What a pleasant experience of Songkran. I was very privileged to have celebrated this special Thai event at the heart of Chiang Mai, within the golden triangle. Happy Thai new year to all – or in Thai language; Sawadee pee mai.
It all started with a 11 hour car journey from Bangkok to Chiang Mai. As fun as it can be, we finally arrived at the Star Hotel (1400 Baht for 1 night stay) where we gladly put down our travel bags, and laid to rest.
During my 3 day stay up in Chiang Mai, I had the chance to visit the temples where thousands of local Thai’s pray in celebration of the Thai New year. Photo above was taken at the temple.
Photos do not do this picture justice. It’s a simple understanding really – you just have to be there to understand what you are seeing. I had the chance to get amongst the locals who prayed to Buddha during this Thai new year.
We even got to venture the hills and nearby mountains for some picturesque photo-shoots.
The next couple of days was spent playing water on the streets of Chiang Mai. Locals, from young to old can be seen bucketing water on each other, as a notion of peace and remembrance of the New Year. I honestly couldn’t imagine the last time I was involved in a water fight – I think I was only 8 at the time.
There was no where near to be safe and dry other than by staying at home/hotel (but that was quick boring), so with this in mind, I put all my valuables in a water proof bag and went out to spray some water.
This is why I decide to become a traveller. I couldn’t get this inner feeling of happiness if I had remained at home. I like to experience culture, and Songkran definitely has it all, from praying to … water fight. Living a nomadic lifestyle has taught me to forget about the western world we live in today, but focus on what is most important to us as a human being. And that is happiness.
After waiting for a good amount of years to experience the traditional Thai New year on April 13th, I always wanted to see what this major event was about. A few days to go until the major water event, I am already shopping for a big big water gun to use up in Chiang Mai…
Songkran festival is the traditional Thai New Year celebration which starts on April 13th and runs through to the 15th. It comes at a time where I needed to get out of Bangkok and see what life in Chiang Mai was about. Travellers and expats which I have met during my time here in Thailand have all marvelled at the freedom offered up at the northern side of the country and in a rough comparison between the people of Bangkok and the people of Chiang Mai.
Regardless to say, I am hoping to seek out the spiritual relevance as families and friends gather together to celebrate the New year by visiting temples and sprinkling water on Buddha images in reverance, and also sprinkling water on each other’s hands as a sign of luck for the future years to come.
And of course, it comes without saying that there will be endless water fights throughout the 13th to the 15th of April. I have prepared a waterproof bag which will store all my valuable electronic items and wallets, as I have heard that it is “common” for people to be strolling down a busy street only to be soaked wet in water.
This event is special for me and it is definitely something that can be crossed out from my Bucket list listed here: http://nomadicarthur.com/?page_id=29.
A nomadic journey into our world provides me with the ability to enjoy life at every second possible, a privilege that everyone should be entitled to in this world we live in. I certainly am living the deluxe life – a true nomadic lifestyle.