Songkran Festival April 13th 2018, Thailand’s Water Festival
Sawasdee Pi Mai, (Happy New Year) those words you will hear often with your water-gun in hand, and soaked from head to toe. Perfect strangers walk by with loving Thai smiles, and smear perfumed and water soaked powder across your cheeks. There are many levels of these hundreds of years-old traditions; as times have changed so have the generations. In modern day Thailand this has become one of the worlds biggest water-fights. No aggression here, leave it at home. Showing aggressive behavior in Thailand is a sign of mental instability, and smiling from ear to ear will most certainly earn you respect.
Where to celebrate Songkran in Thailand is always a question asked by foreigners. Celebrating this festival, your style is fairly easy, choosing the right destination is key to making this a holiday that will leave you booking your room for next year. Below is a list of the most popular tourist destinations, and the atmosphere you will experience in each. It is impossible to cover everywhere so only the major attractions are listed. Thailand does have odd liquor laws, so if you like to drink you may want to have a stash in your room; however, there is a small window period from 11:am to 2:pm you can indulge legally and at all bars are tossing beer left and right. After 5:pm though it is a free for all until midnight, which is the time bars must close.
Songkran 2018 Starts Friday April 13th
Where to Go
· Bangkok: If you love city life, are aching to spend a few days drenched on the streets with massive crowds of people tossing water, then this is your spot. We prefer staying at one of the higher end hotels in Bangkok, because the crowds are so massive and the water-fight is intense. Stepping into a 5-star hotel lobby completely soaked is exhilarating, and perfectly acceptable. The Silom area is the place to be for Songkran in Bangkok. In Bangkok the water tossing will continue on into the night.
· Chiang Mai: For a more cultural feel but by no means laid back Chiang Mai is one of our top picks. The streets are filled usually by 10:am, the kids always begin the water fight, so be prepared with squirt gun in hand. The entire city is engulfed with people, as the country side and hill-tribe people come down to join in the happiness. The streets become blocked with pick-up trucks containing families with barrels of water, watch out sometimes it is ice water. The best locations to celebrate in Chiang Mai are Huay Kaew Road, as the old city moat is jam packed. If it is crowds you love weave your way through the old city moat to Tapei Gate, or the Night Bazaar area. There are many concerts going on during Songkran, the main concert locations are Maya Mall, Kad Suan Kaew Mall, Tapei Gate, and the Nigh Bazaar areas. A good tip is to choose a hotel that is close to the area you want to celebrate, so getting dried off and resting, is easy. The water tossing generally stops in Chiang Mai at dark.
· Phuket: This is known as party central, the island paradise knows how to host a party, and at Songkran this city pulls out all stops. In Phuket you will no doubt witness some of Thailand’s top musical talents with concerts all around town. There is no where to hide in Phuket, bring your swimsuit and water gun because this is one party that will get your rocks off. Prepare for no less than 5 days of water fighting madness.
· Pattaya: Pattaya is also popular for its party catering abilities with 5 long days of water tossing. There are stages set-up on beach road with live music from top talents, as well as water cannons shooting hundreds of feet into the air. Booking a room close to the action is essential, as getting out of the water war for small break helps regain your stamina; If you are unable to get a room close to the beach prepare for wading through massive crowds to get there.
Other locations Are Also Having a Blast
Every Province in Thailand will be celebrating. The smaller towns will be more culture driven, and laid back, nonetheless it is a water fight. Hua Hin Beach, Cha-Am, Ayutthaya, Chiang Rai,, Phi Phi, Koh Samui, Koh Phangan, do not under-estimate their Songkran powers.
What and Wears
Wear flowery shirts, think Hawaiian style, and short pants. Buy a zip-lock bag or purchase one from the road-side stalls that are made specifically for Songkran, this will protect your phone and valuables. Do not wear a bikini unless you are in a beach area, this is a Buddhist country and modesty is important. You can wear one but be prepared to be frowned upon by some. The important thing is to smile, have fun, and enjoy one of the worlds most celebrated parties.
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