Sa-wad-dee-pee-mai jow!!! Happy New year Thailand!
I’m now into the 3rd day of celebrating Thai new year (Songkran) which involves everybody regressing to children to join in the biggest water fight ever! I believe waterfights are held all over Thailand but in Chiang Mai its mainly around the moat area. Tonns of people joined in, kids, old men, grannies, monks, thais and foreigners all come to together to soak each other over and over. All the bars are open, music blaring, and ice cold water is smashed into your face, whilst someone cheerfully calls out happy new year! Its a really happy celebration, and i think the best part is everyone joins in, no one is exempt. In fact the rule at the hostel was if someone’s dry they’re just asking to be soaked! In the morning everyone in the hostel worked together to terrorise the people on the main road outside. Our rules were not in the faces of people driving mopeds (dangerous) but passengers were definitely allowed a facefull. Old western men with young Thai brides, people wearing tie-dye and people with football shirts of opposite teams were all decided by the people in the hostel as good targets too! The best was when a songtaow full of people (public busses) went by whereby the driver would slow down so we could launch buckets of water through the windows, great fun!
In the afternoon we made our way to Tha Pae gate, where everyone was on foot. There were huge stages with music pumping out and there had been a huge foam party, and people were going along on floats giving out free stuff; hats, water pistols and plastic cases so things didn’t get wet! The amount of people there was crazy, and water was constantly being dunked on us from all directions, some of it dirty river water, some with ice in that was freezing, some perfumed that people used little silver containers to pour on us so we were blessed. We stopped in a bar to refuel with water, and had a few drinks and jelly shots, then carried on to follow the crowd and ended up at the end of a procession through the old town, where all the more religious celebrations were happening. People danced in thai dress, and the monks sat outside the temples blessing people with holy water.
In the evening all the water from the songkran festivities had turned into rain showers, as the humidity had soaked all the water up. Ironically people were soaked from water fights but still walking around with umbrellas. When the sun went down people stopped playing and the saturday night market opened up right near the hostel, so i was able to buy lots of gifts and souvenirs.
Sorry for lack of photos, didn’t want to risk camera getting soaked too! Below; Some of the guests at the hostel, and Monkey playing in a bucket (Owners of the hostel daughter!)