Where to stay for the Songkran Festival
The Songkran Festival is the Thai version of New Years. It's an auspicious occasion a time of cleaning out of the old and doing getting something new. The cleaning aspect of Songkran is taken another level unlike anywhere else in the world. Everything is cleaned the Buddhas the bathroom the kitchen the yard, pets and others especially. This is how it became to also be the largest water festival in the world. Water is temporarily piped through the streets and people drive/walk/ride around with large super soakers and buckets of icy water. But really there is a deeper meaning to Sonkran and nearly all Thais want to be with their family on this day, it's kinda like Christmas in a way where you hang out and eat up with the family. I once spent a day at a Thai families house on Songkran where we ate chicken,frogs, rat, and some weird fish. Then we took the old blind grandmother out back put her in a cut open 44 gallon drum, dressed her down naked and everyone took turns giving her a scrub down. Hey this is Thailand and experiences like that and walking down the street feeling like your lost in a big wave is what the Songkran Festival is about.
The upcoming Songkran water festival in Thailand is a much anticipated event for Thais because nearly most professions have this day off except for say the service industry. The Thailand monster water festival is love and hated but it's something everyone does at least once and when they do they go hard! You can do Songkran festival anywhere in Thailand but where are the best places to have the most fun for Songkran and where will you stay?
Songkran festival in Bangkok
The best place for Songkran festival in Bangkok has to be Silom road, I wouldn't go to Kao San Road for Songkran I just don't think I'd like it but who knows maybe you do. Though Silom road gets super packed even when it's not Songkran so make sure you stay somewhere close by that you don't have to go too far best place to stay for being close to action and yet dry and comfortable is at Glow.
Songkran festival in Chiang Mai
Nowhere does it bigger and better for the Songkran festival than in Chiang Mai. During the day is a blur of water and watch out for the cold water! The best place in Chiang Mai for Songkran has to be at Tapae gate and the best place to stay for the festival is at the Imm hotel right opposite the gate and where most of the action takes place.
Songkran festival in Pattaya
This year will be my first Songkran in Pattaya so really I can't give you any insight into exactly what it's like. Honestly I kinda feel like not doing it all but I know I'll regret it the most. So for Songkran in Pattaya I want to do walking street and beach road. What I'd love to do is book a room at the LK Empress then I'd be closer to the action and right on the beach but we'll see what I decide to do in the next few days.
Songkran in Khon Kaen
I did the Songkran festival in Khon Kaen last year '11 and it was awesome, in fact Khon Kaen has the largest alcohol free zone Songkran party anywhere in Thailand and as you can imagine it's full of kids. Helping this is Khon Kaen is home to many universities that people in the Isaan region of Thailand go to study. If you've never done Khon Kaen for Songkran you'll love it! I stayed at the Pratunam Hotel you could stay anywhere really the city is so easy to get around you can actually walk to anywhere in the city within 15min.
Tips for the Songkran Festival in Thailand
First of all make sure you don't wander too far from where your staying. Traffic is a nightmare during Songkran and getting back can often mean kilometers walking getting pelted by freezing cold water.
When your out in the madness make sure you take a bottle of clean drinking water with you, it gets hot and getting a drink can be difficult. The bottle of water isn't just for drinking though it's also for getting all the talcum powder off your face. Thais like to get the talcum powder mix it with water then slap it on anyone's face they care too. It's tradition and if your a Farang you get it the worst.
Last tip I'll give you is don't be throwing water at anyone on a motorbike, it's just dumb you could knock them off the bike and cause an accident or worse your on the bike and someone throws water in your eyes and you crash. Don't do it!
So where are you going for the Songkran Festival this year?