Rainy season may not be the best season to travel, as it sounds wet and might be troublesome exploring around. In fact, it's rarely rain every day and all day long, just short refreshing shower that last a couple of hours followed by cooler temperature.
HotelThailand will take you to 6 of the best spots to catch the charm of "Green Season" of Thailand - lasting from June to late October each year. If you decide to explore Thailand during this season, you will also experience unique atmosphere and lush scenery that only appear once a year. Let's find out!
Phu Tub Berk, Phetchaboon
What can be better than getting cool refreshing air year round (even in summer) and seeing the best view at the same go? Here in Phu Tub Berk you can have all. It is one of the most popular heat getaway and one of the country's best spot for sea of fog, which comes to "full bloom" in rainy season. Located around 400 kms from Bangkok in Phetchaboon province, you need to drive up the scenic windy road elevated to 1768 metres, then you will reach the slap top, which is also the highest summit of Phetchaboon.
There is a viewpoint at the top where you can see the valley in the morning this is the best spot for catching sunrise over the valley and largest cabbage fields in Thailand. If you visit at the right time (after the rain during the night before) the nature reveals it famous sea of fog and white cloud flowing around with the wind. During clear night, here is where you can catch two Milky Ways - one on the sky and another is the flickering lights from two cities down in the valley.
How to get there:
From Bangkok, you can reach Phu Tub Berk by taking "Phet Trou" company's bus from Mo Chit 2 Bus Terminal to Lom Sak District in Phetchaboon Province. There are several rounds each day departed at specific time from 9.00 - 23.30 and will set you back around 300 THB/trip. After you get off the bus, take Songthaew to the junction at the bottom of Phu Tub Berk then hitchhike to the summit.
Instead, you can hire a Songthaew from Lom Sak to the summit. This will cost around 1000 - 1200 THB.
Doi Inthanon, Chiang Mai
If you want to get close to nature and feel the refreshing atmosphere of the rainy season, go no further than Doi Inthanon National Park in Chiang Mai. This park is home to the highest mountain in Thailand standing at 2,565 metres above sea level, and some of the best rain forest of the country.
Riding to the peak of Thailand will give you more fascinating atmosphere comparing to other time of year. You can feel the cool air along the windy road to the summit; see the cloud flow pass you, touching your skin with cold and misty moist. There are a number of beautiful waterfalls for you to visit, like Namtok Mae Klang, Namtok Wachirathan, and Namtok Mae Ya. Kiew Maepan Natural Trail is also the main highlight, offering mountainous panorama with fog gentle flow from hill to hill, or you can opt for shorter Ang Ka Luang Nature Trail, which covered with lichens and wild orchids.
How to get there:
Firstly, you need to get to Chiang Mai. You can take route buses that depart almost every hour from Mo Chit 2 Northern Bus Terminal. There are hundred flights each week which takes only 60 minutes to arrive, or opt for train from Hua Lumpong that will take you up to 15 hours ride.
From Chiang Mai you need to catch a Chiang Mai - Hod route bus at Chiang Mai Gate then get off at Phra That Sri Chom Thong. After that get on a yellow Songthaew "Jom Thong - Mae Jam", which will pass the entrance of Doi Inthannon National Park. There are 2 choices here, get off the car at Mae Jam and rent a bike to ride to explore the area, or get off at the entrance and hitchhike a car to the summit.
Also, you can rent a car (or motorbike) from Chiang Mai and drive to the park as it is just 100 Km. away.
Baan Pa Bong Pieng, Chiang Mai
Baan Pa Bong Pieng is a small charming village in Jom Thong district, around 100 kms from Chiang Mai city. This is the pace for nature lover offering lush scenery of step field that gently slopes to the valley before mountainous view, one of the most known terraced rice fields in Thailand.
In rainy season, the field is painted with refreshing green color from newly planted rice, offering a great photo opportunity especially around sunset. During October - November, the rice will ripe a become field of gold. In addition, Baan Pa Bong Pieng is a good place to catch the life of Pakakayo people, ethnic minority living in the area. Walk along the field and let the time flow by, seeing the people do their fieldwork or even stay in their house to learn this simple yet fascinating way of life.
How to get there:
You can reach Baan Pa Bong Pieng the same way to Doi In thanon; catch local bus from Chiang Mai Downtown and get off at Jom Thong, then catch yellow Songthaew passing the entrance of Doi Inthanon down to Mae Jam city centre. Baan Pa Bong Pieng locates not far from the downtown Mae Jam. It is a great idea to rent a motorbike to explore the area, and combine the trip to the summit of Doi Inthanon.
