Songkran: Thai New Year

By Nomadic Matt | Published April 22nd, 2010

Songkran is a 3 day water fight that celebrates the Thai New Year. It occurs between April 13th to 15th (which coincidentally is the hottest month of the year). All over the country, from big cities to tiny villages, Thais celebrate the new year by dumping buckets of cold water on each other. The holiday is meant to wash away the old year and bring in the new year.  It’s awesome to see little kids, seniors, and even police get involved. It’s a very high spirited holiday and everyone is just out to have a great time. The only way to really understand the craziness that is Songkran is to see it so here’s my video:

(Of all my videos, I strongly encourage you to watch this one. You really need to see this great celebration!!)

Tips for Songkran

  • Chiang Mai and Bangkok have the biggest celebrations but you’ll find little celebrations all over the country.
  • In Bangkok, Khao San Rd and Silom hold the two biggest celebrations.
  • Plan to get wet- all the time. Even if you have a backpack or bag, people will still spray you with water. There’s no escape unless you are inside.
  • The only way to avoid being wet is to have a camera or cigarette. If people see you with one, they won’t spray you with water.
  • Just have fun. There’s no malice involved here so if you get wet and you didn’t want to, just go with it. It’s the holiday and you just have to accept it. They even pour water on people driving motorcycles.
  • One of the most fun things to do is get in a Tuk Tuk or truck and ride around the city spraying people with water. You get into some of the most amazing water fights and meet a lot of people. I highly recommend this during at least one day.

comments 16 Comments

Bryan @

Always good to see water wasted during Earth Day/Week, but it does look like a fun festival…

Looks like awesome fun Matt! Hope you soaked all of our blogger friends 😀 You guys are lucky I’m not there, I would have have no mercy 😛


I got them all good!

Ha – great video Matt, looks like a lot of fun. Have always wanted to go to Songkran.


Time your next trip to Thailand with Songkran. You’ll thank me later! lol

We celebrated Songkran in Chang Mai a few years ago. It was amazing! The water gets colder with each day as they start to add more ice. Taking a tuk tuk along the moat in Chang Mai is crazy fun!

Sounds and looks (really a great vid!) like a blast Matt – thanks for sharing! You really tempt me to go there myself :-)

For anybody who has never been, go! It is the best festival that I have ever been to.

Thank your, for information.


I love Songkran! Wish I had been there with you!!

Josh | The Wander Project

I love that guy who’s just chilling on the scaffolding with the CARWASH SPRAYER!


I heard it would be cancelled in Bkk due to “the events” so I went to Chiang Mai. So crazy. It’s hard to believe people do that, you gotta see it!
In Chiang Mai the thai people liked to spray you with frozen water, they put ice in the baskets. Awful!!

Hopefully our plans will change and we will be able to be in Thailand around April next year!


I had a cigarette in one hand and a camera in the other, I still got totally sprayed in Phi Phi! My little girl sprayed a policeman on a bike, he turned round angrily, when he noticed it was a little blonde haired, blue eyed, dimpled kid grinning back at him he smiled and went on his way. Kids huh?!


I think you got unlucky!


hey matt, just booked flights to arrive in Bangkok on 12th April, just watched your video for Songkran…can’t wait, what a great introduction to the country

Leave a comment