• | Apr 07, 2016

What is Songkran?

April is Thailand’s hottest month, and marks the transition between the end of the dry season and the start of the rice-growing season. As such, it was traditionally considered the beginning of the New Year. It’s a time to pay respect, let off steam and celebrate. That means you can expect two very different kinds of events during Songkran: mad, country-wide water wars and serene traditional ceremonies at temples. Here is our full guide to enjoying the Thai New Year.

Traditional Festivities


“Traditional” and “Songkran in Bangkok” don’t really sit well together, as the festival has become an excuse for an all-out three-day water war, but this year the Tourism Authority of Thailand is pushing to bring back the more sedate side of Songkran.

Aside from offering alms to monks and bathing sacred Buddha images at Sanam Luang and Nagaraphirom Park near The Grand Palace, there will also be cultural activities taking place across the central stretch of the Chao Phray River under the name Water Festival 2016. Temples including Wat Arun, Wat Prayoon and Wat Kalayanamitr will each have their own activities, along with riverside shopping promenades Tha Maharaj, Yodpiman Riverwalk and Asiatique the Riverfront. What to expect? Local food, traditional games, Thai dance performances and a far more considered approach to water splashing than you’ll find out on the mean streets of Silom and Khao San. There’ll also be free water transportation running between each of the seven venues.

Water Wars

Khao San Road

The entire length of this backpacker haven turns into an all-day water-fight zone (10am-late) for the duration of the festival, packed with huge crowds of teenagers and international backpackers. Being one of the city’s main centers for nightlife, expect plenty of alcohol served from the bars lining the street as well as music from live DJs and lots of dancing. 
Singha Tip: Make sure you protect your smartphone with a waterproof plastic wrap. Get yours for free at FU Bar, Bar Next Door, Mulligan's, Superflow Beach Club and Bua Sa-ard. And make sure to check out Singha's complete guide to partying in Khao San this Songkran.


The heart of the central business district, stretching from Sala Daeng to Narathiwat intersections (MRT Silom/BTS Sala Daeng), transforms into what is likely the largest and wildest crowd celebrating Songkran. Starting from 2pm until late, the street gets very busy with university students, young adults and the city’s sizeable LGBT population taking part in the massive water-fight. For those less inclined to get wet, the view of the crowd from the overarching BTS stations can serve as quite a spectacle.

After Dark Parties


One of the epicenters of the city’s clubbing scene, this is where the young party crowd tends to go after a day of splashing around town. With separate parties taking place at every club from around 9pm until late, expect the water splashing to continue in and around the clubs, which include Taksura, Route 66, Live RCA, Onyx and many more.
More info: Bangkok Tourist Information Center, 02-225-7621, www.bangkoktourist.com
Singha Tip: Looking for a little refreshment? Don't forget to stop by Taksura and Route 66 to grab some Singha beer. 

W Bangkok

The chic hotel's annual festive pool party, this year dubbed “Songkran Splash Away 2016” is always one of the best in town. They collaborate with local party collective the Kolour Krew to bring a lively, cool crowd to the hotel’s “Wet Deck,”where you’ll find live electronic music and specially crafted cocktails.
Tickets are B700-900 from www.wbangkok.com. April 13, 1pm-8pm. W Hotel Bangkok, 106 Sathorn Rd. 02-344-4000

G Circuit SK10  

This annual gay party takes place over three days (Apr 15-17) and stretches across multiple venues in  town, including huge opening and closing parties at CentralWorld and pool parties at Sofitel So and Double Tree by Hilton. Be prepared for lots of topless locals and tourists dancing the night away.
Tickets are available at www.gcircuit.com.

S20 Festival

Get a dose of EDM at the three-day S20 Songkran Music Festival, taking place this year from Apr 11-14 with the Dutch progressive house DJ Nicky Romero headlining the night as his official debut in Bangkok. He’ll be joined by other big names including Afrojack, Deorro, Makj, Quintino and many more.

Tickets are available at s20festival.com. Show Oasis Arena, Rama 9 Rd.


Singha Tips

Songkran is definitely the wildest time of the year in Thailand. And the most Thai of all beers has got to be Singha. So if you want to make sure your Songkran is the full, original Thai experience, make sure you enjoy it with a Singha, the original Thai beer. Just be careful with that bottle or glass: it would be a shame to get water in your drink!

Here are some more tips for a safe Songkran:

• Even though the government has requested that people keep their water splashing to dedicated zones, just be aware that you are seen as fair game anywhere and anytime from April 13-17 with tourists a popular target. The only way to guarantee staying dry is to stay indoors.

• The smearing of powdered white chalk, traditionally used by monks in rituals, on strangers was common in the past but men should refrain from doing so to women they don’t know.

• Spraying water inside shopping malls and on public transport is prohibited.

• Get more information about Songkran and updated events across Thailand at www. tourismthailand.org or call 1672.


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