During Songkran in Bangkok, you can see that having fun is a big part of Thai culture – having fun amid scorching heat is no exception. As the hottest month of the year, April sees the entire country go bananas in friendly water fights and street parties that last nearly a week.

Most office buildings, banks, as well as family-run shops and restaurants, shut down completely during Songkran, while big shopping malls usually remain open. Bangkok experiences a mass exodus, as at least half of its residents travel back to their home towns for family reunions. In their place are travelers, who fly into Bangkok particularly to enjoy one of the most colorful and festive times of the year.

Note: Songkran in Thailand is officially observed 3 days as a national holiday, and although the government may announce varying official dates, it is usually between the 13th and 15th of April. Even so, celebrations often last an entire week!

What is Songkran?

Songkran is the occasion for family reunions, temple visits and annual house cleaning. Many Thais observe the holidays by spending time with families and friends. Traditionally, Thais perform the Rod Nam Dum Hua ritual on the 1st day of Songkran, which is officially National Elderly Day. During the ritual, young people would pour fragrant water into the elders’ palms as a gesture of humility and ask for their blessings.

The 2nd day of Songkran is officially National Family Day. Families would wake up early and give alms to the monks, then ideally the rest of the day would be spent sharing quality family time together. An important religious ritual on Songkran is ‘Bathing the Buddha image’, in which devout Buddhists pour fragrant water over Buddha statues both at the temple and at home. More religious Thais would engage themselves in Buddhist ceremonies and merit-making activities throughout the holidays.

Check our dedicated article about Songkran - Thai Traditional New Year

Symbolism of water

Fun-loving Thais don’t just throw water at each other for no good reason (besides having a kick out of seeing other people soaking wet). The real meaning behind the splashes is to symbolically wash off all misfortunes in the past year, thus welcoming the new year with a fresh start.

Traditionally, Thais would politely pour a bowl of water on members of the family, their close friends and neighbours. As Songkran has taken a more festive note, a bowl becomes a bucket, garden hose and water guns, and the spirit of holiday merriment is shared among all town residents and tourists.

When is Songkran in Bangkok?

Before Thailand adopted the international New Year’s Day in 1940, Songkran was calculated based on the solar calendar, which varied from one year to the next. Now Songkran in Bangkok is from 13th to 15th April every year. Depending on where you are in the country, the dates and period of festivities may vary.

What to do during Songkran festival in Bangkok?

1. Join the water fight on the street

Khao San Road and Silom road are the backpacking heart of Bangkok. The roads are filled with revellers, both foreign and Thai, during Songkran. The huge street party features lots of water and lots of booze. Crowded and frenetic, the two roads are the place to go if you want to hit the crowds armed with a cocktail bucket and a water gun. Loud music blares from the bars and spirits are high.

2. Watch traditional performances at Sanam Luang

Sanam Luang is a great place for cultural Songkran fun away from the hectic streets. The large public square, located in front of the Grand Palace, is a hive of activity, with performances and ceremonies that showcase Thai culture, heritage, and values. Expect shadow puppetry, Muay Thai demonstrations, mask dancing, music, traditional costumes, and more. A highly revered Buddha statue is brought out of the National Museum too, with people praying and showing their respect to the image by sprinkling water on it and leaving offerings.

3. Beauty pageants and food fairs in the Wisutkasat area

A Miss Songkran Beauty contest is often held in the Wisutkasat area during Songkran, accompanied by merit-making, a parade and other fun activities. Food, as is always customary in Thailand, also features high on the agenda, with many mouthwatering seasonal treats available in hotels, restaurants, and from food vendors on every soi or street. Look out for special Songkran menus at some hotels and restaurants.

4. Visit sacred temples

See the traditional side of Songkran with a temple visit. While you can stop into any local temple and you’ll find people paying their respects to the Buddha images, washing the statues, and honouring monks, there are nine major temples that attract substantial numbers of people. Some Thais will even visit all nine of these top temples in the one day, hopping between each to make merit and trying to secure good luck for the year ahead.

Wat Phra Kaew (the Temple of the Emerald Buddha), Wat Pho, Wak Saket (the Golden Mount), and Wat Suthat (near the giant swing) are all well-known temples that are popular places to visit at Songkran. Wat Bowornniwet and Wat Chana Songkhram often don’t make tourist’s itineraries, but they’re well worth visiting during the Thai New Year. On the Thonburi side of the river, Wat Arun (Temple of the Dawn), Wat Kalayanamit, and Wat Rakhang are also very active over Songkran.

