Wish We Were There: Songkran 2013

by Poi on April 13, 2013

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There aren’t many days that pass without me thinking about our time away or more accurately “What the bloody hell am I doing back here?”

Often it’s the usual stuff like weather, food etc but this time of year it’s a little more specific. Undoubtedly one of the highlights of our trip, so good –  we took part two years running…

In the thick of it…

…Songkran!

The hardest thing about Songkran is describing to those who nothing about it just how much fun it can be.

“Well you know it’s just a huge water fight where EVERYONE gets involved! Seriously even on the quiet streets people are throwing water over each other and…. nobody punches anyone”

So maybe I’m not the best at describing events but hopefully the enthusiasm on my face does enough to convince others that Songkran really is something everyone should try and experience.

Khao San Road Bangkok

The water fights continue inside

The morning after the night before. A slightly calmer Khao San Road

Although we spent both our songkrans in Bangkok we had quite different experiences. The first year was always going to be special as we had no idea what to expect and it really is truly amazing to see just how involved everyone gets.

We had been away for a few days in Malaysia and returned  on the first day of the festival. After only a few seconds of emerging from the underground we spotted a group of young girls with buckets and a large barrel of water. They nervously gestured what they wanted to do (chuck a bucket of water of us)  - they looked slightly apologetic but we were happy to get straight into the Songkran mood!

A very gentle welcome compared to what we would experience later in the day. A long taxi ride to Khao San Road revealed that most of Bangkok was already soaked and the celebrations were in full flow, even the moped drivers weren’t safe from bucket loads of water.

Khao San Road was just mayhem, as you would expect, but incredibly good fun and we spent most of the day and night refilling our super soakers with ice cold water and “going at it”. We also got to meet and hang out with some other travel bloggers, which is always good fun.

A year passed and despite our plans to head home being set we opted to stay in Bangkok longer to enjoy another Songkran rather than squeeze in a trip to somewhere new. Having lived in Bangkok for a year we had decent group of friends and more idea of what was going on. After having so much fun the year before it wasn’t hard to get excited for another big water fight.

This time we headed to Silom rather than Khao San Road and found it to be just as crowded and exciting if only a little more Thai. Fire hoses sprayed (Blasted? Those things packed a punch) constantly and ice cold water regularly made it’s way down the back of your neck.

Songkran in Silom, Bangkok

Silom attracts quite a crowd

Songkran in Bangkok

Kirsty was a popular target

With three days to enjoy Songkran in all it’s glory it would be easy to enjoy both of these places, both of which are as much fun as the other and won’t disappoint.

We’ve heard a few people mention how they get sick of Songkran but for us it’s the perfect way to really let your hair down and take part in a very unique and eventful celebration.

Tip: Clay paste is also very popular during Songkran and can become quite a pain but Khao San Road is a clay free zone. Don’t let that stop you trying out the other areas during Songkran, you just have to supersoaker yourself to wash it away.

Are you celebrating Songkran for the first time this year or perhaps you have your own tale of water fights to tell?

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Olga April 13, 2013 at 8:19 pm

Oh, this is an amazing event an we are experiencing it right now on Khao San, which is by the way is NOT a clay free zone, very far from it. And I love how locals approach us especially when they want to put clay on our faces, how they welcome us into their holiday, sweet indeed. Our baby however is reall shocked! He is white and wet from the head to toe

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Poi April 17, 2013 at 1:56 am

Ahh, the two years we were there was no clay allowed on Khao San. The streets around were full of it but Khao San was clear.

haha I can imagine your baby attracting a lot of attention!

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Andi of My Beautiful Adventures April 14, 2013 at 6:14 am

Looks like WAY too much fun!

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Hannah @ Getting Stamped April 14, 2013 at 9:14 pm

Looks soo fun! We are going next year on our RTW, we were thinking Chiang Mai…but do you know which city is the best to celebrate it in? We love BKK but we will be in and out of there soo many times we’d rather spend it elsewhere! Thanks for tips!

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Poi April 17, 2013 at 1:57 am

Chiang Mai is also meant to be great for Songkran and we know plenty of people who’ve experienced up there and loved it so go for it!

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Julio Moreno April 15, 2013 at 7:46 pm

Is this the same as the “water festival” in neighboring Cambodia? I think I have heard of this but I underestimated how fun it would be!

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Kirsty April 17, 2013 at 7:45 pm

Yes, I think it is! When I first heard about it I thought the same thing but it is amazing!

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Lance April 17, 2013 at 11:46 am

Heard about this and have always wanted to see it!

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John_h May 31, 2013 at 3:20 am

Wow! It looks great… thank you for the information. I just finished travelling 8 months in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, exploring the far east. such beautiful places with amazing people… I miss it already

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