Songkran Festival begins early in Pattaya

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Although Pattaya’s Songkran Festival does not take place until 19th April, the water fighting has begun and over the weekend some areas resembled a war zone as Thai and foreign tourists, who may not be able to stay in Pattaya until 19th, took advantage of the early celebrations. Armed with water pistols and nylon tubes and with little or no regard for public safety, especially for those on motorbikes, thousands enjoyed the water fighting. Some of the main areas where the water fighting was particularly intense were Soi’s 7 and 8 off Pattaya Beach. As the 19th April approaches, the reveller numbers will increase which is good news for some and bad for others.  



  • anonymous

    This is really a stupid and annoying game. It is becoming impossible to walk around safely. It should be at least restricted if not completely forbidden.

  • Danthai

    SONGKRAN = HELL ON EARTH

  • Robert

    Even more stupid extending it to the 19th. A full week of it is too long epscially considering the drunken silly behavior n Pattaya.

  • Wally

    There is a reason why stupid people do stupid things. It’s because they are stupid.

    Thank you.

  • Halffilipino/Thai

    Listen to all of you … You need to check yourselves .. Like this anonymous idiot saying songkran should be forbidden …. Yes I agree it should be forbidden for stupid foreigners who complains about thailands important centuries old tradition..

  • Steph

    Water is a precious resource and many people around the world are lacking water. it is a crime against the environment.

  • Don

    I agree with Steph and its such a waste. I arrived on the 12.4.12 in the morning and had a nice day but friday the 13 was just unbearable for me (I was staying in the Flipper Soi 7)so I ordered a taxi back that evening to BKK airport and flew back to the middle east. Will go back at the end of the month to reinstate my vacation again. MMMM happy new year to all Thai`s and I thought it would be fun to do it again like when I was younger, but will know better next time round!

  • frankie thunder

    WHOO WHOO… STEPH and DON, you guys are going way to far to call it CRIME AGAINST THE ENVIRONMENT–maybe the open fires that the thia’s burn in there backyards and farms but not this festival…i must say i’ve been through it once –it was fun in a way-glad not to do it no more…

  • Franky

    Please my dear friends, if you not like, not go. You know when Songkran is. Personally i LOVE songkran and respect the culture and thai people. Maybe all who complaine, try celebrate it with the thai people and not keep on your own with all farang”. HAPPY SONGKRAN MY FRIENDS.

  • weasel

    so now we have a greeny on the comments gang.who drinks water in pattaya anyway?lighten up,its only once a year.

  • J.KNIGHTS

    Frankie Thunders right. If them old gits don’t like it go home. I for one love seeing young Thai girls in wet T-shirts, mind I think most of them might be men, but still alot better than what I have to look at back home.

  • baresi

    just looking at them photo’s from the comfort of a civilised country is the best feeling i’ve had all year!

  • one day

    one day fine (19th) but not all frickin’ week… pattaya is a joke when celebrating songkran… pattaya is getting to be a joke full stop…

  • Rob

    Get real 50/50, Songkran in Pattaya is as much about centuries old tradition as using iPads and mobile phones is.
    Songkran was traditionally a time to visit and pay respects to elders, including family members, friends, neighbors, and monks but now it’s just an alcohol fuelled melee where no respect whatsoever is shown by anyone to anyone.

  • ozzios

    @Halffilipino/Thai you dont nothing my friend. Sonkran is only 13.-15. April every Year, the other days like in Pattaya till 19.April is only for the Money from the “stupid” foreigners. I must learn many more about Thailand…

  • joe doaks

    songkran seems calmer this year outside of the war zones. i guess visitors have learned to stay away. good job pattaya city
    promoters…

  • 42nd Street Pete

    Wally, you are spot-on – the Pattaya version of Songkran is a festival for manic depressives and dumb people to work out their frustrations. The chaos in Pattaya is nothing to do with the traditional dignified Songkran celebrations. This year I planned my Pattaya exit perfectly, leaving on the 5th, which was also the day I noticed the first groups of Western backpackers arriving.

  • Hal

    I am a visitor to the land of smiles(los) so I just grin and bare it for the few days.Bottom Line here folks, we are GUESTS so act like it. If you don’t like the MADNESS make plans to visit a nearby resort or country for three days or so, a good friend didhe said best time he had in his life, now it an annual thing for him and his sweetie.

  • Don

    In Patts it started on the 12/4 (in the afternoon Ozy Bar Soi 7) and it will finish on the 20.4, so that’s pretty much 9 days straight. I agree with everyone who states that this is not the original tradition of Songkram which was much more cultural (like the festival that was put on in Jomtien)with lite sprinkle of water on one day only over the monks heads. That’s It! not for nine days straight were you cannot even function properly during the day to do business/leisure as a local or a tourist. I have nothing against it but it should be localized/contained to a certain area of area city if its going to go on for 9 days to enable participation or not, rather than turning a corner on your motorbike and having 10kg of water being thrown in your face by some drunken overweight farang which then causes me to slide off the bike including the passenger, right under an oncoming baht bus. You have to agree about the draughts in some locations and there have all this extend malarkey ongoing with the fresh water being flushed out to sea.

    All The Same Happy New Year to All Thais And Bless With Good Fortune For The Year Ahead!

  • Mcginty

    @ Don …. Lighten up mate, you make it sound like it’s ruined your vacation of reading books by the pool and visiting temples, while everyone knows that whoever stays in soi 7 is here in pats for one reason only , you have let a wee drop of water get in the way of you getting your leg over, while I agree there is more than a few pig ignorant farangs here throwing water there is also a load of Thais , they are enjoying themselves and it’s free for them, let them have their fun I say !

