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Sunday, April 12, 2009

Songkran In Bangkok

Keeping my 2009 travel plans aside for the moment , let me bring you back to updates in Bangkok. Tomorrow, 13th of Apr marks the Songkran New Year celebration in Thailand. As far as I gathered from my Thai colleagues, this festival officially lasts for 2 days but many stretches their holidays for a week(just like raya or CNY in Malaysia). Like many other festivals, this festival is the moment city dwellers swarm to their hometowns to celebrate and spend time with their loved ones.

For the past few days, people and luggages on the streets have been common sights to me.However, when the TV's on, I see masses of RED shirts around in city centre especially around the government buildings and Pattaya(especially yesterday and the days before). I'm pretty sure you guys have read or heard of the protests against the present PM Abhisit and yesterdays cancellation of the ASEAN Summit Conference. Protests have been common reports on TV eversince I began flying here regularly since 9 months ago. Then, it was the YELLOW shirts and now RED. In fact, I was one of the affected ones when the Suvarnabhumi Airport had to close down and I had to leave the country from the U-tapao army airport in Pattaya. We as neutralists shall take note of the colours and not at any time attempt to wear pure RED or pure YELLOW attires for sure. Should you asked me if I'm nerve wrecked? Not really actually but when I caught the protesters hitting without second thoughts with helmets, hammers, rods and planks on luxury cars(Fortuner the other day, and Merz today), I felt like WOW, what a waste to treat these cars that way. I wonder what would happen should they be our national cars.

Well, getting back to Songkran, the new year which has been popularized as the water splashing festival to the whole wide world, I'm gonna go and witness if for myself somewhere near here. I heard that the celebration in Khao San Road is more extravagant but I don't think I wanna make the trip there as the celebration is nationwide. I'm not sure if there would be unexpected even t happening in t he city centre due to the ongoing protests there. From what I heard, the taxi driver too participated in blocking main intersections in the city center and last news on the tube says the PM has just declared a state of emergency on Bangkok.

I found a site you may refer to should you need more information on the tradition and activities during the Songkran festival. Similarly, this site talks about how you should throw water during Songkran. Following are some videos to get you in the mood of Songkran. I have thought of recording one myself but put the idea off. I would not risk damaging my(not mine exactly) camera for blogging. ^-^ Do enjoy these videos!

(sorry for the mistakes/discoordination as my PC seems to be lagging really bad and I'm publishing this beofre it fails on me)


Johnny Ong said...

have not seen this festival b4 ... one day! one day!

Call me A.S for AkiraSabine said...

Hey, bout this too.. apparently I had to leave the country early the morning of Songkran. Couldn't catch the festival but it could be a blessing in disguise at the events organized around the city had been cancelled due to the protest chaos.

mhel said...

Oh, this is similar to WATTAH! WATTAH! SAN JUAN FIESTA here in Metro Manila, Philippines. The fiesta is also characterized by dousing of water.

Out of topic:
By the way, please change my site from The Asian Traveler to An Asian Traveler. I lost my old custom domain. I have now my new web address http://www.anasiantraveler.com . Thank you in advance for your time and assistance.

zewt said...

wow... i would never dare to travel to thai now... not now...

Call me A.S for AkiraSabine said...

Hi An Asian Traveler,

Ok, thanks for the notification. You keep me from being outdated. Oh yea, I didn't know there's a similar festival elsewhere especially in another neighbouring country like Philippine. Thanks for the enlightment.
Must be as fun!

Hi Zewt,

Yea, anytime... In fact, Malaysians won't stay away from Thailand for long. hahaha

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