Happy Songkran

2012 04 13 Songkran

The Thai new year, Songkran, kicks off here in Bangkok and around the country today.

It’s the nation’s biggest holiday, with many businesses shutting down through early next week. The period is known for its water fights, outdoor parties, and general craziness.

I probably won’t be posting much here for the next few days, but you can catch me on Twitter in the meantime.

To get a sense of the what the holiday’s all about, here’s a WSJ Southeast Asia Real Time slide show with some images of the revelry. And CNNGo has a Songkran overview.

(Image: Wikipedia.)


Thai Policewomen Perform Songkran Safety Dance

2012 04 08 songkran police dancejpg

No, it wasn’t that kind of safety dance.

The front page of yesterday’s Bangkok Post was adorned with the photo above. The caption said this group of Thai policewomen was dancing…

…to raise awareness about safe driving during the upcoming Songkran festival as part of a wider campaign by police to reduce fatalities and injuries from road accidents during the holiday period.

Video of what appears to be the performance, along with other footage, is embedded above and available on YouTube here.

According to Thailand News, the song is called “สงกรานต์ขับไม่ดื่ม Songkran-Kub-Mai-Duem (Drink don’t drive in Songkran).”

Drunk driving is an ongoing problem during Songkran, which marks the Thai new year. Non-stop parties and raucous water fights are common throughout the country during this time.

Songkran runs from roughly April 13-16.

Update — April 13: Fixed the title of this post to correct the spelling of Songkran.


Happy Songkran

Suk san wan songkran, or happy Songkran, everyone.

— Wikipedia has more info on Songkran.
— Here’re a few photos from
— Google has even gotten into the spirit with a special Songkran-themed “Google doodle.”
— Meanwhile, GlobalPost has a more serious look at the holiday period.
— You can follow all the water fighting action via the #songkran Twitter hashtag.


Back after Songkran

I won’t be posting anything here until Monday, April 20. Songkran — the Thai new year — fast approaches.

As ever, for updates on events here in Thailand, you can consult Google News, the Nation newspaper, or the Bangkok Post.

See you soon.


Bangkok By the Numbers: Family Visit 2008, Early Numerical Status Report

My mom and step-dad arrived in Bangkok yesterday for a visit from the US. Here’s how their visit has shaped up, numbers-wise, so far:

Thai Foot Massages

  • Hour-long Thai foot massages enjoyed in the last 24 hours: 2
  • Combined hours of full-body massages planned for them for tomorrow: 4

    Thai Cuisine Consumed

  • Approximate number of individual Thai dishes we have consumed since they arrived: 13

    Kimchi Consumption Requests Made By Me

  • Times I asked my mom to try the particularly pungent kimchi during dinner at a Korean restaurant tonight: 7
  • Number of times she obliged: 0
  • Plates on our table at one point during said dinner: 19

    Bowls of Lot Chong Devoured

  • Bowls of lot chong (green “worms” made of sticky rice flour in coconut milk) scarfed down at lunch today: 1

    Shopping Achievements

  • Mobile phones purchased at MBK: 1
  • SIM cards purchased from same vendor: 1
  • Value, in Baht, of pre-paid phone card minutes purchased: 200
  • Pairs of eye glasses purchased today: 4
  • Items of clothing currently being constructed for my mom and step-dad by my favorite tailor: 13

    Songkran Soakings

  • Number of times I have been soaked to the skin by Songkran revelers since my mom and step-dad arrived: 1
  • Number of times I was soaked to the skin by Songkran revelers before they arrived: 5
  • Number of times my mom and step dad have been soaked to the skin by Songkran revelers since they arrived: 0