Many people look at me in shock when I tell them I live on Koh Lanta the whole year, 'what about the Monsoon?' they say with absolute horror.
Monsoon is one of those words that conjurers up rain, more rain and lots of storms, but what is it really like?
Monsoon (//) is traditionally defined as a seasonal reversing wind accompanied by corresponding changes in precipitation, but is now used to describe seasonal changes in atmospheric circulation and precipitation associated with the asymmetric heating of land and sea. Usually, the term monsoon is used to refer to the rainy phase of a seasonally changing pattern, although technically there is also a dry phase. The term is sometimes incorrectly used for locally heavy but short-term rains, although these rains meet the dictionary definition of monsoon.
For me, I use the phrase 'Green Season' because that is what happens. Unlike the High Season where the hot sun scorches the earth and my beautiful tropical gardens wither. Green season has a mix of rain and sun that makes things grow, and I mean really grow. The first rain sends all my plants into a fever of blossoming, the grass grows rapidly and the gardens look beautiful again.
Green Season usually runs from May to October on Koh Lanta and is signaled by the winds coming from the West, not the East. With this change in wind direction we get more unpredictable weather. But usually we see storms at the beginning and end, with good weather in the middle.
So how does that affect tourists, well firstly nothing is guaranteed, you are not guaranteed sun, rain, wind or storms, you could get one or all of these.
Tours happen throughout the Green Season (except some to the National Marine Parks that are closed to recuperate) but they may be cancelled at short notice if the weather changes. Scuba Diving is available and can even be better than High Season.
|As a Diving Instructor, I saw my first Whaleshark in Green Season|
Accommodation is super cheap (more than 50% discounts on high season). Yes some places shut (10 years ago almost everything did) but most stay open, but may have 1 or 2 days off a week. There is always a party, just ask a local!
Locals are, in general, more friendly. Seeing a few tourists, rather that trying to beat back a crowd of tourists (and they also need the money) means people have a lot more time for you.
The beaches will have more rubbish on them, but this is not, in the main, the locals fault. As the winds and sea directions change, it pushes rubbish onto the beaches. Koh Lanta should do more, but we have a wonderful volunteer group, Trash Hero, who organise regular beach cleans, but don't forget to do your bit too.
|Help us keep the beaches clean!|
And rain, yes let's discuss the rain. If you come from England, like me, it can be torrential, and I don't mean English torrential! It is like someone poured a bucket over your head! But it is much warmer than rain you are used to and quite spectacular! The temperature rarely goes below 25 degrees on Koh Lanta, so often it is welcomed (see our guests reaction to it in the video below).
Finally, be flexible, if it rains and you are in a bar, it is 'Beer O'Clock.' If your tour is cancelled until tomorrow, get a book sit on your balcony and enjoy the spectacle! If the sun comes out, go to the beach! Finally if you really want to know how what Green Season is like, watch this film done at my resort a few years ago, by a 13 year old boy.