Thai New Year Celebrations 2015 (Songkran Festival)
Songkran, just like Marmite, you’ll either love it or hate it.
A tradition that has been around for many years, originally meant pouring scented water over statues of Buddha for good luck. The dripping water was collected and sprinkled over loved ones as a blessing.
But, as with any culture and tradition, time has changed this holy custom and made it into what it is today – The biggest water fight known to mankind!
For a couple of days every April, the whole country comes to a standstill. The only places open are the ones selling copious amounts of alcohol that gets consumed during this period. Locals and tourists, from children to the elderly, take to the streets of Thailand armed with buckets, super soakers and icy cold water with one motive – to drench as many people as possible!
From the minute I woke up I was wet. Someone had upset the gods, because for the first time in years it was raining on Songkran! Raining so hard, water was coming through my roof and my bungalow was flooded.
I used one bucket and every towel I own to solve the dilemma of my new water feature; however, I threw in the towel (no pun intended), packed up my dry bag, filled my new super soaker and headed to Crystal to meet everyone.
Within 5 mins of leaving my bungalow, I was ambushed by two kids waiting at the bottom of the hill armed with an esky filled with icy water and buckets.
Before I could even attempt to run I was drenched with water so cold it took my breath away and my face was smothered with a chalky white paste.
Here we go!
Everyone at Crystal Dive was on top form. The girls were being picked up and thrown into the pool which was like a hot bath so actually a great way to warm up after a bucket of ice water. You couldn’t see the bar under all the beer bottles and I had to don my sunglasses when looking at Kiwi’s new Hawaiian shirt bought specially for the occasion!
The whole Crystal family was there, we had 24 hours off work and we were ready for the usual carnage of Songkran!
We were all heading to Sairee, but first we had to do a quick stop at 7/11 on the way for some roadies. Every pickup that went past was full of people with water pistols and buckets soaking everyone walking by and even targeting scooters. (If you think riding a scooter in Thailand is dangerous, then you should see it on Songkran)!
Maya Beach Club was the place to be, with beer tents on the beach, jugs of cocktails, a floating platform in the sea and world renowned DJ Goldie on the decks. This place had it all! I decided it would be a great idea to attach my GoPro to my super soaker for some action shots and set it to take photos periodically. Quite possibly the best idea I’ve ever had..!!
Everyone was in a great mood, the fancy dress and tutus were out, no one was dry, the drink was flowing and us girls once again were chased and thrown into the sea where we remained for the next couple of hours. We decided to venture to the other bars and along the way found slides at fishbowl.
The night’s antics are a little hazy to say the least, but I know a lot of it was spent going down the slide with some of the Crystal gang.
The next day, the Koh Tao Community Facebook page was filled with lost and found and people asking what cafés were delivering as the whole Island was nursing the worst hangover they have ever had. A sign of a great night if you ask me!
I woke up in my sandy bed with soaking wet clothes, and the rain coming in through the roof again. I managed to appear slightly more presentable than the mess I was last night and ventured to Zest to meet the girls for breakfast.
It was here that I was told that I had indeed had more than just a few drinks and was kindly reminded of my actions from the night before. We spent the whole morning laughing whilst between us piecing together parts of the night and the rest of the day eating junk food, watching movies and nursing our sore heads.
All in all Songkran is up there with one of the best nights of my life. 24 hours of partying, running around with a super soaker like a child, being attacked with ice cold water (while at the same time as being apologized to), leaving a bar via a slide (!) and doing it all with my unconventional Crystal family.
I promise you’ll find it very hard to find a better festival anywhere else in the world.
Bring on next year!
“Sawadee Pee Mai” – Happy New Year!
Author: Jade Allchin (PADI DM # 365654)