Tuesday, 28 August 2018

Celebrating SONGKRAN in Bangkok, Thailand.


In April of this year, I had the absolute pleasure of visiting the beautiful country of Thailand.  By pure and rather lucky coincidence, my trip would coincide with one of the biggest, wildest and most colourful national holidays in the Thai calendar – Songkran!  For those unfamiliar with Southeast Asian culture (as I was), Songkran festivities mark the start of the Buddhist year.  



Songkran is celebrated in mid-April, which is typically the hottest month of the year in Thailand.  Extreme humidity and stifling temperatures nudging 40°C can zap your energy, so Thai people have come up with an ingenious way of dealing with this – huge public water fights!!  Over three days of national holiday, thousands upon thousands of locals and tourists alike take to the streets dressed in the most colourful clothes and armed with water pistols and clay body paints. 

The feel-good atmosphere in the streets of Bangkok is something I’ll never forget.  Thai culture seems to put a lot of emphasis on enjoyment, happiness and togetherness – all of which shine through during Songkran celebrations.  Folk here certainly know how to have fun!  People of all ages and all walks of life join in the water fights and the party lasts well into the night!  I found Bangkok to be the friendliest, most welcoming city I’ve visited; local people encourage foreign visitors to join in the celebrations – nobody goes home dry during Songkran!!



Given the popularity of Songkran, hostel beds and hotel rooms can sell out quickly, so it’s a good idea to book accommodation well in advance.  Don’t worry about packing a water pistol – every street stall in Bangkok sells them for pennies.  Whilst there are water fights all over Bangkok, the biggest and most famous is always in the vicinity of Khao San Road. 

The fun and energy of this holiday are so invigorating –  I had the biggest smile from cheek to cheek throughout my time in this awesome city.  This was my first time in Thailand and my first time in Southeast Asia and it was better than I could have ever hoped for.  Without doubt, the Songkran water fights in Bangkok are my absolute favourite travel memory to date. 



Bangkok is AWESOME - I'll post a more detailed guide to the city in a future post!  Have you experienced this colourful holiday or are you planning to visit the Thai capital?  Let me know in the comments section!
Thanks for reading!


Elis Griffiths. x