making the most of the world's biggest water festival
Tips, Do's & Don't's
GET A WATER GUN
What's a water fight without water guns? While water buckets can do the trick too, water guns are just much cooler. You won't have to bring your own water gun from home (unless you already have a specific weapon of choice in mind) - there will be a million types of water arsenal for sale everywhere in the streets of Thailand during this time! While you're at it, get an awesome water gun with a huge tank so you won't have to refill every few squirts. Plus, big guns always win!
PROTECT YOUR EYES
As fun as water fight might sound, having water blasted directly in your eye can sting, especially when it's foam water coming out of a high-pressure water gun. All the germs and foreign substance that end up in the water also make it hazardous, having caused irritation and infections in past years. Of course, there will be plenty of locals selling funky goggles at the Songkran festival, so grab a pair!
AVOID DRINKING THE WATER
You may think it is ironic, but getting dehydrated at this water festival is common among first-timers. With all the water-throwing all day, you'll likely forget to actually consume adequate amount of drinkable water. Running around under the heat of the scorching Sun could contribute fairly to dehydration. So always keep a bottle of water with you and stay hydrated.
Songkran falls around arguably the hottest and sunniest time of the year in Thailand. Obviously, the water fight will take place mostly in open air and at day time. Unless you want tan lines from top to toe, you'll need to apply sunscreen, and, of course, a waterproof one.
WEAR APPROPRIATE OUTFIT
It's the most famous and the biggest festival in Thailand. Most places will be jam-packed and you're most likely going to be surrounded by many people - locals and tourists. In the midst of the revelry, there will be a lot of drinking. Bear in mind that some drunk revelers and hooligans could get a little touchy, especially knowing that they could get away easily among such huge crowd and busy surroundings. Besides, Songkran started off as a religious celebration, so it's best to wear decent clothes and avoid provocative outfit. We'd also recommend wearing clothes that are comfortable and quick drying because you are going to be drenched in water - cold water - most of the time. Light and open-toe sandals are also great for this occasion.
WATERPROOF BAG, WATERPROOF POUCH, WATERPROOF EVERYTHING
This is possibly the most important thing one needs to remember when going to a festival that majorly involves water-throwing and splish-splash. Every year, Songkran is responsible for a large number of casualties among phones and cameras. The only things you'll want soaked are yourself and every person you come across - not your phone, not your camera, not your dollar bills or passport. But you'll need to carry all this stuff with you. So we suggest that you protect your phone with a waterproof pouch and your camera with a waterproof casing, and secure everything in a small and handy 10L Dry Bag.
P.s, if you don't have a waterproof bag yet, it's not too late. Visit us in Silom, Bangkok for drybags, water refill and for shelter. For more information, click on the button below.
DON'T SPLASH ON MONKS AND ELDERS
Songkran may be a nationwide festival, but that does not mean that everyone is in on the frenzy. Though it has turned from a traditional celebration in the Thai calendar into the biggest water throwing party in the world, blasting water at monks and elderly people can be deemed disrespectful. Traditionally, in celebrating Songkran, people visit monks at the temple and older relatives and pour water over their hands for blessings and as a symbolic gesture for a new, 'clean' start to the new year. So if you're in Thailand during this time, take the opportunity to get to the temple early morning to witness and experience the traditional side of Songkran celebration.
AVOID RIDING MOTORCYCLES
Though bikes are a common sight in Thailand, it is not particularly safe to take a two-wheeled vehicle for transportation during Songkran when you have tons of people throwing buckets of iced water at you. You could lose balance or even get thrown off the bike with such force. Your sight could be blinded by the water and powder thrown at you, which is also a safety hazard for drivers besides the possibility of drunk road users. All in all, Songkran really is not the time to travel but rather a time to soak in the merriment of the celebration.
What if water fights aren't my thing?
Though we cannot deny that it sounds a little strange that one would book a flight to Thailand for mid April and plan not to join in the jolly water-throwing madness, we have also compiled a few tips on how to survive Songkran for those who are planning to stay dry. If you are not keen on joining the shenanigans, you will need a well-thought out plan for your 'vacation'. Below are the answers to questions some of you weirdos (jk!) are probably wondering.
Because Songkran marks the New Year in Thai calendar, all of Thailand celebrates this festival, as well as neighboring regions in Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar. Nowhere is safe, not the cities, not the towns nor the villages. So if you think you can seek refuge in the outskirts... well, you'll need a new plan. The best thing to do is to just stay in your hotel room and watch the fun from your balcony - oh, and watch out for the sneaky neighbor on the balcony upstairs!
As far as we've learned, it's going to be difficult to have meals without getting soaked, unless it's in an air-conditioned indoor restaurant, which is most likely to be closed during Songkran. Take one step outside; you're in the danger zone. So if you don't want to be ambushed while getting to the store to get some snacks, you'll need to stock up on food supplies and other essentials ahead of this festival.
YOU COULD BE A FAVORITE TARGET
You think they'd understand if you just politely or sternly make it clear that you do not want to get soaked? You're wrong. Raincoat isn't going to cut it either. The more you look like you're avoiding, the more of a favorite target you are. So, as suggested above, just stay indoors to be safe from getting bombarded with water cannons and blasters.
We could go on and on about Songkran, but we hope this is helpful for you to make the most of it this weekend. Have a splashing good time. See ya!