Monsoons are typical weather for West Africa, Asia, and, somewhat, Australia. They occur when the air temperature over the sea differs significantly from the air temperature over the land, causing torrential rains for hours every day and sometimes days on end. The rainy half of this weather phenomenon actually brings relief to farmers in the area, since at other times, the climate can become extremely dry and threaten crops, while the other, drier half provides fabulous beach weather for tourists.
Oftentimes, the summer monsoon can be prepared for. Locals in Bangladesh and other commonly-affected areas build homes on stilts and maintain intricate drainage systems for the mass amounts of expected rainfall.
Still, the heavy rainfall can be extremely dangerous for locals and tourists as well.
What does this mean for travellers?
Those considering an Indian holiday during the months of June through September should be aware of the unpredictable weather.
Resort locales such as Darjeeling and Sikkim in the northeast should probably be avoided altogether because neither area is truly equipped to accommodate guests during these times; however, there are other resorts in India which actually cater to tourists during the rainy monsoon season.
Palolem in Goa is one resort which stays open all year long. Many tourists actually enjoy the rain and take advantage of the âmonsoon packagesâ offered by this and other resorts. Packmarhi, with natural waterfalls and ancient temples, is an area that is more frequently visited during this time of year. Coorgâs coffee plantations are nice to visit this time of year, despite the moderate rainfall. The Maharashtra has several resorts which liven up at this time. Also, beginning in May, the road to Ladakh opens up and will remain so for six months. The areaâs situation in the Himalayas allows it to miss much of the monsoon effects.
Malaysia is another country which can be affected by monsoon. The western peninsula is basically inaccessible during the wettest months, but Pangkor Island and Langkawi Island are fine holiday choices this time of year.
Bangladesh and Australia are also affected by this weather and can occasionally experience flooding.
To be thorough, it is important to mention the European Monsoon as well. Resorts in Ireland, the UK, Western Germany, and Northern France can be affected by what is locally known as the âReturn of the Westerlies.â This mainly constitutes severe storms that can include hard rain, occasional hail, gusty winds and ominous thunder, but it does deserve to be mentioned.
Sun Island Resort and Spa is a special resort located on a semi-secluded island in the Indian Ocean. During the dry northeast monsoon, November through March, this can actually be an ideal getaway, especially for those suffering from a soggy, cold winter in other parts of the world.
So, is travelling a good idea during monsoon season?
Absolutely! Keeping a few things in mind and expecting the unexpected can lead to a wonderful holiday, even during monsoon season.
First, bear in mind that the heavy rain means that there will most likely be transportation delays. For tourists who like to keep a tight schedule, this is not conducive. Go ahead with your trip knowing that everything will probably not happen on your timetable. Also consider as a bonus that airlines sometimes drop their prices for monsoon season in these areas.
Next, remember that there will be hours every day, and sometimes several days in a row, with non-stop rainfall. Come prepared with rain gear, plan indoor sightseeing activities, or bring a good book. The locals welcome the rainfall which nourishes their crops. There are celebrations worth seeing at this time of year if tourists donât mind getting wet.
Finally, book a shorter trip during this time of year. Rather than staying for a fortnight, plan to stay for a few days. That way, you do not feel that an entire holiday has been lost on the off chance that it rains every day, all day.
The best piece of advice for anyone travelling to these areas during monsoon season is to wait as long as possible to finalise travel plans. Resort hotels are understanding about weather-related changes. This can be the busiest time of year for some of them, though, so early booking is recommended. See if your chosen accommodation charges fees for cancellations. If not, go ahead and make plans to visit. If they do charge fees for cancelling reservations at the last minute, you are best advised to wait and book both hotel and flight close to the date of the trip.