Songkran Festival Phuket

Songkran Festival Phuket 2023 – April 13 to 15

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What is the Songkran Water Festival?

Songkran Festival Phuket happens on April 13, 2023. The dates vary depending on Thailand’s regions, and the festival can last several days in the north.

Songkran festival in Phuket


Songkran festival on a normal year

If you choose to come to Phuket or Thailand in April, you’d better know what this event is about. Songkran is the Thai New Year, which occurs when the sun moves from Pisces to Aries. According to the Thai calendar, we are already in the year 2565. The country gets many days off, and most Thai people will go back home to celebrate Songkran with their families.

Songkran Festival in Phuket

Fortunately for you, it is business as usual in Phuket, and you will be able to enjoy all the tours and day trips as usual. Just expect massive traffic jams on the road as everyone is out on pickup trucks, throwing water at each other.

KIds Playing Songkran water festival in Phuket

What Happens During Songkran Festival?

Starting early morning on April 13, people celebrate Songkran Festival in many different ways. It is an exceptional day, and the water ceremony will take many forms. Initially, you should only sprinkle your family with a tiny cup of water. You also respectfully sprinkle a statue of Buddha with water and do a little prayer. It’s good luck.

Traditional Songkran in Phuket

Later in the morning, the game starts to change. Because this is the hottest time of the year, splashing each other with water is a lot of fun. Add a little beer to that, and Songkran becomes a country-wide water war.

Songkran in Thailand

People living in Thailand will be divided into three groups: ‘Wild Wet Fun‘ fans, ‘Sulking Hermits‘ who will lock themselves indoors for three days having wisely stocked food, and ‘Smart Dudes‘, well organised, who will make use of the very long weekend to fly somewhere abroad and dry.

What are the best water weapons?

Locals prefer the simple way! A barrel full of iced water on the back of a pickup truck

This is actually a fun question. 2 weeks before the Songkran festival, every single shop, convenience store, street stall and shopping mall with have hundreds of colourful water weapons on sale, each bigger, scarier and more colourful than the next! The ones with the largest water container and manual pumps are often the best, and indeed they do a pretty good job for a one-on-one street battle, for the newbies! The pros have a much better weapon (and we did test it, it’s the next level indeed!). The pros go around town on the back of pickup trucks with a barrel of ice water, and all they need to freeze you instantly is a simple little plastic bucket. With a bit of practice, you will be surprised how powerful these are when ice water comes at you!

Where are the best places to have fun?

You can join Songkran wet street parties from early morning if you are of the first kind. It starts rather gently in Phuket Town around 10 am, turns to water dogfights in the afternoon in Patong, Kata and Karon, and ends in a hectic, full-scale wet war zone in Bangla Road until late at night.

Songkran Festival in Phuket

Shops and supermarkets make fortunes selling all kinds of colourful and humongous water guns. But the best weapon remains the good old plastic bowl and a big tank of icy cold water! Everybody will join the Songkran festivities, kids, teens, adults and tourists, divided into two camps: the ‘Strategically Ambushed‘ by the roadside with plenty of water ammunition and the ‘Mobile Units‘ fully loaded at the back of pickup trucks.

Songkran Festival in Phuket

Cops doing traffic and security on the road are always favourite targets for everyone, but they are used to this and keep a smile all day or even play along.

Survival Tips for Songkran Day

  • Don’t drive a bike if you can avoid it: it’s slippery, and the tendency to close your eyes when people throw water at you might lead to a crash with the car in front of you. And many drunk people will be out there partying, including you :D.
  • Get a waterproof camera; the chance of ruining yours is pretty high!
  • If you are unfortunate enough to go to Phuket airport on that day, go as early as possible, preferably in the morning. Beware of major traffic jams in towns, mostly in Patong Beach. It might take you several hours to cross it.
  • Don’t carry anything that is not water-resistant or buy a cheap Waterproof Bag.
  • Don’t wear expensive clothing; I’m not sure how easy it would be to wash some teens’ colour powder thrown at you.
  • Beware of the Sun! If you are on the back of a pickup truck, get a cap and water-resistant sunscreen, or you will pay a painful price the days after!
  • Have fun! Don’t take it too seriously; it’s good fun (if you choose to go out there).

Things you may need to enjoy Songkran

Bear Outdoor Dry Sack/Waterproof Bag 10 L

A floating waterproof bag you can also use when riding boats to the nearby islands. It doesn’t;t take up much space in your luggage and comes in handy in many situations. Beyond Songkran Day, we used it a lot when kayaking in Phang Nga Bay with our expensive cameras. Check the price

GoPro HERO9 Black Waterproof Action Camera

An action waterproof camera is also useful to snorkel on the many beaches of Phuket and the nearby islands. GoPro HERO9 Black is a popular choice and makes amazing videos in the craze of the Songkran party! Check the price


Neutrogena Beach Defense Water Resistant Sunscreen SPF 70

It doesn’t look like much, but we learned the hard way that Songkran Day is a lot more tiring and dangerous than it seems! People have fun in the sun all day, and because they are soaked non-stop with cold water, it is very easy to underestimate the power of the sun! Check the price

Super Water Guns 1200cc

While you can buy easily water guns anywhere in Phuket at least two weeks before Songkran, why not come prepared? Just remember to pack those in your main suitcase, not in your cabin bags! Check the price

Photos of Songkran Festival

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