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River Kwai, Kanchanaburi
The area around River Kwai Noi is one of the most popular green escapes for people in Bangkok as it locates just 2 hours drive from the city. One highlight is a number of beautiful waterfalls set amid pristine rainforest, which are full of water during this season. Take a visit to Erawan and Sai Yok Noi Waterfall
and dip into emerald pool under green foliage, enjoy a raft ride to Sai Yok Yai Waterfall
, or take a trip to Huai Mae Khamin Waterfall
, which will give you an eye-feasting scene of water flow down the limestone steps.
If you more for relaxing indulgence, try staying on the side of River Kwai Noi. There are at many accommodations available. Enjoy refreshing atmosphere all day long, cool air and mist in the morning and mesmerizing view of Kwai Noi River meanderingly runs through the valley.
How to get there:
From Bangkok, take a route bus from Sai Tai Mai (Southern Bus Terminal) to Kanchanaburi which will take around 1.5 - 2 hours. There, you need to catch another bus (Kanchanaburi - Snagkhlaburi) and get off at Sai Yok Noi Waterfall.
Instead, there are 2 trains daily run from Bangkok to Namtok Station (in front of Sai Yok Noi Waterfall). The train will leave Bangkok Station at 7.45 and 13.55 and take around 5-6 hour. It is quite a long ride despite the distance, but you can see (and ride on) River Kwai Bridge and Tham Krasae Viaduct, the most well known parts of the Death Railway.
At Nam Tok, hire a Song Thaew to go to the resort or you can contact your resort to pick you up.
Khaoyai, Nakhon Ratchasima
When the hot and dry season fade away and the rain starts to fall, this resort towns amid North Eastern highland, Khao Yai will reveals its best part welcoming every visitor with clean air and invigorating atmosphere.
Located just around 200 kms from Bangkok, Khao Yai is home to Thailand 3rd largest national park of Thailand. You can expected for pristine nature rich with wild flora and fauna and a number of waterfalls ready for all visitors to visit and experience the mighty of the nature. At the same time, it also offers choices of resorts set in beautiful location, perfect for a refreshing holiday trip to indulge with the nature. This is yet to include a lengthy list of tourist attractions from BP Valley and Grand Monte Vinyards, Palio Khao Yai, Chok Chai Farm, Life Park, and the newest water park Scenical World.
How to get there:
The most convenient way to travel Khao Yai is to rent a car from Bangkok and drive there as Khao Yai is a big area and public transportation is not cover all spots. You can go via Nakhon Nayok province or Pak Chong district, but most of the attractions and resorts are located near to Nakhon Ratchasima (Pak Chong) side.
There are buses from Northern Bus Terminal and Trains from Hua Lam Pong Station for you to choose. Get off at Pak Chong city, then catch Songthaew (15 THB - available from 6.00 - 17.00) to the entrance of Khao Yai National Park. From there you need to thumb a car to go to each tourist spot in the park.
Cheow Lan Lake (Khao Sok National Park), Surat Thani
Cheow Lan Lake is one of the most popular green retreats in the southern Thailand, located in mountainous region around 90 km. west from downtown Surat Thani. It is the lake of Ratchaprapha Dam famous as a spot where you can enjoy gorgeous panorama of limestone karsts reflected on crystal clear water as well as a great chance to explore some of the most stunning natural wonders in Thailand.
From Baan Ta Khun Pier, hop on a boat and explore "Guilin of Thailand". There are many spot you should not miss out including Nam Talu Cave, Coral Cave, Diamond Cave that will give you a dash of exploration through caves full of stalactite. If you want to get the best, we recommend spending overnight here. There are some 20 resorts from as cheap as 1000 THB/night. Immerse into the view, try jumping into emerald green water, kayaking to see hidden coves, throw out a small party with friends, or just relax on a hammock with your favourite book will give you the most memorable trip.
How to get there:
Best place to start a trip to Khao Sok is from Surat Thani in Southern Thailand (Same province as Koh Samui). You can get there from Bangkok by plane, or route bus from Southern Bus Terminal (Sai Tai Mai) that leave almost hourly. From the city, catch minivan "Surat Thani - Ta Khun" to the Dam from Kaset Market, which expected to set you back only 200 BHT. If you come by plane, there are minivan queue in front of the arrival terminal.
Get off the van at Baan Ta Khun. There, you can easily find long tail boat to your resort or hire for a day trip to explore Cheow Lan Lake. Make sure to ask for the price before get on the boat.
Photo from: ShutterStock.com, Chatrawee Wiratgasem, lkunl, NH, Ataka, Songchai W, gubgib, FocusMaster, odd-add, anekoho, konmesa, Suwit Ngaokaew, Tuanjai Pratumma, Martinho Smart