a VirtualTourist member
Four of us all guys are coming to phuket from 10 th april to 14 april. We just came to know that the dates are during water festival so does it make sense to come during that period as all the bars bars and other places would be open or should we change our dates .
If you don't mind water and face powder all day in a party atmosphere when you go outdoors. I would go! It is a lot of fun, but if you are of the older generation, they tend to stay home all week until it's over. Still, all the entertainment venues will be open, day and night. Thailand depends on the tourist dollars to help run the economy. cheers tommy x
I would definitely go during the festival, it's great fun. Join in and buy a water pistol or small bucket so you can soak people too. As said the bars will be open, but keep your valuables in a waterproof bag as just being there makes you part of the action. Don't get angry if you are soaked by someone throwing a bucket of water over you, but If you don't want to get wet, stay in your room!!!
We're also booked (13-15, only for the weekend), and i've heard about this too. I'm sure if you're staying in Patong area, it will be very busy because apparently this is a huge event. We're staying in Surin, i'm sure there will be celebrations here and there too, but i'm hoping it wouldn't be as loud as Patong. I'm sure it'll be fun if you're up to/for some partying, otherwise just book a hotel away from that area (if you hadn't done so yet).
Songkran gets much more serious (in terms of the water fight and celebration) in the north than in the south. Tourist area like Phuket, you'll find some water fight, especially in the beach area.
Make sure you carry all your important stuffs in a ziploc bag or a dry bag. Buy a water bucket and join the locals for some fun! Don't bother with water gun, it is nothing compare to a water bucket. You'll see people standing by the street with a huge water barrel and dumping water to passerby - whether you are walking, driving, or on a motorbike.
Phuket's great for some Songkrant fun. Songkrant is Thailand's main festival and you are advised not to miss it. Be sure to keep your personal items in a plastic bag and get a water gun for yourself and you are all set to enjoy the festival.
I have not been to Phuket during Songkran, but have been in Pattaya during that time of year. That being said, I was just in Phuket last month. I will combine both of these experiences and hopefully give you some information to go on.
I absolutely LOVED Phuket and in many ways I liked it better than Pattaya. I got my SCUBA certification in Pattaya in 2008 and though it is a fun place to visit, I enjoyed the beaches, water, and activities much more in Phuket.
As far as Songkran is concerned, it is a blast...for a day, maybe a day and a half. It is called "The Water Festival" for a reason - everywhere becomes the largest water fight you can imagine (or at least this was the case in Pattaya). My suggestion, pack a lot of clothes that dry quickly as you can not travel from point A to point B without getting thoroughly drenched. Wear this clothing during the day and don't get changed into "club / going out" wear until well into the evening; you'll get a feel for it. As it really hot at this time of year, it's nice to get a refreshing soaking...but after a day or two it starts to wear thin.
Depending on where you are staying / playing, I'd like to make a quick suggestion. On Bangla Road, or actually on a side street, there is a Swedish Restaurant (across from the Tiger Bar pool tables) - I do not exaggerate when I say I got one of the greatest steaks I have EVER had there.
I hope this helps and you enjoy your trip. I have been to 31 countries, lived all over the world, and I can honestly say, "I love Phuket."
There are supposed be some restrictions to the water play this year (2013). We are in the midst of a drought that has lasted three months, our reservoirs are nearly empty, and we're under a fire alert as well. So there are supposed to be designated areas this year for water play, and each person is limited to the use of just one litre of fresh water per day during the period (there is no limit on sea water). I don't know how the authorities plan to ration the water, but out of consideration for the fire danger levels and the water shortages we're experiencing at the moment, I would urge anyone who is coming to Phuket to be considerate with your water play and also not to launch any fire lanterns at all. We may not even have enough water to put out a major fire, particularly if people are throwing buckets of what little there is all over each other and it's just draining down to the ocean. There are supposed to be other measures as well, including a prohibition against throwing water from pickup trucks and other moving vehicles (there are lots of accidents due to this kind of water play). Anyway, have fun, but without wasting too much water please!