My impromptu trip back to Thailand was full of excitement! The massive Songkran water festival was added to my bucket list a few years ago after seeing some crazy videos and pictures. I had free flights with my frequent flier miles and made the trip back to Thailand. Here is my Songkran Water Festival Guide:
The Songkran water festival is the world’s biggest water fight and it is pure chaos. In some ways good, but that’s not always the case! Bangkok is already full of excitement, but when you add a massive festival and 3 day national holiday things get out of control. The best way to describe Thailand is organized chaos. There are rules, structures and procedures, but they are hardly followed or regulated.
The Songkran water festival is celebrated all throughout Thailand from April 13-15th and is a traditional New Years for Thai people. Most people are off work during this national holiday. The water pouring tradition started as a symbol to clean off past sins and wash away bad luck. This was later transformed into massive water fights! The official festival started on the 13th, but there were festivities going on all weekend. I made the mistake of going out fully dressed and got absolutely soaked at the RCA even though it was the 11th of April, so be ready depending on which area you go to.
5 tips to for the Songkran Water Festival!
- Buy the right gear: Make sure you buy a waterproof case. They sell them all over the place. Great to keep your phone and money dry. (keep some money in an easier access part too, since it’s a hassle to get in and out of the bags. Also trying to open your bag could result in water getting in).
- Avoid the crowds: All the main areas like the RCA, Silom and Khao San are almost unbearable since there are too many people. We had more fun at the nearby streets close to these areas since there is a lot more room to have water fights.
- Wear protection: Make sure you have some sunglasses or goggles and earplugs are a good idea since people are brutal and will shoot you point blank in the ear. Also, don’t forget the sunscreen!
- Suns out guns out: Don’t show up without a nice high powered water gun and make sure you have plenty of ammo. All the 7-11 shops sell plenty of water guns and other stuff you’ll need for Songkran. So you don’t really need to buy anything in advance.
- Dress accordingly: Literally for 3 days straight there is water fights everywhere, make sure you are wearing clothes you don’t mind getting wet. Even the Tuk Tuks will offer no protection. Basically always have your swim suit on.
Overall, the Songkran water festival in Bangkok was an amazing trip, but I was quite happy to head up North afterwards to the more relaxed city of Chiang Mai!