Hua Hin, Thailand: Songkran (Thai New Year)

Songkran has got to be the best festival celebration I have ever been involved with. Songkran is the celebration of the Thai New Years. In the different parts of the country, they celebrate it for a different number of day. Where I was staying in Hua Hin, it was happening for one and a half days. Other cities, it is six days.

During this period, it’s basically one large water, where every person on the street is involved. If you are outside then you are agreeing that other can throw water on you. Thai people also like to get powder paint and smother it over random faces. 

Riding back to Baan Ton Mai on Sunday afternoon, the celebrations started with water being thrown into our songtaew. After dressing in appropriate clothes, we headed to the centre of Hua Hin. I went out with friends from xplor Asia as well as a guy from England joined our group, who was a Muay Thai course. Throughout the night, we were were not safe from getting soaked. Somehow I managed to avoid paint being spread across my face by should ‘mai ka’ and running.  We enjoyed dancing at a few bars and discovered a street foam party. 

The next day, the fun continued with Xplore Asia picking us up at 10.30 and drove us to a hired out cafe. Before even arriving, we were soaked as random thai on the street were hauling water towards us. Outside the place, there were three gigantic dustbins full of ice-cold water. With out pallets and water guns at the ready, we chucked water at every on-coming vehicle and petestrian as well as each other. The water just seemed to keep flowing. Trucks passed by with huge buckets of water and many passengers squirting water. I gained up on others with fellow sprayers including the co-ordinator of the organisation. Our strategy was to get the coldest water full of iceand take on people by surprise. This went on for hours. Amid the commotion, a buffet was supplied to us full of delicious thai food and fruit. 

After the party, a massive group of us headed towards the bars in Hua Hin to carry on with the festivities. Due to starting early, I was so confused at one point as it was still light outside and I felt it should have been late evening. I still can’t quite believe that during Songkran, you have the right to rub paint of people’s faces and throw copious amount of water at them.

When we thought it was over, we soon discovered in another part of the country it was not. After a day of rest, my roomie and I travelled to Bangkok to further our sightseeing of South-East Asia. However, due to the Thai New Year, we had to have a stop over in Bangkok to apply for a re-entry permit. 

Our plan was to go to Khao San road to relax and enjoy a massage. Fighting through the traffic on the bus, people filled the streets along with their water pistols. It was not going to be calm. The road was completely packed to the rim with dancer and water-throwers. It was mad. Again, we were dripping with water.

If you have a bucket list, Songkran in Thailand needs to be on it. I’m even tempted to come back next year to celebrate. 

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