Water Throwing Festival In Bangkok
The water throwing festival in Thailand in called Songkran and is the Thai New Year.
Songkran, or the water throwing festival, is celebrated throughout Thailand but Bangkok is an excellent place to enjoy the frenzy that is Songkran.
Songkran is officially held on the 12th, 13th and 14th of April but it goes on for almost a week in Pattaya.
If you are coming to Bangkok and want to get into the spirit of the water throwing festival then you will have no problem getting involved: it's everywhere and it's pretty hard, but not impossible, to escape a soaking.
Tourists are an obvious target for the groups of Thais that stand on street corners or travel in the back of pickup trucks with huge barrells of water and an entire village sitting in the back..
Every mode of transport is fair game although the Skytrain and Subway might not allow it. If you are in a tuk tuk, bus or on the back of a motorbike, you're going to get a soaking.
Walking along the street will more than likely see you get a soaking but if you smile and ask not to get totally soaked, you might get a quick spray or someone rub damp talcum powder onto your face.
How To Behave During The water Throwing Festival.
During Songkran, everyone is fair game and you have to get into the festive mood. Getting angry with people for soaking you is not going to go down well, so if you get drenched, say nothing and walk on but as it is very hot in April, you might actually appreciate getting cooled down...
You can ask not to get soaked and most will oblige but if you are in a tuk tuk or in a bus, there's no asking and you're going to get blasted by others going in the opposite direction or from the side of the road - it's unavoidable.
All age groups get involved but kids and teenagers are generally the ones out in force.
Best Places To Enjoy Songkran in Bangkok.
The water throwing festival in Bangkok is everywhere but if you want to get crazy, then two places stand out in the tourist areas.
Silom Road, immediately at the Skytrain and subway stations at the Rama 4 end of Silom road is closed off during Songkran and it gets wild and crazy during the day and at night- as does Soi 4 and Patpong.
Thais and tourists merge together to create an overwhelming force of water throwing mayhem and if you venture into that area at street level, you are not going to walk away dry. No way.
If you stick to the skywalk, you can look down at the mayhem and keep relatively dry but it gets absolutely packed down at street level - packed !! it's not just a few dozen, it's literally hundreds and hundreds of people.
The water throwing festival on Kaosarn road is also a good place to go but there are loads of tourists which kind of spoils it...after all, it's a Thai thing and you're just soaking other tourists. Sure, there are loads of Thais there too but there are lots and lots of Thais looking to find a way to hook up with Westerners and a good number of ladyboys just dying to get their t-shirts wet so their fake breasts stick out. They absolutely love flaunting their bodies which are now as exposed as they can be and to some extent, the less than shy Thai women will try to flaunt there stuff.
It gets very, very busy at Kaosarn road and it's a bit manic, especially as it is three days of not being able to escape if that's where you are staying.
Surprisingly, bottled water is not used so it's dirty tap water or worse. Ear infections and sometimes eye infections can occur and you'll often see Thais with coins in their ears to protect them from the dirty water.
There is not a lot you can do about it other than to be aware of it.
Talcum Powder plays a big part of the water throwing festival in Bangkok. Mostly, the powder is mixed in with water to make a paste and the paste is then rubbed over your face. It soon dries, even on clothes so there is very little to worry about.
It is very common to see people walking around the streets, restaurants, bars and malls with their face covered in powder.
It is actually very cooling and in some ways, protects the skin from the sun so Thais do not mind having theor faces smeared in the stuff.
So, as a tourists, the chances are, someone is going to walk up to you are rub your face with a cold wet paste. Let them and it'll be dry enough to brush off in about 5 minutes.
If you are walking to a bar, noone will bat an eye lid if you sit at the bar, covered with a slimy paste all over your face and in your hair. It's totally normal.