Archive for the ‘Holidays/Celebrations’ Category

Trying to get away from the madness of Songkran

(written on April 15, 2010) Today is officially the last day of Songkran.  I don’t know if Chiang Mai will stop the festivities, but I know that today was my last day of the most insane holiday in the world.  There seemed to be a little less insanity today, maybe fewer people on the streets, or people were just Songkran’ed out, but it was still super fun.

The moats were still full of people filling up their buckets and waterguns and really, they were just full of people.  There’s no difference between swimming and the moat and walking the streets, because the water that you are soaked in is 100% moat water (apparently Chiang Mai does a really good job of keeping the waters somewhat clean and sanitary).  I caught these two boys lounging on an innertube away from the madness.  That’s the way to do it!!


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A marriage ceremony in a hilltribe village

(written on April 17, 2010) I went on my first hilltribe trek today in the mountains of Pai.  I was extremely excited to finally get some hiking in and see the villages in the heart of Northern Thailand.  I booked a trip with one of the local tour guides and when we arrived at the first village, he informed us that his friend’s sister was getting married and that we would be able to see the ceremony!  So incredibly cool!

They let us into the marriage house and told us that we were also allowed to take pictures!  Perfect timing!  I poked my head in and caught the moment where the two loverbirds were getting their hands bound together to symbolize the lifelong commitment they were about to embark on.

Such an amazing experience!

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A boy in the middle of a water fight

Happened to catch this little boy in the middle of a dangerous water fight!  You really have to be in good spirits for this holiday because let me tell you, getting constantly shot in the face by water, is not fun…until you shoot back!

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A young monk participating in Songkran

This is the one picture I wanted: a monk with a water gun.  Oh and I got it, amidst a fight with the said monk.  It was hilarious and so cute at the same time.  A few of them were timidly gathered by the moat, successfully filling up their water guns and buckets.  I of course let him shoot first and he also was not quite shooting when I took this picture, or he was shooting, but not exactly at me, definitely more of a pose just for the picture!  He was quite respectful of my naked camera!

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The wild party that is Songkran

Songkran is Thailand’s New Years (it is also celebrated in Cambodia and Laos as well).  It is three days, traditionally celebrated April 13-15, of an intense water fight.  Most shops are closed.  Everyone stops what they’re doing to pick up a water gun or a bucket and soak the person next to him.  Needless to say, this is the most insane holiday that I have ever encountered and why it has not been picked up by other countries is beyond me. 

I arrived to Chiang Mai early this morning and was informed that in Chiang Mai, the place to be for Songkran, the holiday starts early and that I better be prepared when I left the house for breakfast. 

It was a long day of being soaked, I didn’t grab a water gun yet so I had no way of defending myself, but it was a great day to just observe and plan my attack for the next day.

It was ABSOLUTELY insane!!!

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