ALL PHOTOS TAKEN WITH CANON POWERSHOT SX710 HS WITH 30X ZOOM SO I AND MY CANON COULD ESCAPE GETTING SPLASHED!
BEST HOTEL---HOLIDAY INN CHIANGMAI
BEST AIRLINES ARE MALINDO AND THAI AIRWAYS
CHIANGMAI IN NORTHERN THAILAND IS SUPPOSED TO BE THE HOME OF SONGKRAN THE WATER FESTIVAL WHICH IS ALSO THE THAI NEW YEAR.
Now it has long spread to everywhere in Kingdom of Smiles and everyone is allowed by law to throw water on everyone!
You cannot get angry or upset when complete strangers throw or shoot water at you as you can retaliate!
'Songkran' is Sanskrit for 'moving forward' or 'change' as it is believed being splashed with water is considered a blessing. So the more you get splashed means the luckier you are!
Since Songkran is held during the hottest month of the year which can reach 100 degree Fahrenheit or 40 degree Celcius, getting watered is a nice way of keeping cool.
Usually it is water at ambient temperature that is thrown on you but sometimes the water is lukewarm which is very pleasant. However the naughty Thais and farang sometimes splash freezing, ice cold water! That is enough to make you scream and jump out of your skin! Ice cubes are sold everywhere for this purpose!
Then there are the high pressure squirt guns which are more lethal than pails of water I can tell you! Or high powered hoses! The same used for hosing down elephants and horses! Aiyee! But so much fun to see the victims shrieking and running down the street. But not so much fun when you are the target.
But what to do, this is the reason you come to Thailand every 13 to 15 April in Thailand!
To avoid getting splashed, I figured I should not carry any water guns---after all, a soldier during war cannot shoot an unarmed civilian right?
I was dry like my bank account for 48 seconds which I was told was quite a world record and then water was poured on me---from behind sumore!
As they say, in life only 2 things are guaranteed---death and taxes. Now add on the third thing; water thrown on you during Songkran!
The only exceptions are monks, babies and old folks but then why would these people hang around Songkran areas where water battles are raging like mad? Oh, pregnant women also are safe from being splashed but if a pregnant woman ventures into the war zone, she deserves to be watered! She should be at home or watching from a window upstairs!
So it is safe to assume you can throw water within shooting distance in Songkran designated areas as why would anyone averse to water be there in the first place?
In Chiangmai, the Songkran areas where the most intense water battles rage are the moat, canals, Ping river and Thapae Gate or Chiangmai Gate. Or next to Holiday Inn Chiangmai where Malaysians MUST stay as the general manager is a lovely lady from Penang! And Holiday Inn Chiangmai has the biggest rooms in any Holiday Inn in the world as it started as a 5-star Westin then Sheraton before becoming Holiday Inn which is 3 to 4 stars. And it is around RM 250 a night only!
What started as a religious ceremony is now a fullscale free for all water fight. For 3 days from 13 till 15 April the designated Songkran streets of Chiangmai is a shocking, soggy soakfest unseen anywhere else.
First timers will have the time of their lives while veterans relive thrilling memories of past battles.
Best bet is to wear big sunglasses so you can still see who is your attacker when your face receives the full blast!
The old city centre has a moat filled with water for constant replenishment of ammunition. Chiangmai authorities drain, clean, aerate and refill the canal several days before Songkran since revellers will use the water to refill their buckets while some will definitely dive in just to show off while others might slip and fall off the slippery slopes while for sure some would be pushed in!
The unrestrained, mad mayhem occurs in certain areas so anti-water warriors can continue to shop in malls dry as Sahara desert and my bank account. Water fights are only allowed in streets and not in shopping malls, offices, homes or private areas!
WALAO EH---I HAVE NEVER SEEN SUCH A WELL-PREPARED, RESOLUTE GIRL ARMED TO THE TEETH!
LOOK AT THE WAY SHE STANDS FROM AN ELEVATED, POLE POSITION SO SHE COULD SHOOT WATER FROM HER HIGH PRESSURE GUN DOWN ONTO THE VICTIMS---NAPOLEON WOULD APPROVE OF THIS MILITARY STRATEGY!
I THINK NO NEED CAPTIONS---JUST SCROLL DOWN AND ROAR WITH LAUGHTER!
THE SLIPPER BRIGADE CONCEAL THEIR WATER SUPPLY BEHIND INNOCENT, INNOCUOUS SLIPPER BACKPACKS!