Here’s why millions are expected to throng Thailand in April
COME APRIL this year, more than 2.3 million locals and foreign visitors are expected to throng a handful of Thai destinations.
While it is the hottest month of the year, there will be no stopping the crowds as they pack streets and venues in the annual Songkran festivities.
For the uninitiated, the Songkran festival is arguably the biggest Thai celebration. Locally known as Thailand’s New Year, it is officially observed between April 13 and April 15 but in reality, celebrations often last an entire week.
Every year, the extended national holiday sees people having a splashing good time in water fights and non-stop revelries. 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.
The best Thai destinations to visit during this vibrant and wet time are such as Chiang Mai, Koh Samui, Ayutthaya, and of course, the Thai capital city of Bangkok.
Bangkok hosts the largest Songkran parties, as crowds swarm Silom Road, Khao San Road, and RCA for the celebrations.
Silom Road and Khao San Road will be throwing some of the wildest celebrations, with the entire length of the aforementioned roads turned into an almighty water fight which would be impossible to get out of.
Expect the roads to be packed to the brim with revelers who are armed with water “weapons” of all shapes and sizes, giant cooler containers, and pressure hoses. If you are up for being gloriously hosed down in the 40˚C heat and getting soaked from head to toe, Silom Road and Khao San Road is where it is at.
This year, Bangkok will also be hosting the Siam Songkran Festival, a world-class music festival instead at the city’s largest city center entertainment zone, SHOW DC Arena. Held over four days with four outdoor zones and two huge stages showcasing live music from headliners such as Yellow Claw, Afrojack, Coone, Crisis Era, Dolf, Zatox, Darren Styles, and more.
For a more traditional vibe, visit Sanam Luang opposite the Grand Palace to pay your respect to Buddhasihing (the Buddha image) or Phra Pradaeng district where the celebrations are filled with cultural activities such as boat races, floral floats parade, and more.
The Songkran festival is expected to generate some THB20 billion (US$631 million) in revenue for tourism and tourism-related services, according to the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).
For more information on gearing up for the upcoming festival and some Songkran hacks, go here.