It was not by chance that I arranged Thailand for us in April – I wanted more free beaches (after the launch of direct flights from Russia and China, the flow of tourists is unprecedented!), but at the same time I also had time for the sunny days of the elusive high season .
Since the trip was performed in an independent style, I decided not to limit myself to one place and add other resorts in Thailand to Phuket. This helped me with collecting material for this text, and with the answer to the question that I have been asking myself since the end of last year – what is Thailand like now?.. Has it changed after the pandemic or has it remained the same inexpensive, tropical, fruit and massage paradise?
Thailand weather in April – is it worth going?
In the middle of spring, doubts in the spirit of “to go or not?” definitely not the place – the weather in Thailand in April is quite suitable for a trip to the sea. Stable +30 and above on the street, warm water, sun, lack of rain at all resorts in the country.
- Since the Gulf of Thailand and Pattaya can be expected all year round, and on the islands of Koh Samui and Koh Phangan the best season, I was only worried about Phuket – they say that there are three things that can spoil a vacation in Thailand in April: excessive heat, humidity and periodic waves.
It turned out that you can fight the waves with the help of a bike and knowing where the calm beaches are (I will give it to you in the section about resorts). And not so often the sea frowned. But with the merciless combo climate + heat + humidity it turned out to be hard. From 10 a.m., when the sun goes into burn-your-shoulders mode, until 3 or 4 p.m., my favorite places in Thailand were a cool coffee shop or a hotel room. The beaches at this time are noticeably empty – it seems that tourists have increased awareness in their relationship with the burning Thai sun.
In a word, the April weather is still good, especially for those who do not break the heat of the bones. It’s a paradox, but you still need to grab a jacket or sweatshirt – and it’s not about flying out of the cold part of the world, but at +16 on air conditioners in any establishments. Planning to sit at Starbucks with a cup of coffee? Warm up.
April water and air temperature — Phuket, Pattaya, Koh Samui
All you need to know about the sea in Thailand in April – you can swim. I can’t even imagine how it can be ignored with a street steam room at + 32 … + 35 degrees. Only if you are scared off by waves or unaesthetic water … but more on that below.
In April, the air temperature in Thailand rises steadily and sometimes breaks historical records. This is because the so-called “hot season” reigns in April-May. I would not want to be in Bangkok at this time. But in Phuket or Pattaya, a melting thermometer seems to be a natural phenomenon – we are at sea.
The exception to this holiday “well over +30” is the islands of Koh Samui and Koh Phangan. Due to climatic features, it is the height of the high season here and, in principle, it is always a couple of degrees cooler.
|Air temperature||Sea temperature|
|Islands (Koh Samui and Koh Phangan)||+29.5||+30.3|
Where is the best place to go to Thailand in April?
I'll tell you about the three main resorts where the best time to visit Thailand in April is easy to get to and do (and great beaches!).
- Phuket – Andaman Sea
I love Phuket and I am sure this is the best choice if you are visiting Thailand for the first time. It is beautiful here, and tropically green, and fun, and beachy: the island has excellent beaches. And Phuket is also connected by daily direct flights with 11 cities of Russia – I got on a plane, endured plus or minus nine hours of flight, and here it is a little paradise for two weeks. Open any tour aggregator and Phuket hotels will come first.
The three main areas where tourists spend their beach holidays are Patong (cheaper than others and party), Karon (the most spacious) and Kata (the smallest). On the first two, Phuket in April can scare you with waves, because the beaches are long and open to the sea. Therefore, with children, I would look at hotels closer to Katya. Read our guide here if you want to learn more about Phuket holidays.
- Pattaya – Gulf of Thailand
Among the Thai resorts, Pattaya has earned the reputation of a resort a) inexpensive in terms of both hotels and tours; b) dirty and vulgar. No, no, do not rush to scroll through. We were in Pattaya, had a quite normal rest and even found places for photos in the style of “advertising bounty” (everything is in the article at the link).
For myself, I noted that Pattaya is good for outdoor activities. For the type of holiday where you want to cover as much as possible, when the level of excitement increases with each new item on the list of things to see, and the word “beach” causes a feeling of incredible boredom. Pattaya in April is hot, stuffy – it's nice to run from here on excursions, of which there are a great many in the vicinity. From Bangkok and the islands to an incredible two-day trip to the River Kwai or Cambodia.
