Contrary to popular belief the best time for hiking is the rainy season in Thailand. It doesn't get too hot, the forests are lush and green, the trees have leaves for sun cover, and people don't slash and burn the fields, so the air is clean.
During the rainy season comes a sunny morning, a massive downpour in the afternoon, and a beautiful sunset. Then follow the night rains.
If you enjoy spending your holiday in wet rain clothes, then this season is for you.
Bring quick drying clothes with synthetic fibres that feels soft on your skin.
Damp cotton can get smelly. Save it for dinner.
Soon after my 18th birthday I headed out to a rain forest camp with my waterproof friend Tom, who enjoys any wet fun just like me. Living by a lake during the rainy season we got soaking wet every day in spite of our long rain capes. We've been swimming in clothes for years together, but this forest camp trip took it to a new level.
We were told that we should prepare for seriously wet weather and take quick drying clothes, like robust shoes, nylon trekking shirts with cargo pants, anoraks, and hiking capes. This sounded like a lot of fun was coming our way. We packed all the kit and were ready for many good soakings.
On Saturday noon we arrived at the base camp. It was a beautiful place in the forest near waterfalls and lakes, with a swimming in the middle for easy reach.
While we checked in and went to our room big clouds piled up around us.
By the time we'd settled in, it started pouring down.
Tom suggested we should wear our hiking clothes in the rain and try them out in the nearby waterfall and lake. Moments later we were out in the heavy rain. The wet forest smelled beautiful, intense with flower fragrances.
Rain clothes don't work well with the hood down, or when you swim in them like we did all day long. I kept my hood up at first because I like the cosy feeling, but after a while put it down and loosened the short zip because it got too hot. Now the rain came in through the collar and quickly soaked my clothes. No problem, I knew we were going to get wet.
We walked up a small path and reached an open space where we sat down in the wet grass.
We put our hoods back up to enjoy the sound of the rain drops.
It was relaxing to watch them run down over our rain capes
and fun to play with the little puddles in our laps.
The rain got heavier as we walked towards a small waterfall. We put our hoods down so we could see and hear the forest better. As soon as we arrived, we went right under the waterfall to have some fun. The cool water gushed down into our clothes and we were soaked to the skin in moments. We then sat down in a small water hole and let the spray blow over us. Very refreshing.
The sun came out for a short while as we went to a lake by the forest. We jumped into the water fully clothed and splashed around for a good while. It soon started to rain again. The drops created a fair bit of spray as they hit the water. Time to put the hood back up.
It's amazing how easy it was to swim in our hiking clothes and rain capes. They feel really good in the water. If you haven't done that yet, you're missing out big time.
Now we knew what to expect from the excursions this week.