We spent the last few days of Songkran, the Thai New Years festival, in a small town called Sukhothai. Our main purpose for visiting Sukhothai was to check out the temples and ruins of the historical park, but our first day here ended up consisting of soggy Songkran celebrations.
Our guesthouse was located one kilometer from the main strip of town and provided free bicycle rentals for easy transportation. We hopped on our nearly flat-tired bikes and headed into town to compare the water fights and wet festivities with those that we experienced in Pai at the start of Songkran. The conclusion was that there were less water guns and more buckets of water and as we cycled down the main road of town we were drenched from left and right; on the left was the sidewalk where locals flung buckets of water at us, and on the right was the road where passing traffic also flung buckets of water on us from the back of trucks.
As we crossed the bridge, the epicenter of the festivities, we were engulfed into a huge party with music blaring and wet dancers splashing us with water. Staying dry was not an option while crossing the bridge because a large sprinkler system was set up to rain down on those who crossed it. Baby powder was mixed with water to create a paste that was smeared onto the faces of anyone within arms reach. While we biked down the road it was common to be physically stopped by a group of people who would pour buckets over your torso and rub the baby powder paste all over your cheeks and face. Resistance was futile.
After a day of being voluntarily abused with buckets of water we visited the Sukhothai historical park where it was so hot that I craved the damp Songkran festivities that had ended the previous day. Our first Songkran experience had come to an end after 5 days of non-stop soggy and continuous squealing and laughter. I hope the rest of the country enjoyed New Years as much as we did, and from what I’ve seen they likely did.