Saturday, April 16, 2011


The past three days have been the celebration of Thai New Year, called Songkran. The tradition is to sprinkle water on someone which is to give them a blessing; although it has turned into a giant water soaking battle. For the first day I was going over to my friends house for a bbq, they live in the red light district so I knew it might be a little crazy. Never having experienced Songkran in the city before, I didn't know what to expect. I double ziplocked my phone and camera in my purse, as I had been previously warned. I ventured onto my street hoping the buses were still running. The bus was real empty...very unusual. A the next stop down, two little kids with big buckets of water tossed them right into the bus. I saw them coming so I ran to the back/other side of the bus. But the other foreigner appeared to not know what was going on and was completely soaked head to toe. I felt kinda bad.... I realized maybe the bus isn't that smart, you're basically sitting ducks to be hosed with water.

I made it to the BTS (skytrain) but saw many people with their super soakers ready. I got off and had to walk a couple blocks to my friends street. On the way I got totally attacked. 2 buckets were tossed at me and a man ran up and put this sticky paste/plaster all over my face. I reached the corner and looked down the street, it was wall to wall people with guns and buckets on both sides...there was no way getting down it without being completely drenched. If I had known I would have worn a swim suit and wrapped my purse in a plastic bag. I called Janie and she said she'd meet me and go down another street. But standing still also makes you a target for being was madness. We made it down the other street and ran across into the building, making it ok. Then we made water balloons and dropped them from the roof and sprayed people with our hose from the roof. It was really fun. :D

The bbq was great and with such great girls. It was such a blessing to be able to hang out. Then I had to venture back out to get home. I made it out okay but then I did get baby powdered all over. Thais love to use ice water, that plaster stuff, and baby powder, on top of the regular water shooting. On the whole way home I was constantly looking over my shoulder and around the never know whose going to pop out with a bucket of water or powder. It's like an intense city wide spy game, it's so crazy. People also drive around in their pickup truck with giant barrels of water and they throw buckets on everyone they drive past. The poor motorbikes just get completely soaked. Sadly my camera had real low battery so I only got a few photos, plus it's so risky pulling out your camera. :(

It wouldn't be so bad, but they often use the nasty river water so when you get wet it smells and many many people get sick after Songkran because there's so much bacteria/disease in the water and it gets in your eyes.

The next couple days I was more prepared so it wasn't as bad. My street really gets involved, they have a large inflatable pool filled with water that they draw from to have a never ending supply. One night I really needed some food, so I went across the street and literally had to run away from people with the buckets and plaster, screaming May Aw Kha!! May Aw Kha!!--meaning I don't want! I barely made it dry. Now I totally understand why some people hide away in their house until the festival is over. It's so crazy I can't believe the whole country takes part in it. It really is a lot of fun, and the Thais are so genuinely happy and laughing and really enjoying themselves. It's definitely a uniting experience.

this is from the roof where we surprised people with water balloons

this is the red light district and they've got loud thumping music blaring all day

this last photo is not mine, but such a fun shot


Eliza said...

That sounds so intense, crazy, and fun! What amazing experiences you are having :D

The Taylors said...

What a fun festival! I think the U.S. should adopt it!