If a tan is not your top priority, this could be the perfect time to come to Krabi.May – October in Krabi sees the monsoon winds change direction, bringing the cooler temperatures and showers associated with the rainy season. The droves of tourists and package holiday-makers disappear, leaving an altogether more relaxed atmosphere – and one in which residents generally have more time for visitors (and for afternoon naps!).
Those fortunate enough to travel now will thus see a different side to the province. Streets are quieter, beaches and islands semi-deserted; and walking through the forest you will hear the sounds of nature, rather than the tour group up ahead.
Of course there is a reason for the existence of this so-called “low” season: the weather. But, while daily sunshine cannot be guaranteed, it does not rain all the time, either. A typical pattern (if one exists) is of sun interspersed with brief, often very heavy showers once or twice a day, although it is also normal to have very long spells (2 -3 weeks) of glorious, dry weather – or a week of straight rain.There are some advantages that come with this weather, which is why TAT (Tourism Authority of Thailand) is now promoting this time as the ‘green’ season. The interior landscape really comes to life after the long, hot dry spell, meaning wildlife on jungle and kayak trips will be abundant. Ditto for diving, although visibility does vary considerably. When the sun is shining, you’ll have the beaches and islands almost to yourself.
Downpours are, however, as befits the tropical climate, heavy and unpredictable and you may well find yourself getting soaked once or twice – it’s a good idea to bring a poncho or rainjacket with you, as well as a light jacket or non-woolly sweater for the cooler evenings.
As most of Krabi’s attractions are outdoors, rain obviously limits what you can do. In addition, rough sea conditions can very occasionally prevent access to some outlying islands – places such as Ko Rok are completely closed during the off-season. However, activities such as temple visits, kayaking, jungle trekking and diving, as mentioned above, can be considered all-weather, with reasonable precautions such as non-slip shoes in forest environments.If you do have to spend some time in your room, all the more reason to indulge in a nice one, with cable TV and a spa for when you don’t feel like going out – especially as the heavily discounted ‘low’ season prices really do justice to the term ‘affordable luxury’.
Pros and cons of visiting Krabi during low season
- Save money with reduced hotel bills
- Less crowded everywhere, in particular on the beaches and islands
- More laid-back, genuine atmosphere – you are far more likely to experience the “real” Krabi in the absence of visitors
- Residents generally are more relaxed as they are not overwhelmed by tourists, so people will be more friendly and willing to take extra time to help you out.
- Ideal time to do jungle treks or spot wildlife
- It’s off-season for a reason: the weather can be unfavourable to downright bad if you are unlucky and there unfortunately seems to be no accurate way of predicting the weather from year to year.
- Because of the above, some clement weather activities may not be available during your stay. In particular far outlying islands may be temporarily inaccessible due to rough seas – and even sitting on the beach is no fun in the rain
- In some areas of Krabi, the crowds are so sparse, you may end up feeling lonely! If you do wish to go to, say, Koh Lanta or Klong Muang during the monsoon months, be prepared for seriously empty restaurants, drinking alone and even shutters down on many shops.
- Low season is the traditional time for hotels to carry out renovations and refurbishments to their rooms. You may find that your resort is adding an extra wing; improving its spa or repairing the roof – directly above your head. Check before you travel!
- Choose a nice hotel with good in-room facilities, or even better, a private villa or apartment where you will have room to spread out if stuck indoors
- Pick an area with access to “rainy day” activities like Ao Nang or Krabi Town
- Local weather lore says it is much more likely to rain in the week around a new or full moon than during the rest of the month. If you believe the fishermen, you might like to arrange your travel dates around this.
- Top ten rainy day activities
- Beat the heat: ways to cool down in Krabi
- Weather and climate in Krabi
- When to visit Krabi
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Last updated: June 14, 2013