bangkok festivalsOne of the first things that any traveler to Thailand will notice, is that the country has its own unique and rich culture. It’s one of the products of the fact that this nation was never truly colonized by some other power. Unlike some of its neighbors, which feature French architecture or Spanish churches, Thailand truly is a culture unto its own. And nowhere is this more clear, than in the many interesting festivals that occur here on a regular basis.

If you’re looking for a festival that’s somewhat on the rowdy side for a vagabond traveller like yourself, be sure to visit Bangkok in the middle of April. That’s when the Songkran festival takes place. The idea behind this festival is that it offers people a chance to have a fresh start, essentially ushering in a new year. This means that people will go through their homes, cleaning the rooms and doing other things to increase their good luck. One of the highlights of the festival is the huge water fight that takes place all around the country. For many people, the water is meant to symbolize washing away bad luck and leading to a sort of purification. But at the same time, many people simply enjoy the experience of getting drenched and drenching others in return.

So if you’re going to take part in this festival, make sure that you’re prepared. If you get annoyed or angry easily, then you might want to steer clear of this one. In a way, you just have to accept the fact that if you’re going to be out on the road at this time, you’re going to get doused with water repeatedly, no matter what you say or how loudly you protest. Make sure you don’t have electronic items or valuable documents on your person, or these are going to get wrecked. Wear clothes that can handle all that water. It’s a crazy, wild and exciting time to be in Bangkok, and if you’re up for it, it can be an unforgettable experience.

For something more relaxed and peaceful, you could observe the Loi Krathong festival. This event usually happens toward the end of the year, in November. People celebrate by launching beautifully crafted baskets into the river. The baskets can be made of leaves and parts from the banana tree, and they usually contain some sort of floral arrangement. There might also be candles, incense or coins. These baskets range from small hand-made ones, to much larger baskets created by offices or companies. Fireworks might also fill the night sky.