Songkran essentials: Gear up for a splashing good time
ARGUABLY the biggest annual Thai celebration, Songkran is an extended public holiday that sees more than half a million tourists flocking to Thailand for three days of water fights and non-stop revelries.
Traditionally known as Thai’s New Year festival, families, friends, locals, and tourists alike celebrate by visiting temples, sprinkling water on Buddha images, and tossing bucketloads on each other with good blessings as an act of wishing good luck.
Last year, Bangkok officials took measures to take the festivities down a couple of notches, as the nation was mourning the death of its late monarch, King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who passed in October 2016.
Now that the mourning period is over, people are gearing up for a splashing good time in Thailand’s bustling and vibrant capital, Bangkok.
Bangkok hosts the largest Songkran parties, as crowds swarm Silom Road, Khao San Road and RCA for the celebrations. If you’re planning to be a part of it, then you best gear up for the hours-long water fights.
Yes, the same ones that you would wear while doing laps in a swimming pool.
If you don’t want to have to be walking around the city squinting in fear of being blasted right in the eye by your next water attack, then a pair of goggles would come in handy. Especially if you wear contacts.
The good thing is that goggles come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors these days so feel free to get creative. If you’re feeling particularly goofy, get a pair of ginormous scuba diving goggles.
There would hardly be a moment where you’re not soaking from head to toe so you need to protect your goods.
By goods, we mean your bahts, your identification, your electronics.
If you need to use your smartphone’s camera to document all the merriment and chaos, put it in a Ziploc bag. Alternatively, you could use a waterproof camera or a GoPro.
Weapons of mass destruction
What’s an intense water war without the right weapons?
Pick up a water pistol from the street sellers or better yet, grab a giant, colorful Super Soaker so that you don’t have to stop to refill every couple of minutes. The higher power the gun, the better. Go show ’em how it’s done.
Word of advice: A Super Soaker doesn’t make you invincible though so please don’t douse monks, babies or the elderly.
Shoes are definitely a bad idea so please leave your precious Nike kicks in the hotel room.
Instead, put on your trusty beach footwear before you head out to the water war. It’s best to strap a pair of proper sandals to your feet as flip-flops may be a little too flimsy for the fight.
Plus, you may slip and fall flat on your face, and we can’t have that happening.
It’s a water fight but let’s be safe and not turn it into a wet T-shirt contest.
Most people will be tempted to don their bathing suit but don’t be that person who is in just a bikini top and booty shorts. If you want to wear your bathing suit, wear it with a tank top or a beach shirt.
And please avoid white clothing, while you’re at it.
Of course, remember to have fun.
This year’s Songkran celebrations will take place over the April 13, 2018 and April 15, 2018 weekend.