T.S. Eliot wrote that “April is the cruelest month,” and that’s not so far from the truth in Thailand. It’s the hottest month, at least, with temperatures that often break 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
Relief from the heat comes during Songkran, an annual festival that runs from April 13 to April 15th. It was originally the Thai New Year celebration, though nowadays Thailand celebrates New Year’s on January 1st.
Traditionally, Songkran was a time to engage in “spring cleaning,” both physically and spiritually, as well as to honor one’s elders. Many people still observe some of these customs, cleaning their houses as well as bathing their Buddha statues in fragrant water and traveling home to spend time with parents, grandparents and other older relatives.
However, the main attraction, especially if you’re a tourist, is the endless water fights in the streets. Natives and tourists alike arm themselves with water balloons, buckets and water guns of all shapes and sizes, and hit the town. Anybody outside is fair game, though according to Nomadic Matt most people will refrain from soaking you if you’re holding a camera or smoking a cigarette.
If you’d like to attend the world’s biggest water fight, the biggest Songkran celebrations are in the northern city of Chiang Mai, though Bangkok is also a good place to go. You’ll need a valid passport, naturally, and you’ll also need a Thai visa.
If you’re only staying in Thailand for a short time, you can just get a visa on arrival. If you fly in, you’ll be given a 30-day visa, and if you enter by land you’ll get 15 days. However, if you’re planning to stay longer, you can get a tourist visa in advance that’s good for 60 days. See Thailand Visa Requirements for Tourists for details.
If you’re applying for a visa ahead of time, RushMyTravelVisa can help. We’ll research your itinerary to make sure you have the documents you need for each stage of your trip, and we’ll help you with the paperwork and answer any questions you may have. Then, we’ll take your visa application directly to the Thai Embassy for the fastest possible processing.
Apply for your Thai visa today!