Visiting Northern Thailand is of course interesting all over the year but there are a few months when nature and landscapes are even more beautiful and going up there is even better. When? There is not a lot of suspense, I already gave the answer in the title: during green season!
What is “green season” in Thailand?
Green season in the Kingdom usually goes from July to October. It is the period when the rains are more frequent and strong, or else it is usually called "rainy season”. But don’t get wrong it is far from raining all day long!
Most of the time, it just consistant in daily brief rain showers, generally in the afternoon or in the evening, lasting one or two hours. Before and after the shower, you can fully enjoy your journey in Thailand. The rain is actually good for the nature, which literally wakes up and get greener and greener. That is why calling it green season is more accurate.
In the plains of Isan or in the mountains of Chiang Mai up to Mae Hong Son or Chiang Rai, green will be the trending colour.
Green season is also rice season
During the green season, the nature revives, the waterfalls are filling up with water and the most important, rice is planted.
Rice is very important in Thai culture and agriculture. It is the main element on thai meals. In Thai language, we say “eat rice” (“gin khao”) for “eat”.
Generally, the rice planting season start in early- to mid-July depending on the weather. So if you are open minded, curious and smiling - smile is an important part of the communication in Thailand which is often called 'The Land of Smiles' – locals will certainly invite you to join them in planting rice.
Last summer, I had joined in the rice planting in a Karen village in Chiang Dao valley in Chiang Mai. Each time with a slightly different technique. The planting is made by hand. It was a lot of fun and nice moments to share with the farmers and their family. For a while, I was not just a tourist but part of the local life.
Terrace rice paddies in the mountain
In the beginning of the rice season, terrace rice paddies in the mountains of Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai are probably most photogenic. With the reflection of clouds and sun in the water, the rice looks as if they were planted in the skies. It is one of the most iconic and amazing image of Thailand.
And because I am nice guy, I give you my favorite place to go see terrace rice fields in Thailand: Ban Pa Pong Piang, about 90 km from Chiang Mai. I will probably tell you more about this place in my next blog.
When the rice gets bigger, landscapes are covered with an intense emerald green before turning to yellow before the harvest (usually in late October).
The best time for nature lovers
Nature and treks lovers will also want to discover Thailand's jungle forest and mountains during these months. After the dry season, the nature wakes up and is so much more alive and green! Flowers are blooming. Waterfalls are strong with plenty of water. The sky is filled with white clouds. It is incredibly beautiful. I really love it! So much that sometimes I am in an amazing place like Wat Chalerm Prakiat near Lampang and just photograph the sky and completely forget the temple.
So forget about the “rainy season”, and embrace the “green season”. Remember that all the pictures illustrating this post were taken last year from July to September. I am sure they speak more than words…
About Michael Bauswein (Mike Thailandee)
Creator of Thailandee.com, Mike is French and travelled in Thailand from North to South and West to East for many years and shares his experiences on website in French and English. He’s also one of the winners of the TAT Newsroom Blogger Campaign 2017 Website: Thailandee.com