5 places in Thailand to catch Songkran*

[Sponsored] You never need a reason to go back to Thailand. But as April approaches, we’re gearing up for the Thai New Year, aka Songkran. Famous for its street parties, water splashing and general revelry, it’s also a great time to be a part of traditional ceremonies and do some fantastic street photography (mind the splash, though). Here are our top five destinations and the unique Songkran celebrations they offer.
, 5 places in Thailand to catch Songkran*


Where to go: Major intersections such as Sala Daeng and Ratchprasong have become sites for water gun armies. Khao Sarn Road in the historic district of Banglampu can get especially raucous, so we recommend the tree-lined riverside avenue of Phra Athit Road that’s a short walk away.
Where to refuel: Phra Athit has dozens of hip cafes and bars. Don’t miss Dickinson’s Culture Cafe (64 Phra Athit Rd., +66 89 497-8422), which has DJs every night and affordable snacks and cocktails. For something fancier, head to boutique hotel Riva Surya at sunset for cocktails and daybeds at Babble & Rum.
Getting there: With six direct flights every day, AirAsia has the most frequent service between Changi Airport and Bangkok’s Don Mueang Airport. Prices start at $85 all-in in April for a one-way flight.

Chiang Mai

Where to go: The street parties in the northern capital come with a heavy dose of local Lanna culture. There are traditional events at temples (such as Phra Sing and Phra That Doi Suthep temples). The major water splashing event tends to be at Ku Muang canal. There is a cultural parade on the first day, involving a Buddha statue procession and a Miss Songkran Chiang Mai pageant.
Where to refuel: Ku Muang canal is by the historic walled heart of the city, which is full of restaurants, cafes, bars and markets. Grab a coffee at third wave roasters Pacamara (80/5 Rachadamnoen Road, +66 53 327-324) or kick back with wine or some tea at the vintag chic and semi-alfresco Kalapela
Getting there: AirAsia flies from Singapore to Chiang Mai every day, with a Fly-Thru transit in Bangkok. Prices start at $170 all-in in April for a one-way flight. And speaking for the Fly-Thru: if you’re transiting at Bangkok, the Fly-Thru means there are no lines and no immigration check. Your bags are checked through, so you have free hands to enjoy the wide array of duty free shops. And yes, there is free WiFi. 

, 5 places in Thailand to catch Songkran*Chiang Mai


Where to go: The southern island offers the best of both worlds: there will be crazy street parties on famous Patong Beach as well as a cute and kitsch Miss Songkran beauty pageant. On the more traditional front, expect ceremonies such as a flowerthemed parade and a Buddha statue procession through town.
Where to refuel: The nightlife on Patong can get gritty and grungy, but we like Sky Lounge, a rooftop bar and restaurant at The Kee Resort, which does simple cocktails and fusion tapas and seafood.
Getting there: AirAsia flies direct from Singapore to Phuket International Airport every day, and it’s a 30-minute cab ride into town. Prices start at $65 all-in in April for a one-way flight.


Where to party: While downtown Krabi has its charms, it seems that most people head to nearby Ao Nang for the festival. Flanked by the beach on one side and rows of cafes and bars on the other, Ao Nang is great for a casual celebration.
Where to refuel: When you’re ready to extract yourself from the melee, head above it all to The Hilltop Restaurant with amazing views of the beach and a solid seafood menu. For something traditional, Ruen Mai is all about openair bamboo dining rooms and rustic decor.
Getting there: AirAsia flies direct to Krabi daily, and the flight time is under two hours. Prices start at $62 all-in in April for a one-way flight.
, 5 places in Thailand to catch Songkran*
Khon Kaen

Khon Kaen

Where to party: The capital of Thailand’s northeast region of Isaan—home of sticky rice and Thai silk, incidentally—Khon Kaen is a small city with modern amenities and lots of traditional charm. The Songkran celebration here kicks off early with a cultural parade and showcases at various spots around town, but Sri Chan Road is where the main water splashing highlights are.
Where to refd: The parties are a bit more subdued in Khon Kaen and the drinking is less copious. We suggest heading to Kaen Nakhon Lake on the city’s southern edge for a festive food festival instead.
Getting there: Air Asia flies daily to Khon Kaen via Bangkok, with a transit in Don Mueang Airport


Tip: Fly like a pro on AirAsia
1. Fix a date. Whether it’s a planned trip or impulse holiday, check here for the lowest fares. 
2. Book your bag. You save up to 66% if you book your check-in bag online. 
3. Pick your seat(mate). Don’t get separated from your friends or end up in seats you don’t want. Pick your seats online from just $3 extra.
4. Upgrade. Premium Flex lets you board first, change flights and check-in up to 20kg. AirAsia also lets you sign up for a Thai meal, with options like green curry, basil chicken, mango sticky rice and lots more. Meals start at $5 when you pre-book online.  
New to the festival? Read our survival guide to Songkran here.  

*This post is brought to you by , 5 places in Thailand to catch Songkran*