5. Cool down at a pool party

Many hotels arrange Songkran pool parties, where the emphasis is more on having fun and cooling down in the sun rather than hurling water around. Each offers something different, so check what kind of vibe you’re after before buying tickets. Some pool parties are fairly posh, others are manic! Most feature great music, BBQs and other delicious food, and cocktails.

6. Escape the crowds in the malls

Bangkok’s malls are still open for business over the festive period and offer the perfect places to escape the crowded streets and stay dry in air-conditioned comfort. Shop till you drop and visit the food courts for delicious feasts. Some malls have special displays and activities too. Asiatique is particularly known for its Songkran events.

Where to join the most CRAZY WATER FIGHT in Bangkok?

1. Khao San Road

Here at Khao San Road, enjoy the wild water at its full swing! Even if there might be no foam parties and EDM stages, Khao San Road is still well and truly open for all Songkran celebrators to splash about!

Having been one of the most legendary destinations to celebrate Songkran in Bangkok for more than four decades, it is no surprise that the legendary Khao San Road is on this list. Celebrating Songkran at Khao San Road is one of the things you must try!

Newcomers would keep joining and filling the roadway into the night. Its eclectic charm and atmosphere certainly make it a much-beloved place to celebrate Songkran for both locals and foreigners.

  • Pros: Tourists’ most popular choice/ No entrance fee/ Nearby BTS skytrain stations: Chong Nonsri and Saladaeng
  • Cons: Need to be extra careful about pickpockets

2. Silom Road

Similarly to Khao San Road, Songkran celebrations in Silom was toned down in 2019 due to the coronation events. However, that does not mean you’ll have to reload your water guns elsewhere in 2021. Silom Road still welcomes everyone to celebrate, but we will have to follow the news on the prospect of any EDM or foam parties in Silom for Songkran this year.

Silom is located right in Bangkok’s CBD. As a result, you will see many kinds of people from different ages ranging from children and their parents, employees, and even night workers. At noon, people start to gather up and celebrate.

From my personal experience, the only downside to celebrating Songkran in Silom is that there can be a lot of people, and when I say a lot, it really is A LOT. So, grab your sunglasses, because you will be shot with water guns non-stop!

  • Pros: Locals’ most popular choice/ No entrance fee/ Nearby BTS skytrain stations: Chong Nonsri and Saladaeng
  • Cons: Need to be extra careful about pickpockets

3. RCA

For those who are looking to dance at the wildest Songkran parties in Bangkok in 2021, RCA is the place to be! Every year, it holds the coolest events combining clubbing and water fights together. Each club brings you your favorite DJs/ singers, both international and Thai to their own yards. So, here is your chance to party all night long!

The biggest event in RCA is called S20 Songkran festival (postponed to 2021), where they have different DJ lineups for 3 nights, so you will feel like you are in a music + water festival. Or, if you are into more-of international beats, grab the ticks for SIAM Songkran Music festival. If you love partying, give RCA a chance, and you will thank us later!

F.Y.I., early birds catch the worms, as Thais often go to reserve tables around 4-5 p.m. because all the tables will be booked and taken as fast as a blink of an eye. Trust me, if you are going to an event of this kind with your mates, you need to be there early to get a table. Your lives would be much easier and very convenient during the party!

  • Pros: Party lovers’ most popular choice/ Age 20+
  • Cons: Entrance fees are varied depending on each club, venue, and DJ lineup/ Hard to catch a taxi or motorcycle when leaving

4. Siam Square

Siam is not only known for all the huge, famous department stores, but Siam is also the main hub for tutoring schools and is where all the college students mingle. No wonder, you will find tons of teens celebrating Songkran in the Siam area. During the water festival, only the big malls in the area such as Siam Paragon, Siam Center, MBK, and Central World are open. However, all the shops in Siam Square (locals call it a no air-con/ hot zone) are closed so that visitors can enjoy the fun to the max. Here, you can dip yourself in the foam party as well!

  • Pros: Teens’ most popular choice/ No entrance fee/ Nearby BTS Siam Station
  • Cons: Need to be extra careful about pickpocket.

5. Ratchada Soi 4

Located nearby MRT Rama 9 station and not too far from RCA, Ratchadapisek Soi 4 is another clubbing venue turned into water fight parties. It is just like RCA, but with more affordable prices for entrance fees and drinks. The venue is packed with party animals and crazy dancers. If you are tired of the crowd in RCA, then Ratchada Soi 4 is your perfect alternative!

