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How to Have Best Songkran Experience in Thailand

How to Have Best Songkran Experience in Thailand

Songkran is one of the most exciting and vibrant festivals in Thailand, where people engage in massive water fights, parades, and cultural activities. 

Whether you’re a local or a traveller, Songkran is an experience you don’t want to miss. So, how can you make sure you have the absolute best time during Songkran?

To have the best Songkran experience in Thailand, be prepared for water fights everywhere. Wear quick-drying clothes and waterproof shoes and stay safe by protecting your valuables.

Furthermore, join in the local activities such as cultural performances, pageants, traditional parades, and food fairs. But do not forget to respect the traditions while having fun!

By implementing these strategies, you can make the most out of your Songkran experience and enjoy more of what the festival has to offer. Read on to find out more about this popular festival!

When does Songkran happen in Thailand? 

When does Songkran happen in Thailand
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Songkran is celebrated every year in Thailand from April 13 to 15. These dates mark the traditional Thai New Year and are observed as national holidays. 

However, the festival celebrations may begin a few days earlier and last for up to a week in some areas, especially in popular tourist destinations such as Chiang Mai and Bangkok.

During this time, the streets are transformed into lively water fight arenas, and various cultural activities and events take place across the country. 

It’s important to plan ahead and make your travel arrangements early if you’re looking to participate in the festivities, as accommodations can fill up quickly and transportation (694) can become crowded.

What happens at Songkran in Thailand?

From Skyscanner

Songkran is celebrated with great enthusiasm, with people engaging in massive water fights, parades, and cultural activities across the country. 

During the festival, the streets are lined with people armed with water guns, buckets, and hoses, ready to douse anyone who crosses their path. 

The water fights are meant to symbolise washing away bad luck and bringing in good luck for the new year.

In addition to the water fights, various cultural activities, such as beauty pageants, street performances, and traditional music and dance performances, take place during the festival. 

It’s a time for family reunions, feasting on traditional Thai food, and paying respect to elders and ancestors.

How to Maximise Your Songkran Experience in Thailand

Looking to take your Songkran experience in Thailand to the next level? Look no further! We’ve got you covered with some fantastic ways to maximise the fun during this vibrant festival. 

Get ready for an adventure you won’t forget! 

Step 1: Plan for your Accommodations

Plan for your Accommodations
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Booking your accommodation early is essential, as Songkran is a busy time of year and many places will be fully booked in advance. Consider staying in a central location near the festivities, as it will make it easier to access everything.

Keep in mind that prices may be higher during the festival period, so it’s a good idea to research and compare prices beforehand. 

Hostels and guesthouses are often the most affordable options, but if you prefer more privacy, look for budget hotels or apartments.

If you’re planning to stay for several days, it’s worth checking out different areas and neighbourhoods. Chiang Mai and Bangkok are popular Songkran destinations, but there are plenty of other places where you can enjoy the festivities. 

Don’t forget to read reviews and check the amenities of each place before booking.

Step 2: Know what to pack and wear

Know what to pack and wear
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Songkran is all about water fights and staying cool in the hot weather, so it’s important to pack accordingly.

  • Bring lightweight, quick-drying clothes that you don’t mind getting wet. Keep in mind that white shirts are popular during Songkran, as they show off the colourful powder and water that people throw at each other. 

    So, wearing white might add some extra fun to your experience.
  • Flip flops or sandals are the best footwear options, but make sure they are comfortable for long walks and standing in crowds.
  • It’s also a good idea to bring a waterproof phone case, as you’ll likely be taking lots of photos and videos during the festival. 
  • Sunglasses and a hat are also useful to protect yourself from the sun. 
  • In addition to clothes and accessories, you’ll need to bring plenty of sunscreen and water to stay hydrated. Don’t forget to apply sunscreen regularly, as you’ll be spending lots of time outdoors in the sun. 
Local tip: It’s a good idea to bring a refillable water bottle, as there are usually free water stations throughout the festival.

Step 3: Be informed of the dos and don’ts for participating in Songkran activities

Be informed of the dos and don’ts for participating in Songkran activities
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Participating in Songkran activities can be a lot of fun, but it’s important to be respectful and mindful of the local customs and traditions. 

Here are some dos and don’ts to keep in mind:


  • Do join in the water fights and cultural activities, as it’s a great way to experience the festival.
  • Do use clean water and avoid throwing anything besides water, such as ice or powder.
  • Do say “sawadee pee mai” (Happy New Year) to locals as a sign of respect.
  • Do try local foods and drinks, as Songkran is also a time for feasting and celebrating.


  • Don’t throw water at motorcyclists, as it can be dangerous and cause accidents.
  • Don’t throw water at monks or pregnant women, as it’s considered disrespectful
  • Don’t throw water at people who are not participating or don’t want to get wet.
  • Don’t wear too revealing clothes or use inappropriate language, as it’s a conservative and family-oriented festival.
  • Don’t consume alcohol in public places, as it’s against the law and can lead to fines or arrests.
Local tip: Before splashing someone with water, observe their body language or ask for their consent. Be considerate of people who may be wearing traditional clothes or carrying important items. 
Aim for good-natured fun and avoid any aggressive or disrespectful behaviour.

Step 4: Keep in mind these safety tips

Keep in mind these safety tips
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While Songkran is a fun and festive time, it’s important to prioritise your safety. 

