Fresh clean air, lush green landscapes, perfect surf waves, raging mountain rivers and less tourists than any other time of the year – what is there not to love about the rainy season in Thailand? True, you might miss out on some quality beach time, but those monsoon time activates will help you make the best of time not spent in the sun.
Surf those waves
The time between May and November might be best known as the rainy season, but in Phuket they call it the surf season. The season the west coast of the island becomes rough, unpredictable and for the surfers – mesmerizing. Swell comes every couple of days bringing with it an endless supply of big, clean waves perfect for some quality surfing. Some of the spots preferred by Phuket surfers include Nai Harn, Nai Yang and Kata beach. Gear can be easily rented, just ask anyone with a board and a big grin on his or her face.
Bathe in a waterfall
Rainy season is the best time to see those picture prefect waterfalls that work like a magnet on tourists and their selfie-sticks. The thing with waterfalls in Thailand is that they are often half empty and more than disappointing in the hot, dry season of the year, but come the monsoon rains and they fill out with water to show themselves in whole their might and glory. Among the most beautiful ones are the Erawan Waterfalls in Kanchaburi, just west of Bangkok. The landscape of water cascades and natural emerald pools is some of the most impressive in the country. Careful though – the path uphill’s can get quite slippery in the rain.
Tame a roaring river
Just like the waterfalls, also the rivers often suffer from a shortage of water in the hot months. In Phang Nga, just north of Phuket, water is gathered by a special dam to be released once a day and provide much needed currents and rapids for white water rafting. But not in the monsoon time when rivers swell and no artificial human intervention is necessary. The best spot for white water rafting in Thailand is probably Mae Taeng River in Chiang Mai, every tour company in the city will help you organize this exciting adventure.
Boost your skin and mood in a spa
You might like the touch of sun on your skin but the truth is your skin doesn’t like it at all. To prevent accelerated skin aging, visit Thailand in the less sunny monsoon months, and to further boost your skin health – visit a spa. Thailand is world known for its wellness offering, every high end hotel offers a selection of spa treatment not to mention thousands of independent spa centres. A warm mud bath, aromatic body scrub and a session of relaxing Thai massage will be not only great for your skin but also boost your endorphins supply slightly affected by lower than expected sunlight supply. Added bonus of visiting a spa in the monsoon – fantastic off season discount offered by most establishments.
Spend a day at a museum
With the massive supply of magnificent temples, ruins and palaces, not to mention all the natural beauty that Thailand has to offer, museums tend to be a bit forgotten, not always making it to the visitors’ travel plans. Rainy season is a good opportunity to change that. Bangkok has a vast array of museums worth visiting – from the more noble ones such as the National Museum, to the quirky ones such as the Museum of Counterfeit Goods. But museums in Thailand don’t end with the capital. Those in Chiang Mai, a city known for its artistic vibe, are especially worth recommending, and among them the recently opened and privately owned MAIIAM Contemporary Art Museum showcasing a collection of Thai and regional contemporary art. Visit www.maiiam.com to learn more about it.