Wet and Wild Songkran
After a pretty scary flight from Hanoi we arrived in Bangkok for a short two day stay. The weather was not cooperating while we were in the air and there were severe thunderstorms and heavy winds above Bangkok. We’re pretty sure the pilot had to abort one landing attempt as the weather was too violent and the plane was forced to fly past the airport and into the gulf of Thailand before doubling back for another attempt. The second time around the weather cleared and we touched down without incident.
We have roughly ten days or so before Kendall’s mom, Roberta and her Roberta’s friend Vicky join us in Chiang Mai. In order to maximize our time we planned to stay in Bangkok for two days before heading either to Laos or down to Koh Maak or Koh Chang. It really all depended on whether I could enter Thailand on my Polish passport as my Canadian one has not enough blank pages left. As luck would have it I got in on my Polish one and therefore we will be heading up to Laos!
We were also lucky that our short stay in Bangkok coincided with the Thai festival of Songkran. Songkran is a celebration of the Thai New Year and is widely celebrated throughout the country. It falls during the hottest part of the year and the use of water plays a big role in the festivities. Water serves a dual purpose: to cleanse ones soul and to cool one off. Thus Songkran is dubbed as the world’s biggest water fight! Most intense celebrations take place in Bangkok and Chiang Mai and we weren’t going to miss it!
After a nice lay in we left our hotel at around 3pm and headed to the main train station to buy our overnight tickets to Laos for the next day. There were hundreds of people, young and old coming in and out of the subway cars holding huge super soakers and buckets of wet chalk. We had no idea how crazy this was going to be! After getting our tickets we headed to the Si Lom area of Bangkok, the area where most of the intense celebrations were taking place. Stepping out of the metro we proceeded to Lumphini Park and walked around for half an hour, getting squirted a couple of times, but really thinking “is this it? It is quite tame.” We turned around and decided to head back to the hotel. As we neared the other side of the station the crowds were getting bigger and the noise louder. Then we realized, we just walked into the world’s biggest water fight!!!!
We had two options; either walk right through the insanity or take the skywalk and just look from above. We went for it and joined in the craziness. Unfortunately we weren’t equipped with any water guns (god I wish I had my super soaker 5000 xl from my childhood in my hands) so we ended up being on the receiving end of things. Being squirted with constant streams of water, getting our faces and my bald head smeared with wet chalk while continuously being wished a happy new year was pretty awesome! Within seconds we were soaked head to toe! People were having a great time and everyone had smiles on their faces.
Once we neared the second entrance to the station things got pretty crowded and tight. The hundreds of people coming down and going up on the stairs created a bottleneck and in turn made it quite uncomfortable. We were happy to reach the top of the stairs and entered the station in one piece. We caught the next train back to our hotel and couldn’t wait for a nice hot shower!
All in all it was a great experience. Too bad it was a bit rainy and overcast, if the weather had been as hot as during our previous stay in Bangkok we wouldn’t have minded the constant freezing cold water being poured down our shirts J. Until next time!