Sign up for the Travelfish weekly newsletter to keep you in the loop regarding independent travel in Southeast Asia.
Ever wanted to fry an egg on the road? Visit Thailand in April. April is, quite simply, blisteringly hot. Average temperatures can soar into the high 30s and the heat is just oppressive. The middle of April sees the Thai New Year (Songkran) celebrated and it thankfully involves a lot of water throwing — forming your single opportunity to cool off ever so slightly.
Where are the best places in Thailand in April? Consider:
Popular destinations for celebrating the world’s biggest water fight, also known as Songkran or Thai New Year, include Chiang Mai, Khon Kaen and parts of Bangkok. Otherwise, inland destinations like Kanchanaburi, Sukhothai and Nakhon Ratchasima are best avoided in April, when midday temperatures can reach into the 40s and present a real risk of heat stroke. You may also want to pass on haze-filled Northern destinations like Chiang Rai and Pai. As with March, we suggest hitting the islands and coastlines to beat the April heat.
April is another glorious month for the lower Gulf islands of Ko Samui, Ko Tao, Ko Pha Ngan and the Ang Thong Islands, but there is a bit more rain to be had than in the preceding months. This is the end of shoulder season in both the eastern Gulf islands of Ko Chang and Ko Kut, and Andaman Sea islands such as Phuket, Ko Yao Noi, Ko Lanta and Ko Jum. Rain in these areas becomes more frequent and island-hopping ferries stop running, but April still provides some lovely days with thin crowds and cheap room rates on just about any island.
Temperature-wise April is by far the most unpleasant month of the year to be in either Bangkok or the central region. In Kanchanaburi to the west the daytime average high is over 38 degrees. That is hot — and all the more reason to get a room that floats on the river while you are there. There is little rain to speak of. Get an air-con room if at all possible.
The amount of rain in Eastern Thailand continues to slowly ratchet up through April and the temperatures in this area are not as high as elsewhere (though you can still expect temperatures in the mid 20s to mid 30s range). Ko Chang is hugely popular in April — both to escape the heat of the plains, but also for the Songkran holiday break.
Temperatures in the mid 20s to high 30s, a terrible eye-stinging haze and little rain all come together to make the northern capital of Chiang Mai thoroughly unpleasant in April. As it is also one of the most popular places to celebrate Songkran, the hordes descend in early April, making getting a reasonable room a little more of a challenge.
If you thought northern Thailand was hot in April, you should try the Northeast! Oppressive heat into the high 30s is the norm throughout April. You will need an air-con room. If you are touring this part of the country in April, try to spend some of your time along the Mekong as temperatures are ever so slightly lower and, well, there is a river to jump in!
April on the Andaman Coast sees more rain (expect rain every few days) but if you're in luck, you can have long stretches of good beach weather on this coast through April. This is generally the last month some places in the far south remain open as in May, with the commencement of the monsoon season, reduced availability of boats equates to fewer guests. Temperatures are low 20s to low 30s.