Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Does it really snow in Thailand?

thailandsnow.jpgSeems unlikely, but in January of 1955 it actually snowed in Chang Rai province. The first time I heard this I laughed because Thailand is a tropical climate and Bangkok is known as the hottest city in the world. It wasn’t until I made a trip up country to Mukdahan, in the North East of Thailand,  last January that I realized just how much the temperature varies in Thailand.

When I checked into the Mukdahan Grand hotel that day I thought it odd that the shower had actual hot water connected to it not just one of those hanging hot water attachments, it also looked as if the hotel room had a heater unit. I didn’t think too much about it though being as it was an 80 degree day. Now, 80 degrees is a shade cool to most Thais and when the temperature drops to the 80’s you’ll see all manner of Thai women throwing on jackets…which is a very funny sight.

That day my girlfriend had her jacket on as well and warned me that it would be cold tonight. I figured cold to her would be 70 so I had on shorts and a t-shirt. Little did I know that later that night the temperature would drop to the high 40’s and I was indeed a bit chilly. When we got back to the hotel the heat was on and the bed was turned down revealing heavy blankets. My girlfriend just laughed at me because I didn’t listen to her…but who knew Thailand could get cold?

Just as recently as last week  His Majesty the King’s foundation has provided over 1000 blankets and clothes to the northern  province of Mae Hong Son for use by poor villagers and students, with more being readied for the hill tribe community in the northern province of Lampang. A recent cold snap in the north has been colder than usual.

Talking to my girlfriend last night she believes it could snow at any moment it’s so cold. While I doubt it will snow in Thailand any time soon I think I’ll err on the side of caution my next trip and bring a jacket!

And you thought you knew about Thailand? Check the link for more amazing facts about the land of smiles, Thailand.

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