- Koh Samui – Gulf of Thailand
Whether you're visiting Thailand in early April or late April, Koh Samui and nearby Koh Phangan and Koh Tao won't let you down. In this region, the season works in reverse: while in Phuket the weather worsens as summer approaches, it only gets prettier on the islands.
Koh Samui is very different from Phuket – it's like a small village, equipped on the coast, with semi-wild beaches strewn with coconut palms, and mysterious jungle hills in the center of the island. The coast, for my taste, is still better in Phuket. There are ten times fewer people on Koh Samui, and the reason for this lies in logistics: you need to combine an arrival in Bangkok or Phuket with a further plane to Koh Samui or with a many-hour route by bus and ferry.
Prices for tours to Thailand in April
Thailand is now at the peak of popularity. It is difficult to name another hot country where so many flights would be made, and even from almost all large cities of Russia. We add routes with convenient connections in the UAE, Turkey and Qatar to direct flights – and we get conditions under which it is simply impossible not to fly to Thailand.
Search for tours to Thailand on any of the three main aggregators – they monitor the entire market package offers from tour operators, find the most profitable and update prices in a timely manner (the demand is huge):
Tour operators to the maximum cover hotels in Phuket, Pattaya, Khao Lak and Krabi (two provinces close to Phuket) – from budget threes to luxury fives. Recommendations in the next section.
Although the number of flights is at least slightly approaching pre-Covid times, the prices for tours to Thailand in April 2023 have taken a decisive step into the future and have absorbed all possible inflation for several years ahead. What to do, such a new normal.
Here's how much it costs to relax in Thailand in April with a 10-night tour for two:
— 📍departure from Moscow: from 130,000 rubles to Pattaya; from 150,000 rubles to Phuket
— 📍departure from St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg, Perm: from 150,000 rubles to Pattaya; from 170,000 rubles to Phuket
— 📍 from Kazan, Samara: from 200,000 rubles
— 📍 from the Far East: from 150,000 rubles to Pattaya; from 180,000 rubles to Phuket
🔥Is it possible to wait until the last minute and wait for something?.. After observing the situation with tours in 2023 for a couple of months, I realized that the most generous thing that can come down from a tour operator is a burning tour from Moscow with a departure tomorrow or the day after tomorrow 50-55 thousand rubles per person. Such a discount. Maybe it's cheaper on your own?
To Thailand on your own
This year we flew to Tai on our own and already from Asia, having previously dropped in to the Philippines and Bali. The main “jump” in Southeast Asia (ticket Moscow-Philippines with a transfer in Dubai) cost us 28,000 rubles per person. They traveled from Bali to Phuket for 7,000 rubles + 3,000 rubles for luggage.
You can now do this even if you don’t have a foreign bank card, because:
- Airsales is now not only about finding cheap air tickets, but also about contacting agencies where you can pay with a Russian bank card.
- Ostrovok is number one for booking hotels in rubles anywhere in the world. Prices in hotels in Thailand in April start from 1500 rubles per night.
- And Turtle will take care of medical insurance just in case.
Direct flights from Moscow to Phuket or Bangkok fly daily and cost an average of 65,000-70,000 rubles per person in both directions. Connecting flights come out cheaper by 10,000 rubles: flights through China have recently appeared that do not require a visa.
Visa-free entry to Thailand can play into the hands of tourists. This year, if something is on fire, then first of all it is air tickets, not tours. Several times I sent my friends options for direct flights for 45,000 rubles round-trip from Moscow, but none of them differed in spontaneity, and it was necessary to go on a trip literally in two days.
But if impromptu is your middle name, Dalnik Vostok is your registration, and a one-way ticket is the best plan for tomorrow, then you probably know about sales without me: from Krasnoyarsk, Novosibirsk and Irkutsk for 8000-15000 rubles to Bangkok or Phuket. Inexpensive, yes, really, you need to figure out how to return 🙂
Enter the nearest departure dates on Aviasales and welcome to the torment of choosing whether to go to Thailand in April right here tomorrow:
Good hotels in Phuket and Pattaya
Unlike air tickets, prices in Thailand's hotels are still just as pleasant. For example, in Phuket, near the cool Karon Beach on Ostrovka, you can pick up a hotel for only 1,600 rubles per night for two! But this is a story for independent rest.
