About the Author
Lucy Ridout has been travelling in and writing about Asia for the last15 years. She is the co-author of Rough Guides to Bangkok, Thailand'sIslands & Beaches and Bali & Lombok.Paul Gray has been a regularvisitor to Thailand since he taught English for a year in Chang Mai in1987.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
When to go The climate of most of Thailand is governed by three seasons: rainy (roughly June to October), caused by the southwest monsoon dumping moisture gathered from the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand; cool (November to February); and hot (March to May). The rainy season is the least predictable of the three, varying in length and intensity from year to year, but usually it gathers force between June and August, coming to a peak in September and October, when unpaved roads are reduced to mud troughs and whole districts of Bangkok are flooded. The cool season is the pleasantest time to visit, although temperatures can still reach a broiling 30C in the middle of the day. In the hot season, when temperatures rise to 40C, the best thing to do is to hit the beach. Within this scheme, slight variations are found from region to region. The less humid north experiences the greatest range of temperatures: at night in the cool season the thermometer occasionally approaches zero on the higher slopes, and this region is often hotter than the central plains between March and May. It's the northeast which gets the very worst of the hot season, with clouds of dust gathering above the parched fields, and humid air too. In southern Thailand, temperatures are more consistent throughout the year, with less variation the closer you get to the equator. The rainy season hits the Andaman coast of the southern peninsula harder than anywhere else in the country - heavy rainfall usually starts in May and persists at the same level until October. One area of the country, the Gulf coast of the southern peninsula, lies outside this general pattern - because it faces east, this coast and its offshore islands feel the effects of the northeast monsoon, which brings rain between October and January. This area also suffers less from the southwest monsoon, getting a relatively small amount of rain between June and September. Overall, the cool season is generally the best time to come to Thailand: as well as having more manageable temperatures and less rain, it offers waterfalls in full spate and the best of the upland flowers in bloom. Bear in mind, however, that it's also the busiest season, so forward planning is essential.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.