Songkran Festival in Thailand | Your Guide to Thai New Year Celebrations
Water. It’s one of the most important natural resources that we have. For the people of Thailand, water symbolizes life it symbolizes purity it symbolizes calm. It’s cleansing, it’s nourishing and it’s an integral part of Buddhist traditions. I’m travelling to Thailand to experience Songkran which is Thai New Year though most people know it as an epic water fight. It lasts 3 days and we’re starting in Chiang Mai before heading out to Bangkok. We’re going to visit temples observe traditions eat some amazing food but most importantly we’re going to get really wet. It’s Thailand like you may have never seen it before from the ground and from the sky. You ready? Good morning from one of the most beautiful hotels in Chiang Mai. Let’s get some breakfast! Buffet style breakfast Cameron’s getting dim sum, Erik’s getting… …getting a plate. (moaning) Breakfast in Asia is legit and the buffet at Rarinjinda Wellness Spa Resort is no exception. Now that we’re filled up, let’s head out. Chiang Mai is the capital of Northern Thailand. It’s pretty laid back but never boring. You’ll find hundreds of ancient temples here, but the one that’s most well known is Wat Phra That Doi Suthep. It sits on top a mountain overlooking the city and it has a very impressive giant golden pagoda in its center. Songkran is a time for families to get together and we saw a ton of people gathered here to pay their respects and participate in traditions and rituals one of which involves cleansing Pagoda and Buddha figures with water. You’ll see this happening all over Thailand. Flowers are also important, and everywhere you turn. You can definitely feel a certain spirit and energy during Songkran as the people of Thailand are excited to celebrate a new year. -Give me a second… They just told me that these are wax figures! I thought these were real people! -Oh my God… Okay, I’m so shook right now. As we learned, it’s not uncommon to find monks immortalized in this way. Monks are highly regarded, respected, and beloved in Thailand and actually play a big role during Songkran. Okay… Had a packed first day I feel like every time I come to Thailand there’s just so much to see, and it’s so impressive Saw a ton of temples Had some incredible meals And tomorrow, we begin… Songkran I’m not ready! It’s early morning on Day 1 of Songkran and we’ve arrived to witness something very special. [ambient music] The monks have lined up to accept offerings of food from Thai Buddhists with the hope that this will bring them good fortune for the year to come. It’s pretty incredible to observe from this high up. [ambient music] In the city center, you’ll find a different type of parade beautiful Thai women riding bicycles with umbrellas an annual pageant that happens in Chiang Mai for Songkran. -Smells incredible here! It’s not hard to find fresh, affordable food in Chiang Mai and khao soi, a spicy, creamy noodle dish, happens to be the specialty in Northern Thailand. After a quick lunch, it’s time to hit up Naowarat for the real festivities to begin. -Now we’re at Naowarat! There’s going to be a huge parade going down this street and everyone’s getting their buckets of water ready I’ve gotta be careful not to get splashed. The trucks are rolling through, the parade is starting! It’s wet… It’s so wet! [upbeat party music] (screaming & laughing) [upbeat party music] Good morning! Super sad to leave Chiang Mai today, but we’re heading to Bangkok so let’s go! Bangkok is a big city that over 14 million people call home. And despite its large population, the people who live here love it and embrace even the traffic jams with a smile. It’s got a very different vibe than Chiang Mai, though Songkran festivities are still under way. You can visit flower markets floating markets with just about every type of food and merchandise you can imagine and today, for Day 2 of Songkran we’re heading to the SO Sofitel, a 5-star luxury hotel for a pool party. My favourite way to get wet. [upbeat electronic music] The SO Sofitel may be where the adults celebrate Songkran but Siam Square is definitely where you’ll find all the youth. And on the last day of Songkran, it seems that everyone is out. And no one will be spared. [aggressive rock music] Thailand is known as the Land of Smiles, and with good reason. The people here are happy. They have respect for tradition, and for each other. They aim to please, and they know how to have fun. It was a real honour to be here during one of the most exciting and hottest times of the year. So, if you’re thinking of taking a trip to Thailand, you might want to come during Songkran. Just be prepared to get very wet! Thanks for watching! Don’t forget to subscribe and share this video with a friend. And for information on how you can book a trip to Thailand, check out the comments below. A la prochaine!