Love it or hate it, Songkran is here and whichever camp you find yourself in, you need to be prepared.
Songkran in Thailand is usually celebrated between the 13th and 15th April, but not in Pattaya, a city that likes to do things differently and likes fun to be the order of the day. Here the fun starts from 12th to 19th April and the biggest crazy days are the 18th in Naklua and 19th in Pattaya.
So what do you need to enter into the spirit of things?
The Essential Songkran Toolkit
LOUD COLOURFUL SHIRT COMPULSORY
Don’t worry about looking ridiculous, everybody else will be wearing the same loud, colourful flowery shirt, and in fact, you are more likely to stand out if you aren’t dressed in this manner. Therefore, this shirt is compulsory and should be worn with ill-fitting and out-of-fashion shorts.
A REALLY SILLY HAT ADVISED
Again, thanks to leaving your fashion sense at home, you feel the urge to purchase a truly horrific hat. Baseball caps are a big no, you’ll need something that looks completely stupid and one that you will cringe at when you show the grand kids in years to come. Although this isn’t an essential piece of the toolkit, it is strongly advised to complete the ’Idiot Abroad’ look!
GARISH SUNGLASSES ADVISED
Naturally, you wouldn’t want to put your finest Ray Ban’s at risk so you need an alternative. You could opt for the sensible option that looks good, serves a purpose and is excellent value for money. Alternatively, you could go for the complete opposite with the only thing really going in their favour being that they protect your eyes from dirty water. It’s Songkran so the latter is advised!
WATERPROOF CASE ESSENTIAL
Perhaps the only sensible piece of kit that is part of your Songkran toolkit is the waterproof case. This will help to keep your phone, wallet and any other items that you feel you must take with you to get drenched relatively safe. Remember these cases are not guaranteed, and an easy target for theives so try to be sensible with what valuables you take out with you.
PUMP-ACTION WATER GUN ESSENTIAL
We were originally going to describe this as ‘the water pistol’ but in reality, anyone who appreciates Songkran knows that bigger is certainly better. Ideally, you require something that looks the business, is strong and durable. If you purchase these on the main days you can expect to pay well over the odds, so shop early as they are very reasonably priced.
NON-SLIP SHOES ADVISED
This depends very much on your level of fear or stupidity as to whether you view these as essential. Remember, all floors will be wet and tiled surfaces tend not to lend themselves too well to shoes with little grip. The choice is yours but we would advise you to wear a decent pair of shoes.
The Alternative Songkran Toolkit
If the madness of Songkran isn’t your idea of fun, you can either leave Pattaya for a fortnight or stay at home. Here’s our alternative list.
A BOTTLE OF SANGSOM ADVISED
Avoiding Songkran doesn’t mean that you have to stay sober. A bottle of Sangsom or two should keep you going and save you from going out.
FOOD SUPPLIES ESSENTIAL
You are going to be holed up for the best part of two weeks so you need food – think food delivery services such as Door 2 Door and Nick The Pizza.
If a bottle of Sangsom isn’t enough, you maybe need some alternative beverages such a tea, coffee or coke! Or maybe time to start health drinks!
Whilst everyone else is enjoying themselves getting soaked, you need to find something to do so why not binge on TV shows and movies on Netflix!
PLAYSTATION 4 ESSENTIAL
Invest some money on a new PS4 Pro and 4K flatscreen TV, you’ll soon find that days and weeks have passed by playing intense games like Call of Duty, GTA 5 or Uncharted 4. The real world of Pattaya is often stranger than fiction.