Krabi Day 03 & 04 - Muay Thai Wall & Songkran

Krabi Day 4

Songkran Festivities

We made our way back to Ao Nang (boat ticket cost THB100 per person) for the Songkran festivities as the celebrations in Railay paled in comparison. We quickly realised that Ao Nang seemed to be a lot quieter than it had been the year before but things started to pick up as we walked through the streets amidst groups of tourists armed with colourful water-guns of all shapes and sizes, pubs and bars with speakers set up blasting music, as well as platforms having been erected for the sole purpose of dancing. There were also countless numbers of barrels of water (a lot of them iced) that lined the streets to help those with water guns (or cannons) reload and those who didn't would just resort to lying in wait ready to ambush you with their minted powder as you passed them by. The stalls selling the wonderful barbecued meat on sticks (THB10 each) and Thai pancakes (THB30) kept us going. Funnily enough, we would occasionally come across tourists who were trying to make their way down the street attempting to stay dry and would seem somewhat antagonized once they realized that this was ultimately futile.

Here is a video compilation of last year's Songkran festivities in Ao Nang :

The word Songkran means 'to pass' or 'to move into' in Sanskrit and the celebration is known to be as one of the largest water fights in the world. The custom of the throwing of water originated from a cleaning ritual as images and statues of Buddha were cleaned with water. Using so-called 'blessed' water is also a way of paying ones respects to another and is also supposed to herald good fortune. The chalk on the other hand was originally used by monks to mark blessings and strangely enough, the combination of chalk with water seems to be somewhat similar to the festivities of Holi (India) and Śmigus-Dyngus (Poland, Czech Republic and Slovakia) that also occur around the same time.

Unfortunately, the festivities tend to be marred by huge death tolls every year as alcohol, driving and riding without helmets do not make a good combination. This year the cumulative road death toll for only the first two days reached 101.

Next : Krabi Day 03 & 04 - Muay Thai Wall & Songkran (Part 3)