  • Pros: Party lovers’ choice/ Nearby MRT Rama 9 Station/ Age 20+
  • Cons: Entrance fees are varied depend on each club, venue, and DJ lineup/ Hard to catch a taxi or motorcycle when leaving

Dos & Don’ts during Songkran in Bangkok


  • Give alms and make merit (or just witness the rituals if you are not a Buddhist)
  • Use waterproof bags to protect your valuables
  • Watch your belongings
  • Use public transport if you're heading to one of the Songkran ‘hotspots’, as traffic will be paralysed
  • Try wishing the locals a happy new year in Thai – “Sawasdee Pee Mai!”
  • Smile and have fun


  • Douse monks, babies or the elderly
  • Drive when you've been drinking
  • Throw water with ice or dirty water
  • Throw water at motorcyclists (it can cause accidents)


So, how are you going to spend your Songkran in Bangkok? Visit the sacred temples or join the water fight on Khaosan Road? Whatever you prefer, book your Thailand holiday early before it is all booked out.

24-hour response

My name is Jolie, I am a Vietnamese girl growing up in the countryside of Hai Duong, northern Vietnam. Since a little girl, I was always dreaming of exploring the far-away lands, the unseen beauty spots of the world. My dream has been growing bigger and bigger day after day, and I do not miss a chance to make it real. After graduating from the univesity of language in Hanoi, I started the exploration with a travel agency and learning more about travel, especially responsible travel. I love experiencing the different cultures of the different lands and sharing my dream with the whole world. Hope that you love it too!


The Rocket Festival (Boun Bang Fai) is a merit-making ceremony traditionally practiced by ethnic Lao people near the beginning of the wet season in numerous villages and municipalities, in the regions of Northeastern Thailand and Laos. Celebrations typically include preliminary music and dance performances, competitive processions of floats, dancers and musicians on the second day, and culminating on the third day in competitive firings of home-made rockets. Local participants and sponsors use the occasion to enhance their social prestige, as is customary in traditional Buddhist folk festivals throughout Southeast Asia.

The festival in Thailand also includes special programs and specific local patterns like Bung Fai (Parade dance) and a Beautiful Bung Fai float such as Yasothon the third weekend of May, and continues Suwannaphum District, Roi Et on the first weekend of June, Phanom Phrai District Roi Et during the full moon of the seventh month in Lunar year's calendar each year. The Bung Fai festival is not only found in Isan or Northeasthern Thailand and North Thailand and Laos, but also in Amphoe Sukhirin, Narathiwat.


Also known as the Nine Emperor Gods Festival or the Kin Jay Festival, the Phuket Vegetarian Festival is an annual event celebrated primarily by the Chinese community in Thailand and throughout Southeast Asia.

Running for nine days, the vegetarian festival in Phuket is considered by many to be the most extreme and bizarre of festivals in Thailand. The Phuket Vegetarian Festival could be Thailand's answer to the Tamil festival of Thaipusam celebrated in neighboring Malaysia. Devotees not only adopt a special diet for the holiday, a select few participants prove their devotion by practicing self-mutilation.

Some of the feats performed include piercing cheeks with swords, walking on nails or hot coals, and climbing ladders made of knife blades! Most participants miraculously heal up without needing stitches or medical care.

WARNING! The content and the images are not recommended for the faint of heart! Consider before continuing.


Buddhist Lent Day (Thailand Wan Khao Phansa, Laos Boun Khao Phansa) is the start of the three-month period during the rainy season when monks are required to remain in a particular place such as a monastery or temple grounds. Here, they will meditate, pray, study, and teach other young monks. In the past, monks were not even allowed to leave the temple, but today, most monks just refrain from traveling during this period. You will still see them out during the day.

It is said that monks started remaining immobile in a temple during this time because they wanted to avoid killing insects and harming farmland. Apparently, traveling monks were crossing through fields, thus destroying the crops of villagers and farmers. After catching wind of this, Buddha decided that in order to avoid damaging crops, hurting insects, or harming themselves during the rainy season, monks should remain in their temples during these three months.

Tired of reading, listen to our podcast below:


The Hmong New Year celebration is a cultural tradition that takes place annually in select areas where large Hmong communities exist and in a modified form where smaller communities come together. During the New Year's celebration, Hmong dress in traditional clothing and enjoy Hmong traditional foods, dance, music, bull fights, and other forms of entertainment. Hmong New Year celebrations have Hmong ethnic traditions and culture and may also serve to educate those who have an interest in Hmong tradition. Hmong New Year celebrations frequently occur in November and December (traditionally at the end of the harvest season when all work is done), serving as a Thanksgiving holiday for the Hmong people.


