In many countries New Year is celebrated with fireworks but in Southeast Asia it’s celebrated with water…and not just a splash here and there, but three days of the biggest street water fights in the world! Locals and backpackers alike take to the streets with hoses, buckets, makeshift water pistols and Super Soakers for Thai New Year also known as the annual Songkran Festival.
Water is symbolic of washing away the bad luck and misfortunes of the year before and making everything fresh and clean for a great year a head. Traditionally this meant spring cleaning your house, the local temple, and sprinkling a little water on members of your family and close neighbours, however this has clearly escalated into something much more festive!
This year Songkran takes place from April 13 -15 and we’ve put together a list of the places you want to be celebrating in Thailand:
Chiang Mai holds the biggest, most recognized Thailand Water Festival Parade. Celebrations take place in the heart of the city, around the moat and in Urban Culture Street.
City Moat, Chiang Mai, 11-16 April, 9am – 10pm
Arm yourselves with the biggest water gun you can find and take to Khao San Road in Bangkok! The whole road is turned into an almighty water fight, along with DJs, dancing, and a big old soaking wet party! If you want to experience Songkran with the locals instead of the tourists, celebrate in Silom Road instead. There are also other Songkran celebrations taking place throughout the city.
Khao San Road, 13-15 April, 10am – late
Silom Road, 13-15 April, 10am – late
Pattaya City celebrates Songkran on the 19th of April. Aside from the splashing and soaking there are also other events taking place in the city such as the popular Miss Songkran beauty pagent. Lady boys and ladys are all invited to compete!
North, Central and South Beach, 11-20 April, 9am – late
Wash away all the bad luck from the previous year with a good spritzing from water guns, water cannons, and buckets along the infamous Bangla Road in Patong Beach.
Patong Beach, Soi Bangla, 12-13 April, 10am – late
Compared to Songkran celebrations in Chiang Mai and Bangkok, Koh Samui can seem a little tame but there’s still plenty going on. Ark Bar Beach Resort is usually the place to hit for the biggest party.
Chaweng Beach – 13-16 April, 8am – 10pm
Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar
Songkran is also celebrated in Laos (called Pi Mai Lao), Myanmar (called Thingyan) and in Cambodia (called Maha Songkran). Each a little different but all involve copious amounts of water and fun.
If you’re travelling with Stray in April you’ll be issued one of our standard regulation water pistols so that you can bring the rain!
If you’re in Southeast Asia from April 13 prepare to get absolutely soaked and have the time of your life with the other 2million international visitors that Thailand will welcome over Songkran. Just make sure your phone is in a waterproof bag!