I feel lucky that my holiday meets the Songkran day in Thai. I would be greatly appreciated if someone could give me some advice how to enjoy the real local new year. Thanks in advance.
#1 frankxm has been a member since 1/4/2006. Posts: 1
Most of my expat friends and I made it a point to be elsewhere over the Songkran holiday. Not to be a wet blanket here, but I've attended one too many Songran celebrations where ice cold water, often with sharp pieces of ice still in it, was thrown into my face very hard at close range. I've also had a powdery paste thrown into my eyes, down my shorts, etc. If you look like a foreigner, and it is difficult not to look like a foreigner in Thailand, you will be targeted by at least a few people working out a bit of aggression their culture wouldn't allow them to display otherwise.
Having said that, I can understand your excitement at getting to participate in the spectacle of the holiday. If you are in Thailand over Songran (usually 13 to 15 April), you are going to get wet, so plan for it and dress accordingly. I'd recommend avoiding the places where lots of people tend to gather, like Khao San road or Chiang Mai city. Do you know where you'll be during those days? I'd try to get invited to a smaller, out of the way celebration, somewhere off the beaten path. Ask the people you meet what they are doing. Even in Bangkok, hopefully you can hook up with some locals who have something planned where they live. If you are out of Bangkok, (not Chiang Mai!) it will be easier to find a lower key water fight to join. You'll still have a great time, while reducing the chance of getting injured.
Some folks might disagree with me, saying that the full-blown water war is the experience of a lifetime. If you are someone who enjoys that, more power to you. I've just seen too many times where someone actually got hurt, and a few punches got thrown. Best of luck. I hope you find what you are looking for and enjoy yourself.
One last thing. Songran is one of two times a year where almost everyone in Bangkok tries to head home for the holidays. (The other is New Year's). If you plan to be travelling during those days, make sure you have firm reservations ahead of time. Otherwise, it is best to find a place you enjoy and settle in. Traffic deaths usually skyrocket over those days, so keep that in mind and stay safe too please. Thanks and regards.
songkran for me is: go shopping before the event; lock myself up in my home and come out again after the floods are gone!!!
Of course, Songkran is a very personal event and most people enjoy it.
2 Years ago I celebrated Songkran in the North East (near Nong Han), well frankxm, if you have the opportunity to go to a place like that......please do so!! Songkran is celebrated as it should be: with respect and believe. With small bowls of colored water we just sprinkled some water about the other participants in the procession which ended at the local temple.
For me, that's Songkran, but for most people in Thailand Songkran is now a kind of event where about 500 people are killed and 40,000 are injured in (traffic) accidents.
To hook up with exacto, after my celebration in Nong Han for 2 years, it took me 24 hours from Udon Thani to Pattaya (normal 9 hours). The well equipped infrastructure looked like an exodus!! This is by the way also the case if you want to go down South and up North.
Anyway, frankxm, enjoy your stay in Thailand and enjoy the most important event here!!
#3 busgen has been a member since 5/4/2006. Posts: 7
Just don't do what i did last year in Laos. Arrived into the capital unaware of the event, proceeded to sip on an ale with passport in back pocket. on cue lady with big bucket of water....... several times.... Passport destroyed.
Wear dry light clothing, wear a smile and you will have a ball :-)
#4 ezywalker has been a member since 7/4/2006. Posts: 4
Hello, This is my first ost here :) Im sure someone will agree with me when I say Khao san raod is to be avoided at all cost during songkran!!!
I was there last year and the amout of people was just silly. People were getting crushed, falling over and trampled and some thai women with a street stall lost the plot and stated throwing full bottles of beers in to the crowd. (with the intention of hurting people!)
keep your wallet/fags sealed up in a plastic bag or somthing.
Hope this is useful to you.
#5 jon_mak has been a member since 8/4/2006. Posts: 10