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Thailand’s monsoon and wet season explained

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Thailand’s monsoon and wet season explained | The Thaiger
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Unlike much of the rest of the world, north and south of the equatorial regions with the four reliable seasons of winter, spring, summer and autumn, Thailand has just three seasons: hot, not-quite-so-hot and wet. The wet season coincides with a n annual tropical monsoon that is the overwhelming feature of Thailand’s weather in the late spring, summer and autumn.

The rainy season is caused by the southwest monsoon that sweeps out of the Indian Ocean with moist air heading in a north-easterly direction across Thailand, sucked into the void left by rising warm air over the summer Asian continent. The monsoon also coincides with Thailand’s location in the Southeast Asian tropical rain belt – the Inter Tropical Convergence Zone.

The timing of the season isn’t the same around the country and isn’t the same every year although it is reasonably reliable. Chiang Mai does not have the same rainy season as the Gulf of Thailand islands. Koh Samui’s wet season is month’s after the islands on the other side of the Malay Peninsula (the Isthmus of Kra).

The annual celebration of Songkran, the Thai New Year – April 13 – is usually timed to match both the end of the hot season and the start of the annual wet season. But in most provinces the start of the monsoon is usually a month or so later.

Some places can be much wetter than others. Ranong, in the south of Thailand, just north of Phuket facing the Andaman Sea, is the wettest province in the country with a rainy season stretching from April to November. But the seaside resort of Hua Hin on the Gulf of Thailand only really has two particularly rainy months, September and October.

The strength and intensity of the rains vary greatly. But, generally, monsoon rains tend to be short, intense bursts of rainfall. They could last for a few hours in the middle of the day, but they could just as easily be over within about 15 minutes in the morning or evening.

The monsoons do little to stop the locals who are used to just plugging-on, despite the deluges and occasional floods. Help is never too far away with the 20 baht ‘poncho’ available at every 7 Eleven and Food Mart. Flimsy and available in a variety of unfashionable colours, they’ll keep at least some of your body dry if you’re caught out in a downpour.

It floods very easily in Thailand, such is the intensity and suddenness of the monsoonal rains. Bangkokians will just roll up their trousers, or hold onto their skirts, take their shoes off and wade through the floodwater – it’s just part of life when living in Thailand. Every year millions of baht are spent to improve drainage and prevent flooding, just about everywhere, but nothing seems to make the situation any better.

The best thing about Thailand’s wet season is that the rains are never icy cold and usually provide a pleasant respite from the heat. There’s also a poetic drama and beauty of the Thai monsoons as we enjoy and celebrate the annual rains that provide water for the crops and fill up the dams.

Thailand's monsoon and wet season explained | News by The Thaiger

Bangkok and Central provinces

The Thai capital generally can time the rainy season from late June or early July, peaking in September and starting to dry out in September and October.

The rains could start as out-of nowhere storms and often some notable overnight dumps, before increasing to more regular almost daily rains in July and August. It won’t necessarily rain every day and very rarely all day. But sometimes it’s torrential. Bangkok, whilst built to cope with the heavy rains has closed off a lot of the canals and the natural means of escape has been blocked off over the years.

Thailand's monsoon and wet season explained | News by The Thaiger

Chiang Mai and Northern Thailand

Chiang Mai is the north capital, mostly flat and surrounded by hills, and attracts plenty of tourists and travellers year-round, regardless of weather. Chiang Mai is also the jump off point for visits to Pai, Mae Hong Son, Lampang and Chiang Rai.

The monsoon season lasts longer in the North, compared to Bangkok. It usually starts around May and continues until November. July and August are particularly wet.

Whilst tourism plunges on, regardless of the rains, there will be occasional disruptions to some of the outdoor activities during the peaks of the northern wet season. The northern parts of Thailand do have distinctly cooler weather during the dry season – December until the end of February – even a morning frost in the mountains around the region.

Thailand's monsoon and wet season explained | News by The Thaiger

North East Thailand

The Northeast provinces (known as Isaan) are further away from the Indian Ocean so the monsoon has lost some of its power by the time it reaches the region. The wet season would stretch from May to October but 80% of the rain usually falls in August and September.

