April is here and so is Songkran, the Thai New Year. Every year Thai’s celebrate Songkran (also known as the water festival) to ring in the New Year. The country cools down during the hottest summer month by splashing water for 3 days over the celebration period except for 2020 and 2021 (due to Covid-19).
While it is the most popular Thai holiday throughout the year, it can also be the most dangerous. There are many road accidents due to irresponsible driving. Below we’ve given a list of do’s and don’ts during Songkran.
Don’t drink and drive. It goes without saying (but we’ll say it anyways). Some bars and 7-Elevens will be open and serving alcohol, not to mention the small stalls selling alcohol lining hot pots. Be very wary of drunk drivers – be it you, your friend or even a taxi or tuk tuk driver. Drink responsibly, and think of others on the road. Be safe.
Don’t splash motorcycle drivers. While this year splashing of water is banned, some people will still most likely be playing against the rules. Motorcycles drivers might look like an easy target, but please don’t. It can be extremely dangerous for them, and while SWAG electric motorcycles are waterproof and resistant, we wouldn’t want anyone splashing us while we’re riding our electric motorcycle.
Leave valuables at home and put phones. If you do go somewhere where they are throwing water, we suggest getting waterproof pouches. You won’t go far without finding a stall selling pouches and ponchos. You can even stock up early from 7-Eleven.
Learn how to say “Sawasdee Pee Mai!” This means Happy New year in Thai language. Be nice and wish people happiness.
Respect monks, elderly and babies. Splashing water is great but never do it to monks, elderly people or babies. This is a big no-no, and if you end up doing it by mistake, make sure to apologise right away!
Go local – whilst the Bangkok during Songkran is usually empty, it can be tempting to stay behind and experience the city in a different way. There is no traffic and it can be quite peaceful. But it’s also great to travel across Thailand and see different parts.
You can even take short day trips just outside of the capital to experience more unusual festivities. Use your SWAG electric motorcycle, we suggest the Type-X as it is more comfortable and bigger for longer rides outside of the city center.
And finally… have fun!