What to expect in Monsoon Season of Thailand

by | Dec 20, 2016 | Digital Nomad, Travel

We booked our one-way tickets to Thailand to arrive in Koh Samui in September. From the brief research I had done on the weather conditions, we thought that September and October were rainy season in Thailand. The weather forecasts of Koh Samui showed rain and thunder everyday. But we found ourselves in swimsuits on the beach everyday. Turns out, Koh Samui experiences it’s monsoon season in October and November. Surprise! Thailand’s rainy season is not the same through the whole country. The rainy season in Chiang Mai and Bangkok is different than the rainy season here on Koh Samui.

For example, September is generally pretty rainy throughout the North of Thailand but Koh Samui is very dry and still attracts a lot of tourists. Not everyone when booking their trip understands this difference in location for the rain. On Koh Tao, our diving school mentioned that November is the busiest time of year for them, but it’s the rainiest.

MM of precipitation compared in 3 major areas of Thailand:

Rain Precipitation in Thailand by Month

Stats from holiday-weather.com

What is it like living in Thailand during Monsoon aka Rainy Season?

Rainy season has been wonderful for our productivity.  Nothing is more unproductive for a digital nomad than sitting staring at that sunny beach and pool from your house.   Rainy season in October and November was what we expected it to be, a couple hours at a time of torrential downpour, followed by the sun.  We experienced a couple days at a time, lots of rain, then sun.  We didn’t mind rainy season.

We couldn’t resist taking our GoPro out for a Scooty during some of the rainfalls, here’s an idea of what it was like:

Top 6 tips to know about rainy season:

  • The weather is still warm, the temperature reaches a minimum 22 degrees. In Thailand weather, this is considered cold.  A lot of locals wear jackets and the winter clothes are in stock at the mall.  The temperature is most often closer to 28 degrees. There was a couple days we wore pants, but otherwise it’s still hot to us. (us Canadians that is)
  • The humidity is crazy! During the rainy storms, the humidity is so thick, that you cannot dry clothes after they are washed.  One morning, I had a shower and it took over 4 hours for my hair to “semi-dry”.
  • The sound of the rain can get so loud when it rains hard, you will no longer be able to hear your computer playing music or have a skype call.
  • There’s lots of lightning, but not a lot of thunder.
  • The rain doesn’t stop many from getting out, there’s rain covers for that!
  • Go have fun, if you are like us, we have a blast getting caught in the moment.

How will rainy season WILL impact YOUR THAILAND holiday

  • Make sure to check the area you are visiting for the times of year it receives the most rain.
  • Know that if it rains, it might rain for a short 20 minutes up to a couple hours, so a good opportunity to take a coffee break at the nearest shop or restaurant.
  • Thailand does not stop because of the rain, just grab a poncho, some flip flops and carry on.
  • Rainy season is considered the low season, so you can find good deals on hotels and travel packages during this time.
  • Most tourism activities are still running, check with your local guide for weather conditions prior too.

Our experience of Rainy Season in Koh Samui:

However, weather is unpredictable so you can always look forward to a surprise.  I’m writing this blog post December 17, 2016.  The first week of December, we experienced 3 storms all within the same week, the Island of Koh Samui and Koh Phangan where we are living, were announced to be disaster zones. With 8 days of intense rain, breaking a consistent record of rainfall in over 30 years.  The Island experienced intense flooding.

After the 2nd day, we would wake up at random intervals through the night when the rain was what I call “angry”.  I couldn’t help but be excited at 4 am, just waiting for the next day when I can take my gopro for a scooter ride.  Above is the video from our fun in the rain. The rain went on for 6 more days, so in hindsight we should have waited for this joy ride.  The days following this, roads were closed, restaurants didn’t have supplies for food, and there were up to 16 deaths from the flooding in Southern Thailand.  The rain can get serious here.   We were told this years weather was more substantial in over 7 years.

What do the local Thai Residents think?

The rain is welcomed by residents of the Island as the weather has been so hot leading up to the rain that Koh Samui was considered to be in a drought and the water reservoir getting seriously low.  The rainy season for these 2 months of the year, will supply the water for the rest of the year.

Would we do it again?

I am so happy that we decided to visit Thailand during rainy season.  Most people thought it was silly to visit during this season with a scary word, called Monsoon.  But I’m glad we booked to experience it and realize it’s not all that bad.  I think next year though, I will be booking for some sunny destinations during these rainy months of Thailand.

Are you interested in being a Digital Nomad living in Thailand?   Read our article here about how much it costs us to live in Koh Samui Thailand.

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