Songkran / เทศกาลสงกรานต์.

Tips for your trips. Tourist information. Official websites.

Songkran (Thailand / เทศกาล สงกรานต์) is the Thai New Year’s national holiday. Songkran is on 13 April every year, but the holiday period extends from 14 to 15 April. In 2018 the Thai cabinet extended the festival nationwide to five days, 12–16 April, to enable citizens to travel home for the holiday.

In Thailand, New Year is now officially celebrated on 1 January. Songkran was the official New Year until 1888, when it was switched to a fixed date of 1 April. Then in 1940, this date was shifted to 1 January. The traditional Thai New Year Songkran was transformed into a national holiday. Celebrations are famous for the public water fights framed as ritual cleansing.

The Songkran celebration is rich with symbolic traditions. Mornings begin with merit-making. Visiting local temples and offering food to the Buddhist monks is commonly practiced. On this specific occasion, performing water pouring on Buddha statues and the young and elderly is a traditional ritual, representing purification and the washing away of one’s sins and bad luck. As a festival of unity, people who have moved away usually return home to their loved ones and elders. Paying reverence to ancestors is an important part of Songkran tradition.

The holiday is known for its water festival. Major streets are closed to traffic, and are used as arenas for water fights. Celebrants, young and old, participate in this tradition by splashing water on each other. Traditional parades are held and in some venues “Lady Songkran” or “Miss Songkran” is crowned, where contestants are clothed in traditional Thai dress.

The Capital (Bangkok) The Khao San Road (map) and Silom Road (map) are the hubs for modern celebration of Songkran. The roads are closed for traffic, and posts equipped with water guns and buckets full of water. The party runs day and night.

The northern capital of Chiang Mai (map) plays host to the biggest celebrations of Songkran, with some festivities reputedly spanning six days. It is also more common in the north of Thailand for people to collect sand, which is taken to their local monastery. This sand — symbolic of dirt carried on their feet for the past year — is used to replenish the monastery before being sculpted into piles and decorated with colorful, celebratory flags.

 

Public transport.

Information about all types of public transport.

Tuk-tuks are a popular mode of transport in Thailand, especially in urban areas. They are three-wheeled motorized vehicles that can be hailed on the street for short trips.

A motorbike is a convenient and cheap way to get around the city or reach the outlying sights. There is an abundance of near indistinguishable rental companies in the city, though most guesthouses can arrange rentals as well.

Fixed route songthaews congregate around Warorot Market (map). From Warorot Market, white songthaews travel to the eastern suburban city of Sankampaeng, yellow songthaews travel to Mae Rim and beyond in the north, blue songthaews travel to Sarapee and Lamphun in the south, and green songthaews travel to Mae Jo in the north-east. Fare is dependent on distance: yellow songthaews go to Samoeng (~50 km).

BUS: Transport Co., Ltd. (Public Bus Services) intercity bus services in Thailand. + Green Bus CorporationNakhonchaiair Co., Ltd.PhetprasertSombat Tour Co., Ltd.

BAOLAU.com – Whether you travel by air, rail, land or sea, you can find all the information to plan your journey through Asia here.

TRAIN: State Railway of Thailand (SRT) has a 4,000-km network covering most of the country, from Chiang Mai in the north all the way to (and beyond) the Malaysian border in the south. Compared to buses, most trains are relatively slow and prone to delays, but safer. Tickets may be purchased on-line from Thairailwayticket.com.

AIRPORT: Airports of Thailand: The official website of AOT provides information on airports in Thailand.

Bangkok has two major airports: Suvarnabhumi Airport which is the main airport and serves most full-service carriers, and the smaller Don Mueang International Airport which primarily serves low-cost carriers.

FERRY: Chao Phraya Express Boat Co.,Ltd | river transport in Bangkok.

SONGKRAN CHIANG MAI 2023 IS FINALLY BACK!

SONGKRAN hasnt happened in Chiang Mai for 3 years! Well Songkran Chiang Mai 2023 is finally back and in full swing, with the water gun battles starting on the 11th-17th!

Songkran is the Thai New year Celebrating the passage of the sun, washing away the sins and creating a blessing for the year to come! This is my second Songkran and no better place to do it that Chaing Mai in 2023!

video source: Brennybrez / youtube.com /

Useful websites.

Links to additional resources with useful information for planning your trip.

VISAS & IMMIGRATION.

For travelers requiring information on visas and entry requirements to Thailand. + Visa policy of Thailand (wikipedia.org)

Thai National Parks.

Wildlife and Plant Conservation website offers details on park locations, entrance fees, camping options, and activities within the parks.

Transit Bangkok.

The most comprehensive guide to Bangkok public transportation. Bangkok bus, MRT (Bangkok Metro), BTS Sky Trains, boats.

Bangkok Post is one of the most prominent English-language newspapers in Thailand. Their website provides comprehensive coverage of news, current affairs, business, lifestyle, and more, with a focus on both national and international news.

ASEANNOW.com is a popular online forum for expats in Thailand. It is a platform where expats can ask questions, share information, and engage in discussions on various aspects of living in Thailand.

Thai Language – Reference documents, interactive lessons, dictionary, and forums for learning Thai.

FOOD

ThaiTable offers a collection of authentic Thai recipes, cooking techniques, ingredient information, and tips for preparing Thai dishes.

She Simmers: Authored by Leela Punyaratabandhu, this website focuses on traditional Thai recipes, cooking techniques, and stories behind the dishes. It provides in-depth explanations and step-by-step instructions to help you recreate Thai flavors at home.