If traveling to Bangkok or other parts of Thailand is your plan for the water festival holiday, let us guide you the spots where you’ll have the most fun around the country.
Traditionally, Thai people will start water splashing on 12th of April. They’ll set up stations in front of their houses or businesses with giant water tanks and rubber tubes. Some even add big ice cubes for cold water! Families then team up on the back of a pick up truck with water guns and water containers for filling up their guns, and drive around the city to play water splashing with people in front of the households. On the morning of 13th, they’ll normally go to temples to make a merit. The afternoon is when the real fun begins.
1. Silom Road
Silom Road is home to the famous red light district “Patpong.” The road is regarded as a hub of entertainment for both Thai and foreigners, especially for the LGBT community. Each year, this three kilometer-long road is packed with thousands of tourists and locals wishing to experience the celebration in the wildest way, by wearing water gun gears in the back and traditional yellow powder on their hands to apply on others’ faces.
Highlight for Songkran at Silom Road is at Silom Soi 4 Street. Extremely crowded, you won’t be able to walk on your own, so do walk slowly and follow the crowd. Here, LGBT dancers will go up on tables or water tanks in revealing outfits and dance to the beat. On both sides of the main road, you’ll find shops selling water guns, ice cubes, omelet with rice or snacks to fill up your stomach in case you get hungry in the middle of the water fight. You can also refill the water at these shops if you purchase their products.
The celebration at Silom begins in the morning of the 13th but tends to get packed up after 5 PM till late night.
2. Khaosan Road
Khaosan Road is a world-popular backpacker heaven. This 410 meter-long road hosts numerous cheap hotels, guesthouses, restaurants, bars and clubs — an all-in-one area for many tourists.
Every year, this tiny street turns into a venue of water fight all day till night. Prepare yourself to be soaking wet from head to toe. Party vibe begins after sunset when visitors are out enjoying themselves on the street.
In recent years, Khaosan has become a safe place to enjoy Songkran, as the police would set up checkpoints on both ends of the street. High-pressure water guns and powder are prohibited to be used in this area.
Located close to Sukhumvit area, which is the zone of expats and upscale travellers, RCA is one of the largest entertainment and clubbing streets of Bangkok. The street houses the well-known club, Route 66. Get your water gun ready and pack your valuable items in waterproof cases and head to Route 66 for Songkran. Try to reach there early evening to secure a desk, if you’re into drinking. If not, RCA is your late-night destination. Party there continues till early morning.
Nearby RCA this year, we also see trendy S2O Songkran music festival concert, which is the biggest EDM music festivals in Bangkok. The festival features world-class EDM artists as headliners, as well as Thailand’s rising local artists.
5. Songkran Up North
For a combination of traditional and wild experiences in one place, we suggest you to head up north to Chiang Mai Province. This year, Chiang Mai will be hosting a traditional Lanna-style water festival from 13th to 15th April. Traditional activities include making a merit, pouring water over the elderly, building sand castles, traditional Lanna art competition and water splashing around Moat, Thapae Gate and the Ping River.
6. Songkran at Pattaya and Chonburi Province
While Songkran Festival elsewhere in the Thailand ends on the 15th of April, Songkran at Pattaya will only just begin. Songkran in Pattaya, or in Thai called “ Wan Lai”, takes place from 16th to 19th April. You can expect furious water fights in every corner of the city.
Aside from water fights, traditional celebrations will also take place in many districts, particularly at Bang San, where there will be sand castle building ceremony, sea boxing (Muay Talay) competition and other Thai traditional games. In Sriracha and Naglua districts, there’s a colorful rice parade along the city as part of Traditional Rice Harvest Festival ceremony. It usually marks the end of Songkran Festival, which usually falls on 20th of April.