Just returned from a 26-day sojourn to ‘the Land of Smiles” right in the middle of the rainy season; Northern Thailand was being inundated by monsoons which triggered the worst flooding in the provinces of Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai and Mae Hong Son in the last 40 years.
What a trip it was; I had to endure a total of about 3 hours of rain, including a 10 minutes torrential downpour in Bangkok on the evening of August 12. Fortunately this rain squall occurred while I was comfortably seated at Tamarind Cafe, one of my favorite vegetarian restaurants in Bangkok
Flying from Siem Reap (Cambodia) to Chiang Mai via Bangkok on August 19, I had some trepidation about arriving in a flooded out Chiang Mai. Fortunately, the floodwaters had receded 1 - 2 days before my arrival and the rains had tailed off. Everywhere else I traveled to was relatively dry. In fact, Ko Lanta and Sukhothai were dry as a bone. The only time I got punished by the elements was on my last night (Aug. 31) in Kamala (Phuket), whereupon returning to my hotel in the wee hours of the morning, I had to navigate the last 100 yards or so in the middle of a moderately heavy downpour. Needless to say, I got soaked. The next morning, the sun was out as usual.
It seems that Hanumann has special powers; wherever he traveled in Thailand, he chased the rains away. And when, ‘the Big Monkey” departed “the Land of Smiles”, the rains returned triumphantly.
When planning a trip to Thailand and Southeast Asia during the rainy season (May to November) one must prepare for the eventuality of rain. However, the pattern of tropical storms during the rainy season is so unpredictable and can vary from year to year. Quoting ClaudioS of Thailand Travel Forum, ‘no two rainy seasons are alike.”
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