Let it rain: enjoying Southeast Asia's wet season

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It's the rainy season in Southeast Asia. Don't worry, it probably won’t rain all the time – probably just in the afternoon (admittedly, rather a lot). Even though the rainy season gets a bad reputation, chances are you'll get sunny, dry mornings and some unexpected bonuses:

  • Cooler temperatures: in a lot of Asia, the rain drops the mercury and provides some sweet relief from the heat. You may get wet, but you won't melt.
  • Fewer tourists: you don't often get a chance to feel alone in Asia. If getting a bit of space is what you're after, the rainy season is your best bet.
  • Lower prices: more splashing of the water, less splashing of the cash. Fewer travellers and lighter demand on accommodation and services means lower prices.
  • Greener greenery: every cliché you've ever heard about the lush greens of the tropics is true. You really haven't seen green till you've seen green in the tropical wet season.
  • Easier storm-chasing: There's actually no chasing to be done. Just hunker down somewhere dry with a view (bars are good for this) and watch nature work her magic. Watching tropical storms roll in is pretty spectacular.
  • Better photos: lightning, dramatic colour changes, dark storm clouds - these are the ingredients of photos way cooler than the blue-skies-and-fluffy-white-clouds kind.
  • Great excuses: there's nothing like a bit of torrential rain for an excuse to just do nothing. Lie in bed and listen to the rain. Sit under a deck and watch it. Read. Play cards. Be on holiday. Don't feel guilty about not exploring that cave or climbing that mountain.
  • Funnier sights: sit back and watch those who don't let the rain ruin their parade – plastic-poncho-clad school kids balancing umbrellas on bicycles; hundreds of brollie-wielding pedestrians passing one another in the street without causing injury (more photo opps).
  • More excuses: if you get caught out, and get stuck at a shelter or a bar (oops) while the storm hits, chances are you won’t be alone, and if ever there were a legitimate time to engage in a conversation with a stranger (maybe start with the weather)...
  • Try out a trip in the wet season. You'll be in for a treat.

So, where will you watch the rain from?

Read up on Asia, pick a destination, grab our Southeast Asia on a shoestring guide and go!