Songkran's Day (Thai New Year) in Thailand

By: leelefever on April 13, 2006 - 9:19pm

Our friend Tanya Mau, who has spent a lot of time in Thailand, contacted us recently in email and said this "YOU MUST TRY AND VISIT THE SONGKRAN FESTIVAL (water festival for the Thai New Year) this week."  So we were sure to heed her advice.

So, we struck out on the scooter yesterday not knowing what to expect.  Within about 2 minutes of leaving the resort, we were both completely soaked, head to toe, including the scooter.

Songkran Day is the Thai New Years celebration that has roots in using water as a symbol of cleansing for the new year.  From our prespective, Songkran is the National Water Fight Day.  All along every road, there are people waiting with huge tubs of water, ready to drench anyone who comes by. This makes the normal 40kph road a wet, splashing and noisy parking lot that is more like a party than a road.

 It makes for an incredibly fun day and a chance to interact with the locals who love nothing more than to drench a Farang (white foreigner).  Some approaching vehicles would see us and rally the troops to cries of "FARANG! FARANG! FARANG!"  We were targets, willingly. Everyone, young, old, male, female, got into the action and no one was spared.  All in good clean fun.

 Of course, we had our own defense...

 And I sprang to action when the time came...


 But found that we were slightly over-powered...

I've got to hand it to some of the Songkran innovators, who get giant blocks of ice and put them into the water barrels, making ice cold water that is a startling surprise.  We're both thankful to have been a part of the celebration- and that we have a Pentax Option WP- a waterproof camera- without which these pictures would not be possible.
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Karl Bartos at the Bed Supperclub, Bangkok Thailand

By: leelefever on April 7, 2006 - 6:31am

The Bed Supperclub reminds me of the Korova Milk Bar in the movie A Clockwork Orange, complete with a sterile white atmosphere, impractical "modern" decor with pretention bleeding from between the sheets.

Essentially, it is a restaurant and dance club where you eat lounged on a bed with friends a la the Bed Bar in the HBO tv show Sex and the City. The whole place is housed in what amounts to a giant tube- like an airplane fuselage with two floors of bed-based seating.

We (Sachi, Newley and me) were constanly amused by the scene in general which felt like another world of high fashion, performance art and people who appear to take themselves far too seriously. We were outsiders.

As an example, the server gave is a comment card that had ratings 1-5 with 1 being "meow" and 5 being "ROOAR!" When we arrived there was a brightly lit women standing in the middle of the room, looking a bit like a Cirque Du Soleil clown with vines wrapped around her. Upon asking, we found that she was a performer in an interactive/performance art display, called "Cut Piece". We were supposed to cut away the vines to "free" her and then "contemplate and discuss the meaning amongst friends." We insisted on discussing what it takes to find meaning in such things. We received "instructions" for Cut Piece and the first line read, and I couldn't make this up...

"Walk to the beautiful worm"


"Keep piece of brach as souvenir"

Oh, and Karl Bartos of the legendary electronic band Kraftwerk performed as DJ, which was really cool to see. He seemed to fit perfectly as he posed for muliple photographers as text scrolled across the screen above the dancefloor saying "before MTV there was Bartos. This is Karl Bartos."

The Bed Supperclub was a priceless experience for us as backpackers, perhaps in the same way a heavy metal rocker might experience an opera- it's not really our thing, but it's really interesting to watch and seems strangely familiar.

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