SONGKRAN is literally around the corner, and while the festivity in Phuket is much shorter than its counterpart in the north, there is still plenty of fun guaranteed on April 13th, 2017. For those of you who read the word Songkran for the first time; it is no less than the traditional Thai New Year, a water-based festival where youngsters and adults alike pour water on each other, a symbol that washes off the sins and brings good luck for the coming year.
We have selected three different areas where you can enjoy the celebration in Phuket. Regardless of where you choose to be, please remember to place all your valuables into sealed packaging and drive with extreme caution, as the roads tend to be wet and slippery.
Patong – Bangla Road
Bangla Road probably offers the biggest, wildest, wettest celebration on the whole island. From the early morning till late at night, the street is packed with tourists, expats and venues’ owners who cheerfully splash each other with stone cold water. It is great fun, but be prepared to have no rest, as there is no water-free zone. So grab your water gun and get ready for a unique experience one should try at least once in a lifetime.
Rawai Beach – Wiset Road
While Patong may be fun, some may want to take part in the water fun but still be able to have a rest at some stage during the day. Rawai is a great alternative, as the action happens exclusively on the main street. Need a rest between two splashes, or just some time off to reload your water machine? Head inside one of the numerous bars alongside the road, where water is most likely prohibited inside the venue. Cool off with a fresh drink, stretch yourself, and it’s time to go back for some more fun.
Chalong – Chalong Temple
If you are looking to experience a more traditional approach to the festivity, Chalong Temple is a great place to learn more about the original tradition of Songkran. There, you will have the opportunity to cleanse the Buddha image with scented water and create your flag of good luck and place it in the dune of sand located within the grounds of the temple. As Chalong is really close to Rawai, it may be a good idea to celebrate at the temple in the morning, and then head up to Rawai for some great afternoon water fun.
To all of you reading this post, I would like to wish you good health and prosperity during the Songkran Festival 2017, and as we say it in Thai: “Sawasdee Pee Mai Kha”!
Top: Tourists and locals are having a splashing good time in Phuket
First inset: Water battles rage from early in the morning till late at night on Patong’s Bangla Road. Photo: Lauren Irons
Second inset: Water fun also reaches its heights at Rawai Beach.
Third inset: Plant a flag for good luck at the grounds of Cholong Temple this Songkran.
By Nattha Thepbamrung