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Songkran is coming

Every year, for a hot week in April, Thailand’s northern city of Chiang Mai undergoes it’s metamorphosis from laid back garden city to the full blown party capital of Thailand. Chiang Mai has become famed for it’s wild and wet celebrations of Songkran, which centre around the moat surrounding the old city.

We’re now a week away from this year’s holiday which officially starts Friday 13th and runs until Sunday 15th. Last year the first day was surprisingly dampened more by the rain and cool weather, than by thrown water. The good news is, after a partly cloudy week the forecast For Friday is clear skies with temperatures peaking at 38 degrees! Perfect weather for a water fight.

For the un-initiated, Songkran is the annual Thai New Year festival. What started as a Bhuddist tradition of pouring water on Bhudda statues and the hands and feet of elders to cleanse and show respect, has now become anything but respectful. For three days it seems the entire population is out on the streets attempting to drown each other with as much water as possible in the world’s number one water fight.

Songkran Chiang Mai Thapae Chiang Mai Songkran
Water wars around the moat near Thapae gate

The local population is swelled by many from surrounding towns or returning home for the holiday from Bangkok, add to them the throngs of tourists who come to join in the fun and the city is packed. Enthusiasm for the festival means it unofficially starts earlier and runs for nearly a week (Government offices and many businesses will not re-open until 18 April). The main party places are Thapae Gate and outside the Kad Suan Kaew shopping complex. Between these venues a constant parade of vehicles, slowed to walking pace, fill the inner and outer moat roads.

Most popular choice of war wagon is the pickup truck; loaded up with a large bin of water, plenty of beer and as many people as can be squeezed in! They maraud around the moat armed with plenty of buckets, high powered water pistols and proceed to soak anyone who comes in range. Others take up position by the side of the street and the nearest hosepipe to playfully soak passers by.

A great place for Gay partygoers is Soho Bar. It’s location, on the main road near the main stage at Kad Suan Kaew makes it a popular venue. Soho Bar offers the option of sitting inside enjoying a cold beer, whilst evading the mayhem and the sun, or stepping outside to enjoy the party. Up to you! If you are alone you are guaranteed to meet new friends here during the Songkran party days. Gay Thais seem to love Songkran as an excuse to dress up and behave as camp and flamboyantly as possible.

Songkran at Soho
Songkran partygoers at Soho Bar

Soho Bar will be running a Gay Songkran at Soho party

Thursday April 12th

Soho Songkran Kick-off Party and Sexy Body Contest
• Noon until 2 PM Free hotdogs and potato chips.
• Register to win a 200 baht bar tab. Drawing at 9:PM
• Who has the sexiest body?
Entrants must wear a sexy bikini; rub your body with baby oil, flirt, dance and wiggle to the audience. A 500 baht bar tab goes to the winner.

Friday April 13th

Yes Friday the 13th falls on Songkran this year.
Freaky Friday
• Noon until 2: PM Make your own bologna sandwich and chips (free fixings).
• Wear a scary costume and get 50 baht Chang beer all day.
• Late registration for the Saturday Street Dance Contest.
• Live Music after the concert at Kad Suan Kaew( Time TBD.)

Saturday April 14th

So- Ho you think you can dance ?
• Free Snacks and finger food until 2: PM
• 4: PM is the time to prove it – Street Dance Contest!

For more details visit Soho Bar

Adam’s Apple Club will be holding party nights over Songkran. See this previous post for details.

If you have a gay party over Songkran that isn’t included please let us know and we’ll advertise it here.

Songkran also has a number of cultural events. You can find the full calendar on Chiang Mai Mail website

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