The region’s north and eastern borders are the mighty Mekong River which relies on a decent annual fall of rains. In recent years the Mekong has recorded lower levels due to the changes in wet season rains and damming upstream in Laos and China.

East Thailand

Koh Chang and the other islands off the coast of Trat province are beautiful and mostly unspoiled by mass tourism but can be very wet during the monsoon which usually runs from late May to the end of October. In June, July and August it’s likely to rain at some stage just about every day.

The moist air has been sucked in from the Indian Ocean, crossed over the thin peninsula of southern Thailand and then rebuilt strength as it passes over the Gulf of Thailand.

Storms and choppy offshore waters means that diving and snorkelling may be limited. But the islands will be much quieter and prices lower during the wet season.

Phuket, Krabi and the Andaman Coast

Glorious beaches, tropical living and beautiful islands. Once upon a time this region had a distinct high and low tourist season but the changes in international tourist mixes have made many of the Andaman Sea destinations busy throughout the year, rain or no rain. Phuket, Krabi, Koh Lanta, Khao Lak, Koh Phi Phi are just a few of the popular destinations in this picture-postcard region.

It will usually start raining from mid April to October and November. September and October are the wettest. And when it rains, it pours. The strong south westerly winds usually make the west-facing beaches unswimmable for the duration of the monsoon – many tourists drown off these coastlines each year.

Some of the smaller islands and diving spots shut down during the monsoon.

Thailand's monsoon and wet season explained | News by The Thaiger

Koh Samui and the Gulf Islands

Koh Samui, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao in the Gulf of Thailand are a triad of popular islands off the coast of Surat Thani and have their own annual season weather patterns.

The monsoon season doesn’t hit Koh Samui until later in the year, with the rains arriving during October to December with peaks in November and trailing off during the start of the new year. But, like the Andaman Coast destinations, it remains hot and mostly humid throughout the year.

Thailand's monsoon and wet season explained | News by The Thaiger

Things to do in Phuket during the wet season.

And it does get humid. Here’s what you can do to cope with Thailand’s humidity.

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Avatar

    me!

    Wednesday, May 27, 2020 at 11:25 am

    wow. author really likes the word “plunge”

  2. Avatar

    Erik

    Monday, September 28, 2020 at 10:35 pm

    Thanks for the article, very much appreciated!! Just a question: What about Hua Hin and Koh Samet, with respect to the rainy season?

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Thailand

Banned politician says government silencing him by invoking Lese Majeste law

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Banned politician says government silencing him by invoking Lese Majeste law | The Thaiger

A banned politician, who criticised the government’s Covid-19 vaccine plan, is claiming the government is silencing him (again) by invoking the Lese Majeste lawagainst him. The alleged defamation case concerns his questioning of using one of the king’s companies as part of the Covid-19 vaccine strategy that he says will slow down the process of inoculations.

Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit accused the government of PM Prayut of relying too much on Siam Bioscience to help in the vaccine plan, and pointed out that it is owned by the Crown Property Bureau, the organisation that manages billions of dollars in investment under the king’s personal control.

Siam Bioscience agreed to manufacture AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine and supply it domestically and across Southeast Asia. but Thanathorn says the deal “lacked transparency” and it was given an unfair advantage over other companies after the government ordered 61 million doses of the vaccine.

He says the government is slowing down the process by relying on just 1 company and points to other countries as they are already starting to inoculate residents. Both AstraZeneca and Siam Bioscience have not commented on his allegations, while the government has filed a complaint against Thanathorn citing the royal insult law under article 112 of the criminal code that can send law-breakers to prison for up to 15 years.

“The deals were not negotiated independently of each other. There was no selection process or comparison so questions must be raised.”

But a government spokeswoman, Ratchada Dhanadirek, maintains the filing of the criminal complaint was not politically motivated. Last year, Thanathorn was banned from politics for 10 years after a court dissolved his Future Forward Party for illegal loans, charges which were upheld by the Constitutional Court.

Meanwhile, others are criticising the government’s announcement to allow local municipalities to pay for vaccines as they say it coincides with upcoming elections. They point out that the government should pay for the vaccinations, especially in Bangkok, as they say the government has the funds to do so.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

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Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21 | The Thaiger

In a nationwide crackdown on gambling, police in the Isaan province Khon Kaen raided a warehouse and seized more than 400 slot machines.

