5 April 2013
Wring in the Thai New Year
This month in Thailand brings April showers to an entirely new level when the Songkran festival kicks the Thai New Year off with a bang – or rather, a splash as the streets play host to water fights galore for three days of free-for-all drenching and celebration. Festivals like this and the fun-loving people who welcome tourists to join in are just a couple of the numerous things that continuously draw us to Thailand and in tribute to the country we know and love so well, we’re proud to present our sister site, Black Tomato’s freshly-launched guide The Thaimes, packed to the gills with valuable tips and information for any trip to Thai shores. And so to mark its maiden issue, we’ve cherry-picked the top few things on our to-do list when we touch down in the land of smiles.
Songkran may be one of the best-known Thai festivals but practically every couple of weeks delivers a fresh reason to celebrate, always accompanied by signature colourful revelry, an abundance of incredible street food and photo opportunities a-plenty. Whether it’s street-pounding buffalo racing in Chonburi or launching rockets to summon the rains in the Bun Bang Fai festival, the Thai people know how to throw a mean party and here, there’s no such thing as gate-crashing – everyone can get stuck in.
The souvenir that keeps on giving, a crash course on Thai cuisine in one of the country’s many cookery schools is an excellent way to spend an afternoon, even for a rookie cook. Nowhere else perfects the balance of spicy, sweet and sour like Thai kitchens and just a day-long class with a local to impart the knowledge will give your cooking back-catalogue some serious kudos.
Perhaps it’s their age-old traditions of restoration through massage and meditation, or the distinctive Thai hospitality, or the zen-inducing surroundings of towering palm trees and dreamy beaches – we’re not sure why the country’s spas are just so good and when there, it’s hard to care…or think, worry or do anything except take a deep breath and feel the real world ebb away with every serene sleepy second.
Words by Hannah Quinn