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Thailand in April

April in ThailandThe month of April in Thailand marks the beginning of the shoulder tourist season. In April, Thailand moves from the end of high season in March, to the beginning of the wet and muggy low season in June.

April can actually a great time to visit Thailand, especially the first half, as long as you’re prepared for the heat. Prices are significantly lower as the high season ends, and one of the most popular festivals, Songkran, takes place around the 13th to the 15th.

Where to go in Thailand in April
As the weather heats up throughout the country, a few places are better to visit than others. Expect it to be crazy-hot (and be grateful for those low shoulder-season prices – now you can afford air-con accommodation!), and try to choose drier destinations. Here’s a breakdown of the regions in April:

  • Bangkok can be oppressive in the April heat, so it’s not the best time to be touring the city. Hot cement, air that seems deadly still between the high rises, and vehicle pollution all combine to make the air and temperature uncomfortable. If you can, book tours with air-con minivans rather than taking tuk-tuks or the public bus; consider it a well-deserved treat for exploring Bangkok’s sights in the heat.
  • Northern Thailand will be drier than most of the country in April, but farmers burning fields add a lot of smoke and haze to the air. If you have lung problems, April is not the best time to visit the north. The good news is that Chiang Mai’s celebration of Songkran is one of the best in Thailand, so all that water-splashing will cool you down! Make sure to book a room well in advance of Songkran in Chiang Mai, as they book up and you won’t want to be without air-conditioning.
  • Southeastern Thailand is actually pretty pleasant in April, though you can expect more rainy days than during the high season. Ko Chang sees a lot of rain in April, so it’s probably best to avoid that area then. Further south, however, will have a mellower climate. Check out Ko Tao, Ko Pha Ngan, and Ko Samui during this month for a laid-back island treat.
  • Southwest Thailand, on the Andaman coast, is rainier than the Gulf side, but still a good place to visit in April as long as you’re mentally prepared for some wet days. On some of the smaller islands, April is the last month of the tourist season so you’ll often find reduced services. Boat transfers, for example, will be fewer, so you’ll need to exercise some patience and traveler’s ingenuity.

What to do in Thailand in April
Besides visiting the islands and beaches to the south, the best thing to do in Thailand in April is to celebrate Songkran, the Thai New Year. Also called the Water Splashing Festival, Songkran is a delight, so much so that we wrote a whole post on it here.

More information:

Thailand’s weather
Introduction to Ko Chang
Introduction to Chiang Mai
Getting from Bangkok to Chiang Mai
Cheap flights to Bangkok
Cheap flights to Chiang Mai
Cheap flights to Phuket
Beaches and Islands in Thailand
Snorkeling in Thailand

[Photo credit:Vandelizer, Flickr]