Bangkok in Rainy Season

For nearly six months of the year, from May through October, Thailand experiences the monsoon season. It has its own rhythms, its own challenges and its own joys.

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Much of the time, rainy season days are humid in the morning as the pavement dries out after overnight rain. The skies are mostly blue and the fresh air provides no filter to the sunlight, which bakes anyone unfortunately enough to be outside the shade like ants under the magnifying glass of a cruel, petulant child.

As the day progresses, cumulonimbus clouds build like fluffy albino cotton candy reaching into the stratosphere. They darken over the afternoon, their shade growing ever more menacing. Often, one half of the sky will still be sunny and blue while the other half will be an advancing, sheer wall of dark grey.

Once the wind picks up, you know that it is just a matter of minutes – at most a half-hour – before the rain starts to fall. Often, this happens in a fierce opening of the heavens, fire hoses turned on full force, a deluge turning roads to canals and canals to lakes. The torrent can just as rapidly cease, leaving the temperatures considerably cooler and, if the clouds vanish, the stars clearly visible even in a city with so much light pollution.

Sometimes, though, the rain stays around at varying degrees of intensity, snarling traffic, stranding pedestrians and leaving behind flooded sois (alleys) that take hours to drain. Thankfully, this does not happen too often and when it does, you just alter your plans and either stay in (if you were caught at home) or stay out (if you had not yet made it home).

Patience is called for.

The joy of rainy reason comes in the moderately cooler weather – each degree of reduction is appreciated – and the breezes. This year, while our rainfall has been heavy, there has been minimal flooding. The greatest joy of rainy season is the cool season that follows it, though.

12 thoughts on “Bangkok in Rainy Season

  1. Great Write! Almost poetic in the description. We are having similar rainy days here. Lots of rain, lots of local patchy flooding. The grass and the flowers are very happy. But the humidity is so much. Overpowering and making us listless.
    Be well. Be blessed.

  2. Wish some of that rain storm would move to Southern California. We sorely missed all that rainy weather here in LA!

  3. Such memories!!! I used to always be sure to wear shorts…so I could wade through the water without getting my clothes wet !!!! We are in our “rainy season” here in Florida too…rain almost every day…doesn’t last long but when it is raining…you don’t want to be out in it!!! Of course NOW we have not one but two tropical depressions which are about to become hurricanes….comeing at us from 2 different directions!!!! Ahhhhhh life in Florida!!!!

  4. I guess it’s too hot to wear a rain coat (like a Goretex). I don’t think it could wick all the moisture fast enough. What do you do with shoes that get soaked in ankle deep water?

    • It really is interesting how you become more attuned to minor changes in the weather. This morning it is overcast, 27 and breezy and I’m sitting here thinking, “It feels like winter!”

      • 27!? You’ve really changed haha. I’d imagine it’s nothin like where you grew up. I must say, we are spoiled here in Sydney – the weather is almost always so beautiful (crisp blue skies, sunny, zero humidity, neither too hot or too cold).

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