A myth found in many guidebooks has it that travellers should avoid the rainy season while planning a trip to Southeast Asia. Although there is no official definition of when the rainy season starts and ends, most accounts have it at July-October. However, by May there is already a fair share of downpours and June, for some, is already the start of the grey sky season. Don’t let this put you off, though, as many of travellers with us have come here in this very period of time and experienced a nice surprise. To them, the rainy season can turn out to be the best time to visit Southeast Asia, for the following five reasons:
Less tourists – The rainy season coincides with the region’s low tourist season (as a result of it). Lines are shorter, prices are lower and bookings become easier. In Vietnam, for insance, airlines team up with hotels and restaurants to offer promotion campaign as high as 30 percent off in summer time (Link to “Major promotion launched in Vietnam to boost summer” article
Greener landscapes – For adventurers and nature lovers, the scenery glows with a bright green hue. Rice fields come alive, waterfalls are actually waterfalls and jungles are as lush as ever. Landscapes in Vietnam’s Sa Pa, a hill station and probably the second tourist destination after Halong bay are at their best of the year from May to October. Terrace rice fields make Sa Pa a remarkable area and there is only one rice crop annually which coincides with the rainy season. Farmers started to plant rice in May and harvest in September.
Cycle of wet rice cultivation at its best: Coming to South East Asia during this time of the year presents major advantages to people who are fond of wet rice culture. In major delta areas such as Red river and Mekong river, you can witness two most busy time of the cycle: harvest of the first crop and preparation for the second. In a month, you may see too distinct colors of the field, from verdant to yellow or vice versa.
Downpoor not long-lasting rain And in case you haven’t known, the rains here may be heavy, but they are rather short (lasting about 30 minutes or so). Your best bet is that it will occur in the afternoon, which of course makes the day cooler. And since it is hot and tropical in Southeast Asia to begin with, the heat practically evaporates the water quicker than anywhere else.
The perfect opportunity to lounge about – The rainy season offers comfortable night’s sleeps, especially if it pours at night or late evenings. In addition, when it does rain, it is the perfect time to venture in Southeast Asia’s indoors, albeit at a mall, movie theater, bar or restaurant.
Here’s one general rule of the rainy season in Southeast Asia. The further south you go and the closer you get to Indonesia, the more the rainy season reverses from the months mentioned earlier. Bali’s weather, for example, has the rainy season generally at December-March, with June-September being the dry and cool season.
The rainy season in Southeast Asia presents a great opportunity to explore the region. An umbrella may be handy, but the season should definitely not deter you from basking in the wonders of the region.