Based on my many trips to Thailand, I made a selection of Phuket and Pattaya, where I included several hotels of different types: 1) cheap and high-quality, 2) for families with children, and 3) impeccable, but with an eye on the price tag.
Hotels in Phuket:
- 4 * Clover Patong (Patong) – a feature of the hotel in a large infinity pool on the roof (which seems to overflow), where guests rely on free drinks and stunning views of the sea during the day and the sunset sky in the evenings. Two minutes to the beach, three minutes to Bangla Road, ten minutes to the big Jungceylon shopping mall – the location is the best.
Tour price for 10 nights: 220,000 rubles for two
- 4 * Phuket Orchid Resort & Spa (Karon) is a “children's” hotel that did not pass the quality after the pandemic, as tourists say about it. In terms of filling for children and teenagers, it is as close as possible to Turkish standards: a huge territory, swimming pools, water slides, a kids club! The beach is nearby, you just need to cross the road.
Cost of the tour for 10 nights: 245,000 rubles for two
- 3 * Ibis Phuket Kata (Kata) – the hotel combines two categories: “inexpensive” and “good beach nearby.” Moreover, both Kata and Karon are within walking distance. The rooms are small, the service is almost non-existent.
Cost of the tour for 10 nights: 180,000 rubles for two
- 4* Pamookkoo Resort (Kata) – a place where every child dreams of being: a whole water park on the territory. Parents will love the proximity to the beach and good breakfasts, where there is porridge, pancakes, and yogurts.
The cost of the tour for 10 nights: 250,000 rubles for two em>
- 5 * Cape Sienna (Kamala) – there is nothing to complain about, except for the cost. Spacious rooms with sea views by default – from studios of 40 sqm to villas of 500 sqm; beautiful pools, stylish designs, tennis court (!) and breakfasts like from the best restaurants. I would book this hotel for an independent trip – on Ostrovka it costs a little more than 9,000 rubles per night with breakfast.
Tour price for 10 nights: 300,000 rubles for two
- 3 * Best Western Phuket Ocean Resort (Karon) – along with the recommendation of the hotel, I immediately give advice on a cafe for lunch and dinner: Sabaijai. This is Karon's best place for inexpensive Thai food and my favorite place. The hotel is basic, but located close to the beach, shops and Karon's “party” street called Patak Road. /em>
Hotels in Pattaya:
- 4* Long Beach Garden Hotel&Spa is a good and very popular high-rise hotel with a private beach, which is carefully cleaned (this is important for Pattaya).
Tour cost for 10 nights: 170,000 rubles for two
- 5* Ana Anan Resort & Villas is a good option in Pattaya, where to go on vacation with a child. You can stay in a villa or in a high-rise building. Everything is quite aesthetically pleasing and looks new.
The cost of the tour for 10 nights: 200,000 rubles for two
- 4 * Pinnacle Grand Jomtien Resort – a decent hotel for its money, the minuses indicate shabby rooms and a muddy sea. The latter is compensated by several pools on the territory.
The cost of the tour for 10 nights: 170,000 rubles for two
- 5 * Centara Grand Mirage Beach Resort – is considered the best place in Pattaya. The hotel is loved by families with children, because you can rely on it in terms of infrastructure and entertainment, and a more or less normal sea. If you really want to see for yourself which is better – Phuket or Pattaya, choose Centara so as not to drown in contrast.
What to do in Thailand in April?
Songkran is celebrated in mid-April in Thailand – local New Year. From the 13th to the 15th it will be VERY fun: Thais buy water pistols, arrange water battles and strive to pour every passerby from head to toe – these are the traditions!
You can (and should) talk about the interesting things of Thailand for a long time. Somehow I buried myself in a laptop for a week, and the result of this sitting marathon was two large articles about the sights of both Phuket and Pattaya. After each trip, I update, supplement and expand them – and always refer to them so as not to tire the reader with the number of letters in other texts (for example, in this particular one).
My favorite places in Phuket that I advise everyone to see:
- Promptep Cape
- The capital of Phuket Town
- Wat Chalong Temple
- Nai Harn Beach Lookout windmill
- Banana Beach
- Big Buddha
…all the details and even more places in the article about the sights of Phuket.
What to include in program in Pattaya:
- Temple of Truth
- Nong Nooch Garden
- Tiffany Cabaret Show
- Big Buddha
- Night Markets
…and a dozen other local attractions.
