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Saturday 13 April 2024

The one time of the year to avoid Thailand


Thailand is one of my favourite travel destinations but there is one time I would never visit again: during the Songkran festival, which is currently underway.

If you want to be relentless targeted by young people wielding high powered water pistol, or buckets full of cold water, then be my guest. Many young folk love it. 
If you are not in that demographic choose any other time to visit.

Officially, Songkran, or Thai New Year, is framed as public water fights acting as a cleansing ritual. But it has, in some cases, become a Thai excuse for hooning. You can expect to end up soaking wet several times a day if you are silly enough to emerge from your hotel.

 The event has somehow been recognised by UNESCOs as an Intangible Cultural Heritage event.  

The Tourism Authority of Thailand thinks it has a tourism booster on its hands, teaming with the BBC to help promote the festival to a global audience.

The collab ad will run until June 15 and highlights the social and cultural impact of Songkran via an animated character going through various Thai experiences.

Songkran is officially on April 13 every year, but the largely good natured water fights extend over several days across the country. 

Our Thailand correspondent reported there were 162 people killed and 1,279 injured in road accidents over Songkran. 

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