Thailand is known for its crystal clear waters, sunshine, street food and beaches! But come June – October you will hit rainy season. So, should you go?
The answer is Yes. Always say yes to adventure. My boyfriend surprised me with a trip to Phuket, Thailand, but he failed to check the weather so we went in October which is the end of monsoon season. At first I was bummed, as great as a surprise trip can be, I love sunny days and the ocean. So when I found out that it was supposed to rain EVERYDAY of our one week trip, I was let down. What were we going to do?
The good news about rainy season in Thailand is that it rains on and off throughout the day. Between rain there is hours of sunshine and you can go outside and go to the beach (though you can’t go in the water because of the currents and jellyfish) The forecast was never correct so don’t base your day with that. Just go for it.
Below are the top things we did in Phuket during rainy season (And I suggest you check out too):
Rain or shine there’s always time for a massage. Thailand is known for its Thai Massages and the prices are great! You can research massages and find one just about anywhere. But I recommend going to Siladon Spa Phuket, located in Pa Tong. It is highly rated on trip advisor and it did not disappoint. They have a driver that can pick you up and drop you off from anywhere (even if you are staying hours away). This is perfect if you didn’t rent a car or want to drive. Siladon Spa is located on the top of a hill over looking the ocean. My boyfriend and I opted for a couples two hour Thai Massage. It only cost $60 for us both! They were able to book the massage the same day, a few hours in advance. The service and massage was amazing. The massage started with a foot scrub and then we were guided to a private room for a full body experience. At the end of the massage you are served tea and sweet sticky rice. This was one of the most relaxing massages I’ve ever had. I’d highly recommend.
Thai Cooking Lesson
This was so much fun and probably the most memorable moment of my vacation. You can find Thai cooking lessons likely at your hotel. But if you are looking for a more local and custom experience go to Kin Dee Restaurant in Mai Khao (Eat there too!) This is an intimate lesson, mine was just my boyfriend and I. You can choose to cook anything you want on the menu. Ton, the chef, was amazing. She spoke perfect english (I even heard her speak french to some returning customers) and is very funny! She had such attention to detail, it was like family. My boyfriend had a mosquito bite and she brought him out cream to heal it and mosquito repellant so nothing came near us. The restaurant has no air conditioning so dress accordingly. The food was easy to cook and I also learned about Thai Culture. At the end of the meal you get to eat it and take whatever is left over to go.
They also send you all of the menus recipes so you can recreate the dishes at home. The food was amazing. Before going to Thailand, I had never eaten Thai food, I am very picky, or so I thought. After eating the food, I am a huge fan.
Monkey Hill is outside, so make sure the day you go it is expected to have some sunshine. Do not let the rain deter you from getting out there, though. The biggest thing I learned while being in Thailand during rainy season is just go. If it’s to rainy, you will find another adventure nearby. The day we went it was raining when we left the hotel and by the time we got to the hill there was not a cloud in sight. Monkey Hill was so much fun! At first we were worried because some reviews said the monkeys bite. At one point one came up to my boyfriend and stole his water bottle (they like to mess with you) But once other tourists came they didn’t try to scare us.
A local man happened to be there with bananas. Once the monkeys felt safe all the mommy monkeys let their babies come up to us and take bananas. One even gave my boyfriend a high five! At the top of the hill you can see all of Phuket. It is so beautiful. They also sell some peanuts for the monkeys and water bottles at the top.
I’d suggest renting a bike to get to the top of the hill. If you have a car like us, you can only drive so far and have to hike up the rest. Luckily for us, the local with bananas was kind enough to give us a ride back down. Monkey Hill is a must see on your trip to Thailand. Even if it’s rainy season, you still can go! Take it from me, I did it.
Wat Chalong is near Monkey Hill, I’d suggest going on the same day. Again, this is outside but Wat Chalong is a bunch of Buddhist temples that you can go inside, so even if it is raining it should be manageable. Many locals go there to pray and tourists come to learn about the culture. The architecture is beautiful and it’s very interesting to experience a different culture.
A 147 foot marble Buddha statue on a mountaintop offers panoramic views, a cafe & gift shop. Big Buddha is a landmark in Phuket. You can drive and park right by the temple and go inside. Even if it’s raining you can enjoy. There are Munks inside that you can walk up to and they will bless you and give you a bracelet after. That was probably one of the coolest things I have ever done. Who get’s a blessing from a Monk!? You can and it’s beautiful. You also can donate money to the temple, in exchange you can write on a piece of marble that will be used to finish building Big Buddha. A part of you could always remain in Thailand. It is a very spiritual moment and very fun. Also, the Buddha is a temple so you can go inside it, so rain or shine you can enjoy this special place.
Can you go to the beach or the Phi Phi Island?
Yes you still can. Unfortunately, my boyfriend and I made the mistake of being too nervous of the weather to actually make it to Phi Phi Island but when we spoke with other travelers that made the trek. Our traveler friends ended up getting a hotel on the island and staying a few days. They got sunny days and fun adventure that we were envious of. So if you just go and don’t have the expectation of sun, there is a good chance of a few hours of sunshine. And if it rains, well that just makes for a good story.
Don’t let rain stop you from enjoying all of the sites that Thailand has to offer. Prices are much more affordable in rainy season and you can still experience Thailand the way you want… and maybe even a few ways you would have never explored if it weren’t for the rain.
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.” – Mark Twain