People come to Thailand for its great weather and sandy beaches, but all over South East Asia everywhere gets a good dose of rain at certain times of the year and Koh Tao is no exception. With the Monsoon season entering its final weeks, what can you do on ‘Turtle Island’ when the sun isn’t out and the rain has started..??
There is no point coming all this way to the land of smiles to just stay in your room and there is no point anyway as there is plenty of things to do on Koh Tao.
Take A Cooking Class
Thai food is delicious and is one of the most popular cuisines in the world (it’s certainly my favourite), so why not take a dry day and learn how to impress family & friends when you get back with your culinary skills. Thai cooking courses are typically a half day.
You will learn how to make at least 4 dishes, and there are different options depending which tastes best suit your palate. So if you would like to learn how to knock up a Gaeng Keow wan Gai (green curry chicken) or a Tom Yam Goong (Spicy Prawn soup) then take a day to yourself and get yourself a Thai kitchen.
Get In The Ring
Muay Thai is the national sport of Thailand with nearly the whole county coming to a standstill when the big championship fights take place in Bangkok. The ‘art of eight limbs’ as it is known due to the different variety of blows you can strike an opponent is a great way to keep fit, have fun and learn an ancient martial art at the same time.
Training at the local Muay Thai camps take place at 8am in morning and around 4/5pm in the afternoon meaning it isn’t too hot outside, and if you are doing this during monsoon the rains will cool the temperature further. Muay Thai Lessons are structured, based on different levels of ability so don’t worry, you don’t have to be an actual fighter to take part! Novices will be taught basic techniques of punches, kicks, elbows and knees.
You will feel very tired at the end but you will also have had a great time and its well worth it.
Have A Chill Day
Another ‘industry’ where Thailand is a ‘world beater’ is Spa treatments so while here why not pamper yourself for a day. This is especially relevant during monsoon. Escape the rains completely and take a day just to yourself, relax and re-energise by booking yourself a spa day.
Koh Tao has many massage parlours dotted around the streets that offer different types of massage meaning you are a little spoilt for choice. My personal favourite is a traditional Thai massage where your body is compressed, pulled, stretched and rocked, as opposed to rubbing the muscles.
You can feel a little sore during the session but you will feel the benefit the day after. Once you feel the benefit you will almost certainly want to have at least one more before you leave Thailand!
An oil massage is more relaxing and you will almost certainly be slipping in and out of sleep as the masseuse works their magic. Most places will also offer foot and head massages that are incredibly relaxing. For a more indulgent experience some of the bigger massage shops offer a spa day experience with packages available to suit different needs including pedicures, facials, aloe vera body wraps, and much more.
Stone massages where water-heated stones are placed along the recipient’s back, they help to retain heat which then deeply penetrates into the muscles. A great way to escape the wet weather.
Find Inner Peace
Yoga has become very popular over the last decade or so and Koh Tao has seen its share of yoga centres pop up. Yoga focus on Heath, flexibility, breath-control, peace of mind, relaxation, spiritual growth and longevity – all of which can help with your air consumption if you are a scuba diver.
All Yoga classes on Koh Tao are beginner friendly making it a nice change and something different to do while you are away on your travels and you don’t want to walk around in your rain coat.
Go Get Wet Anyway
99.9% of people coming to Koh Tao are here to go diving, whether it be taking their beginner course or taking some fun dives so why not just get on the boat – you are here to get wet anyway. Rainy weather should not put you off going diving, the rains have a minimal effect once you are underwater, you just start getting wet before you jump.
The cloudy weather will make for a cool diving experience as it almost becomes like a dusk dive due to the reduced light.
A very common question asked during monsoon season is “do we still go diving in the rain?”. OK, so most people who are on holiday hope for beautiful sunny weather, but it’s still Thailand and you will still be in your shorts and t-shirt – it’s not all that bad.
Believe it or not you will feel warmer underwater, the average water temperature here is around 29°C and it takes a lot to cool the sea and a bit of rain won’t make a difference.
Author: Neil Davidson (PADI MSDT #294100)