Thailand is a beautiful country of contrasts. From sprawling cities and vibrant parties, to quiet sandy beaches, jungles, and so much wildlife! It boasts a lengthy landmass, and many islands dotted along its vast coastline. Within its islands, you can find peace and tranquility. And a healthy dose of bustling local life!
Koh Samui is one such enchanted island, but it can be difficult to know when to visit. Just when is the Koh Samui rainy season? When is the best time to go, and what can you do whilst you visit?
We talk the drawbacks and advantages of visiting in the rainy season, avoiding the crowds, and all the different types of adventures you can get into. There is definitely something for everyone on the 88 square miles of Koh Samui. Lets dive in.
Is it safe to visit Koh Samui?
With so much uncertainty in the world right now, it is wise to question whether it is a good time to travel. So why go to Thailand right now?
Aside from the fact that Thailand is just beautiful, there have been surprisingly few Corona-virus cases overall. Since the outbreak, the current tally is at between 3,148 to 2018 confirmed cases, and a total of 58 recorded deaths. The current advice from the British Government is to cease all non-essential travel to Thailand at this current time, but as the stats are released, it seems that this could be relaxed in due course.
The Thai Government have issued warnings against attending local gatherings etc until the end of August 2020. Many hotels are still open for business, however, with health restrictions and social distancing measures in place. These relaxed travel restrictions are also likely to make the beaches rather quiet—a potential benefit for those seeking solace at end of the British summer.
What is the best month to go to Koh Samui?
Lucky for us, there are a few great months to visit Thailand’s West coast Island. As British summertime begins, so does the gorgeous sunshine of Koh Samui. Meaning Koh Samui is the perfect destination between the months of June to September.
Humidity drops below 80% on average, the rains fall to an average of around 15mm per month, and temperatures reach manageable highs of 32°C. Stunning all round!
Additionally, April has its charms, with temperatures ranging between 26°C and 32°C. All this, and the least average days of rain of any month in Thailand!
April also bears witness to the wonderful Songkran festival. What might seem like a bit of fun is actually an important part of the Thai new-year, taking place mid April. Throwing water at each other symbolises washing away bad luck, and divine protection for the new-year.
It is up to you how crazy your Songkran will be. In Bangkok no-one will escape a dousing. Simply step out of your hotel and see! In Koh Samui or Krabi on the East coast, locals carouse with tourists as they traverse towns and villages in an all-day water-fight.
Travellers wanting to escape for some peace and quiet would do well to avoid mid-April and the busier times of July to September. This is when families descend as the kids break up for school-holidays.
There are, however, some pretty decent temperatures to be had in June, September and the early part of October. The kids are back at school, and temperatures are comfortably tropical!
But, there are still some pretty great times to visit outside of these.
When is rainy Season in Koh Samui? Pitfalls and Benefits
The rainy season typically happens between late October to mid December, with the most rainfall occurring in Koh Samui in November. This is no joke, with around 1.6 feet of rain falling throughout the month!
Whilst there are still decent things to do during this time (and we will get on to that), shoulder seasons are also wonderful. Not only will you generally see less rain, but the hotels and package deals are often cheaper.
January is a great option. Early on temperatures drop to around 24°C, before heating up toward the end of the month. Great for those of us who don’t aren’t interested in sunbathing, but exploring the sights with fewer tourists around.
February is even better. Only slightly hotter, with fewer rainy days and on average less cloudy than the rest of the year! As the temperature rises moving toward May, humidity rises creating higher rains and storms. This is also when to be most wary of mosquitos, though it is always worth packing your mosquito spray.
There are some great things you can do within the shoulder seasons. Kayaking and Snorkeling tours still operate on less rainy days, and there are many hikes and jungle tours too. The Central Festival mall in Koh Samui has lots for those who like to shop, play and dine! Even the charming fisherman’s village of Bophut is lively all year round.
Fair warning, however. It is always best to pack books and puzzles for downtime in the hotel. Storms and rain have been known to knock out the power on a bad day! Failing that, you can always spend the day being pampered. There are many Spa locations on the island, and most hotels offer so great treatment packages.
How many days do you need in Koh Samui?
Whether you choose summer or the rainy season in Kohn Samui, you will be spoilt for choice with attractions! It just depends what you are looking for.
For the more adventurous, Ang Thong Marine Park is a great spot to kayak and snorkel. Hikes to Elephant Rock can be undertaken alone (if you are feeling brave) or with a guide, and there are even some fantastic Jeep jungle tours.
For the party-goers, there are many late-night bars and parties to be had. Choppers, an Australian owned bar on the west side of the island, has nightly Karaoke and games and there is always a friendly crowd in the bar. If you are feeling more adventurous, you could also attend a famous ‘Full Moon Party’ on Koh Phangan. Only a short speedboat ride away, and return tickets can be purchased on the day! It is always advisable to ask your hotel for the best places to book tickets for this event. Not all sellers on the island will be reputable.
For those seeking sun and sea, Chaweng beach is hugely popular with tourists. Visiting in June to August and picking a hotel by the beach is the best option. There is also the famous Lamai beach, famously more relaxed with fewer families.
For the culture vultures amidst you, Laem Sor Pagoda and the Big Buddha temple hold the majesty of Thai history. Thai people are very proud of their ancestry, so tourists must show respect. Make sure to wear loose fitting long clothing when visiting religious sites, keeping shoulders and legs covered.
With so many great things to see and do, the time you could spend in Thailand is limitless. This is why so many people return to it again and again. If you are just looking to get away in Koh Samui, 1-2 weeks is a great start. Rest assured, you will want to return!
Koh Samui, great for Sunny and Rainy Seasons!
The best thing about Thailand is that it is a great combination trip. Most tourists will spend some time in Bangkok as well as a beach or jungle destination. This gives the added bonus of seeing more sides to the country. Especially as flights from outside Asia will generally land in Bangkok before you can head on to your chosen destination.
Adding a two or three night stay in Bangkok before heading to Koh Samui could even make your relaxation on the beach feel more… relaxing!
As one of the cheaper summer destinations you can go to, Thailand has a lot to offer for a fraction of the cost. Prices on the Islands can be a little higher due to their touristy nature, which is understandable. But, if you talk to the locals and avoid higher end restaurants, you can keep costs down.
Even during the high seasons you wouldn’t expect to be paying more than £2,000 for flights and accommodation in a 3 star hotel. On average, eating out at local restaurants will cost you around 70 to 100 Baht. Around £1.70 to £2.40! And even less if you sample the gorgeous street food on offer.
And if you would like to explore Koh Samui yourself, renting a scooter will cost you around 150 Baht—less than £4 per day.
Whilst visiting Koh Samui during the rainy season could seem a wash out, there is always something to do. It could even save you a few pennies. So get researching now to find out what your holiday will look like! There really is something for everyone.