The World’s Largest Water Fight is Also a Festival
The Destination on Everyone’s Mind
Thailand is where every young explorer starts their adventure. Whether it’s your first stop, or last stop… there is something so appealing about spending as much time there as possible.
Why? Because there’s simply no place quite like it.
Notorious for nautical activities, Thailand boasts the most endearing of them all, attracting travellers from around the world for just a few days per year…
The island plays host to the world’s largest annual water fight, in celebration of their Songkran Festival from the 13th of April. Thailand celebrates their New Year’s, bursting with the craziest traditions over this national holiday. Expect main streets to be closed off and used as arenas for locals and tourists to take part in this nation-wide debauchery, taking spiritual cleansing to a whole new level.
But it doesn’t stop there. If it’s the biggest, longest or craziest celebrations you’re after, look no further!
For the Biggest, BANGKOK
Need we say more? The capital is a one-stop-shop for young travellers, with floating street markets, reclining Buddha’s and more places to party than anywhere else on the island. During Songkran, you can expect offices, banks and restaurants to be shut down completely and most hotels hosting ticket-only pool parties (for the more sophisticated bunch).
For our fellow outgoing travellers and backpackers, Khao San Road is the place to dry off. Expect bright lights, infectious energy and a cornucopia of culture and diversity at every corner until the early hours of the morning!
If sky-bars and secret rooftop locations are more your style, worry not! Silom Road has it all and is closed off to traffic for Songkran – All 5km of it. Aptly associated with the popular Hangover 2 movie, you can watch the chaos ensue from 63 storeys up, in Bangkok’s Sky Bar or immerse yourself in the epicentre of Songkran activities for a truly local, musical experience.
For the Longest, PATTAYA
Renowned as a party city, it should come as no surprise that Songkran lasts longer here than anywhere else! The festival pours into the following week in Pattaya, giving you 7 extra days in your new favourite place. Expect fire engines at hand helping you refill your buckets and water pistols, and pick up trucks transformed into mobile parties on Beach Road, where stages are also set up for live music and foam machines.
It’s safe to say that Pattaya is one giant wet and wild party during Songkran… So much so that even half of the residents flee for shelter mid-April to avoid the chaos! For roads where every building is a bar and for serious competitors who aren’t afraid to get caught in some serious crossfire, Soi 6 and Soi 7 is definitely where you want to be!
You may also be lucky enough to witness police swapping out side-arms for water pistols, (and giving as good as they get!) or even monks touring around on the back of pick-up trucks giving their blessings and remaining the only dry people left in the entirety of Pattaya (which you should definitely not change).
For the Craziest, CHIANG MAI
We get it. You’re probably wondering how Chiang Mai could possibly give you any more than Bangkok or Pattaya… Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
Wringing in the Thai New Year on a 4km route around one of Thailand’s famous moats, (yes, a moat) with sound systems along the entire route and street stalls for your emergency ammunition, is definitely one for your travel bucket list.
Water is said to reach knee-level at Thapae Gate, (the major entrance into the Old City), as water is slung from balconies at rooftops when you least expect it, and taken directly from the surrounding moat. It is truly is a sight that has to be seen to be believed. If you find yourself wanting a quick-escape route, exploring smaller streets and interacting with locals is your best bet, although this does come at the price of a small soak.
Another popular location for young travellers is Nimman Road, boasting a modern atmosphere filled with musicians, DJ’s and performers entertaining revellers of all-ages, (as if there isn’t enough going on), just outside of Maya Mall! As 6pm (local time) approaches, the crowds flood to the notorious night markets in Chiang Mai for some well-deserved nourishment, as the celebrations continue until the early hours of the morning.
Will you join the world’s largest water fight? Quench your wanderlust with the wettest and wildest of all three locations.
Don’t forget your waterproofs… Sawadee Pee Mai!
Travel Friendly Tips for Songkran
- Avoid wearing white
- Leave valuables at your hostel or wear protective clothing
- Avoid consuming water being sprayed at you
- If you want to stay dry, stay inside!