Picture this: For seven days, the entire city is engaged in a massive water fight.  Not just the kids.  Not just the troublemakers.  Everyone.  You can’t walk down the street without getting wet.  So secure your phone, wrap your cigarettes in plastic (or just quit already!!) because you WILL get soaked.  This is how they celebrate Thai New Year (Songkran) in Chiang Mai.

We weren’t actually in Chiang Mai for Songkran – even though Fahrin’s brother who lives there insisted we come – because it was way far from where we were at the time.  But we did get a good taste of it on the Thai island of Koh Chang.

On Koh Chang they approach the water fight with the same zeal, but for only two days.

On one of those days we rented a motorbike and toured the island from top to bottom (actually from the middle to the top, then down to the bottom and back to the middle).

The entire way, the entire day, people lined the streets with garbage cans full of water and poured bucketfuls on the passersby.  Or squirted them with water pistols or hoses.  No one was exempt.

Groups of friends rode in the back of pickup trucks and squirted water guns – or dumped pails of water – at anyone in sight.  Sometimes they waged “war” against another vehicle.  All in good fun.

Sometimes you got hit as you were driving by.  Other times you had to stop so they could pour water on you.  The worst was the ice water…running down your back, into your shorts…

We got hit countless times throughout the day.  Probably hundreds of times.  We were drenched, soaked to the bone.  We couldn’t have been more wet.  Yet we kept getting water poured on us.

It’s the kind of thing where you just have to give in.  Have fun with it, because you have no choice.  “If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em,” as the old expression goes – and there’s no beating them at this game.

The only thing I regret is that we were only on the receiving end.  We got soaked so many times, but didn’t get the chance to return the favour.  If I could do it again, I’d park the bike for awhile and join a group in their soaking efforts.  Or I would at least get a water gun and seek my “revenge”.

But all in all it was loads of fun.  Even after being soaked for the hundredth time, I couldn’t help but giggle as the water poured down my back.

The vibe everywhere was electric.  Everyone was having fun.


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