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Introduction

Thailand’s Songkran festival, also known as the Thai New Year, is one of the most vibrant and colorful celebrations in the country. It marks the beginning of the traditional Thai solar calendar and is celebrated nationwide from April 13 to 15. During this festival, people splash water on each other to symbolize washing away their sins and bad luck from the previous year, and to usher in good fortune for the year ahead.

In this article, we’ll suggest some of the best places to visit in Thailand for Songkran. Whether you’re interested in attending large-scale events, witnessing historical traditions, or experiencing off-the-beaten-path adventures, there’s something for everyone during Songkran in Thailand.

Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai is one of the most popular destinations for Songkran in Thailand. The city’s celebrations are renowned for their scale and energy, drawing thousands of visitors from around the world each year. The festivities typically last for six days and include parades, beauty contests, and water fights in the streets.

For those looking to experience the cultural side of Songkran, Chiang Mai’s temples are a must-visit. During the festival, many temples host ceremonies and processions that showcase traditional Thai culture. The most popular temple to visit during Songkran is Wat Phra Singh, which hosts a procession of Buddha statues that are carried through the streets, accompanied by music and dancing.

In terms of accommodations, Chiang Mai has a wide range of options to suit all budgets, from luxury resorts to budget guesthouses. For those looking to indulge in Thai cuisine, the city’s night markets are a foodie’s paradise, offering a variety of street food and local delicacies.

Bangkok

Bangkok is another great destination for Songkran in Thailand. The city’s celebrations are a little different from those in Chiang Mai, with a more modern twist. Instead of water fights in the streets, Bangkok’s Songkran celebrations include a range of activities such as foam parties, concerts, and beauty contests.

For those interested in exploring the city’s landmarks and attractions, many of Bangkok’s famous sites such as the Grand Palace and Wat Arun are open during Songkran. Visitors can also head to popular shopping centers such as Siam Paragon and CentralWorld, where special events and promotions are held during the festival.

When it comes to accommodations, Bangkok has a range of options to suit all budgets, from luxurious hotels to budget-friendly hostels. For foodies, the city’s street food scene is legendary, with numerous street vendors and markets offering delicious Thai cuisine.

Sukhothai

Sukhothai, located in Northern Thailand, is a UNESCO World Heritage site and the ancient capital of the Sukhothai Kingdom. During Songkran, the city’s celebrations focus on traditional Thai culture and include processions, performances, and ceremonies at the Sukhothai Historical Park.

One of the most popular activities during Songkran in Sukhothai is the “Rim Nam” or “waterfront” ceremony. During this ceremony, locals and visitors alike gather along the river to float lotus-shaped vessels decorated with candles, incense, and flowers. This is said to symbolize a new beginning and a cleansing of past sins.

Accommodations in Sukhothai range from budget guesthouses to mid-range hotels. For those interested in Thai cuisine, the city’s night markets offer a range of local dishes and street food.

Chonburi

Located on the eastern coast of Thailand, Chonburi is home to the popular Wan Lai festival during Songkran. The festival is unique in that it combines traditional Thai Songkran celebrations with local cultural events, including a parade of colorful floats, cultural performances, and beauty contests.

Visitors can also participate in a range of water activities, including water fights, foam parties, and concerts. The most popular spot for water fights is on Pattaya Beach, where locals and tourists gather to drench each other with water guns and buckets.

In terms of accommodations, Chonburi has a range of options, from luxurious resorts to budget-friendly guesthouses. For those interested in local cuisine, the city’s street food scene is a must-try, with a variety of Thai and seafood dishes on offer.

Pai

For those looking for a more off-the-beaten-path Songkran experience, Pai in Northern Thailand is a great option. The town is known for its laid-back atmosphere and stunning natural scenery, including hot springs, waterfalls, and caves.

During Songkran, Pai’s celebrations are more subdued than in other parts of Thailand, with a focus on traditional water blessings at local temples. Visitors can also participate in activities such as water gun battles and foam parties in the streets.

Accommodations in Pai range from budget-friendly guesthouses to mid-range resorts, with many options available in the town center and surrounding countryside. For foodies, Pai’s night market offers a range of local and international cuisine.

Conclusion

From the vibrant celebrations in Chiang Mai and Bangkok to the historical traditions in Sukhothai and the unique festivities in Chonburi and Pai, there’s something for everyone during this lively festival. Whether you’re interested in attending large-scale events or experiencing off-the-beaten-path adventures, Songkran in Thailand is an unforgettable experience that should not be missed. So pack your water guns and join the fun in one of Thailand’s many Songkran destinations!


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