Describing what used to be called the monsoon season as the ‘green season’ sounds like the worst travel industry sophistry. Monsoons mean heavy rain and we’ve no desire of escaping the grey old British Isles only to find ourselves entombed in a luxury hotel room as the heavens slosh down on an otherwise paradise island. Do we?
The answer is that whilst it is a clever bit of marketing that someone in Cambodia came up with (or copied from someone else), there is some value in the re-branding of Cambodia’s wet season (from May until October.)
The main reason is that Cambodia is a lovely, green and pleasant land once the monsoon winds have brought rain and filled the Tonle Sab: the huge freshwater lake which dominates rural life in Cambodia. Rather than being parched and dusty, the country vibrates with energy and life, particularly around June, July and August. There is a higher risk of floods disrupting a trip as September approaches but even then, if you’re prepared, it needn’t.
From a touristy perspective, most visitors to Cambodia come to visit the magnificent ruins of the ancient Angkor city complex. During the season it can be a bit of a bunfight at the major sites and your hauntingly beautiful Angkor images can be a little ruined by a Korean coach party wandering across the viewfinder… Although ETG clients benefit from well thought out Angkor days, if you avoid the crowds to a large extent during the green season, you can have many of the magnificent temples literally to yourself.
The costs are hugely lower and all the hotels have special offers. Cambodia is a good value destination anyway, but the level of luxury you get for the price you pay in the green season is fantastic.
And the rain? Well, it does come. Monsoons are winds that bring rain: but generally they are flashing powerful blasts for an hour or two, which clears up leaving sunlight glittering on the leaves.
Bradlie Goian, the General Manager of Song Saa Hotel describes it lyrically:
“Days are typically filled with blue skies scattered with huge tropical cumulus clouds arriving off the horizon, pregnant with rain, an announcement of dramatic storms, tropical rains filled with thunder and lightning.
The performance is theatrical; lightening disappears as volts across the sky, thunder echoing out across miles of ocean, and rain falling in a cacophony of droplets and spray. Such down pours swiftly pass however, and it is soon warm and sunny again with the special appearance of a multitude of rainbows. Within a short time it feels like the climatic recital you have just experienced was a figment of your imagination…”
Song Saa is a wonderful hotel built on a picturesque little island off the coast of southern Cambodia. If it does rain, there are few better places to be anyway: with beautiful rooms, open to the fresh breezes which blow in at this time, with an abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables from their island farm, with nearby islands to explore and an incredible spa and yoga pavilion.
Be it the lush landscapes, the lack of other tourists or the great hotel offers, the re-marketing of Cambodia’s monsoon season certainly has truth to it. Whilst some may be weary of the ‘green season’ label, the benefits it brings to travelers certainly deserve consideration.
For further Cambodia Holiday inspiration have a look at our holidays here, or call us on 020 7924 7133 for an expert consultation!