Wet forecast for Thailand

Songkran festival in Thailand

It’s always a wet start to the year in Thailand – not due to the weather, but because Thai celebrations to see in the new Lunar year include ancient cleansing rituals, that have developed into a national water fight!

The Songkran Festival takes place from 13-15 April, 2013, and during this time of family reunion, houses will be cleaned, Buddhas bathed and kids will sprinkle water over the hands of monks and elders. But this is also no time to wear your best outfit, as Judie Turner explains…

“The first day of my 3-month Asian journey was spent in Bangkok. Unknown to me, it was Songkran, the New Year holiday. I decided to walk along the canal track and was most surprised when several children started to squirt water pistols at me. Having visited Thailand prior, I thought this behaviour was strange, especially all the giggles that accompanied the water jets.

As I neared Koh San Road at 10 am, the festival became evident. In no time I was saturated. As I was required to wait to buy a ticket to Ko Samui, which did not materialise till 7pm, my day was a continual drench – I was hosed, squirted and covered in buckets of water thrown from windows and cars. Seven total drenchings plus a white clay substance smeared all over my face and clothes. But each attack was performed in typical friendly Thai spirit.

When I eventually walked into the lobby of my rather smart hotel, I was an absolute sight. The worse discovery was that my plastic ‘covered’ passport was waterlogged and took me 2 hours to unstick over a lightbulb, using a pair of tweezers. Fortunately the title page and visas for China, Mongolia and Nepal had somehow survived. The remainder was smeared with red run dye. Each border crossing commented but gave me entry and exit. My application for a new passport is in the system, but I will forever remember Thai New Year!”

Have you ever been in Thailand for Songkran? Let us know whether it took you by surprise or were you equipped for the watering down? :-)

Photo: Songkran in Thailand by Mark Brown

About the author

intrepidexpress@intrepidtravel.com'
Sue Elliot - Like many of us, Sue contracted a serious travel bug at an early age. She's visited over 90 countries in search of a cure, but her wanderlust just seems to get worse. Thankfully at Intrepid Travel she's amongst people who understand the affliction and since 1998 Sue has enjoyed being our blog and newsletter editor. Here you'll find helpful travel advice and inspiring tales from Sue and other Intrepid travellers.

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1 comments

lauren.sadler@yahoo.co.uk'

I went one April and had no idea about Songkran. I woke up the day after my birthday with the worst hangover I’ve ever had, and, realising I had no water left, dragged myself outside to walk to a shop. Within a minute I was ambushed by a group of kids who absolutely soaked me, so when I was in the shop I bought an extra ice cold bottle of water and got them back! It certainly woke me up that’s for sure.

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