A typical water fight in Bangkok during Songkran
Little water guns can’t compete with fire hoses.
You’re gonna get wet!
But today, Songkran is better known as the ‘world’s biggest water fight’. This may sound boastful, but when you experience it at ground level, you’ll quickly agree. It’s widely understood that the street water fights that take place today are just exaggerations of the concept of sprinkling water on people to bring luck. Things have evolved way beyond that now, and everyone throws or shoots water at any moving target, using large buckets and water guns.
Fire trucks bring out the big water guns
Songkran for Newbies:
Five Useful Tips
1 – Face the fact that you will get wet. Know that up front and be prepared for it physically and mentally.
2 – You should wear lightweight clothing like you would to go to the beach. It’s usually quite hot out during the day anyway, so heavy fabrics are not helpful, especially when they get wet. Thais usually wear very colourful clothing, similar to flowered Hawaiian shirts.
3 – As ugly as they may be, Crocs or other close-toed sandals work best, since your feet will be wet all day, and often get stepped on in large crowds.
4 – It’s wise to keep your valuables in watertight bags. You can pick up plastic pouches with lanyards in most places in Thailand during Songkran. This will hold your phone, money, hotel card, etc. We can’t go outside without all that stuff, so you may as well do your best to keep them safe and dry.
5 – It won’t be easy to shoot photos with a mobile phone, so forget that. But if you can get a compact waterproof camera or a GoPro camera, that will be good. You can also get large waterproof cases for your DSLR, but those can run into the thousands of dollars. I’ve used a plastic rain pouch designed for a DSLR, but it didn’t really keep my camera dry, and I won’t use one again.
The best way to enjoy Songkran is to just relax and have fun. But play fair and be kind. You’re taking part in a massive water fight, so it can be overwhelming. Let people spray you, and cover you in white paste. It’s all part of the experience.