March to May, before the monsoon, and the weather is hot and humid across Thailand, South East Asia’s famed ‘land of smiles,’ and the temperature sometimes too stifling for some, at between 27 and 36 °C (81-97 °F) in the capital, Bangkok. Temperatures are cooler in the sleepy city of Chiang Mai in the north, with lows of around 20 °C (68 °F). Songkran (Thai New Year) occurs in the middle of April, and an already fun nation dials the good times up to 11. Varied festivities break out across the country, usually involving drinking, feasting and, probably, being drenched in water, which many find pleasantly cooling in the summer heat. Favorable conditions for diving continue off the west and east coast at this time, with a particularly good chance of spotting manta rays and whale sharks during March. Cool breezes on the idyllic south east coast offer respite from the extreme heat, with April a great time to catch the beach before the monsoons sweep in.
From the weird to the wonderful, the three-day Pi Ta Khon festival in the picturesque Thai province of Loei showcases a wide range of unique Buddhist rituals for both locals and tourists to enjoy. Don’t be surprised if you witness muddy men roaming around, large phallus parades or bizarre dances in equally interesting costumes.
Location: Loei, Thailand
Bun Bangfai Rocket Festival
May 9-11 annually
At the start of the rainy season, many Northeastern Thai provinces make, decorate and ultimately launch their home-made rockets into the sky. This is part of the three-day Bun Bangfai festival, in which rockets are used to symbolize a 'reach-out' gesture to the Buddhist Gods up in heaven, who hopefully will deliver good fortune in return.
Location: Isaan, Thailand
137 Pillars: The Luxury Travelerās Choice for Exploring Chiang Mai
Author : Annapurna Mellor
The 137 Pillars in Chiang Mai is a chance to get away from it all without missing out on the pleasures of the city. It's quiet, it's quaint, and it's brimming with luxury