In previous years I’ve been fortunate enough to spend the Thai New Year Water Festival in a number of the most popular destinations in Thailand including Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Pattaya. This year I headed to Nakhon Si Thammarat in southern Thailand. The city and province isn’t famous for its Songkran festivities, but that doesn’t mean that the local people don’t know how to have a good time. Families gather together on the back of pick-up trucks as friendly water fights erupt. Colourful Songkran shirts are worn, paste is smeared on smiling faces and streets are awash with sanuk as well as water.
Songkran is a time for families to come together. Whether it’s to visit the temple and make merit or share precious moments. The holiday period is also an opportunity to let your hair down and relax with friends.
In Nakhon Si Thammarat, Songkran also incorporates a unique event that can’t be seen anywhere else in Thailand. Known as Hae Nang Kradan, this festival celebrates an ancient Brahmin tradition which dates back more than 1300 years.
Of course, this is Thailand so food is never too far away from any Songkran event. There are plenty of street parties too and some interesting fashion choices!
Over three days there was barely another overseas tourist in sight and there were plenty of warm smiles and laughter as people approached me wanting to practice their English skills and wish me good luck for the New Year. I had a wonderful time in Nakhon Si Thammarat and I intend to return soon to explore more of the province which made me so welcome during Songkran.