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Songkran in Krabi 2017

Thai New Year from April 13 – 15, 2017

Songkran in Krabi is celebrated from April 13th to 15th. This festival is the celebration of Thai New Year, according to the Buddhist/Hindu solar calendar. Originally, Songkran was a quiet celebration praising the arrival of the monsoon after the dryness of four months of high season by gently pouring water on Buddha statues at home and in temples, as well as on the hands of parents and grandparents. In Krabi, and more generally in southern Thailand, three rules are followed during Songkran: work less, treat people and animals well and tell no lie.

Even though it is still peacefully celebrated at home by most Thai families, the increasing number of visitors to the country has seen the festival spreading to the streets of the most popular resort towns, which become a water battlefield. Bangkok and Chiang Mai are especially reputed for the liveliness of their celebration of Songkran, but Ao Nang is also a great place to have a lot of fun during the celebrations.

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What to expect during Songkran in Krabi

Throwing water at everyone is the main activity for the three days of Songkran in Krabi. Children and adults alike are equipped with buckets, water guns of all sizes and shapes, and even water hoses, when they are playing right in front of their house. Families and groups of friends roam the roads in pick-up trucks carrying one or two large barrels of water, soaking every passers-by as they go. It’s fun and friendly, and is a great way to get refreshed during this hottest period of the year. The liveliest area for water battles during Songkran is on Ao Nang Beach Road.

However, the evolution of Songkran to this extremely festive way of celebration has a downside. Things have a tendency to get a bit out of hand when alcohol is also part of the equation. Some people find it extremely funny to spice up the water play by adding ice cubes and/or talcum powder or colours to the water, making it either shockingly cold or potentially very painful if it gets in your eyes (or both). The urge to soak everyone will also see people throw water at motorcyclists, despite the risk of causing unnecessary accidents. In response, the number of police checkpoints around during the festival has dramatically increased in recent years to catch drunk drivers and unsafe antics.

Tips for Songkran in Krabi

Songkran is really something that you have to experience once in a lifetime. You just need to be careful, avoid driving, and have fun on foot. The followings are a few tips for you to make the most of Songkran in Krabi:

  • Take a waterproof camera or purchase a dedicated transparent plastic bag to protect your mobile phone and cash before you go out (they’re widely available in the days running up to Songkran).
  • Dress simply with inexpensive yet decent clothes (there has been people arrested for indecent dressing in the street). Remember that white clothes will go see-through when wet.
  • Avoid riding a motorbike at all costs. Between the unpredictable behaviour of other drivers, water throwers and the fact that wet roads can be slippery, it really isn’t worth the risk.
  • Wear sunscreen and apply it regularly as it will be washed off.
  • Remember that it’s all meant in fun.
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