Chiang Mai is likely Thailand's most popular destination for
Songkran (probably because of its 'no holds barred' mentality
towards the festival), a close runner up, and certainly a
favourite amongst foreigners, is Bangkok's Khao San Road.
Traditionally the capital's backpacker and budget tourist
area, Khao San Road has gone a bit up market over recent years
and to some extent taken Songkran with it.
long ago Songkran on Khao San Road was typified by massive
crowds drenching each other, smearing talcum powder into each
others' faces and dancing round to the sounds of massive sound
systems. Good fun - but a bit on the extreme side. "Social
Order" policies have calmed things down a bit on Khao San and they are still in place.
the festival itself, the ends of the street are blocked off
to control access and revelers are usually given plastic replicas
of traditional silver bowls in a bid towards getting people
'sprinkling' each other again as per the original tradition.
Vans with loud speakers often patrol the area
spreading a message of the advantages of the traditional Songkran
This doesn't mean Khao San is no longer fun - far from it... the traditional Thai quality of compromise
means that Songkran on Khao San Road is now a more ordered
and less frenzied affair. Talcum powder is no longer allowed
on the street (although you do see it on surrounding streets),
the venue is well policed and it's a much friendlier, calmer
and safer affair. As a result, there's now no better place
to experience Songkran than on Khao San…
2007 sees a few innovations on the street. Outside Buddy Lodge - one of the area's leading hotels - there will be fun and games that will include, amongst other things, a foam machine and a snow machine! Snow in Bangkok? Worth coming just for that!