT period, in Nov 97, and I got good weather.
September in this area tends to be the end of its drier mid-year period, so if your visit is EARLY Oct, you may have a better chance of less rain than later.
Statistically the driest island in an average Oct has been Ko Samet (216mm and 15 days with SOME sort of rain - on some days this could be a short shower at night). Most of Samet's beaches face east and are sheltered from the prevailing wet season winds which on the days when they get stronger can cause rough seas and blow a lot of flotsam and jetsam onto exposed beaches.
The wettest are the Ranong Islands of little Ko Chang and Ko Phayam (414mm-24). Samui has averaged 304-20.
Anecdotally and statistically wet season tends to end earlier in the eastern Gulf than other island areas. So if you are going late Oct you may find Big Ko Chang and its neighbours drier than most except Samet.
If you look at the stats for the north in the second link below you will find rainfall totals seem to drop earlier there too. The central area around Bangkok seems less wet also.
Oh yeah, if you Google Thai Bureau of Meteorology and click their wet season longrange forecast they are saying that Sept and Oct this year may have slightly below average rain in many areas.
I'm not too sure about forecasting that far ahead, but they are looking at variables like ElNino etc.
Thanks so much for your prompt response, Tezza.
I have a few other queries and was hoping you will be able to assist:
I am from South Africa. We were planning to viist Bankgkok, Phuket and Chiang Mai (in the north)
I was been told by many travellers, one just came back on Monday from Thailand) that we do not need vaccines provided you visit the south, yet the Travel Clinic wants to charge me an exorbitant fee for Diptheria, polio, tetanus (TdP), Hepatitis A, Typhoid and Malaria (I already had a yellow fever vac about 5 years ago. Can someone please shed some light on the vaccine situation in Thailand as I do not want to go unprepared.
We were planning to book accommodation online. People have suggested we book only the first 3 days in order to get settled, then book only when you get there, apparently its much more cost effective? Can I safely take this advise
Your assistance is greatly appreciated.
#4 marinarodgers has been a member since 24/6/2009. Posts: 5
I got ripped off by the travel clinic a couple of years ago when i went to india
didnt end up taking any of the pills they recommended and was fine. also the shots i got i subsequently found out i didnt really need
just use common sense (like carying the pills for malaria, but only taking them if you get symptoms and get to a hospital quick)
Also with booking - I recommend booking the first place you stay (get settled) then talk to people you meet and find out the best place to stay wherever you are going - phone ahead and make sure they have room or just rock up.
#5 hutty has been a member since 4/6/2009. Posts: 19
Thanks so very much for your reply Hutty
Really helps to get good honest advice.
Have a fab weekend
#6 marinarodgers has been a member since 24/6/2009. Posts: 5
To your questions:
Diptheria: you probably received this vaccine as a child. In any event, where you are travelling won't put you at risk.
Polio: again, this is a vaccine you would have received as a child. Even if you contracted, which is highly highly unlikely, you would at worst probably develop a temporary outcome.
Tetanus: is a risk, and while you should have received tetanus vaccine as a child, you need a booster every 10 years or so. On this one, and not for Asia, I'd find out when the last booster was given and get another if needed. Your local GP can do this for you.
Hepatitis A: Being a younger person (by the sounds of your questions) you are at risk of Hep A & Hep B in your everyday life at home, so you may be more at risk while travelling. See your GP on this.
Typhoid: is transmitted by the ingestion of food or water contaminated with feces from an infected person. Usual treatment is by antibiotics. There is a vaccine. While typhoid isn't a big problem in the areas you are headed, it still does exist. Consult your GP.
Malaria: there is no vaccine for Malaria. Malaria is only a very very small problem in the areas your headed. Some take prophylactics (with side effects, and not 100% prevention) some don't. Where you are headed, it is unlikely you will be exposed.
- - -
For the diseases noted above, your mother or GP should advise you whether you've been given the vaccines. If you have/have not, then you will need to make a decision regarding same. My view is don't ever rely on a Travel Doctor seeking to push drugs!!
Hope this helps.
I am also traveling in October to Thailand and just spoke with a doctor at a travel clinic as well. I was too surprised about the cost of vaccines but like mentioned above, most of the reccommended vaccines were most likely already given to you at birth (granted they are still up to date, ie Tetnus is only a 10 year affective vaccine). Also check out the WHO (World Health Organization) website.
I was told to make sure you have vaccinations for Tetanus, Meningitis(should have gotten both as a young adult), Hep. A & B (there is a combo of the two if you have not received both already, most people get Hep B in elementary or jr. High school), Typhiod (because I don't know about you but I plan on eating street food and local food which could be contaminated, although delicious) and have malaria pills on hand just in case you decide to go off the beaten path to exposed areas instead of just tourist destinations. With a health care plan, most of these are covered but without it can be expensive (yet, better than getting something nasty for life.)
I was told it is up to you to get vaccinated for Rabies because of stay animals and overfriendly monkeys, but not neccesarily reccommended.
BRUCE- your thoughts on Rabies vaccine?
Enjoy your trip, maybe our paths will cross.
#8 Whynot has been a member since 11/6/2009. Posts: 5
I've written elsewhere on Travelfish about medications. Generally, I am firmly of the view that unless its necessary, avoid getting sucked into the drug/chemical company's profit motive.
I am in two minds about rabies. On one hand there is always the possibility that I'd get bitten by a rabid animal (despite my best endeavours not to get bitten). On the other hand, knowing that animals could be rabid in SE Asia, I choose not to play with them. And, especially monkey's, I go out of my way to avoid.
Given that there are several nasties that I don't want, either I make myself a pincushion or I take the risk.
That there is an effective post-bite solution, I have chosen to take the risk.
I'm no good on medical info.
In relation to booking ahead:
I think it depends a bit on what standard of accommodation you are after. My experience of midrange or better is that booking sites like Agoda, Asia Rooms, the one TRAVELFISH uses etc can screw such good discounts out of hotels that it is hard for the average person to bargain the same rate walk in. It's worth comparing the sites though - they can vary a fair bit.
Not necessarily true that you can't bargain a better deal for lower range places - but a lot of these will not be able to be booked online - and you will have no problems finding a place walk-in in Oct.
Thanks a mil for your replies. You guys are hosts of information ! Brucemoon, I'm not as young as you think hey? Just haven't travelled in a while. I last travelled 5 years ago to India and S'pore so I guess I am a bit out of touch with travel requirements.
Whynot - perhaps we will meet in October on our travels in Thailand !
Have a fab day
#11 marinarodgers has been a member since 24/6/2009. Posts: 5
Hi, myself and hubby are traveling to KL in 1st October. Never have been before, so excited to be going! Little worried about the weather though! Could someone help with maybe where to go that may be dry.. are we still able to do the elephant rides etc.. or should be maybe head to Bali instead.. loved to have gone to Thailand but also want to go to Bali?
Does anyone know the weather in Bail around those dates? Sorry .. just worried and would like to plan something.
#12 kelcy has been a member since 29/6/2010. Posts: 1
If you are considering going to Thailand:
I went to Thailand in October 2009: Bangkok, Phuket and Chiang Mai. We were also concerned about the rainfalls, but we only had 2 days of rainfall in a 2 week period, which we welcomed as it sort of cooled us down a bit. The humidity kills though!!! Hope you go to Thailand, everything is much cheaper, the people are friendly and the sites awesome!
#13 marinarodgers has been a member since 24/6/2009. Posts: 5