This was my third Songkran festival that I attended on the first day of Songkran – usually the 13th of April. I like the area around Loi Kroh Road near the moat as this seems to be the party epicenter for Songkran in Chiang Mai for foreigners. All bars which are normally not allowed to open during the day time are open from around lunchtime with music pumping.
My Songkran Video Compilation
This video shows me videoing on the main corner of Loi Kroh Road, walking down Loi Kroh Road and me driving around the moat. Please note that due to copyright issues I cannot play the music from the bars in this video.
First Rule. If you go out in Songkran in the first 3 days or even a few days before that in rural areas you must expect to get wet even if you say no! It is very dangerous on the road with many people, unfortunately, drink driving. If you are on a motorbike, you will be targeted with buckets of water. I like to drive around in a car as you don’t get targeted to much. For clothing wear bathers/swimmers. Pack a dry bag with a change of clothes and a towel plus a waterproof phone satchel. All the bars will ask for money upfront for drinks so have your cash easy available.
So a few years ago I was attempting to get into Mad Dog British Pub in the old city the meet a mate. Traffic was a nightmare so I used my local knowledge to duck into some soi’s or lanes, as you would call them. Coming out on the main road near the river, coming up the Narawat Bridge I noticed there were no cars, traffic or police. It was empty. So I thought great. I turned left onto the empty bridge and looking ahead I see thousands of people waiting for the parade to start. In my rear view mirror was thousands of people, floats, police, water trucks. Oh shit. I was stuck. Luckily I was in a heavily tinted car. I put on the hazard lights and ducked in behind the main float with a fire truck behind me spraying water all around including over my car. People were dancing on both sides of the car. Continuing to look like a VIP escort car, I was able to safely exit the parade about 45 mins later 🙂
Not only is Songkran celebrated here in Thailand but it is also celebrated in Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia, Sri Lanka and specific parts of India, Vietnam, and China. Songkran celebrates the New Year as it coincides with the start of the monsoonal or wet season, the start of the rice farming season or new year of farming. The word Songkran actually originates from the Sanskrit word Saṃkrānti which means transformation or change.
Would I visit again?
Yes. I just had two trips, one to Australia and one to Tokyo around Songkran. Though I made sure I was back for the 13th to party in Chiang Mai 🙂