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Monsoon Rainy Season in Asia

October 01, 2012

colorful umbrella on a rainy day in Asia

Unlike much of Asia, like neighboring Thailand or even other parts of Malaysia that have major monsoon seasons,  Penang does not have a real rainy season. We were here last year from November through May and so far this year, we've been here from February through September and find it mostly sunny, most of the time.

Of course, that doesn't mean there is no rain or no clouds, as we get some of both. I have never seen it rain all day. The tropical storms here tend to come up quick and disappear quickly. Most of the time, the rain seems to happen at sunset or the evening and sometimes there are wonderful lightning storms to enjoy, usually at night.

Once in a while the rain pours so hard that even my child's Mandarin school gets a little flooded which she loves as the kids run around the campus barefoot then with squeals of delight. The rhythm of a bit-of -rain regularly is just part of life here, like the tropical sun.

There seems to be a little more rain in the fall and it is not totally unusual during this time to have rain, sun, rain, sun  pattern all day. Mostly, though, the rain doesn't last long. We tend to do like the locals and always have an umbrella with us as it is handy both for sun and rain. In between the bit of rain days, there are sunny days..one just can't predict a pattern, especially in the autumn. I try to get my Vitamin D from the sun, so sometimes tricky with that, but still easier than most places.

I don't like the rain in Europe, because it often seems endless and it adds cold and dreariness ( and why we winter in Spain).  It can go on all day for days. Here I enjoy the rain usually, because it adds a bit of excitement as the wind whips up suddenly, or a black cloud quickly dumps a deluge out of no where, then almost as quickly, the sun returns. It cools things down and refreshes the air and adds variety to tropical living.

How about you? Are you a rain person or not? Or does it depend on where the rain is?




















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Jeff Bronson

Well, I prefer rain over the heat any day. The exception is day long downpours, like I have in Florida now.

I'm considering an eventual move to Portland, OR where it rains a lot, but it's more of a drizzle than downpour. I like that much better than relentless heat!

Jeanne @soultravelers3

I understand that point of view Jeff, but I don't think I could take that constant rain, darkness and drizzle of the wet coast.

I don't like heat either and was a bit worried about it here before coming, but we've never even used air conditioning here, so haven't found that bad at all.


We hated the cold, wet, rainy summer weather in UK, IRL and Paris and found it very depressing ( colder than winters in Spain) to never see the sun.

BUT I am sure I would not like the hot summers in Andalusia either.

We get sea breezes here that keeps things cool and can usually pick when we go out ( to avoid the hottest times) and since the buses and malls are air conditioned and there is lots of shade, I've been amazed how easy the tropical heat has been for me here.

I do love the sun, but am not fond of heat, but this has worked out well and I find I thrive on tropical winters even more than Med winters. I don't like to be too cold or too hot. ;)

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