Where to Celebrate Songkran in Thailand in 2018

Songkran, a.k.a. the Water Festival, is the Thai New Year, falling in April, the hottest month of the year in the Southeast Asian country.  What’s it all about? It’s more than just the world’s biggest water fight. Check out where to stay and how to have the most fun – while staying safe.

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Songkran in Ayutthaya, Ayuttaya Province, Thailand. Photo Credit: JJ Harrison.

The Water Festival is celebrated in many Southeast Asian countries including some parts of Southwestern China. In Thailand, it is known as Songkran, or the Thai New Year.

The Water Festival runs from 13 to 15 April. While it is celebrated throughout Thailand, in some parts of the country, such as Pattaya, it starts early, running up to one week.

Many hotels in Thai beach resorts offer special packages to cater to Songkran celebrants.

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Savitri Ramyarupa, Managing Director of The Chatrium Hotels and Residences, leads management and team membersis celebrating the Songkran Festival through the customary pouring of water, symbolizing hopes for a prosperous and happy beginning to the Thai New Year at Chatrium Residence Sathon Bangkok in Bangkok, Thailand.

Traditionally, Thais returned home to visit their families during the Water Festival.

They paid their respects to their parents or grandparents by pouring scented water onto their hands and feet.

They also visited Buddhist temples and poured scented water on the hands and feet of monks.

One Great Big Water Fight

In recent years, Songkran has turned into one great big playful water fight, with locals, expats, and visiting tourists joining in the fun by splashing and/or spraying each other with water.

So why water fights?

Thailand reputedly has only three seasons: hot, hotter, and hottest, and April is absolutely, positively the hottest month of the year in the Land of Smiles.

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So water fights are a great – and very fun – way to cool off when temperatures soaring into the stratosphere.

You can celebrate Songkran practically anywhere you go in Thailand, but a few places are better than others.

Please click on hotel or your favourite booking websites below to check availability, last minutes deals, and guest reviews.

Top Four Places to Celebrate Songkran in Thailand

1. Bangkok

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Marriott Marquis Queen’s Park overlooks  Benchasiri Park in Central Bangkok. Photo Credit: Accidental Travel Writer.

As the  Nation’s Capital, Bangkok is one of the best places to celebrate Songkran – the festival seems to grow in popularity each year.

These are supposed to be the best places to enjoy water fights in the Big Mango: Khaosan Road, Silom Road, and Royal City Avenue (RCA).

If I had to choose a hotel to stay at while celebrating Songkran, however, I’d opt for the Marriott Marquis Queen’s Park!

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There is a back entrance to the Marriott Marquis Queens Park from Benchasiri Park. Photo Credit: Accidental Travel Writer.

The reason is simple: it’s got direct access (through the back entrance) to one of Bangkok’s loveliest parks, Benchasiri Park, a.k.a. Queen’s Park.

What better location to celebrate the Thai New Year? You can splash until you’re ready to crash.

Then you can sneak in through the hotel’s back door to your hotel room without having to ride the BTS in your sopping wet clothes!

Click here for more accommodation ideas …

2. Pattaya

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Mercure Pattaya has one of the largest swimming pools in the seaside resort.

Hedonistic Pattaya always seems to jump start things. Take Songkran, for example. It always seems to get underway there a couple of days before anywhere else, running a full week.

So what better spot to stay during Songkran than the Mercure Pattaya, which has the biggest hotel swimming pool in town?

Click here for more accommodation options …

3. Koh Samui

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Chaweng Beach is going to be where most of the action is in Koh Samui. For a more laid-back vibe, with a background beat, why not check the vibes at the very trendy W Koh Samui?

  • W Koh Samui – 4/1 Moo 1, Tambol Maenam, Surat Thani, Koh Samui, Thailand.

Click here for more accommodation options …

4. Phuket

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Naiyang Beach in Naiyang National Park in Phuket is popular with locals. Photo Credit: Accidental Travel Writer.

If you want to celebrate Songkran like a local, you can’t beat Phuket’s Naiyang National Park. You’ll have it practically all to yourself most days.

But on weekends and holidays, this is where the locals come to have picnics with friends and family.

Wouldn’t this be a great spot for a water fight?

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The swimming pool at the Phuket Marriott Resort and Spa, Nai Yang Beach, goes on for days. Photo Credit: Accidental Travel Writer.

After you’ve had enough “hot fun in the summertime”, you can head back to one of the nearby posh hotels such as the Phuket Marriott Resort and Spa, Nai Yang Beach, where an endless swimming pool awaits.

After that, you can have dinner at one of the resort’s outstanding restaurants!

Click here for more accommodation options …

Arrive early and check out the following tips to ensure a memorial day.

How to Enjoy Songkran

Songkran is supposed to be fun, but some celebrants get carried away. Adding menthol to water, for example, is not unheard of. 

Some celebrants throw ice cubes or hot water – definitely not advised!

Another common problem is pollution. The water thrown at Songkran is often stagnant so eye infections sometimes result. Why not wear swimming goggles?

There are also many accidents because of slippery sidewalks and roads. Footwear is advised, but make sure it is waterproof and make sure the soles have good traction! Flipflops can sometimes get very slippery when wet!

Here are some helpful do’s and don’t …

  • Do Bring Buckets
  • Don’t Bring Sieves
  • Do Use Garden Hoses
  • Don’t Use High-pressure Hoses
  • Do Use Water Pistols
  • Don’t Use High-pressure Water Guns
  • Do Throw Ice Water
  • Don’t Throw Ice Cubes
  • Do Throw Room Temperature Water
  • Don’t Throw Hot Water
  • Do Wear Lightweight Clothes
  • Don’t Wear Denin or Other Heavy Fabrics
  • Do Wear Beach Attire
  • Don’t Wear White – Unless You Wear Something Underneath
  • Do Bring a Waterproof Camera
  • Don’t Bring an Expensive Camera (Unless It’s Waterproof)
  • Do Wear Rubber Footwear with Traction 
  • Do Wear Swimming Goggles to Prevent Eye Infections
  • Do Buy a Waterproof Necklace to Keep Your Valuables In 

So have fun, but be careful! And whatever you do, keep your sense of humour!

 

 

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4 Replies to “Where to Celebrate Songkran in Thailand in 2018”

  1. Man this looks like such great fun, although the first thing that comes to mind is how you are told not to drink the water in Thailand…..

  2. It does look like fun, Glenn, especially when you consider that the festival occurs during the hottest month of the year in Thailand, which is April. However the water is, in fact, often polluted, and eye infections are common. Also, slick streets result in lots of accidents. And if that weren’t bad enough, some people put menthol in the water!!!

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