The day after I arrived in Thailand the rain started. It was the 25th of May. And that was the start of my adventure in Thailand In Wet Season!! I had already been travelling in South East Asia for 3 months and had been to Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore and Malaysia. Everyone I met, it seems, had already been to Thailand and said so many amazing things about the country. I was looking forward to Thailand more than any other place I’ve been.
The bus on our first day dropped me with my 2 mates in Krabi at 1am in the morning. We were so cheap that to save $4USD we sat outside 7/11 until 7am to avoid paying for the night’s accommodation. At 7am we got a taxi to Ao Nang Beach and found a hostel who let us check in early. 150 Baht for the night. Very cheap and an empty dorm almost all to ourselves….Quiet season!!
Of course we slept most of the day and went partying that night in a local club. The next day was lovely and we took lots of photos at the beach.
It rained all the next day without stopping……and the next……and the next. We had been planning to go to Koh Lanta Island for a while but when we got there we found it to also be raining! I’m sure Koh Lanta is an amazing island, and I’ve heard such great things about it. However….I’m sorry but when its raining there is NOTHING to do there. My mates Giogio and Hafiz and I were keen for party and beach. One day it stopped raining for most of the day with just the occasional heavy downpour. We rented motorbikes and went to explore. We found a beach but there was a 1-2m swell crashing on the shore. We actually went in and had a great time playing in the waves but it wasn’t the beautiful crystal clear waters for snorkelling that we had hoped for.
In the evening we went to the Jungle Party that was meant to be happening. Sadly there was just a few other random lost travellers there who didn’t really seem that interesting so we went home. On the way home we got stuck in 7/11 for 2 hours sheltering from the rain before we gave in and biked home completely soaked!
We were a bit glum that we had arrived in Thailand In Wet Season. But our trip got better from there…!
After my mate Hafiz left to go home to Singapore, Giogio and I stayed in Patong Beach, Phuket for 2 weeks. I was looking on Booking.com and found a private twin room for both of us at Sawasade Mansion. It was just 200 Baht per night for a fan room. That’s $5.70 USD a night! We couldn’t believe it but when we arrived – Sure, it was true and we actually ended up paying 300 Baht per night for an air conditioned room with TV, fridge, hot shower and a huge room with lots of space. The normal price for the room would be 600-700 Baht per night in busy season so we were getting half price! The staff at Sawasade Mansion were lovely too and made us feel at home. So much so that we stayed 2 weeks!!
Most places I went in my 2 months were very cheap and cheaper than the busy season. Some places have the price list for High and Low season and if you’re looking to save money it’s certainly the best time to travel. Buses are still the same price but taxis might be a bit cheaper too as they are looking for business.
Throughout my 2 months in Thailand In Wet Season I was never stuck for a place to stay. It was great because I would just arrive in a city and walk the streets until I find somewhere I wanted to go. In saying that, it is usually slightly cheaper online. Most importantly there was always SOMEWHERE to stay. Maybe by 9pm some of the popular hostels will be full but not the quieter places.
The same goes with transport. If you like to take the minivans that cater more for tourists there is much more availability in wet season.
Phuket is meant to be one of the main tourist destinations in Asia, if not the world, but in wet season it’s really not that busy. I hear it is just crazy in high season with Europeans and Australians everywhere. You couldn’t call it relaxed in wet season but it certainly has a much nicer feel about it. And of course, the Thai people make you feel so welcome.
Buses are the same price in wet season but on tourist routes there will be more availability. Local routes are going to be the same as at any time of the year.
In general I think the temperatures are lower in wet season. For sure it’s still hot, but not as hot. During and just after rain it is always quite refreshing.
This is the obvious disadvantage, of course. I think on average, it rains at some point on 2 days out of 3. Often it is just a 2 hour downpour in the afternoon or evening. If you get up early and enjoy the morning it’s not usually a problem as you’re at home in your hostel/hotel relaxing by that time. If you’re a late riser like me and enjoy exploring in the evening then it can be a bit annoying. In saying that, I only ever used my $2 plastic poncho 4 or 5 times and got completely soaked without it once.
The only full days of rain I had were on Koh Lanta and it sucked.
If you’re in Thailand to party like a lot of people you’re probably looking for a few people to party with; ‘The more the merrier,’ they say. So wet season can be a little bit slower for this. Accommodation is cheaper and easier to find but maybe it will be harder to find friends in your hostels as some of them will be empty.
When I was on Koh Phi Phi Island at the end of May there were still parties in the clubs each night with plenty of people. One night it rained for an hour and that puts a lot of people off.
I’ve heard that the full moon party continues as usual in Wet season and some say its even better in the rain. I guess if you are drunk and have taken too many drugs it’s not going to worry you too much.
The Islands Aren’t Much Fun In The Rain
My time on Koh Lanta was very disappointing. Let’s face it, it’s never going to be fun sunbathing in the rain.
The snorkeling is no good in lots of places. Storms bring waves that mix up the water and make it impossible to see in any exposed places or simply just too rough to go into the water at all. I didn’t snorkel at all in Thailand.
I think if you’re very unlucky you might get a week of mostly rain in the wet season. However from my experience Traveling Thailand In Wet Season isn’t all that bad. That goes for the rest of South East Asia too. Usually just a bit of rain in the evening each day. In fact I really enjoyed Traveling Thailand In Wet Season because it’s cheaper, easier to find accommodation and a bit cooler. I was able to easily make friends with Thai people who seemed relaxed with less tourists around. Anyway, I didn’t really feel like hanging out with other backpackers as much as I usually would.
However, if you’re here to party and to see the Islands then I recommend coming in the dry season, unless you have plenty of time to sit out the rain here and there.