Songkran, the world’s largest water fight

I hope you all had a great weekend!  This weekend we celebrated Songkran…the Buddhist New Year.  I honestly was not even aware of this holiday before arriving in Thailand.

Songkran Festival revolves around the Buddhist New Year and is celebrated in most South East Asian countries from April 13-15.  Traditionally this holiday is about visiting family, paying respect to elders and celebrating new life.  It is customary to cleanse Buddha images and statues within your house by pouring water mixed with fresh scents on them.  This practice is said to bring in good luck and prosperity in the New Year. It’s all about cleansing and starting the new year fresh.  But over the years this has evolved into an enormous water fight and one of the craziest parties of the year in Thailand.  People line the streets and throw water to celebrate.

RG and I headed to the “party” beach in Phuket, Patong, for the festivities.  We thought we were prepared but had no idea what we were walking into.  From stepping out of the taxi and walking maybe 100 feet to our hotel door we were soaked.  And when I say soaked I mean to the bone, I was so glad I wore a bathing suit under my dress because that definitely came in handy.  People were standing on the streets with trash cans full of ice water and dumping bowls of it our your heads, while others have massive Super Soakers with long-range that were then hitting you from the side.  A few of the streets were even shut down and just slammed with people throwing and squirting water everywhere.

We initially started off with a small little water gun…

The water gun we started off with
The water gun we started off with

…and quickly had to upgrade to the two RG is holding in the first picture.  They really still didn’t do much justice to the guns, hoses and buckets that were out there.  I cannot explain how much water was exchanged, I really hope no one wore nice clothes or shoes out there…because they probably wouldn’t have made the trip home.  After an entire afternoon getting soaked, drinking beer and taking in the festivities we headed back to the hotel to freshen up (a.k.a put dry clothes on), grab dinner and head out for the night.  It turns out there was no reason to change clothes though, because contrary to what our hotel hosts said the water fight does not end at dusk!

Patong Beach
Patong Beach…people were in the ocean in their clothes because they were so drenched
View from above
View from above, during the day…see all the water on the ground

I have definitely seen my fair share of water guns for a while!  But it was such a fun day and something that I have never experienced before.  The kids were fun to watch, they loved sneak attacks on the adults out there and when else can they throw water at anyone they want?!?!

Besides the water fight Patong Beach in general is absolutely beautiful.  The sand is softer and whiter than on this side of the island and they have beach bars as far as you can see.  It is a bit more expensive because there is more tourism but I can’t wait to go back when it is just a normal weekend to lay out and experience the beach town.

The craziness of the bars that night
The craziness of the bars that night…floors so slippery most people ended up on the floor
Water, madness and beer
Water, madness and beer
Patong Beach
Patong Beach

One thought on “Songkran, the world’s largest water fight

  1. Been to twice now, first time was in June 2004, then back at Christmas 2006. What a great holiday spot! It suielpps for everybody: if your searching for cordial Thai people there is plenty of them, if your looking for well-thought-of food there is quite a little and night life is outstanding. If you want a low-priced vacation, you can have it if you need a pricey vacation, you can have it as well. My mom is totally in love with the place and has just bought into a bar over there. My kids love it as well. What a wonderful place to celebrate New Year!

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