Travelers with little experience exploring Southeast Asia are often willing to ONLY travel during high seasons only as they initially fear that unpredictable weather could potential interfere with beach-time activities. My experience exploring Koh Tao this past October showed me that taking a chance and exploring this beautiful island during the rainy reason was a smart decision.
I discovered several ways in which the pros of travelling to Koh Tao during the rainy season, greatly outweighed the cons.
Take In The Awesome Weather: Thunder-Storms
Ok, so hitting up the beach during the raining season might not sound like the best idea for the timid. That being said, gazing out the window at raging tropical storms gives adrenaline junkies like me the thrill of a lifetime.
Typical thunderstorms usually only last around an hour when they come but during our 10 day trip in the middle of October we were faced with one day where it rained all day long. When the storms took over the sky I figured that if mother nature wants me to spend a lazy day inside, I’m going to lounge in front of my laptop in my robe with a Pina Colada in hand, (followed by one of those delicious coconuts packed with rum)! I spent the afternoon hitting up Slots Heaven playing black jack to get my much needed adrenaline fix, then I curled with a good book. In the evening the dark sky would explode with bolts of lightning, putting on a masterful firework show just for me.
Is Cheaper During Low Season
The rainy season in Koh Tao extends from June until October. During this time you will find flights that are much more reasonably priced and in my experience the price of hotels in Koh Tao dropped up to 40% compared to that of the high season. Restaurants, bike rental companies and massage parlors and tour guides are more willing to negotiate prices to win business from their competitors.
If you are hoping to establish some form of connection with local culture, this is more difficult to do when you are surrounded by tourists. The less foreigners that are around, the more you will be able to stand out and make an impression.
While I enjoy meeting many other travelers to exchange stories and make new friends the high season crowds of tourists leaves me feeling rather claustrophobic. I often end up spending so much time worrying about pickpockets so I don’t relax and enjoy my time. Travelling during low season creates a slower paced environment so I am better able to relax and focus on the present moment.
Scuba divers flock from all over the world to explore the world class dive sites Koh Tao has to offer and to complete their PADI dive certifications. During high season the classes are bigger, and the dive sites are packed with other divers who pack the reefs.
Better For The Environment
Koh Tao is a small island (only 21 km²) and it receives over a 100,000 visitors per year. Travelling to Koh Tao during the low season helps reduce some of the pressure placed on the local environment by tourists. Smaller concentrations of people lead to less garbage and sewage being produced, and a lesser disruption to the local ecosystem.
Finding Accommodations Is Easy!
I just showed up on the island with no semblance of a plan and had no problems finding a place to stay without having pre-booked a thing.
A TIP FOR BLOGGERS: If you are interested in negotiating free accommodations with hotel management in exchange for trip advisor reviews, blog posts and/or social media advertising, resorts are more open to making these partnerships when you make requests during off season. The main reason for this being during off season, they don’t have a full customer compliment so they have the resources available to have bloggers showcase their facility.