According to travel books and the likes this is the best time to travel to Thailand. Temperatures are comparatively low, and rainfalls are scarce. But forget the Lonely Planet. Forget what they say about pre-booking and planning ahead to avoid disappointment.

The best time to travel to Thailand is after a disaster. While you can’t really predict natural ones, you can get a pretty good reliability with the coup d’états. Thai people overthrow their government on a regular basis (it’s not listed under national sport though). In recent decades this happened roughly every two to three years. When banking on civil unrest as a means to ease your travels, make sure it’s unrest that spans across international airports and major tourist centres. Otherwise, it won’t be in the news at all. And it won’t scare people away.

This what happened with the most recent coup d’état in December. It meant that a lot of people cancelled or re-considered their plans. As a result, the country is practically deserted. Hostel room rates are up to 30% lower than stated in the Lonely Planet (2006 issue), and often a third below what the hostels advertise in their current leaflets. Just counting on getting a good room on a walk-in basis is usually not recommended for the high season, especially if you are after a particular price or comfort range; so far however, there has been no problem at all. And by a gut feeling this won’t change that much.

On top of that, sights are quite empty. If you come early, you can have a whole wat to yourself. Generally, this feels like low season travelling with the comfort of the best of everything, including the weather. The only reason that should scare you off is the heat. I quite enjoy it; if you don’t, then don’t bother waiting for the desaster either.

This is an incredibly easy country to travel.