April is the middle of the hot season in Thailand with high temperatures across the country. It’s a good month to hit Thailand’s beaches or islands and April also brings with it a memorable way to tackle the heat; the Songkran New Year Water Festival. This nationwide party celebrates the traditional Thai New Year with good-natured water fights taking place across the country as part of the festivities. If you’re visiting Thailand during Songkran, you might not see any rain but you will still get wet!
Temperatures in Thailand are high throughout April, but the country is geared up to cope with the summer heat. Keep hydrated and do what the locals do by taking advantage of air-conditioning to keep yourself cool, whether it’s at your hotel, on public transport or at shopping malls.
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Localised summer storms can occur during the hot April afternoons, but they tend to be short and sharp affairs which provide some welcome respite from the heat.
Where to go in April
With the mercury rising, April is a good month to go island hopping or enjoy the sea breezes on a beach holiday. At this time of year, temperatures in North Thailand and North-East Thailand can often exceed those in Bangkok and it’s something to take into consideration when planning activities. Wherever practical, try to do your sightseeing in the cooler morning periods. Although it can be tempting to try and cram lots of stuff in during your trip to Thailand, don’t underestimate how tiring the heat and humidity can be during April and do factor in time for relaxing by the pool and taking breaks in the shade.
If you’re planning a Thailand beach holiday for April, you can expect similar conditions on the Andaman Coast, Gulf Coast, and East Coast. Statistically, rainfall amounts are higher on the Andaman Coast but the differences are negligible.
April events and festivals
April 6 is a nationwide holiday in Thailand for Chakri Day, which honours the founding of the royal Chakri dynasty. And a week after this comes the biggest and most anticipated holiday of the year in the form of Songkran. The traditional Thai New Year Water Festival is an event steeped in tradition and a time for families to come together. This is one of the busiest travel periods of the year for Thai people with extra demand on buses, trains and flights out of Bangkok as people travel back to be with family for the Songkran holiday. Songkran is officially celebrated from April 13-15, but in some areas the water throwing can start a day or two earlier. There are also some regional variations (notably in Chonburi) where festivities can extend beyond these dates.
Although Songkran may be well-known to people around the world, there is another colourful festival that takes place at this time of year which garners less attention. Poy Sang Long is celebrated by the Shan (Tai Yai) people in north and north-west Thailand during March and April. This is a rite of passage for Tai Yai boys as they prepare to be ordained as Buddhist monks. This age old tradition sees the youngsters dressed like princes, just as the Buddha was in his youth, and carried on the shoulders of older relatives. Exact dates vary, but look out for this unique festival if you are travelling in Mae Hong Son, Chiang Mai or the north of Thailand.
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