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Songkran Festival in Chiang Mai, Northern Thailand

Ein spitzen Fest! The greatest fun I have ever had! And also the wettest party I’ve ever been at…

The Sonkran Festival is the traditional Thai version of the Buddhist New Year that generally lasts from the 13th to the 15th of April each year.

People clean their houses and wash their clothes and enjoy sprinkling perfumed water on the monks, novices and other people for at least two or three days. They gather around the riverbank, carrying fishes in jars to put into the water, for April is so hot in Thailand that the ponds dry out and the fish would die if not rescued.
Water splashing is one of the famous afternoon activities. People go to the beach or river bank with jars or buckets of water and splash each other.

In addition, preparation for making merit, generally to Buddha’s monks, is very common. On Songkran Day, there is usually an early merit making by offering foods and things to monks, unleash birds and fishes (as another mean of making merits), praying for the dead relatives, watering Buddha image, etc.

Songkran also conveys another meaning of Thai social values. It is the time when all family members get together, more or less like Thanksgiving or Chrismas, due to the very traditional way of Thai lifestyle. During this special family reunion, the younger will water the elder and elderly to pay respect and gratitude, and will receive blessing in return.

What was the Sonkran party in Chiang Mai like?

Put your camera in a plastic back leave your secure place: 30 seconds after stepping on the street you are wet to the skin.
People stand in front of there houses and shops with buckets, water pistols, water hoses and walk or drive around the city on pickups, motorbikes or Tuk Tuks. You are in a moving parade getting buckets of water (ice water in the worst case ) and flour poured over your head from every direction, even from below since there are heaps of children. You should arm youself to give it back to the people or you will have less fun.
In Chiang Mai you usually take the water from the canel that goes around the old town. Or you buy big bars of ice and use the ice water to freeze the people that sit on the pick ups. You see a lot of shivering people…
I had a bucket and fell in the chanel while having a battle with some Thai guys. Actually, I did not fell but somebody pushed me…he got a big bucket of the yellow water right in his face for that

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Laos – the special way to smile

After my body was not sore anymore from that one-week-Muay Thai-I-try-kickboxing-experience I left the organized and touristic Thailand to Northern Laos.

This country has my great sympathy! Traveling here is as charming and time taking as in Indonesia. Spending 10 to 13 hours to travel on dusty (muddy after rain) and windy roads for a distance of 300 kilometers brought me back to the feeling of being on a jouney and not on a holiday.  Travellers meditations is looking out of an open bus window and watching beautiful landscapes and villages passing by.

It’s mountainous in the north of Laos, there is djungle but also a lot of logging and burning for agricultural reasons, and you see village after village with houses, all made of bamboo, and with dogs, cows, pigs, chicken and children, all sitting on the road (not even moving sometimes when a car comes through). For the hours at night, when there’s no electricity in the villages, the children invented a game to entertain themselves and the travellers: They wait in bunches in the darkat the roads and scream at the bussses and cars that come by to scare the travellers. It’s a good way to let you forget that you have been sitting for 8 hours already in the driving cage without any possibility to move your … feet.


The people in Laos are not as open as many Thai people. They are friendly but shy and a bit reserved. If you get a smile from them it feels like a great present. It’s so honest and warm.