Here are some safety tips to keep in mind:

  • Protect your valuables by keeping them in a waterproof bag or leaving them in a safe place.
  • Wear shoes that are comfortable and provide good grip, as the streets can be slippery and crowded.
  • Avoid walking near roads or busy areas, as water fights can get intense and dangerous.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water and avoid overexposure to the sun.
  • Be mindful of your alcohol consumption and avoid getting too drunk, as it can lead to accidents or unsafe situations.
  • Always travel with a buddy or a group, as it’s safer and more fun to experience the festival together.

What is the history and significance of Songkran?

What is the history and significance of Songkran
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Songkran is a traditional Thai festival that celebrates the Thai New Year. The word Songkran is derived from the Sanskrit language, meaning ‘astrological passage’ or ‘transformation.’ 

The Songkran festival is held from April 13 to 15, and is one of the most important holidays in Thailand. 

The origins of Songkran can be traced back to ancient times when water was used as a symbol of purification and renewal. 

Songkran was traditionally observed by pouring water over the Buddha statues and the hands of respected elders. Over time, the practice evolved to include the pouring of water on friends and family, signifying the washing away of bad luck and sins. 

Apart from its religious significance, Songkran is also a time for family reunions, cultural activities, and festive celebrations. It’s observed across the country, but the most exuberant ones are held in Bangkok and Chiang Mai.

What are the best places to celebrate Songkran in Thailand?

What are the best places to celebrate Songkran in Thailand
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Thailand is a vast country with many cities and regions that celebrate Songkran with enthusiasm and excitement. Here are some of the best places to celebrate Songkran in Thailand:


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During the Songkran festival, the city transforms into a massive water party, with people throwing water at each other using buckets, water guns, and hoses. 

The most popular locations for water fights in Bangkok are the Silom road and Khao San Road.

Silom Road is a popular spot for water fights and live music performances, while Khao San Road attracts backpackers and young travellers looking for a party.

Bangkok’s Songkran festival also features cultural performances, traditional food, and street markets.

Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai
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Chiang Mai is considered one of the most culturally significant cities in the country. The Songkran festival in Chiang Mai is celebrated on a grand scale and is known for its traditional and religious aspects.

Songkran celebrations in Chiang Mai include religious processions, merit-making ceremonies, and a parade featuring a Buddha statue from the 14th century. The city’s old town area also becomes a hub for water fights and street parties.


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Phuket’s Patong Beach is the place to be for a beach-based Songkran experience. During the Songkran festival, the beaches of Phuket turn into a massive water party, with foam parties and beach activities. 

Phuket’s Songkran festival also features cultural performances, parades, and traditional food. The festival in Phuket is unique because it combines the fun of water fights with the relaxing atmosphere of the beach.


Image source: Pattayafans

Known for its lively nightlife, Pattaya also hosts a vibrant Songkran celebration. Visitors can take part in water fights, foam parties, and traditional ceremonies like merit-making and alms-giving.

During the festival, the city hosts various events such as concerts, cultural performances, and traditional food markets. 

Nevertheless, in Pattaya, the primary highlight is the Wan Lai celebration, a traditional event that occurs on April 19th. 

During Wan Lai, you can anticipate the occurrence of vibrant parades, captivating beauty pageants, and captivating cultural performances. 

While water fights are still a part of the festivities, they are generally on a smaller scale here compared to other locations.

Khon Kaen

Khon Kaen
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Khon Kaen is known for its traditional celebrations during Songkran. The city has a unique and festive atmosphere during the festival, with parades, cultural performances, and a colourful floral procession. 

Khao Niao Road, also known as Sticky Rice Road, is a famous local hangout that you simply can’t miss. 

In fact, it made history during Songkran 2019 with the world’s longest human wave! Who knows, maybe this is your shot at breaking a world record and making your mark on the Songkran scene.


Image source: Sukhothai Airport

Sukhothai is an ancient city located in central Thailand and is known for its historical significance. 

Here, Songkran is celebrated in a traditional and cultural way, with people participating in merit-making ceremonies, floral parades, and cultural performances.

Samut Prakan

Samut Prakan
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Even though it’s on the outskirts of Bangkok, don’t underestimate the fun in Phra Pradaeng. They bring the same energy and cultural flair as the capital city.

Alongside the epic water fights, get ready to feast your eyes on vibrant flower parades and catch live performances that’ll blow your mind.

One of the unique features of Samut Prakan’s Songkran is the “rod nam dam hua” ceremony, where locals pour scented water over the hands of elders as a sign of respect and gratitude.

And if you want a taste of Thailand’s rich history, bunk up at the Rimkhobfa Urban Resort, right next to the massive Samut Prakan Ancient City museum.


Image source: iStock

Krabi is a popular beach destination in Southern Thailand and offers a unique experience for Songkran celebrations. The city offers a range of water-based activities, including boat races, water sports, and beach parties. 

During the festival, Krabi’s beaches become the epicentre of massive water fights, with locals and tourists alike joining in on the fun.

After Songkran: What should I do if I want to return with a story?

What should I do if I want to return with a story
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If you want to return from Songkran in Thailand with a unique story, there are several things you can do to make your experience more memorable. 

  • First and foremost, immerse yourself in the festivities and participate in the water fights and cultural activities.
  • Don’t be afraid to strike up conversations with locals and fellow travellers to learn more about the festival and its significance.
  • Explore different parts of the country to get a better understanding of how Songkran is celebrated in different regions.
  • Try new foods and attend traditional performances to fully experience the rich culture of Thailand.
  • Lastly, capture your experiences through photographs and videos to share with friends and family back home.
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