The Thai new year - widely known as Songkran - is one of the biggest festivals in Thailand and the most important in the Thai calendar. The date of the festival used to be set by astrological calculation but nowadays it is usually around 13th-15th of April. If these day fall on a weekend, the missed days are added as replacement on the next following weekdays and are public holidays, too. Songkran marks the start of a new solar year and is also the official opening of the hot or summer season. Maybe this is one of the reasons, that the tradition of playing with water is going to cool down the people during the summer heat, especially some of the later mentioned areas are turned into one big water fight. All of the venues are in the center of Bangkok city and never far from your hotel in Sukumvit Soi 2. Here are our recommendations to celebrate Songkran in Bangkok:
This is definitely the epicenter and mother of all Songkran celebrations in Bangkok, if not in Thailand. The whole stretch of the 5 km long Silom Road is transformed into a water playing and party zone. Thousands of people gather together with water guns and powder to wish everyone a happy new year. There are fire trucks at each intersection spraying more water onto the crowds and stages are set up with popular Thai bands and artists. In this place you are going to be soaking wet for sure, therefore protect your phone and valuables in a plastic bag. You can try to escape the water fights and watch the spectacle from the Skywalk above Silom Road but expect crowded conditions there and also below on the road.
Khao San Road
We are sure you have heard about this popular road, mostly in context with young people and backpackers. During Songkran this is the place to be for foreigners to celebrate the Thai new year. However, do not expect any traditional flair or to escape from getting wet because the whole street is one big and wild noisy party with water fights.
Sanam Luang (opposite Grand Palace)
Here you can experience a respectful and traditional Songkran celebration. At the first day, an important Buddha image called "Buddhasihing" is taken from the National Museum and escorted in a parade to the Sanam Luang or Royal Grounds. During the parade people sprinkle water on the Buddha figure, which is a sign of respect and wishing for a good and happy new year. The figure is also left on display for further three days to enable more people to partake in the ceremony.
To get the most of these activities, you might need to book a place on time as there might be a rush for rooms in several classy Lohas Residences hotels near Sukhumvit.