Pimalai is only a few degrees north of the equator and therefore experiences a typical tropical climate with 2 main seasons: hot and dry from November to April and not quite so hot and not so dry throughout the rest of the year....the green season. Typically, average maximum temperatures range from about 28 C/ 82 F to 35 C/ 95 F in the hot season and goes down to about a pleasant 25 C/77 F to 27 C/ 80 F in the cooler season. The mercury drops by about 5-10 C/ 8-16 F during the night. January and February are the driest months with rain appearing on maybe 3 or 4 days per month. March and April are the hottest.
The some rainfall occurs in May to July but some tourists prefer to visit at this time because the temperatures are lower and the island and resorts are less busy. It should be noted that just like the rest of the world Koh Lanta is experiencing more variable weather conditions than in the past, this being attributed to global warming. So, sometimes there are clouds and rain in the dry season and conversely there can be bright sunny days in the green season. It should be noted even though the temperature may slightly drop during a tropical downpour, often these events consist of spectacular bursts of thunder and lightning that may last for only 1 or 2 hours then the skies brighten.
The weather is out of our control but what we can influence is the enjoyment of our guests should there be an extended period of wet weather. There is usually ample time to wander on the beach, read the newspaper, swim in the pools (temperature 28-30 C all year round), loiter over meals, watch a video, have a long massage, etc. It should be noted that on overcast days it is still possible to receive a suntan or even a sunburn as the sun’s U.V. radiation can penetrate through the clouds; sun block use is still and always advisable!
Increasingly, the tourist season now lasts for all 12 months of the year. For guests living in cold northern climes, the most popular time of the year to visit Thailand has traditionally been from about mid-November to April. Transportation and accommodation rates reflect the high demands during this period. However, there are certain advantages for holidaying here in the “off/ summer” season and nowadays more people are selecting to visit us at that time. This is particularly true for those who wish to avoid the intense heat and burning sun and those who like a more peaceful and leisurely holiday without having to battle crowds of fellow tourists.
Yes, there is a greater chance of having rainy days in the so-called “green” season but, on average, at the Pimalai location, these only account for about 6/7 days per month. The resort is in the lee of both mainland Thailand and Lanta’s spinal mountain range and is thus protected from much of the stormy weather that is experienced in central and northern regions. When it does rain it generally arrives in the form of short intense showers and an hour or two later the sky is clear again. Yes, we do get occasional storms, not unlike those that may occur during a European summer!
It is recognized that global climates are changing and wide variations from the normal conditions do at times occur. As a result of changing global weather patterns, the green summer season now means fewer rains and longer periods of delightful sunny weather. But prediction of weather patterns is not an exact science so we cannot guarantee that this year will be the same as last year. But Kantiang Bay, where Pimalai Resort is located, is sufficiently sheltered to allow swimming in the ocean almost all year around; in fact we only raise the red warning flag about 20 times throughout the green season.
If you do elect to visit us during the “green” season, and we encourage you to do so, we have enough activities to keep you occupied indoors if it is raining and outdoors when conditions allow. Indoor activities include taking our ever popular Thai cooking lessons, experiencing the ultimate in rejuvenation at our spa, doing yoga, working-out in our gym and sports complex, borrowing reading materials, DVDs or games from the library, sending e-mails and other internet activities on our free internet service. etc.…and nobody will object to you having a peaceful nap with the soothing sound of rain dancing on the roof. Outdoor activities include, playing tennis, body-surfing in the sea, swimming in the warm waters of our pools, visiting a nearby national marine park, elephant trekking, mangrove discovery tour, cycling, touring the island and visiting the Old Town. The beach is always popular with joggers, strollers and beachcombers. For photographers this is also a good time to take photographs of seascapes, brilliant sunsets, wonderful cloud effects, lush green flora, tropical birds, monkeys, etc and, by the way, the daytime temperature rarely dips below 30 degrees Celsius! We encourage you to come to visit us during the green season and we will do our best to keep you occupied regardless of the weather.