Magha Puja (also written as Makha Bucha Day) is the third most important Buddhist festival, celebrated on the full moon day of the third lunar month in Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Sri Lanka and on the full moon day of Tabaung in Myanmar. It celebrates a gathering that was held between the Buddha and 1,250 of his first disciples, which, according to tradition, preceded the custom of periodic recitation of discipline by monks.

On the day, Buddhists celebrate the creation of an ideal and exemplary community, which is why it is sometimes called Saṅgha Day, the Saṅgha referring to the Buddhist community, and for some Buddhist schools this is specifically the monastic community. In Thailand, the Pāli term Māgha-pūraṇamī is also used for the celebration, meaning 'to honor on the full moon of the third lunar month'.

Finally, some authors referred to the day as the Buddhist All Saints Day. 

In pre-modern times, Magha Puja has been celebrated by some Southeast Asian communities. But it became widely popular in the modern period, when it was instituted in Thailand by King Rama IV in the mid-19th century. From Thailand, it spread to other South and Southeast Asian countries. Presently, it is a public holiday in some of these countries.

It is an occasion when Buddhists go to the temple to perform merit-making activities, such as alms giving, meditation and listening to teachings. It has been proposed in Thailand as a more spiritual alternative to the celebration of Valentine's Day.


We believe you have the right to arm yourselves with as much information as possible before making any decision.

Check below the detailed information for our different destinations, our plans by travel theme or time frame to learn more before moving forward...

places to visit in Thailand
bee-white Bangkok

Chiang Mai
bee-white Chiang Mai

bee-white Phuket

Hua Hin
bee-white Hua Hin

Chiang Rai
bee-white Chiang Rai

Koh Samui
bee-white Koh Samui

bee-white Must-see

Check out all the must-see places and things to do & see

Luxury Holiday
bee-white Luxury Holiday

Unique experience combined with top-notch services

Wellness & Leisure
bee-white Wellness & Leisure

Easy excursion combined with week-long beach break

Honeymoon Vacation
bee-white Honeymoon Vacation

Easy excursions combined with unique experience making the long-lasting romantic memories

Family Vacation
bee-white Family Vacation

The combination of fun and educational activities

Trek & Hike
bee-white Trek & Hike

Explore the least visited destinations and unknown experience on foot

bee-white Unseen

Reveal off-the-beatentrack routes, least explored destinations, and unknown tribe groups

Cycling & Biking
bee-white Cycling & Biking

Explore every corners of the destination on two wheels

bee-white Cruise

The combination of some must-see experience and the cruise tour along the mighty rivers

white-icon About 1 week
yellow-icon About 1 week
white-icon About 2 weeks
yellow-icon About 2 weeks
white-icon About 3 weeks
yellow-icon About 3 weeks
white-icon About 4 weeks
yellow-icon About 4 weeks
Already got a plan? REQUEST A FREE QUOTE

Either are you wondering about best time to visit, visa policy, or how to get the cheapest flight, we have your back!
WHAT MORE? Choose the country you plan to visit, then search for your nationality below to see our special travel tips & advice for your country. CONTACT US if you cannot find yours.

Best Time to Visit
bee-white Best Time to Visit
Tourist Visa Policy
bee-white Tourist Visa Policy
Budget & Currency
bee-white Budget & Currency
Getting Flight There
bee-white Getting Flight There
Getting Around
bee-white Getting Around
Internet & Phone
bee-white Internet & Phone
Packing List
bee-white Packing List
Buying & Bargaining
bee-white Buying & Bargaining
Tipping Customs
bee-white Tipping Customs
Useful addresses
bee-white Useful addresses
Safety & Precautions
bee-white Safety & Precautions
Local Etiquette
bee-white Local Etiquette
Travel Insurance
bee-white Travel Insurance
bee-white Vaccinations
bee-white Vietnam
A land of staggering natural beauty and cultural complexities, of dynamic megacities and hill-tribe villages, Vietnam is both exotic and compelling.
bee-white Cambodia
There's a magic about this charming yet confounding kingdom that casts a spell on visitors. In Cambodia, ancient and modern worlds collide to create an authentic adventure.
bee-white Myanmar
It's a new era for this extraordinary and complex land, where the landscape is scattered with gilded pagodas and the traditional ways of Asia endure.
bee-white Laos
Vivid nature, voluptuous landscapes and a vibrant culture collide with a painful past and optimistic future to make Laos an enigmatic experience for the adventurous.
back top