I include more than a unique experience from Thai culture mundane things that we tourists often take for granted – tropical fruits, massages, local cuisine, the sea and beaches. After all, this is the first thing that comes to mind when you are asked to share your impressions about the country.
Excursions are always a win-win answer to the question of what to do in Thailand – whether in April or December. At any resort there will definitely be an island where you need to go by boat, a statue of the Big Buddha, without a visit to which you can’t rest, and viewing platforms to further admire the beauty of the surrounding nature.
Popular excursions in Phuket:< /p>
- Island tours – from $25 per person for a group, from $180 per group for an individual
- Similan Islands – from $80 per person for a group
- Island Phi Phi – from $60 per person per group
- Cheo Lan Lake and Khao Sok National Park – from $60 per person per group
Tourists love to go on excursions in Pattaya :
- For 2 days to the River Kwai — from $100 per person per group
- To Koh Samet — from $35 per person per group
- To Bangkok — from $90 per person per group
- To the neighboring country of Cambodia for 2 days – from $200 per person for a group
Excursions can be booked in advance online or like to choose on the spot – there are enough agencies in tourist areas. I like the first option more, simply because it’s easier to find excursions only for your company and for your interests and make the trip more comfortable.
Two Russian sites have densely occupied the path of excursions in Russian abroad:
- Tripster — cool overviews here
- Sputnik8 — and here more about field trips in Thailand
And the choice of routes on the sites is something like this:
Prices in Thailand – how much money to bring
One of the unpleasant discoveries of the trip in this year – Thailand has become more expensive. We spent an average of 1,500 baht per day for two (without housing). More often even more – 2000-2500 baht. In order not to go far, I will give the cost of the main entertainment that I mentioned in the last section.
1 baht = 2.3 rubles
Prices for holidays in Thailand in April 2023:
- Two sun loungers + umbrella on the beach – 200 baht
- A kilogram of mango or passion fruit on the market – 70 baht
- Pad thai or fried rice with seafood 150 baht
- Fruit shake on the beach 50 baht
- Coconut on the beach – 40 baht
< li>Tom yum soup or tom kha with chicken 100 baht
- Hour foot massage or thai massage – 300 baht
- Songteo (local minibuses) – 40 baht
- Smart bus from Phuket airport – 100 baht
- Taxi from Phuket airport to Karon – 1400 baht
- Sim card at the airport – 300 baht for 8 days
- Rent a bike for a day – 300-350 baht
- Rent a car for a day – 1000 baht
- A liter of gasoline is 35 baht
By the way, about transport. In Phuket, the motorcycle rental market has very thinned out, and the police began to organize real raids on foreigners on two wheels – fined for the lack of a helmet (500 baht), for the lack of category A in international rights (1000 baht). Therefore, this time we chose to rent a car and drive everywhere with peace of mind – Phuket is perfectly adapted for cars. You can rent a car without a foreign card and at a good price on the LocalRent website (this is our fifth time renting a car with them).
Travel reviews about Thailand in April
Most often people fly to Thailand in winter and spring. So the reviews of tourists about Thailand in April are not uncommon. Everyone celebrates the gentle turquoise sea and golden beaches and complains about the increasing heat.
True, now the focus has shifted from the weather and the degree of warmness of the sea to the financial part, namely, what to do in Thailand without bank cards? On this trip, I was once again convinced that Thais reject cashless payments as a phenomenon and are very fond of good old cash. So change rubles for dollars in Russian banks (yes, you can do it) and take it with you – you won't be lost. In exchange offices in resorts, rubles will, of course, be accepted and given baht, but at a terrible rate, you will lose almost 50%! You can also apply for a UnionPay card (for example, in Russian Standard) – we went through a couple of times in supermarkets. And more often we didn’t use it, there was no need.
Pros and cons of rest
+ Hot, sunny and green, even without a visa
+ The question is, is it possible to swim in April, it’s not even worth it – the water is nowhere warmer
+ Periodically, penny air tickets with a departure tomorrow or the day after tomorrow are “thrown out” on Aviasales
+ You can fly directly from 11 cities of the Russian Federation
+ You can pay with a UnionPay card
– Crowded, even in April
– The heat gradually increases
– Expensive tours and air tickets
– The situation with renting a bike without category A has worsened
But it's always better to have a holiday in Thailand in April than not to have a holiday, right?