Sunday, April 14, 2013

Songkran | Phuket | Thailand

In America, celebrating the New Year generally involves friends, fireworks and perhaps a little bubbly . This weekend, I discovered a far more satisfying way to ring in the new year than freezing in Times Square. Over here in Thailand, they offer everyone the opportunity to revert to the days of their childhood. Both the young and old participate and everyone is fair game. I am talking about the largest water fight in the world! Lasting for at least one day, sometimes two depending on where you are, Songkran is hands down my favorite festival in Asia!

I flew to Phuket to see this year's celebration. I began the morning with a loop around Pa Tong, just to check out what was going on. After being soaked twice on my motorbike in my short 20 minute drive, I knew I was going to have to bring out the heavy artillery. One roll of each plastic wrap and duct tape later, my camera was ready for action! In case you're wandering, this was a fairly successful technique. Aside from a few droplets which I attributed to the dense humidity in Thailand, my camera survived.

Tourists and locals alike took to the streets, soaking anyone within range, especially those who dared to make eye contact. Each store had a large tub of water out front for anyone to refill. Unfortunately, it has become a trend to place large ice blocks in those tubs which results in a frigid experience when you are hit!

Should you find yourself in Thailand for Songkran in the future, I have compiled some mental notes on how to survive to share with you.

1. Don't leave home without your gun and keep it filled. Be armed at all times. You will get wet and it's best for everyone involved if you can retaliate after being hit. You don't want to be this girl, who ran out of water.

2. If you are brave enough to drive a motorbike during on this particular day, use big trucks to your advantage! When approaching a water gang on the side of the road (or in the road), casually pass them using a truck full of people as your shield. Don't end up like these guys, unarmed:

In case the pictures haven't convinced you, you must add Songkran to your bucket list. Right now, go do it!

1 comment:

  1. Nice Songkran photos! I have always been scared to use my "big camera" even wrapped up in tape and plastic. Have tried with a Canon powershot in a clear plastic bag and tried with a cheap underwater camera too. But it's best to get right in amongst it on the street!