It just so happened that my teaching contract in South Korea ended just as the rainy season was beginning in parts of Southeast Asia. Desperate to start living my dream of being a spontaneous and carefree backpacker who showers infrequently (I kid, just about the last part), I chose to overlook the weather and get on my way. Looking back, it was a happy coincidence, and here are a few reasons why (just remember to pack an umbrella!):
1. It’s less crowded
Some people are fine in crowds–I am not one of those people. I begin to feel very overwhelmed and even panicked. I just can’t enjoy myself without a certain amount of personal space. It is true that the most popular spots will still have crowds of people at anytime of year. But, no matter the size of the crowd, it is magnified in the high tourist season.
2. Less expensive
It’s amazing how much prices can differ from low season to high season. From small savings of a few dollars, up to 50 per cent off (maybe more, though I’ve never experienced it) the total prices for accommodations, tours, and activities.
3. A little rain can be nice, and doesn’t last all day
People choose high season because it’s usually a guarantee that you will have perfect weather for your entire trip, which is obviously a plus. But even when it rains in the wet season, it doesn’t tend to rain all day. Short, but intense, showers are more usual in most places (though, fully overcast and rainy days are certainly possible). Usually at some point the sun will return and the heat with it. You may appreciate the few minutes of refreshing coolness and escape from the heat. Besides, it can be nice to get shelter beside a several-hundred-year-old temple or palace for a few minutes.
4. You can slow down and get a better picture
Not in photography terms (though that too), but in the way that you can better see a place for what it is. There is a more relaxed vibe and things just generally aren’t as rushed. Take the time to have more genuine interactions with the people you meet, rather than feeling like you are part of a long string of short pitches.
5. The rainy-season sky does this:
Sunny sky is nice, but dramatic clouds and the way they change course, alter the light and create endless new colours and tones, can make the perfect sunset. After a rainy day with less-than-perfect weather, a uniquely vivid sunset on the beach can fix everything–most of all your attitude.
Thanks for reading!