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Is there much smoke and burning in April? How hot is it?

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Is there much smoke and burning in April? How hot is it?

I'm contemplating coming back to Chiang Mai for 10 days in mid -April just before Easter. Part of that time would be travelling to Doi Mae Salong, Thaton and on to MHS for a few days, then back to Chiang Mai.

How smokey and hot would it be at that time of year? I have Asthma so if the pollution is bad, it would rule out this idea I've been thinking about. Would really like to get back to Chiang Mai and see parts of the north I didn't have time for a year ago... Knees aren't so good - surgery probably won't be scheduled until June or July. Also, will it be raining in April?

Any info on climate, temp, etc appreciated. If it's too bad, I might consider Hua Hin or Prachuap Kiri Khan area - so thoughts on that area welcome too. Nothing is booked yet; I'm just thinking about it... and wondering if I could get back there before my surgery. Would make arrangements for transport where needed, if I did go...

I'd really love to spend some time in Doi Mae Salong and Mae Hong Son areas...

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1. Re: Is there much smoke and burning in April? How hot is it?

April is hot, temps can get into the 40s, but like most weather related issues it varies quite bit, so you could also enjoy mid-30s. Rains have started again, but doesn't happen frequently.

Smoke is hard to say. Most burning is done in March for the rices fields to be ready for the initial rains of April, but depending on crop rotations, some farmers don't start prepping their fields until April. As a whole though, I don't think you need to avoid April due to your asthma issues.

Brisbane, Australia
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2. Re: Is there much smoke and burning in April? How hot is it?

Skeezix, we have been twice in recent years in late March - early April and have had some smokey/smoggy days and some very clear days. The later in April you go the better chance the burning will not bother you. Keep in mind Songkran Festival is mid April - a very popular time to be in Chiang Mai and you need to be prepared to get wet during the day (there is no avoiding it).

Caroline.

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3. Re: Is there much smoke and burning in April? How hot is it?

Thanks for the info, MrCycling & Caroline... I forgot about Songkran Festival - Thai New Years Celebration? I don't mind getting wet as long as I have the resources to give as good as I get! One of those big plastic bazookas would do fine! lol... But with dodgy knees, I don't know if that is the right time for me to be in Chiang Mai...

My plan was to arrive Chiang late evening April 13th, spend 3-4 days in Chiang Mai, then go north and spend 4-5 days in Doi Mae Salong, Thaton and Mae Hong Son areas, then back to Chiang Mai for a few days and then home, so my time there would be April 13 - 24th...

I'll give this some more thought. It looks like the first 3-4 days I'll be in Chiang Mai, I'd need a snorkle, right? :) I'll need to look into availability of hotels, as they're probably already getting pretty booked up for that time period.. Are there Songkran festivities in MHS as well? I was hoping for some peaceful quiet time up there...

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4. Re: Is there much smoke and burning in April? How hot is it?

Songkran is celebrated country wide. And len nam (playing water) happens everywhere, though with a bit less exuberance than seen in Chiang Mai.

The level to which you will be doused in Chiang Mai depends a bit on where you go during the daytime and how you go. Walking the streets in the tourist areas (especially near the bars and along the moat) is a guarantee of drenching. Traveling around town by tuk tuk is a good possibility of getting wet, though some drivers know quieter roads to get you to your destination mostly dry. Going on tours by car, taxi or van is reasonably dry, just don't unlock your doors or roll down the window ;-)

But getting after your hotel bookings right a way is essential, as it is another "peak" season for tourism.

Vancouver
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5. Re: Is there much smoke and burning in April? How hot is it?

Thanks for that info, MrC... It actually sounds like a lot of fun! I'll look into accommodations toot-suite!

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6. Re: Is there much smoke and burning in April? How hot is it?

Skeezix you might be better staying a bit away from the old city moat area - particularly around the Tha Phae Gate.

Caroline.

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7. Re: Is there much smoke and burning in April? How hot is it?

Do you think maybe at the Night Market area? If so, any suggestions for accommodations? I'm looking at around $100 per night max. or across the river?

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8. Re: Is there much smoke and burning in April? How hot is it?

The Night Bazaar area is every bit as wild as the old town/moat area. I don't know what it's like in the Nimmanheimin Road area - maybe a bit quieter there. Great fun though!

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9. Re: Is there much smoke and burning in April? How hot is it?

I think, given my mobility issues, that this is not the right time for me to be in Chiang Mai unfortunately.

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10. Re: Is there much smoke and burning in April? How hot is it?

Most Thais are respectful of people during Songkran and if they see you have walking issues and you wave them off, they will usually simple sprinkle a few drops on your head, and save their fire hose for the next passerby. The other side of the coin would be going where there are tourists, Thais and alcohol. When those three get together, "No" means "Yes" and the water flows until it is gone.

If you are planning to do sightseeing during the day by car, you will be fine, as len nam ends at sunset (except again around the bars where tourists don't understand the unwritten rules of Songkran). So you can stroll around the town relatively dry at night.

If you want to jump into the fun just because it is fun, many tuk tuks remove their roof during Songkran and hire out for len nam. You can hire one for a hour or so to drive around the moat areas and join the fun. Wear swimming goggles as some super soakers pack a punch. Pick up a cheap plastic bucket and something to squirt or toss water with and you are ready to go. The driver will know where to go refill as you use up your water.