  • Wally

    After reading all the comments, either you enjoy Songkran or hate it. And I think we can all agree …you should hate it.

  • geoff

    one place i would not want to be is pattaya at the moment.getting wet 24/7 is not having fun sorry

  • frankie thunder

    J.KNIGHTS ,, i got a couple friends that hate it–always bitchen about the water on them–i say get over it,you know its going to happen,dont go out just watch TV in your room for a couple days..your not going to die just because you can’t get to your bar every night..they act like the world’s going to end…

  • frankie thunder

    MCGINTY—> dont you just hate people who sit by the pool reading books and get a splash of water on them and there all pissed off… or when the kids go running by yelling.. i got news for them, its a pool for gods sake — your not home in your living room……so this is thailands party, its there country, yes at times the thais and farangs go overboard but let them enjoy it…i’ll most likely never come back at this time of year but i have no problem with it..having said that i;ll still rather be there in the mix of it then here stateside at work….

  • johnogroats

    Personally i love Songkran having just come back from 5 days in chang mai it was immense hardly any stupid drunken tourists or moaning old expats in sight, its once a year get over it we all know when it is go home or stay inside it will never change so deal with it, Pattaya is crap for songkran as it is everything else see the light and how its done elsewhere or preferably if you dont like it jog on fellas this is not our country remember that

  • redhead

    Playing Songkran in Chaingmai was fun. It only lasts for the one day. Almost everyone was at least a little respectful not trying to blast you in the face with a water cannon. Here in Pattaya it is just a hazard, drunk falangs trying to blow people off their motor bikes, attacking any body who goes by, even if they are dressed in their work clothes. The poor lady from the bank who had to go back to work drenched because some drunk falang thought it would be funny to soak her as she was getting something to eat. The festive tradition is actually fun if it doesn’t last an entire week and played by drunken idiots.

  • Wally

    Golly after reading all the wonderful, uplifting comments from the people who don’t have to live through it here in Pattaya I’ve done a 180. I enjoy being blasted in the face with a bucket of water 20-30 times a day for 9 days straight, by drunken foreigners who don’t understand the meaning of Songkran. And to think I was against torture before this change of heart.

  • Walter

    I wonder what the psychological make-up of a man who when drunk, desires to soak another man with a long phallic device. I’m not saying it’s a latent homosexual act…well I guess I am. You know who you are and what you did.

  • frankie thunder

    REDHEAD,,, it should be as you say–> you can tell if somebody wants to get wet..and that “A-HOLE” knew very well that the thai lady working at bank was not out to play water sports…

  • Steve-Pattaya2012

    Being new to Pattaya I had heard many stories about how the Songkran festivities would pan out, and I must say they were fairly accurate. I had been told that the Songkran ‘madness’ would go on for some 8 to 10 days, that ‘you couldn’t go out without getting wet from head to toe’, that’you will want to lock yourself away for most of the time’ and to get out of town if you don’t like water!
    I took on board all the advice, I considered going to Hong Kong or Vietnam for a few days but in the end I decided I would stay in Pattaya and come up with my own conclusion for next year.
    On Thursday the 12th I got home from work and decided to go out for dinner about 5.30pm, jumped in a baht bus and headed for soi 7 to walk down to second rd. Thats when it all began, my first drenching, man the water was cold!, I clenched my teeth and just decided that it was all part of the Pattaya experience and to just embrace it. Sitting at the restaurant soaking wet was uncomfortable, but suprisingly refreshing, maybe more so because of my willingnes to just embrace it! Everytime I left my condo during the day I was aware that there was a very good chance i was going to get wet and that casual clothing was definitely in order. I found myself not as willing to go out and not as willing to jump in a baht bus as they were the biggest targets, but I still went out when needed, albeit a little wetter for the experience.
    On the Wednesday prior to the major celebration I had had enough of doing the same each day and thought it might be time for giving back as good as I had been given. I went down to soi 7, got soaked, bought one of those dreaded water cannons and joined in the fun. I must admit I enjoyed it, especially wetting the lovely young ladies who seemed to be enjoying it too. I acted as responsibly as one could in that situation, avoiding wetting people that blatantly didn’t want to get wet.
    I was gentle on the people that were respectful of the tradition and I embraced the tradition of being ‘floured’ and wished a happy Thai New Year.
    The Thursday celebration had it all, the gentle nature of the Thais, the children flouring my face and the beautiful parade as well as the utter madness of live music, promo girls, canon blasting Farangs and Thais and a tinge of alcohol fueled fun.I must say at times i felt like a little kid all over again and really had fun.
    I awoke on Friday wondering if the madness was going to continue, thankfully it had all stopped and Pattaya had returned to its original self, if you had of left town for 8 days you would of wondered what all the fuss was about.
    So after all of this I think i’ve figured it out.
    I think next year I’ll get out of town one day early, stay away for 4 or 5 days and come back in one day before the ‘main’ day.
    Then again I might just stay and do it all again, either way the best way to handle it is be aware of what you’re in for and try hard to enjoy the ittle bit of madness that is Songkran.

  • Jake

    @Steve….glad you enjoyed. Here’s hoping your good luck holds.

  • frankie thunder

    STEVE-PATTAYA2012—> don’t worry about nothing..you being a rookiee –> just have fun and take it all in.. after all did’nt you come oversea’s for the adventure…you must remember us guys who bitch about this had our fill of it..after 20 years or more you would too…so wecome to pattaya..