Hey guys my name is Daði and i am from Iceland so my English is not 100%, just wanted to thank you all for this awesome forum and it is by far the best one i have seen for backpacking to Thailand.
I was planning to travel from Iceland to Thailand 1. August to 24. August but i have noticed that this is the rainy season for most parts of Thailand, so i was wondering how bad the rainy season actually is? will i be wet all the day? will people close down guesthouses because of the season? And you guys that have traveled there during the rainy season,
what do you do when there is rain? Do you just find a place to seek shelter or do you just accept the fact that you are going to get wet and keep on exploring?
I would be really happy if someone could take their time to answer some of these questions.
Yes it's "rainy season" and sometimes it rains a lot, but most of the days are still hot with long periods of sun and showers more often mornings and evenings. Loads of people come to Thailand during August and have a nice holiday and maybe even get fried by the sun. And the thunderstorms can be pretty awesome and a nice cool-down. Different parts of Thailand have different climates, and August tends to get less rain on the lower eastern side, (Ko Samui, etc.) Don't cancel!
Thanks for your answer, good to know that people are actually traveling at the same time as me because i would really like to meet other backpackers and even travel with them. What do people do when it's pouring down rain? Is the rain so bad that it is not possible to be outside?
It would be great to talk to someone who has been to Thailand over the rainy season or talk to people that will go to Thailand in August and need a travel buddy. You can find me on Facebook with the e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or just send me an e-mail.
Note not all Thailand is in wet season in August - as Bob says, the southern Gulf (Phangan, Tao and Samui) tends to have a different rainy season, Oct into Jan. Check travelfish's rainfall statistics. I've had great August holidays there.
I've also holidayed a lot in the Andaman in rainy season. Always had enough sunshine for a good beach holiday, never lost a full day to rain (although it can happen). Prices and crowds down. Actually the latter can not always be so hot - I was on Ko Kradan last wet season and was the only tourist on the whole island. A few days before I was the only tourist on Farang Beach Ko Muk. I got so bored I jumped a ferry/minivan for Ko Phangan.
Other downsides - some accommodation places close (although this is not as common these days) and some ferry routes shut down or run less frequently.
Firstly, your English is better than many English natives who post :)
I've only ever been to Thailand during the rainy season (June through October) and was hardly ever inconvenienced by the rain. Up north it was overcast a lot of time, showers once or twice a day (some days a little more, most days less and some days none).
When it does rain it is often super heavy but generally lasts ten or so minutes and normally no longer than an hour. Of course there may be a day or two where it rains a little more than you'd like, and there is obviously that miniscule chance that there will be freak weather as some of the south saw earlier this year, but that can happen anywhere and is generally unlikely. As Bob said, the Islands around Koh Samui, Koh Phangan etc seem to see a lot less rain at this time. We were down there late august, early September and had blue skied sunny days the whole time.
Definitely travel during rainy season in Thailand. Prices are cheaper, places are still open (excluding perhaps some of the smaller, more remote national park islands) and there is always hoards of other backpackers to meet year round no matter what the weather.
Bedsides, I can't tell how wonderful it is to be sipping a beer somewhere on the beach and watching an amazing storm approaching from the horizon. Everything is so green and beautiful at this time too, especially up North.
Go for it and have the best time :)
Thanks a lot for your comments guys they have been really helpful. But one other thing, is it safe to go alone in the sleeper train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai or should i find another backpacker to go with me? And what is the best way from Chiang Mai to southern Thailand?
Best way? Fly! Cheapest? Bus or train. WHere in Southern Thailand are you wanting to end up (ie which coast?)
Is it safe? I haven't actually ridden the trains in Thailand yet, but I wouldn't hesitate doing it on my own. It's like anywhere that you travel - you just need to use common sense. This means don't leave your daypack (containing your valuables) unattended while you wander around the train, etc. Keep all your money in a money belt and wear it on the train in case you nod off. Keep packs padlocked (and even your daypack, while sleeping).
OK DADI!! STOP ASKING ALL THIS STUFF!! Ok I am kidding! You seem nervous kid. I understand but relax. It is easier than you think. don't even think of cancelling your plans. I have NEVER had a bad rainy season trip. I have been several times in August because that was one of the times I was allowed off work when I lived in Japan. Always awesome. The storms are as was stated..usually less than an hour and life returns. Not everyday. Some weeks there are 4-5 days of no rain. I only had 2 days in a row of bad days once. And I can remember what I did on those days. Trust me it was fun!
As for the train, get a sleeper train and chill. I enjoy them. I meet someone cool to have a beer with every time. I have never seen any trouble as everyone is relaxing not snooping around your bags. Your bag can be on your bunk with you if you like. I kept my smaller bag with me. There was nothing in the bigger one to take. My XXXL American size t-shirts look kinda funny on the average Thai guy. The bigger bag is on a rack next to you. I have taken more than a hand full of overnight sleepers. Not a bad ride.
No you don't have to book all of your flights too far in advance. If your schedule is kinda loose than book them a few days in advance if you are sure. If you have a less flexible schedule then book the major links.
HI, I am also travelling to Thailand (during July and August) well want to... now I noticed most people say the rain is not that bad, and doesn't last long, and isn't reason to cancel a trip--- but I'm also very curious/worried... when it's not raining... is it mostly overcast or sunny? It's my first time traveling to that region of the globe, and I imagine myself in swim wear half the time... is that unrealistic for July and August?
Also, thank you all for your above posts! this forum is really helpful and everyone's feedback is much appreciated :)
#12 pear25 has been a member since 5/5/2011. Posts: 1