Songkran, Thailand's new year celebration, is the country's biggest annual event, and it's hard to avoid getting involved even if you didn't plan on joining the party.
Answer: If you are in any urban or touristy place in Thailand during Songkran, the first thing to expect is that you're going to get really wet. Unless you lock yourself in your hotel room, there's just no avoiding it.
Here are some other tips to prepare yourself.
- Hawaiian shirts are typically worn by celebrants, though you can wear anything you want (so long as you don't mind getting it wet).
- In Bangkok, Pattaya, Phuket and other big urban centers, everybody is a target, whether or not they want to be splashed.
- Sometimes the splashing is just a gentle handful of water. Sometimes, it's from a high-powered water gun. And sometimes it's from a big bucket of water.
- People often put ice water into their water guns or buckets.
- It's also common to be smeared with a paste of talc and water. Try not to get it in your eyes (or anyone else's) since it can burn.
- Public drunkenness rises significantly during Songkran, when you'll see lots of teenagers and young adults drinking in public.
- Drunk driving accidents also rise significantly. Watch out if you're on the road or, better yet, avoid driving during Songkran.
- High tourist traffic areas such as Khao San Road in Bangkok and Walking Street in Pattaya get packed with people and can turn into a messy, drunk disaster as the evening wears on.