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Pawleys Jan 15th, 2010 01:45 PM

Songran, should we avoid Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai?
We ( 2 women in our 60's) are planning to be in Thailand in April. Right now our plans are to fly to Chiang Rai on 5 Apr for 3 days in the Golden Triangle, then drive to Chiang Mai for the 8th -10th. I think Songran is actually on the 13th. Do you think it will be too crowded and wild to enjoy seeing these two areas? (I'm picturing Mardi Gras, fun when I was in college; but, I wouldn't choose to go now.)

Is the Golden Triangle impacted as much by Songran?

Hanuman Jan 15th, 2010 05:13 PM

You should be fine since the "celebration" doesn't start in full swing until around the 11th or 12th. IMO you will just avoid it.

MichaelBKK Jan 15th, 2010 06:07 PM

Since the whole week is more or less a holiday for many people, Chiang Mai will be crowded, but as Hanuman says, the real craziness - such as it is - won't start until the 12th or so.

The most important thing is that you have firm reservations now for Chiang Mai. Most of the hotels are booked up by early February.

rhkkmk Jan 15th, 2010 08:56 PM

and the 2nd most important thing is a raincoat

Instep Jan 16th, 2010 07:29 AM

I visited when in my 40s (well past water pistol stage) but loved it! I was really struck by how relaxed it was and how amazingly friendly. I was drenched by a sweet old lady who was 80 if she was a day - but with a wonderful smile. Its worth seeing people just having fun and being part of it if you do not mind being soaked through!

It is really very difficult to avoid at the height of the celebtration so if you really dont feel you can joing in I would say avoid the area or be prepared to be trapped in your hotel (and even then the staff may well have the odd water pistol!)

Go for it!

Hanuman Jan 16th, 2010 08:06 AM

It should be pointed out that apart from the likelihood of getting wet the centre of Chiang Mai will almost be impossible to drive or walk through during Songran. The roads around the old moats will be full of pickup trucks with back riders throwing water at you.

If you want to celebrate the holiday properly, or the correct way, go to the smaller towns like Lampoon. People there still ask for your permission before they poor, not throw or splash, scented water over your hand or they might ask you to apply a paste, mixture of talcum powder and scented water, on your face. Several parades around town where the most holy Buddhas statue are carried from the Wats and people along the parade route perform a cleaning ritual on the Buddhas.

rhkkmk Jan 16th, 2010 08:09 AM

i wonder if they use bottled water in those pistols and in those buckets??

Hanuman Jan 16th, 2010 08:16 AM

We only use Evian and Pellecrino in our pistols.

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