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Around the world travel, Backpacking, Bucket List, long term travel, Songkran, Southeast Asia, Thailand, Travel

Songkran Water Festival

From Bali, I made my way to the Philippines with a short stopover in Phuket for Songkran. Now, Phuket really isn’t much to write home about. Although a popular destination for tourists visiting Thailand, it lacks any real character and what might have been charming at one time has now become overshadowed by huge resorts and a burgeoning sex industry. Luckily though, it was Songkran, Thailand’s annual water festival, so it was a little easier to just turn a blind eye to the surrounding environment and celebrate a truly authentic Thai holiday.

I made my way to Phuket via KL, and while boarding my flight, I got chatting to two Malaysian girls who were headed to Songkran as well. They told me to find them when we landed, so we could split a taxi to Patong Beach. I did just that, and on the way to the hotel, they told me what to expect.

Songkran is a water festival. Originally, it was a celebration of a new solar year and Thais used to sprinkle water on Buddha for good luck, but slowly this has evolved to spraying, or should I say dousing each other with water, in a loosely arranged street parade.

The girls told me to go with them to their hotel, drop my bags, and then we would purchase our water guns and head out on the street prepared to fight back. Thankfully, I had some warning because the walk from the taxi to the hotel alone left me drenched, but all the more excited to get out there and join in. The rest of the day was spent fighting Thais and other tourists with water guns, water balloons and buckets of water….a great New Year’s celebration – better than a balldrop if you ask me!