Songkran survival guide

Songkran is undoubtedly one of the best celebrations of national culture in the world, but it’s important to be prepared for the madness. Travel Insurance Direct’s (TID) Travel Safety Expert Phil Sylvester has these top tips for making the most of your Songkran:

“Get involved. Songkran really is a one of a kind celebration and will leave you with some incredible memories. Try to experience the traditional laying of alms at a nearby temple before engaging in the street festivities,” he said.

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“Last year saw 364 deaths and 3559 injuries across the country from road accidents, so take care at all times. If you can avoid it, don’t travel by road during the celebrations and definitely don’t ride a motorbike. If you’re outside, you’re fair game whether you’re walking, running or riding a bike.”

“Be prepared to get wet,” he said. “This is the Thai culture so don’t lose your cool if you get soaked for the fifth time in a day. Also don’t take it personally if chalky powder is rubbed in your face — it’s a custom thought to bring protection and good luck.

“Avoid swallowing water. Many travellers suffer from stomach problems each year after the festival as buckets and pistols are filled up from unfiltered sources.

“If Songkran doesn’t sound like your kind of thing, remote islands such as Ko Kut or the Kingdom’s many national parks are much more laid back. If you’re in a hot spot, stock up on resources in advance and get comfy in your resort.

“The best advice we can give is, regardless of whether you intend to participate in Songkran festivities, put your phone in a watertight container. Better to have a working phone than the hassle of a dead phone and making a claim.”

However, the best advice we at AsiaJack can give is to stock up on booze & food and watch the fun from the safety of your balcony without venturing outside for seven days.

Even police aren’t immune to the soakings. Picture: Kim

— With wires.


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