If you’ve visited Thailand during the Songkran Water Festival, you don’t need me to tell you what a unique experience it is. And if you haven’t had the opportunity to see it in person yet, I hope you like these photos that were all taken in Chiang Mai during the 2013 Songkran celebrations.
If you want to ‘len nam’ (literally ‘play water’) you are going to need either a bucket or a water pistol. Once you’ve made up your mind on that one, splash out (see what I did there?) on a flowery shirt to complete your sanuk Songkran attire. And if you do select a water gun that is bigger than you, just ask Mum to help you out!
Ready, aim, fire . . .
Buckets for sale along the moat in the Chiang Mai old town district
139 Baht for your Songkran shirt
Choose your transport
Unless you stay indoors for the duration of Songkran you will get wet. It might be a little bit wet or it could be a thorough drenching. Whether you are walking, using a bicycle, a motorbike, a tuk-tuk or even a big yellow car there is one thing for sure; somebody will want to splash you with water.
Thai youngsters like to soak tourists, but are often very respectful and ask first (but not always!)
Enjoy the cultural side of Songkran
Songkran is a nationwide party and although it is images of people throwing water and letting their hair down that captures the imagination of many tourists, there is more to Songkran than the water throwing. In Chiang Mai, the cultural aspects of the traditional Thai New Year Festival are to the fore with street parades, religious ceremonies and merit-making activities at the many temples in the city.
Sand pagodas at Wat Inthakin Sadue Muang
Buddha images are paraded through the streets so that locals can throw scented water at them for good luck
Part of the huge street parade and procession to Wat Phra Singh temple