Every year in April, Thailand celebrates their new year with a massive city-wide water fight. The object is simple; make sure everyone around you is soaking wet. Sam shares his experience in Thailand where he participated in one of the worlds best water fights:
I’m not sure when I first heard about Songkran during my time in Thailand but as soon as I heard “its like a five day country-wide water fight” I was sold. I soon learnt that the best place to be part of it was in Thailand’s second city – Chiang Mai. Within an afternoon I had rescheduled my entire trip so I would be sure to be in Chiang Mai to see the how Thai’s celebrate their version of New Years!
It was an inspired decision (a good example of why not to keep your plans too rigid when travelling). Chiang Mai is the ideal place for a water throwing festival. Apart from being a superb destination in its own right, with its 300 wats (monastery temples) and some of the busiest and largest night markets you will see in Thailand, it is also a much more affordable option than the tourist Mecca that is Bangkok.
But the highlight during Songkran is the old town of Chiang Mai which is surrounded by a deep canal. From dawn to dusk during Song Kran its full of locals and travellers filling up buckets of water from the canal and then liberally soaking anyone who was unlucky enough to be close by.
It’s not unusual to see a westerner with a huge water gun chasing after a local down the side streets of Chiang Mai. This is usually followed by the same local getting hold of a water hose and then promptly chasing the traveler back down the same side street. In Song Kran no-one is off limits and travelers make for an especially attractive target in the Thai citizen’s eyes. It is not a question of ‘how wet you will get’ but a question of ‘when will I ever feel dry again?’ You’ve been forewarned – leave cameras and iPhones at home!
I will never forget riding around the canal in a tuk tuk (all seats and upholstery removed by the owner in preparation) presenting the best moving target for thousands of people; while giving out a liberal drenching to anyone unfortunate enough to come into my water gun crosshairs. A truly unforgettable experience!
Songkran falls during the hottest time of the year in South East Asia running from the 13th – 15th of April. For more info on travelling to Thailand, contact one of our Travel Experts at 1-877-967-5302 or connect with us online.