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LINK – SONGKRAN 2015 ARCHIVE
SONGKRAN PATTAYA IN A NUTSHELL
- FESTIVAL RUNS BETWEEN THE 10TH – 19TH OF APRIL
- CELEBRATION OF THE THAI NEW YEAR
- PATTAYA’S BIGGEST PARTY OF THE YEAR
- WORLD’S LARGEST WATER FIGHT
SONGKRAN = THE THAI NEW YEAR
Happy New Year or Sar-wa-dee- bpee- mai! [In Thai]
I have to start by saying that, what goes on in Pattaya during the Songkran celebration is not really what you would associate with traditional Thai culture; this is the culture of a new generation in a city that loves to go to extremes and pushing limits of fun to the max.
LINK – WHERE IS PATTAYA
THE THAI NEW YEAR
It is a time of cleansing and cleaning, making everything new and fresh in your life, a time for eating, drinking, merriment and goodwill towards others and participants usually wet other people by throwing water directly on them or use talcum powder mixed with water to form a paste, used to smear on the faces of those they wish good fortune and happiness for.
It quickly turns into an outrageous celebration of life and freedom of expression and a wonderful excuse to cool down and party hard.
LINK – PATTAYA STREET LAYOUT
CHOOSE YOUR WEAPON
Water pistol, super soakers, and a whole host of water related arsenals start to appear in shops for sale as early as 6-8 weeks in advance of the Songkran event and start in price from 10 baht -600 baht.
You will also see the little zip bags for sale, these 30b bags are for protecting your phone, money or anything that doesn’t mix well with water and are an essential item to have with you at all times, as you won’t know when or where a bucket of water will be thrown over you and thousands of phones are damage every year from water.
SONGKRAN AND WAN LAI
Officially celebrated in Pattaya on the 19th of April every year, it unofficially starts as early as the 10th of April; it is the last big event before Low season officially starts.
Songkran gradually builds in intensity and enthusiasm day by day along with daily temperature, as more and more people become involved to escape the daily heat and the fun spreads all over Pattaya until the 15th of April.
After the 15th, Songkran becomes the “Wan Lai” festival, meaning – “Day Flows” in Thai, but we still just call it Songkran.
The 19th is when the whole city becomes involved in the best water fight on the planet, hundreds of thousands of people jam into the streets and Soi’s of Pattaya, hurling water with anything that can hold water to take part in the biggest event of the year. Accommodation maybe hard to find again during this period.
LINK – WHAT IS HIGH AND LOW SEASON
TIME TO GET WET
Bowls, buckets, water pistols, giant PVC syringes, hoses and pumps are used to throw icey cold water on anyone who happens to be in range and the ultimate prize is to claim the trophy for soaking someone who is completely dry and doesn’t actually want to get wet. Yeah, got him!
LINK – WHERE IS SOI 7 & 8
WHAT’S YOU’RE STRATAGY
There are usually 2 groups that face off during Songkran –
1. SIT, WAIT, AMBUSH
the 1st group, consisting of Thai’s and tourist, who likes to base themselves near a good water supply and a massive water storage container that can be filled with 20kg blocks of ice all day long, the location would ideally and preferably be near a bar in the shade or better still, in a bar where they can refill their cannons with water and their bellies with beer.
Here they can sit and wait with their friends, waiting for their next targets to arrive and ambush them, sending them squealing to the next spat zone in a hail of super cold water, shot by high powered super soakers, ahhh it’s a tough job but someone’s gotta do it.
2. STAY MOBILE, HIT AND RUN
The 2nd group consisting of Thais and tourists, who brings their water to the battle anyway they can, some come on foot, with small to medium sized water pistols, and anything up to 10 liter tank strapped to their backs, doing the old hit and run method soaking the enemy and then falling back to safety when coming under fire.
LINK – WHERE IS SOI 6 PATTAYA
OTHER TARGETS AND PLAYERS
Then there is the family of 4-6 arriving on the motor bike with the side car and all armed with super soakers, there strategy is safety in numbers and will all focus on the same target in retaliation when attacked, they make easy targets when the traffic becomes gridlocked and pay dearly for their folly.
Another easy target is the Baht bus full of tourist, they are sitting ducks.
Then there is the family of 10 in the back of a Dmax or Hilux 4 x 4 with a couple of 44 gallon drums of water in the back, they look pretty formidable and not to be trifled with, but rest assured, they go through their water pretty quick and can be completely out of ammo making perfect targets for a quick dowsing.
Finally, beware of the guys who have hired a water truck with a 20,000 liter tank on the back and a 10 kw pump and nozzle in the arsenal, these guy’s will drench any stronghold in a heartbeat and will take no prisoners, there is nothing to do but take cover until the onslaught finishes and have a good laugh.
SONGKRAN IS HOT
Luckily this madness takes place during the hottest time of the year and temperatures can hit the 40 degree mark, so a freezing cold drenching can be the perfect remedy for an otherwise stinking hot day and lifts the mood from ‘gee it’s hot, I think my face is melting off’ to ‘Let’s get down to Soi 7 and drink beer, wet beautiful girls and get wet by beautiful girls, yell, scream and party, and have a cracking good time’, what could be better than that?
SONGKRAN IS A DANGEROUS TIME
Songkran is a lot of fun and we should all try and keep it that way, but unfortunately every year people get hurt in accidents and many people die during the Songkran period, there are many alcohol related deaths and accidents, so please, keep your drinking separate from your driving.
The road toll in Thailand during Songkran every year averages about 350 deaths, it is the single most dangerous time to be travelling on the roads around Thailand as well as Pattaya.
LINK – MEDICAL TREATMENT IN PATTAYA
DELIBERATELY HURTING OTHERS
Yes, this happens, there is always one bad apple in the cart that likes to push things past fun and actually hurt others by shooting high-pressure water cannons into other people’s faces and eyes at close range, if that’s you, don’t do it, because it really isn’t in the spirit of Songkran but highlights the need for good eye protection and safety.
Glasses, sunnies, ray bands and a visor with straps attached are essential as well as sun protection like a long sleeved shirt and a hat, and believe it or not, even with all the water you will get showered with, you will still need to drink some good quality water from the mini mart to stop from getting dehydrated.
LINK – PATTAYA’S NEWEST HOSPITAL
Ok see you next Songkran.
SONGKRAN 2015 HIGHLIGHTS
DAY 1 – 10TH APRIL 2015
DAY 2 – 11TH APRIL 2015
DAY 3 – 12TH APRIL 2015
DAY 4 – 13TH APRIL 2015
DAY 5 – 14TH APRIL 2015
DAY 6 – 15TH APRIL 2015
DAY 7 – 16TH APRIL 2015
DAY 8 – 17TH APRIL 2015
DAY 9 – 18TH APRIL 2015
DAY 10 – 19TH APRIL 2015
SONGKRAN 2013 HIGHLIGHTS
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