I know there are many questions regarding weather at this time of year, however after looking through many forums I have been unable to find clear information regarding how much sunshine to expect.
My boyfriend and I are landing in Malaysia and flying to Langkawi, then planning on focussing the start of our trip on Thailand's west coast islands like Ko Lipe, Ko Tarutao and Ko Phi Phi in last week of July and first 2 weeks of August. Upon reading many different pieces of advice about the season, we are aware that it will rain for between 1 and 2 hours a day, but will the rest of the day be total cloud cover or will we have full sunshine?
We enjoy a good storm but are only having a short holiday and wouldn't mind getting a nice tan! If we are to expect a lot of cloud in Thailand we're planning on jumping on a flight to Indo to catch some of their sunshine.
If anyone has an idea of which would be more worthwhile could they please advise?
Thanks very much :-)
#1 VickyWebb has been a member since 13/7/2009. Posts: 2
I'm not sure who told you it will rain between one and two hours a day!
I stayed in Phuket for two weeks last year over mid-August. It rained one morning for an hour, twice at night and we had a torrential downpour the day we left (morning flight so we didn't care). The rest of the time we had perfect clear sunny days and very calm seas - everyone kept telling us we were lucky to have high season weather for low season prices and crowds! It was fantastic! Hopefully you'll be as lucky as me, but even if you're not, I highly doubt that you'll have overcast weather for your whole stay.
This blog is good - it shows how varied the weather can be in low season: http://phuket-weather.blogspot.com/
#2 smash has been a member since 21/6/2009. Posts: 162
Weather is fickle, even where you live!
In the tropics, the seasons are more defined. The wet season is, just that, the wet season.
There will be days when it rains all day, there will be days where it is sunny all day, there will be days when it is largely cloudy and there are occasional showers, there will be days where is cloudy all day but no showers, there will be days where it is mainly sunny but a large cloudband comes over and dumps rain for a while.
Does that make things clearer for you?
As you have understood, August is part of the wet season, it MAY be sunny, showery, rainy, or some combination.
Today, the whole area around Lankawi is covered by cloud. Go see at:
If you 'right click' on the small picture to the left side to open in a new tab/window, you'll see just how dense the cloud really is.
You can 'move' the map to also include Phi Phi, etc.
But, in a weeks' time, it may all be sunny again - or it could be wet. But, that's weather.
Been in Phuket (Kata) for a week, first day rained off and on all day, next 3 days were beautiful and sunny and then had a big storm over the weekend where it rained most of Sat & Sun so as you can see the weather is variable.
I doubt any of the boats (i.e. to Phi Phi) were running yesterday as the seas were nasty but the other 6 days would have been fine for travel.
It is very (very) quiet here right now so if you are looking for parties this isn't the place to be, if you want some peace and quiet its a good time to be here though.
Indonesia (Bali & the area) is high season in August and it will be packed so all depends on what you are looking for.
Wow guys, very prompt! Thanks you your responses! Those links are helpful too.
#5 VickyWebb has been a member since 13/7/2009. Posts: 2
A few logistical problems with your plan - Taruatao will be shut down until mid November. There will probably not be a direct boat from Langkawi to Lipe - you will have to go via Satun on the south-west Thailand coast. Only about 4 of Lipe's budget resorts plus another 2 flasher places will be open.
You don't have to divert to Indo for drier weather - in a nomal July/August the southern Gulf islands of Thailand plus the east coast of peninsula Malaysia (Tioman and Perhentian islands) are usually still in their dry season.
I'm a Thailand weather nerd - this is my usual account of July August.
The southern Gulf islands (Samui, Phangan, Tao) are usually real good - still well short of their normal wet season of Oct into Jan. It does rain, but sunshine usually dominates.
Elsewhere is wet season, but travel is usually okay - we 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. The latest, August 07, I was on Phi Phi and Phuket in what the newspapers called the wettest period for some years. In 15 days got 2 days virtually cloudless, about 2 where it rained more often than not (but these still had some sunny breaks and were not write-offs), and the rest were the normal mixture of one or a few showers, sun/scattered cloud. I had a great holiday. Check the uncredited shots on the 2 PP pages and 1 Phuket page in the link below, lots of sunshine in them. BTW, Phi Phi/Phuket and Krabi are within sight of each other, so weather patterns are similar.
The driest of the non-Southern Gulf islands tends to be Ko Samet near Bangkok. 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 jetsom onto the beach.
The wettest are Big Ko Chang and neighbours + the Ranong area islands. Nevertheless I have seen plenty of posts from visitors to the former in the wet season saying they enjoyed themselves.
In conclusion, go have a look at TRAVELFISH'S excellent interactive weather map which tells you how much rain and how many rain days each month (remembering a rain day may be one shower/storm at 3am or the rare but does happen downpour most of the day).
Unfortunately I've never found a source which shows daily hours of sunshine each month for Thai locations.