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Travel during Thailand/Cambodia/Vietnam rainy season?

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Mar 29th, 2011, 10:40 PM
  #1
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Travel during Thailand/Cambodia/Vietnam rainy season?

A friend and I are dying to go on a trip through Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam this summer. Unfortunately we can only go in June or September, both of which are during rainy season in the regions we plan to visit.

We're young, active travelers who want to be out experiencing all these places have to offer. Is it still worth going on this trip if we have to go during rainy season? We are considering a similar trip through Indonesia, which appears to have better weather that time of year, but our first choice is Thailand, etc.!

Any and all advice will be very appreciated -- give us the good, the bad, and the ugly of rainy season travel!

Thanks!!
kristen12 is offline  
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Mar 30th, 2011, 12:34 AM
  #2
 
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I've traveled in both Thailand and Vietnam in June a couple of times. It was very hot, but didn't rain all day, usually a late afternoon downpour with some dramatic thunder and lightning. I was in Cambodia in early October this year. Again, it tended to be short intense showers. I enjoyed the cool periods, and loved all the green instead of dust.

The main problem is if you plan to travel by land (bus, bike car). Roads can get flooded, and umpaved roads can get very muddy, and sometimes impassable.
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Mar 30th, 2011, 12:42 AM
  #3
 
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There are clearly reasons why countries have "high" and "low" seasons but that doesn't mean that people do not travel there year round, far from it. We spent a year travelling the around the world and of necessity, we visited places at the wrong time. In a number of instances some of the places we enjoyed most were visited at the wrong time (New Zealand in the depths of winter in a campervan was one of my all time favourite travel experiences)

Pros;
It doesn't rain all the time.

The likelyhood is that you will get some clear skies for a lot of the time.

Accomodation is less busy and cost are generally a lot cheaper making it easier to just turn up at a location and haggle on price.

The countryside will be a lot more green and verdant than in the dry season.

The tourist sites will be considerably less busy making photography at places like Angkor, the Grand Palace etc a lot easier.

Day tours etc. may be negotiable in teh off season

My personal view is that Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam all have alot more to offer than Indonesia.

Cons:
Some places (central Vietnam springs to mind) can be prone to serious flooding at those times of year)

Roads in Cambodia and much of Vietnam are not great and can be difficult in the wet season (Thai roads are generally pretty good)

Not the time of year for serious beach time (Indonesia would be much better).

Mosquitos can be more of a problem in the season as can the higher humidity especially if you have no aircon.

It is possible that some tourist sites may be closed.

Given the choice, I would go with Thailand etc.
Do check the weather at the actual locations you plan to visit. The Andaman and gulf coasts are affected by different monsoons and Vietnam, being a very long thin coastal country has different weather in the north, central and southern regions. Having said that, weather patterns have changed somewhat over the last few years and are becoming ever more unpredictable
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Mar 30th, 2011, 02:23 AM
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I go to Cambodia in June - July every year and have had no problems. Its the start of the rainy season there and, while you do get some torrential downpours they don't last very long and the air is a lot clearer and nicer afterwards.

September can be a different story in Siem Reap at least. My daughter had water running through her house the year before last. Fortunately for her she lives in the upstairs half of the dwelling.

I'd say go for it. If you get wet so what, you'll soon dry out. (I'm not being facetious - thats my travel philosophy.) They are all great countries to visit.
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Mar 30th, 2011, 04:20 AM
  #5
 
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I have to agree with the others. I've been in Thailand in both June and September. If that's when you need to travel, then that's what you will do. Go for it!!
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Mar 30th, 2011, 10:00 PM
  #6
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Thank you all for your kind advice! It sounds like the consensus is pretty strong toward Thailand, etc. Luckily, both my friend and I live in Oregon in the U.S., so rain is something we're intimately familiar with

Thanks again!!
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Mar 31st, 2011, 12:19 AM
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Ah, but Oregon has sissy rain, and it's cold. SE Asia rain is warm and powerfull!

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