Entirely by accident, Rebecca and I had timed our trip to Chiang Mai with the biggest party of the year. The festival of Songkran (Lunar New Year) is celebrated all over Thailand, but things get particularly crazy in Chiang Mai as thousands of Thais and farang descend on the city. In fact, the demand for transportation to Chiang Mai was so high that they started adding extra cars to the trains, which is how we were able to get here.
Basically the festival consists of everyone lining the streets armed with Super Soakers and buckets of water. If you don’t want to get wet, you simply can’t go outside. Three year olds spring from behind fences and squirt you in the back. Teenagers cruise the streets in the back of pickups dumping buckets of water on your head. Eighty year old grandmas are wielding garden hoses. It’s complete madness.
Everything we’ve done here: visiting the mountain top Wat Phra Doi Suthep, buying more crap than we know what to do with, eating, dancing in the streets, writing journal entries…we’ve done it all while soaked from head to toe in foul water. Of course we didn’t sit aside and let the Thais have all the fun. We went down to our nearest folding table/store, bought a couple water guns and got sweet revenge. The smell may never come out of my clothes, but it was all well worth it. Happy New Year!