True to its reputation as the capital of fun in Asia, Bangkok has begun its annual celebrations for the traditional Thai new year, or Songkran, from 13 Apr 2018. A riotous affair that involves plenty of water for both symbolic and frivolous reasons, this festival will last three days until 15 Apr 18 and will involve plenty of colourful rituals both cultural and newfangled.
Here in the City of Angels for the review rounds of our upcoming Bangkok Top 10 List, we are indeed fortunate to experience Songkran in its full exuberance. Aptly hosted in the elegantly royal Chakrabongse Villas right next to Chao Phraya river in the old quarters, a stone's throw from sites like Wat Pho, the Grand Palace and Khao San, we were fortunate enough to count in the Thai new year with a wonderful dinner at Chakrabongse's 4 tables only Thai restaurant in plain view of the spectacular Wat Arun.
The first day of Songkran was spent at the nearby Wat Pho where there is a splendid food fair featuring the best of Thai cuisine outside the venerated temple. Throngs of locals and tourists snaked their way into the centuries old complex to view the giant reclining Buddha as well as seek blessings from the temple monks.
The evening was spent in good fun at the famous Khao San stretch where everyone was yielding water guns and discharging cold water 'rays' at one and all. This tradition of water splashing carries with it the symbolic wish to start afresh in the new year and has since evolved into the wet frolic it is today. Even before our tuk-tuk arrived at Khao San, trigger happy brigades along the way had already unleashed upon us torrents of blessings.
With 2 more days ahead, there isn't a dry spell of boredom in sight. The weekend will be packed with more parties and festivities starting with the fabulous pool party at SO Sofitel Bangkok as well as sumptuous luncheons at Park Hyatt and The Siam, all promising contenders on our Bangkok Top 10 List.
We would like to wish all our Thai readers Sawadee Pee Mai Krup!
Wat Arun at dusk, where we counted in the Thai New Year, also known as Songkran.
Traditional dance performance @Wat Pho on day 1 of Songkran 18
Crowds seeking blessings from monks at Wat Pho
A throng of revelry seeker gather at the Freedom Monument near Khao San