A little rain won't ruin your day, let alone your holiday.
In fact, green season (aka off-peak) travel is where it's at.
Imagine this: you've got a national park all to yourself, the beaches are empty, the ocean view bungalow is always available AND the humidity doesn't feel like it's going to kill you. Welcome to the beauty of green season travel in Thailand!
Spanning July to October, this lush travel period is epic and underrated. Sure, it might rain—but it won't rain for long. To spark your off-peak interest, here's where we want to travel this green season:
KOH TAO For super cheap scuba diving
Koh Tao has long been a global hotspot for travellers itching to get their underwater PADI / SSI diving licence. When it comes to worldwide scuba meccas, this Thai island is up there with Cairns (Australia) and Utila (Honduras).
Koh Tao itself is a tropical paradise; an island off the mainland that’s defined by palm trees, white sand beaches and serious hammock-time. But it’s also home to some serious dive sites. Chumphon is a crazy submerged granite pinnacle that’s absolutely covered in sea anemone and huge schools of barracuda; at White Rock you can swim with the sea turtles; and if wrecks are more your scene, HTMS Sattakut is a former US Navy ship that’s now home to whip rays and gobies playing hide-and-seek in its rusty crevices. Very The Little Mermaid.
Why dive during green season? It’s more like WHY NOT?! If you’ve got flexibility with your dive days then go for it—there will be less travellers on the island, fewer fins in the water and probably a bunch of decent discounts around town.
CHIANG MAI For lush rainforest and bursting waterfalls
Head north and you’ll find yourself in tranquil, mountainous Chiang Mai. Green season is actually the ideal time to hightail it north because the weather is cooling, the waterfalls are full and the monsoon rains are washing away all the smoke and dust from the hot season. It’s a literal breath of fresh air. It’s also ridiculously, super green. Lush, you’d say. Verdant, even.
Chiang Mai is a must-travel for any nature enthusiasts / hikers / outdoor aficionados. It’s home to some of the country’s most epic national parks and Thailand’s tallest mountain. Such a flex. Doi Inthanon National Park is an expanse of biospheres, rainforest and hiking trails. While here make sure you stop by Mae Yai waterfall, where water crashes from a staggering height of 100 metres. Twitchers: keep an eye out. There’s over 300 species of birds hiding in these treetops.
Welcome to Thailand’s ancient capital. Established in the early 13th century, Sukhothai literally means ‘Dawn of Happiness’—pretty apt for the Land of Smiles, right? This region was ruled by a bunch of different kings, but the most famous was King Ramkhamhaeng the Great who ticked a few important things off the royal to-do list, like: create the Thai alphabet and lay the foundations for politics. Impressive.
Nowadays, Sukhothai Historical Park is best discovered by bicycle. And it’s even better during green season when there are less tourists to share the trails. This UNESCO site is home to royal palaces, Buddhist temples, ancient moats, walls and city gates. Then there's Wat Maha That complex which is everything you’d want from a grand ancient pagoda—go forth and explore like Lara Croft / Indiana Jones.
Bangkok, quite literally, shines in any weather. You can also gorge yourself in any weather too. You don’t need clear skies to eat your way through a city market. It doesn’t matter if it rains when you’re inside learning how to cook legit pad thai from a woman named Anong. If anything, the cooler weather will make tom yum soup more enticing; you might even be persuaded to add a little extra chilli to your noodles.
If it does drizzle, just grab an electric MuvMi tuk tuk (you can order one and rideshare anywhere in the city!) and take yourself on a food tour of Old Town. Ask your tuk tuk driver to stop at their local and order exactly what they’re having. Pull over at street stalls for tasty, unidentifiable skewers. In the evening, make a reservation at one of the city’s more bougie fine dining restaurants. A little rain never hurt anyone’s appetite.
Safari? In Thailand? You heard us. Khao Sok, in Thailand’s south, is a pristine parcel of wilderness just waiting to be explored by foot, by longboat and even by kayak. Play spot the sun bear / leopard / tiger! Count the innumerable reptiles slinking out of the rainforest! Get ready to witness the most majestic of birds!
But is safari a good wet weather activity, you ask? Heck yeah. The cooler weather brings out a different, noisier side to the rainforest. And it also makes for more comfortable trekking. A light afternoon sun shower is the best way to wash the sweat off. Trust us.
Okay, we’ve all seen The Beach. And we’ve all wanted to go to The Beach. Well, before it gets weird and Leo video-games his way through weed fields. ANYWAY, point of the story is that deserted beaches are amazing. Waaaay better than crowded beaches.
Krabi is the picture of perfection, and its beaches are decidedly less busy in the green season. From Railay to Ao Nang to Ton Sai, you’re promised white sand, crystal waters and more than enough space to lay your towel down. What if it rains? Then take shelter for an hour and devour some laarb, before donning your snorkel once again. The rainstorms here never last too long, that’s a guarantee.
There are a million and one beautiful places to stay all over the country. Couple of our faves include: Bangkok Treehouse which is a great city escape and Anantara Chiang Mai for a more bougie delight. For more options, head here.
Siamese cats are named after Siam, the former name of Thailand.
The beauty of Thailand is that’s easily travelled independently. But if you’d like a tour, you can custom design your own with the gang at Adventure World.