Claes Johansson Asia 2010 travel blog

Songkran warriors.

An other way to celebrate Songkran.

Soaking, soaking.

The local army.

More soaking.

Big action at Moon Muang Rd.

More soaking.

10 April.

High time to leave Chiang Rai for Chiang Mai, there I planned to stay the rest of the time, which I have left here in North Thailand. The reason of why I am so eager to come back is that the Songkran Festival, the Buddhist New Year soon coming up, and well before that happens, I would like to be back in Top North GH. To travel during the Songkran is not to recommend, because it is a very wet happening, lot of water and also a lot of Thai people are travelling to. So today’s big thrill was when I arrived to Chiang Mai and later to Top North GH, if I have a room or not. Luckily my reservation worked and I got a rather good room at the ground floor. The reason why I want to stay at Top North is that this guesthouse is situated in an area well away from the bigger roads.

11 April.

A Very hot day with temperature at 40°C. Today also the Songkran festival started two days to early. Earlier I have seen out at the countryside, that often children already started to soak water. But now it is the same here, the “water war” is in full action. So not much for me to do, just stay away as most as possible.

12 April.

Another very wet day, I do what I can to stay away from the worst soaking. Some water I can take, but I stay away from the bigger streets, like Moon Muang Road there the heavy soaking going on. If I have to go out, I stick to the smaller soi’s around the Top North.

13 April.

This is the last day of the old year 2552, according to the Buddhist calendar. From the beginning the Songkran or the Buddhist New Year was a holiday, there all Buddha images in the temples should be cleaned. And of course when the people were washing the images, some person start to soak the surrounding people. Then the Songkran Festival was borne. For Thai people, the Songkran is the most important holiday of the year and many people who have a work somewhere ells, used to go home for celebrating the New Year with family, relatives and friends. That means that there are extra more people on the roads and looking for hotel rooms.

14 April.

Happy New Year, this is the first day of the New Year 2553. The “water war” continues in full power and I do my best to stay away, at least from the worst soaking. Even if I don’t like the soaking, so unwillingly I must confess that some water feels very good in this heat. The weather is still sunny and very hot, with temperatures about 40°C.

15 April.

This is the last day of the Songkran Festival. I stayed mostly all day inside the guesthouse. But in the evening I went out for some food and having some beers. The most of the soaking was over and most people I saw, looked very tired of soaking water. But I did not dare to push my luck to go out to the bigger roads. In the evening I received the breaking TV-news, that many flights over Northern Europe are cancelled after a volcano eruption on Iceland. It will probably affect me when I supposed to go home next week. An other thing which could cause me some problem, is the uprising in Bangkok continues.

16 April.

This is my last day in Chiang Mai and Northern Thailand. Tomorrow I go to Bangkok. Today I tried to re-confirm my flight ticket. With some help, I finally got the message that my ticket already was confirmed, so far so good. But I could not have any answer about if my flight back to Europe was cancelled or not. I spend some time to search the Internet for some site with accurate information. I also try to follow the news about the Red Skirts protestors in Bangkok. They are there in the shopping district in central Bangkok, yes. But I don’t think it will affect me that much. But I am well aware, that the situation could change dramatically.

In the evening, I saw on the Thai TV news, the statistics over accidents during the Songkran festival. The result was 212 dead people and more than 2500 people injured.

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