The Thai dry season can be difficult to endure, but traveling to Khao Sok in April has virtues.  It is the hottest and driest month of the year, with a tropical sun blazing out of a pale blue, cloudless sky.  This means it is an excellent time of year for Khao Sok trekking, or visiting Cheow Larn Lake.  If only you can find a comfortable place to rest…

The village

In the village of Khao Sok, the asphalt and cement structures that have replaced the forest soak up the sun’s rays.  This ensures blistering heat from sky and ground during the day, and stored heat escaping into the night.  Nonexistent breezes do little to usher the heat away.  Visitors trying to enjoy a meal or cold beer must contend with frenzied construction work as the town makes repairs.

The lush green car park at Khao Sok Riverside Cottages

Thai dry season on the Riverside

At Khao Sok Riverside Cottages, the scene is completely different.  The heat of the April sun is absorbed by vegetation and soil rather than cement.  Massive flowering trees blanket the ground in cool, fragrant shadow.

Gibbon song mingles with that of birds and cicadas, and all of these compete with laughter.  The locals are strongly effected by the lack of rain and water in the Thai dry season.  Therefore, they make daily trips to the river to wash clothes, bathe, and socialize.

At the height of the Thai dry season, a thick carpet of brown leaves covers the ground. The brown is accented by explosions of color, as dozens of trees pour their  into making flowers.  Fertile seeds need to be produced before the rainy season!  At the riverside cottages, this effect is magnified in our heavily planted gardens.

Nature’s perfume on the River

Along the river, Queen’s Crepe Myrtle trees are in full bloom.  Their delicate purple flowers drop continuously covering the surface of the Sok River in a layer of purple.

A Thai dry season bloom: Queen's Crepe Myrtle

In the Jungle section of the resort, other trees are producing sweet-smelling flowers.  There are Ylang-Ylang trees in full bloom.  These have unremarkable looking yellow flowers that are so fragrant they can stop a passerby in her track.  Hence the local name “Sao Yut,” which translates roughly to ‘Women stop.

In front of each house, Wrightia Religiosa shrubs perfume the air, and other flowering trees pop up at random.  Some of these drop tiny white flowers, others drop large yellow petals from on high.

High above our Riverside restaurant, a species of Mango relative, known as “Ma-Bling,” casts the thatched roof in shadow.   During the Thai dry season, this massive tree sends wonderfully tart and sweet fruits tumbling to the ground.  These fruits are collected by our kitchen staff and blended into Ma-Bling smoothies!

A Thai dry season bloom: Ylang Ylang

Elsewhere on the property, orchids and hoya vines bloom sporadically. Here and there they create small explosions of natural beauty.

Evening by the Riverside

Evening is the time of day which truly sets the Riverside Cottages apart from other resorts during the Thai dry season.  No stumbling tourists will wander under bungalow windows here.  No ears will be assaulted by competing techno songs emanating from nearby bars.

On the Riverside, the crickets, cicadas and frogs provide the evening’s music. The flowers of the Queen’s Crepe Myrtle disappear into darkness, but the fragrance remains.  As time passes, guests at the restaurant turn their gazes to the interior as bats begin to swoop in from the darkness.

Thai dry season flowers

On the Riverside, the evening air is cool and fresh.  Resorts in the town boast air conditioning, but at the cottages, it isn’t necessary.  One needs only turn on the fan, open a window or two, and enjoy a deep, peaceful sleep.  The sounds of the jungle provides the lullaby and nature provides the air conditioning.

Thai dry season surprises

April marks the beginning of the tourism low season in Thailand for a reason: there are hot days, water shortages, and plenty of dust.  Despite all the best efforts, people haven’t figured out how to conquer this force of nature.  At the Riverside Cottages, however, we embrace these forces.  Then, natural rhythms increase our best efforts at creating a comfortable setting for our guests.  It turns out that April can be a pretty amazing month to be in Thailand after all!

You can find the full activities list and suggested itineraries on Riverside Cottages website. Once you’re in Khao Sok our staff will make sure you get the most from your time here!

We’ll provide you with the perfect Khao Sok accommodation for your Thai dry season adventures!

A Thai dry season bloom: Hoya