Thailand’s weather is generally defined by three seasons: hot, wet, and cool. Travel buffs often watch out for the rainy season in Thailand, which typically spans from May to October. But before you scrap your travel plans, what if we tell you that the rainy season could be an ideal time to travel around Thailand? Well, if you don’t mind a bit of rain, the tourist crowds are thin, flight tickets and accommodation are cheap, and nature is lush and green. Without further ado, here are the places to travel to during the rainy season in Thailand to make the best of your trip.
Thailand’s northernmost region, Chiang Rai, is home to stunning mountain ranges and a vibrant Lanna culture. The province tends to be cooler and drier than central Thailand because of its high latitude. So the rainfall is shorter and less intense. Plus, the mountains and lush jungle views are right out of a postcard after a downpour.
What to do?
Chiang Rai is well-known to be the nation’s art capital. So, while taking shelter from the rain, visit the local temples and museums to see the intricate architecture of the temples and immerse yourself in the artworks of the best artists in Thailand. The must-visit temples at Chiang Rai are the White Temple (Wat Phon Khun) and the Blue Temple (Wat Rong Suea Ten). You can also visit the Baan Dam Museum, aka the Black House Museum, which displays an eclectic mix of traditional northern Thai buildings with unconventional architecture.
Chiang Rai is also home to several hill-tribe communities, including Karen, Akha and Lisu. While there, visit the Longneck Karen Village to learn about the Karen culture. Are you visiting during August-September? You’ll experience the traditional Akha Swing Festival, typically celebrated for four days.
The islands of Thailand are renowned for their palm-lined beaches and crystal-clear waters. However, the tides can be high during the rainy season, and the sun doesn’t always shine. But don’t fret. The excellent news is Koh Samui, Thailand’s largest island, only experiences brief downpours. So, if you don’t mind a bit of rain, you’ll still find plenty of things to do in Koh Samui!
What to do?
If the weather forecast does not predict heavy rain, we recommend you to visit Lamai Beach, Chaweng Beach and Bophut Beach. These picturesque beaches are your perfect beach destinations with white sands and clear waters. The best part is that the beaches should not be as crowded as the season! If the water activities are unavailable due to the rain, you can sit back, relax, watch the tides, or grab a meal at the local seaside restaurants.
The island is not only home to immaculate beaches but also modern cafes serving heavenly food and coffee – which is a perfect destination for rainy days. Visit the Fisherman’s House x Sasatorn Coffee for organic and clean Melbourne-style food and drink that is both innovative and artisanal. Want to dine with a view? Head to Vikasa Life Café, which serves tantalising International cuisine made with fresh local ingredients with a stunning beach view. At this café, both the scenery and dishes are a feast to the eyes!
Last but not least on our list is another place in the north of Thailand, Pai. The mountain-trimmed town of Mae Hong Son is known for its laid-back ambience, and it is perfect for a budgeted trip since the town has cheap accommodation, restaurants and souvenir shops. Moreover, Pai in the rain is truly a sight to behold, especially early in the morning. The mountains of Pai are blanketed with the morning mist while the rays of sunshine reluctantly shine in.
What to do?
The best mode of transportation to explore the hippie town is on a motorbike. However, remember to carry a raincoat with you just in case it rains. Also, driving safely is essential since the rain can make the roads slippery. If you do not know how to drive a scooter, you can hail a songthaew which is a local mini truck.
Pai is famous for nature activities such as hiking (Pai Canyon) and its waterfalls (Pambok waterfall and Mo Paeng waterfall). The Pai Canyon has the most fantastic view of the sunset, just 5 minutes walk up the stairs from the entrance. Even if it’s cloudy, the mountain view after the rain is simply unparalleled. However, if you plan to hike up the ridge trails, please be cautious since the rain can make the pathway slippery.
If these destinations are hard to reach due to heavy rainfall, you can opt to go café hopping in Pai. Doesn’t sipping hot coffee on a rainy day sound amazing? Your first stop should be Cafe De Pai, one of the most popular cafes in Pai, located in the middle of the walking street. On top of its delicious coffee, the café is famous for its fantastic breakfast with huge portions. The next café to visit is Coffee in Love, a café with the best view in Pai. The fairytale-like café perfectly encapsulates the Pai nature scene. Last but not least on our list is Fat Cat, a local restaurant serving delicious whole, homegrown and vegetarian food. You can also choose the type of milk- cow, soy, and coconut milk- according to your liking with your coffee!
(Source: – The Thaiger)