Anyone heading to Bangkok in April for Songkran? The fun-filled water festival will be held from 13 April to 15 April this year.
This annual event celebrates the traditional Thai New Year and friendly water fights will be held along the streets for up to a week. Be psyched up for some soakin’ and lots of fun with water!
Many banks, cafes, offices and restaurants are closed during the there-day national holiday and only the large shopping malls remain open. Ditch your plans and everything you would typically do in Bangkok, and have fun at the Songkran Festival. Get ready to be drenched by buckets and hoses of water, water guns and whatnot. Go wild in the broad daylight!
WHAT IS SONGKRAN
To put it really simply, Songkran is just like our Chinese New Year. Even the customary traditions associated with it are pretty similar.
From spring cleaning of the house to family reunions, Songkran is essentially the Thai New Year. The first day of Songkran is National Elderly Day and the second day of Songkran marks National Family Day.
WHAT IT MEANS
Songkran Festival actually holds purposeful meanings behind its water-throwing activities. It all started from the traditional practice of pouring fragrant water into the elders’ palms – which symbolises humility.
Additionally, devout Buddhists, too, pour fragrant water over Buddha statues as a religious ritual of making merit.
WHERE TO GO
Unsurprisingly, this water-throwing tradition soon gained worldwide attraction and has even evolved into a global tourist attraction.
Over at Bangkok, there are several designated districts that are especially popular amongst merrymakers. Head over to Khao San Road and Silom for some splashin’.
Many roads such as Silom Road and Khao San Road would be closed from afternoon till nighttime, but the BTS will still function as per normal. However, passengers are required to dry themselves before boarding the trains.
If you are still looking to shop during the Songkran period, the major malls that will still be open for business include Central World, Platinum Mall and Siam Paragon.
BE MINDFUL OF WHO YOU THROW WATER AT
While there are essentially no official guidelines to follow, we strongly urge you to do your part as a responsible traveller by not dousing gallons of waters on babies, elderly, monks and motorcyclists. Throwing water at drivers is dangerous and you could cause an accident.
HOW TO PREPARE
Before hitting the jam-packed districts, do store your valuables in waterproof bags. Surely you do not want to damage your gadgets by an unexpected incoming bucket of water!
It is recommended that you take public transportation as road blocks might be set up at certain hotspots.
Also, dress in casual clothes so as to not restrict your movements and mobility. Keep the expensive bags and high heels in your hotel. Ladies, you might want to pick waterproof mascaras and eyeliners too.
For more recommendations, read our guide to the best cafes in Bangkok.