All over the world are festivals that are unlike anything you’ll ever encounter. Oktoberfest in Munich is one, Las Fallas in Valencia is another, while if you’re in Rio de Janeiro during Carnival you’re unlikely to forget it for a very long time.
Another festival that will forever be etched from your memory is Songkran in Thailand. Celebrating the Thai New Year, for three days (or more in some places) from the 13th to the 15th April, Thailand turns into one big water fight. The reason for this is that the throwing of water symbolises the washing away of the past year and welcoming the new one.
If you’re in Bangkok during Songkran and are wondering where to celebrate the festival, here are five of the busier spots.
Image courtesy of Lauren Irons.
There are two parts of Bangkok that are more hectic than anywhere else in the city for Songkran – Silom is one of them. Known for the area where you’ll find the infamous Patpong area, the Thai capital’s financial district becomes awash with people donning waterguns for three days solid.
Image courtesy of Justin Vidamo.
Bangkok’s (and arguably the world’s) backpacker capital of the universe gets pretty hectic during Songkran. The difference with this part of the city and others is that the water fight here is more international. If you want to wash away the year of some Germans, Swedes, English, Canadians or other nationalities, this is where to do it.
At this large open space across from the Grand Palace, the Buddha image ‘Buddhasihing’ is brought out from its home in the National Museum and carried through the streets to Sanam Luang. On its way crowds sprinkle water on it before letting it settle in the green area for the duration of the festival.
Image courtesy of Yang Hai.
Siam Square is the centre of the city’s consumerism. Here you’ll find the biggest malls and the largest shopping centres. Around Songrak you’ll also find some of the biggest water fights. If you’re in the area for some retail therapy make sure to keep your new purchases protected from the water!
Image courtesy of Theerawat Sangprakarn.
if you want to experience a more traditional Songkran make your way to this area in the south of the city. Here the celebrations are held a week later than those in the centre of the city and they have far more cultural significance. You’ll see the splashing that you saw earlier in the centre of the city, but you’ll also see boat races, floral float parades and more.
Main image courtesy of Yang Hai.
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