In this blog we look at New Year in Thailand or as it is known Songkran, celebrated in April it is the lunar New Year as celebrated by the Buddhist world. Songkran also is well known as the Water Festival in Southeast Asia and especially in Thailand.
Songkran in Pattaya
The normal dates for Songkran in the Kingdom is between the 12th and 15th April depending where you are. In Pattaya the biggest celebrations happen on the 19th April although the fun and games happen many days before then.
The biggest celebrations are on Pattaya Beach Road, the whole road is closed to traffic and the party happens right down its length from the Dolphin Roundabout to Walking Street.
Saunter down from one end to another and you will come across many street vendors selling food and drink as well as numerous stages containing live bands and DJ’s.
Another really good area to experience is Jomtien where from Pratumnak Hill junction right down to Jomtien Beach is one long big party.
What to Expect
The 19th April is a raucous occasion, and first and foremost expect to get utterly drenched. Every manner of dispensing water is used from small water pistols to fire engines with powerful hoses and everything in between.
Billed as the largest water fight in the world, by the Guiness Book of Records they are not exaggerating. As well as ice cold water being thrown in your face another custom is to smear a type of white paste on any exposed flesh, which sticks like glue.
Like New Year celebrations all over the globe, expect the majority of the combatants to be drunk. People tend to start their Songkran early and alcohol is a big part of the day.
If you intend to enter the fray and enjoy the day there are a few things that you need to prepare. Firstly carrying a waterproof bag with a spare change of clothes and perhaps a towel is definitely a good idea.
As for your phone, money, keys etc. keep them close to your person. On the day of Songkran vendors sell waterproof plastic pouches that you wear around your neck, these are essential.
Leave the motorbike at home, don’t risk driving on the roads during Songkran as it is chaotic and very dangerous. You will be far safer walking around and its more fun anyway.
The biggest thing to enjoy the day is to stay calm, as a non Thai you will be targeted more than the locals and will be in for special treatment. If getting soaked to the skin and being bumped into by drunken people is not up your street then the best advice is to stay at home.
If you want to experience the wonderful party then get yourself to 7/11 select your water gun and get out there.