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This spectacular and fun-filled celebration for the Thai New Year is held in the middle of April from the 13th - 15th.
The point of the festival is to show respect to elders and this is done by sprinkling water over their hands. Whilst this tradition is still widely practiced all over Thailand, the festival has evolved somewhat and you'll find that everywhere turns into an all-out water fight.
Be prepared to get soaked if your walking around Hua Hin, so keep all valuables either locked away safe or protected in plastic bags. The only people immune to a soaking are monks and babies - certainly you will not be spared, so if you don't want to get wet, stay at home!!! Even the police keep their guns and walkie-talkies protected from the water as they usually come in for particular attention. Whilst they take it in good spirit, we would advise leaving their soaking to the locals. Another feature of the festival is that your face will be covered in talcum powder. Eye infections are common at this time of year.
Buckets of water are hurled about with abandon, some of it ice-cold and high powered water pistols are everywhere, so it's really important to be careful if you're out on the roads, particularly on a motorbike. There are always far too many road casualties during the festivities, so make sure you don't become one of the statistics. Quite simply, it's best to walk everywhere - leave your bike at home.
Songkran can be celebrated for a number of days - strictly speaking it's for three - but you'll find that the water throwing in Hua Hin is restricted to one, the 13th April. However, do not assume that you won't be ambushed on the 14th and 15th, although you should be safe in the centre of town.
Book your accommodation early as Hua Hin fills up fast at this time of year.
There are a few do's and don't's with this festival so it is good to be aware of what is and isn't acceptable from a foreigner. As mentioned above do not douse monks, babies or the elderly. Most of the older generations of locals will stay indoors for Songkran, they have seen it and done it all before and are probably not too keen on catching pneumonia either.
Do not throw water with ice in it, you may as well be hurling rocks, the recipient will not be amused.
Never throw water over anyone driving a vehicle, you will see others doing it but it really will not be funny if you cause them to come off a motorbike.
Do not drink and drive - this time of year the death toll on the road simply sky rockets due to a lethal combination of good times, alcohol, vehicles - they don't mix.
Have fun, remember to always smile, you will get soaked whether you like it or not if out and about on Songkran day. If you really do not wish to participate stay indoors
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Hua Hin Songkran Photos Copyright ToursimHuaHin.com 2008.