The much talked about water festival in Thailand is definitely not overrated. Most people I know described it as wet, wild, fun but more importantly, an event you’ve gotta experience at least once in your lifetime.
When I got the opportunity to check it out for one of my first shoots with Go Asean, I was thrilled! Not knowing exactly what to expect, I went with an open mind. I was in Bangkok on the last day of the 3-day festival. Just a little background of Songkran, in case you’re not aware of it; it marks the beginning of the Thai New Year and the signifance of water is to wash away all the bad luck and sins from the past so that you can begin the year, fresh and free from negativity!
My day started at one of the temples in Bangkok where I bathed the Buddha and did a little prayer. Then, it was time to hit the streets! Wherever you go, you’d have people shooting at each other with water guns or splashing buckets of water. Even ice water at times! Well, I wasn’t complaining because it was also the hottest time of the year in Bangkok.
It was such a joyous ocassion because when I looked around, all I could see were smiling faces. It was also a good reminder of how much fun it was to behave like a kid again and to put all differences and shyness aside. Oh did I mention about the scented colored powder that is smeared all over your face? Yeah, I have never had so many strangers touching my face all at the same time as I was cruising by a crowded street in a tuk tuk!
I have to admit, I was underprepared. I got my watergun at the very last minute. Therefore, here are a few tips for you guys who intend to visit Thailand during Songkran:
If you really do not want to get wet, perhaps you could try avoiding crowded areas but there’s no guarantee that you’d stay dry the entire day. Might as well not leave your hotel room! But what’s the fun in that? If my words aren’t convincing enough, hopefully this video will change your mind.