The Buddhist New Year, or Songkran, is celebrated every year in Southeast Asia. During this "Water Festival," which is half celebration and half ritual, people splash one another with water. So don't be afraid to get wet and undergo a cleansing ritual during your Bangkok trip!
9 a.m.: A relaxed breakfast… before the deluge?
Fresh from a good night's sleep, you leave your hotel on Khao San Road
and decide to have breakfast like the locals: with a reinvorgating spicy soup. As you leave the restaurant afterwards, the first partygoers arrive and start wetting people in a good-natured spirit. Quick, run while you still can!
10 a.m.: Take a lesson in Thai philosophy
Your first impression of Songkran
is that it is quite nice and amusing, but you want to understand the ins and outs of the celebration to appreciate it better. While sipping an iced coffee, you ask a Thai at the table next to you what it's all about. You learn that Songkran has a religious element: the water is considered the symbol of religious purity but also of goodwill. By splashing someone, whether a friend or a complete stranger, you are wishing them good luck and prosperity.
12 p.m.: Do the rounds of the nine sacred temples
Duly filled in by your new Thai friend, you decide to follow the rituals.You leave behind Khao San Road and head towards the historic quarter of Rattanakosin to visit the nine temples and make an offering to the monks. You don't have a lot of time, but you manage to visit Wat Pho
, Wat Phra Kaeo and Wat Suthat Thepphawararam. What a moving experience as part of your Bangkok visit.
4 p.m.: Soaking up the water on Silom Road
The heat is stiffling mid-afternoon so you're in need of cooling down. Eventually you make it over to the expansive Silom Road, overlooked by the State Tower
skyscraper. Along the avenue, water spouts from the footpath, the Skytrain platforms and the few vehicles that venture out in the midst of the revelry. You enthusiastically throw yourself into the waterfight, enjoying the chance to behave like a kid again...
8 p.m.: Back to the starting point, where the party continues
Deciding to change into dry clothes, you head back to your hotel on Khao San Road. After carefully storing your water guns, ready for tomorrow, you slip into your nicest top. Tonight you are going for drinks on the roof of Gazebo
: sipping a cocktail while taking in the shining city below, now that's a stunning way to visit Bangkok!
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