Acting on a court warrant, police searched the warehouse. The locks on the door had been changed and police had to break into the warehouse. Inside, canvases covered 418 slot machines. Police say the machines were “plug and play” ready to go.

Officers say they believe the warehouse was linked to an illegal gambling den in the province… surely, not another one. No arrests have been made and police are still investigating.

After nearly recovering from Covid-19, Samut Sakhon’s governor is back on a ventilator after nearly a month receiving artificial creating support. Doctors are currently monitoring the Governor’s condition hourly.

While the 58 year old governor’s Covid-19 infection had subsided, the virus negatively affected his lung function, according to doctors. They reported today that a bacterial infection is now destroying some of his lung tissue.

They also said that the governor’s brain function has been affected by the Covid-19 virus, but the spokesperson didn’t go into specific details.

Last week, doctors announced Verasak’s condition was improving and he would be taken off the ventilator.

Speaking of Samut Sakhon, the province’s Central Shrimp Market, the original epicentre of the latest wave of Covid-19 that kicked off on December 20 last year, is ready to reopen by the end of January after a big clean up.

The reopening is considered “important” to the provincial economy, according to the province’s deputy governor. It will also be a new beginning for the workers, mostly migrant workers, who have been so profoundly affected by the cluster.

The Market has been shut since December 20 after more than 500 cases of Covid-19 were detected, following nearly 7 months of single digit daily infection reports.

Since then, nearly 5,000 accumulative cases have been detected as a result of the cluster… mostly migrant workers, and most from Myanmar. Some 331 are still in hospital.

The Koh Larn community committee is asking the Chon Buri provincial communicable disease committee to consider reopening the island after being affected by the restriction measures from January 5. The island is currently almost cut off from traffic from the mainland.

Koh Larn, one of the province’s popular tourist destinations off the coast of Pattaya, has been massively affected by the restrictions.

The Koh Larn community committee says all stringent control measures are in place now, so there wouldn’t be a problem if they can get back to operation again.

Air pollution in Bangkok is expected to get worse over the next few days as pollutants are getting trapped in the atmosphere thanks to a recent cold spell and a lack of wind to blow the haze away from the city. In response to the unhealthy air pollution, The PM’s Office permanent secretary says he has asked several ministries to step up efforts in combatting the PM2.5 micron ‘dust’ particulate that has blanketed the city.

He says…. vehicle exhaust fumes, construction sites and burning garbage in open areas is not helping.”

“To add to the problem, the cold spell is creating an “inversion layer” which stops air below it from rising and trapping pollutants.”

As usual, Bangkok officials are looking to some of the smaller, localised traffic issues to blame, although the annual “smoke from the north” problem remains the key and overriding issue regarding Bangkok’s smog problem months. The local traffic pollutants, whilst ever-present, don’t cause the skyline smog and haze for the rest of the year.

And when the Thais refer to a “cold spell” it usually means the ambient morning temperature has dropped to the low 20s. In other parts of the world that would be considered a heat wave!

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Government is to allow people to use “legal” parts of cannabis in business

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Government is to allow people to use “legal” parts of cannabis in business | The Thaiger
PHOTO: The Thaiger

With intentions to promote cannabis as the country’s potential new cash crop, the government is preparing guideline to allow people to produce, sell or own cannabis and hemp. The permitted businesses, including textile, pharmaceutical, and cosmetics will be able to register to receive FDA permissions from January 29.

According to the FDA secretary-general, leaves, stalks, stems, roots, flowers, and seeds are not in a list of legal parts as they have high drug content (is there anything left?). Individuals are still not allowed to grow both cannabis and hemp without authorisation. Import and export of hemp must seek permission from the FDA Office as well.

Interested applicants in Bangkok can register at the FDA Office, while those in upcountry can contact the provincial public health offices. Courses and training about how to start a business using marijuana plants will be provided under the collaboration of the Education Ministry and Public Health Ministry.

However, a traditional medicine expert with Chaopraya Abhaiphubejhr Hospital, suggests that 6 groups of people should avoid food and drink with marijuana, including those with liver and kidney problems, heart disease patients, people aged below 25, pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers, and those taking stimulant medications.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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